An email from a cloning opponent:
Just saw your Corner post about the survey of genetics researchers on stem
cells and cloning. The numbers, as Wesley Smith says in that article, are
based on a survey published by a journal called Genetic Engineering News.
The survey itself is a classic example of the confusion mixed with
intentional distortion that we deal with on this subject. The survey asked
about “cell cloning” when it meant creating embryos through cloning, and it
said “cells” in the early stages from which stem cells are derived “are not
embryos.” A totally inaccurate and incoherent description of what’s
involved. It even created an artificial category “between the extremes of
support for therapy and opposition to whole human cloning” which it called
“human cloning research without implantation of the cloned embryo in a human
uterus” (which of course IS what they’re calling “therapy”) and said only
34% of the scientists supported this, though 92% supported “therapeutic
cloning of human stem cells.” Just a mess.
Presumably, descriptions like these were in the actual questionnaire given
to these scientists, and they answered based on these definitions. That
doesn’t help us see what they actually think, and whether they actually do
know that cloning creates embryos for research, and that all embryonic stem
cell research involves destroying embryos. So it’s very hard to make heads
or tails of these numbers, and they basically don’t mean anything.