Human Exceptionalism

Don’t Worry: Refusing to Fund Human/Animal Hybrid Cloning Not About Morals

With The Independent on a tear because moral concerns might have been behind the failure of scientists to garner public funding to conduct human cloning with animal eggs, we get this badly needed assurance. From the story:

Reports in the British media that grant applications to create hybrid human–animal embryos for research were turned down on moral grounds, have been rejected by the funding bodies and scientists involved.

The story broke in the Independent newspaper on Monday, which claimed Stephen Minger, a leading stem cell scientist at King’s College London, said that the grant applications may have been blocked by scientists on the funding committees who are morally opposed to the creation of cloned hybrid embryos. But when Nature spoke to Minger he said the Independent misinterpreted his comments, adding he did not have any evidence that moral objections led to his proposal being rejected. “I was not saying that religious or moral opposition to the proposal led to its rejection,” he said.

Whew, that’s a relief. We sure wouldn’t want morality to play any role in government funding of scientific research.


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