May 29 2005
Those promoting the sanctity of life to limit embryonic stem cell research are constantly attacked for basing these positions on religious tenants. Well, the secularists are the ones who are ‘out there’ when it comes to dealing with science vs. fantasy. Scientifically, without any doubt and based on fact – not theory or hypothesis, an embryo is a unique, once for all time, human individual just like you and me. We once were at that stage in our life. So you decide which of the two comments that follow are based on reality and fact and which is not.
[A]. House Republican leader Tom DeLay cast himself with the originators of the three major monotheistic faiths. “An embryo,” he said, “is a person, a distinct internally directed, self-integrating human organism. We were all at one time embryos ourselves. So was Abraham. So was Muhammad. So was Jesus of Nazareth.”
[B]. Jerome Groopman, author of the editorial “In Genesis, God breathes into a lump of clay to form the first man, Adam. Thus, life is seen as beginning when organs, particularly the lungs, develop, since it is then that the vital spirit arrives. The Talmud states that before 40 days, what is in the uterus is akin to water, not a human being. DeLay would do well to return to the Bible, because rabbis and imams who read it as their source of inspiration would not concur that Abraham’s life and Muhammad’s life were defined some seven to eight days after their conception, the time when researchers take stem cells from the blastocyst.
Folks, scientists and researchers have yet to prove they can control and direct stem cells at even the most rudimentary levels. When they prove they have come sufficiently far in demonstrating, on primates and other lower animals, that stem cells can be transformed in a safe and controlled manner to produce a valuable treatment, then and only then do we need to address whether to destroy humans to save other humans.