Much has been made of a dramatic debate on This Week on stem-cell research between Sam Brownback and Arlen Specter. I’m not going to pretend that the image of Arlen Specter suffering in real-time is not one that pulls at anyone’s heartstrings, it certainly does, and I wish him the best in his painful health battle. But, I still couldn’t help but notice how the conversation on Sunday completely skipped over alternatives to embryonic-stem-cell research (adult, cord blood…)–Brownback mentioned it and it never went anywhere. That might be Brownback’s fault this time, for quickly moving onto the when-did-your-life begin question. But alternative alternatives are rarely discussed—but they are a source of hope (I’m sorry to be a broken record here), free of the ethical problems surrounding the embryonic kind.