Posted by lex, on November 20,2007
It appears as though a Japanese scientist has found a way to cultivate stem cells from the skin of a live mouse. If true, that would remove the last barrier to principled support of stem cell therapy research among pro-life adherents. Pro-lifers – many, but not all of them operating from religiously formed convictions – objected to the notion of creating one class of human life only for the purpose of destroying it for the potential benefit of another class. For this they were roundly denounced as anti-scientific Luddites.
In First Things, Joeseph Bottums postulates ulterior motives among some stem cell research proponents before asking a fair question:
(Science), in the context of the editorial page of the New York Times, was simply a stalking-horse for something else. In fact, for two something-elses: a chance to discredit America’s religious believers and an opportunity to put yet another hedge around the legalization of abortion. After all, if our very health depends on the death of embryos, and we live in a culture that routinely destroys early human life in the laboratory, no grounds could exist for objecting to abortion.
With these purposes now severed by the Japanese de-differentiation technique, which way will it break?
I hope we find out.