Human Exceptionalism

Doerflinger on the Iowa Pro-Cloning Vote

In today’s NRO, Richard Doerflinger, who acts as the hub of the wheel for forces opposing human cloning, weighed in about Iowa’s pro cloning vote (and the AP’s bad reporting about it), demonstrating in his usual rapier fashion how it was based on misleading hype and the cruel raising of false hopes. From the article: “For as the bill went from [Iowa]senate to house, Governor Chet Culver declared that ‘it’s really up to the 100 state representatives now to decide if they want to give hope and opportunity to tens of thousands of people.’

“Who are these tens of thousands of people? A hint of an answer is that Culver said this at a press conference surrounded by parents of children with juvenile diabetes, who spoke about a ‘cure’ for their children’s illness.

“It is worth asking: Have these parents ever read anything about cloning and juvenile diabetes–or are they being misled and used? Even the most vigorous proponents of human cloning for research purposes, such as Ian Wilmut (head of the team that created Dolly), admit that stem cells from cloned embryos will not treat juvenile diabetes. The reason is simple: Any embryo cloned from a child with juvenile diabetes (and any stem cells from that embryo) would be an exact genetic match to the child, and thus have exactly the same genetic profile that provoked the illness in the first place.

“The AP reporter, gamely coming to the governor’s aid, adds that ‘many scientists’ hold that embryonic stem cells from cloning also promise new therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. But, in fact, it is difficult to find any competent scientist who holds this. When some members of the Reagan family were pushing that line in 2004, the Washington Post reported the consensus among experts on Alzheimer’s that this is almost certainly not the kind of illness that embryonic stem cells can ever treat. When asked why there is nonetheless a widespread public perception that embryonic stem cells may treat this illness, National Institutes of Health expert Ron McKay famously noted: ‘To start with, people need a fairy tale…'”

As Doerfinger often says in response to McCay’s assertion, “No! They need the truth!” Don’t hold your breath, Rich. Don’t hold your breath.

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