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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Will MO Stem Cell Science Exhibits be Accurate? Not Likely



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The Missouri science establishment is going all out to pass the human cloning legalization initiative, Amendment 2. Now, science museums have announced they will present stem cell displays that "contains information consistent with that presented by the scientific community to the public."

If that is true, there will be an awful lot of junk science on display. Readers of Secondhand Smoke know that "the scientists" often misstate the science of stem cells and cloning when presenting information to the public. Among the worst of these have been "the scientists" engaged in promoting Amendment 2, some of whom I have personally witnessed presenting wildly deceptive and inaccurate presentations.

For example, I was present when Dr. Steven Teitelbaum, a pro-cloning advocate of Amendment 2, falsely told a committee of the Missouri legislature that adult stem cells are merely "unipotent," meaning that blood stem cells can only make blood, fat stem cells only make fat, etc. This was pure bunk, since it has long been known that adult stem cells are at least multi-potent, meaning they can become several types of tissues, and a few may even be pluripotent.

Oh, not coincidentally, Dr. Titelebaum will be presenting on stem cells at one of these museums. No. I am not holding out much hope for scientific accuracy to be on display at these stem cell exhibits.


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