Human Exceptionalism

We Are Drowning in Anti-Science Junk Biology

And here we have been told that Republicans engage in phony science: In Texas, a report is about to come out about cloning and stem cell research. But three Democrats refuse to sign and have leaked to the press that it states that SCNT cloning creates an embryo or an embryo-like entity. Gasp! Accurate science in the cloning debate: We mustn’t have that!

Here is what these legislators told a reporter for the Houston Chronicle: “The three don’t like a part of the report that addresses what happens if the technique ‘creates an embryo by replacing the original DNA in the egg and yields embryonic stem cells.’

“In a letter to Swinford, the three Democrats said the discussion equates the technique ‘with embryonic stem cell research and all of the moral, ethical and existential questions surrounding that scientific investigation. In truth, SCNT holds the best hope to avoid the moral implications of stem cell research, because, at present, a human SCNT cell cannot become human life.’

“While saying the process ‘was used to create a sheep clone nearly a decade ago,’ the three added that ‘there is no peer-reviewed, scientifically verifiable process that claims to use a human SCNT cell implanted into a woman’s womb to create a human life.'”

What utter hogwash! Of course there are no peer reviewed studies showing that an “SCNT cell” (!!!) has been implanted since cloned embryos have only barely been created to date. Moreover, the idea that once cloned human embryos can be created, it can’t lead to reproductive cloning is balderdash.

Here is the truth: SCNT creates an embryo “asexually,” which, if all goes well, acts like any other embryo. Don’t take my word for it. Hearken to the writing of four adamant supporters of research cloning: Robert P. Lanza, Arthur Caplan, Lee M. Silver, Jose B. Cibelli, who write in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 284, 3175-3179: “CRNT [cell replacement through nuclear transfer, a.k.a. therapeutic cloning] requires the deliberate creation and disaggregation of a human embryo.”

They go on to state: “It is true that the techniques developed in CRNT research can prepare the way scientifically and technically for efforts at reproductive cloning.”

The Democrats in the story were regurgitating crap propaganda of the kind disseminated by the Alliance for Medical Research. We are being drowned in junk biology as an intentional tactic to win a political debate. But this is intellectually dishonest, and profoundly so–which is anti science.

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