Human Exceptionalism

Cloned Embryo in UK not an Embryo in US

The lack of candor and honesty by some cloning proponents in the U.S. demeans democracy. When it was announced that Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the sheep, intends to create cloned embryos for use in research, the British press and some U.S. stories acknowledged that the “product” of somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning is a human embryo. Perhaps that is because in the UK, there is less concern that cloning for research purposes creates and then destroys human life.

But here, where the creation of human life for purposes of destruction is of great moral concern, many proponents refuse to admit that the same procedure–SCNT–actually creates a human organism. I recently testified in Missouri, and witnessed the most ludicrous display of biological post modernism I have ever seen. Proponents of therapeutic cloning insisted that cloned embryos aren’t really embryos, they merely are cell lines. When asked if that was so, why the need to ban implantation, since mere cell lines implanted in wombs can never become a baby, the response by one witness was that these cells could become “sentient” in 40 days in a womb and that THEN, they would be human life. This is utter nonsense. But that is their story and they are sticking to it.

This would all be laughable–except that it often works. Governor Matt Blunt of Missouri, for example, is an ardent pro life advocate. He claims he would support the proposed cloning ban if he thought cloning created a new human life. Given the scientific facts, his support should be a given. But he has indicated instead that he might veto the proposed ban on cloning because he doesn’t believe cloning makes life since sperm and egg do not meet. Talk about willfull ignorance!

So, in the UK, cloning indisputably creates new human life. But in the US, many pretend that it does not. Same procedure. Same life created. Different politics. Different story. Pathetic.

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