October 4, 2006

Ongoing commentary on “Stem cell Wars: Inside Stories from the Frontlines”

Opponents of stem cell research have managed to carry on a massive campaign of misinformation, to the extent that millions of Americans are either deeply confused about what the research entails or actually believe that mainstream scientists routinely dismember and kill human babies for research. These extremists create fictions that are stunning in their outrageousness, yet these tactics have gotten them so far that they’ve managed to hamstring the nation’s universities, the National Institutes of health…and most of the scientific community from conducting what many believe to be the most promising research of our time. For what these anti-research extremists lack in truthfulness and intellectual rigor, they make up for in spit and vinegar. (p. 17)

When the opportunity exists to educate people on ESCR, they don’t seem to be confused at all. They understand that embryo-destructive research ends the life of a human at the earliest stage. Size does not matter, despite what ESCR proponents would have us believe. All humans have value no matter the age or stage - but what Herold is attempting here is a strawman. For Herold to suggest that our position constitutes promoting to our constituency images of dismemberment of later stage fetuses is to completely misunderstand our position or is intended to intentionally deceive.

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