Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Lanza and Company Lambasted by Senator Arlen Specter for Stem Cell Hype


The ACT hype is coming back to haunt the company and should (but won't) embarrass the company's willing accomplices in the media. Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), a strong supporter of ESCR and human cloning research, lambasted Dr. Robert Lanza of ACT for misleading the public in a committee hearing today. And yet, Lanza continues to attempt to mount a pathetic defense. From the Reuters story reporting the confrontation:

"Specter said the study's claims to provide an ethical alternative to destroying embryos 'dramatic albeit false.'

"'This technique has been used throughout the world for years and years,' retorted Lanza. 'Everything I said is absolutely correct and accurate.'

"Later he told reporters he was confused by the questioning he received from Specter at the hearing of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services subcommittee. 'It is not fair. It is not right,' Lanza said. 'I know for a fact that removing the cell does not impact the embryo.'

The italicized sentence is a classic and obvious bait and switch. Whether an early embryo can survive the removal of one cell is not controversial. The snake oil Lanza tried to sell was that his research team had created embryonic stem cell lines from such a single cell without destroying the embryo from which it was extracted--when they did no such thing. Lanza and ACT have been caught in bald deception that grabbed the attention of the world. And their reputations, justifiably, will never be the same.


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