[extropy-chat] Stem cell breakthrough claims

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat May 21 08:14:55 UTC 2005

On May 19, 2005, at 5:34 PM, The Avantguardian wrote:

> --- Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
>> And the Korean lab
>> found faster and safer ways  to cull stem cells,
>> using far fewer donated
>> eggs -- about 20 per try.   They also eliminated the
>> use of mouse "feeder
>> cells" that have been used to nourish most human
>> stem-cell lines, thus
>> obviating concerns about contamination.
> Does it bother anyone else that S. Korea is
> establishing itself as the world leader in this
> technology while the most "modern" country in the
> world wrings its hands in moral reflection? Even if we
> started therapeutic cloning today, we might not be
> able to close the gap. A pity since the economy of the
> United States could have used the extra revenue that
> would be generated when this process hits the market.
> Fortunately I know how to speak basic Korean, so I may
> still be able to do this stuff after all.

Yes.  It bothers me a lot.  I cannot afford to be in some self-made  
technological backwater as the pace accelerates toward Singularity.   
I am having increasing trouble supporting a government that cares  
more about pleasing the ignorant and bigoted majority than it cares  
about science or health or a long healthy life for its putative  
citizens.    As an extropian I increasingly wonder if I am giving  
allegiance to a country not in tune with my goals and inimical to my  
long term health and well-being.  I don't know where or if better  
is.   But it is time to renew the passport and check out a few likely  
alternatives virtually and in meat space as well.  I don't want to  
wait for the official Lamarkian equivalents to collapse on my head.

>>          It's also sure to revive international
>> controversy over whether to
>> ban all forms of human cloning, as the Bush
>> administration desires -- or to
>> allow cloning for medical research, so-called
>> therapeutic cloning that
>> South Korea has committed by law to pursue.
> Interestingly enough, I am pretty certain that the
> percentage of Christians in Korea are approximately
> the same as in the US if not higher. Obviously they
> are more educated and/or do not legislate their
> morality.

Banning a word?  Cloning has so many different applications, most of  
which are quite benevolent not to mention likely essential to many of  

>> Culling
>> stem cells destroys
>> the days-old embryo harboring them, regardless of
>> whether that embryo was
>> cloned or left over in a fertility clinic.
> Hmmm... does growing an oak tree destroy the acorn?

Embryos that would die anyway or in the case of cloning would not  
have existed otherwise.  Why would some religionists reject use of  
cloned embryos?  Mostly they do not believe such an embryo has a  
"soul".  So how is destroying it "murder"?

>> Because
>> opponents argue that is
>> the same as destroying life, President Bush has
>> banned Federally-funded
>> research on all but a handful of old embryonic
>> stem-cell lines and the
>> South Korean work spotlights the frustration many
>> U.S. scientists felt at
>> being left behind.
> Hey everybody, lets give Bush some applause here. He
> considers the lives of 5 day old blastulas sacred and
> the lives of 21 year old soldiers and criminals to be
> expendable. Do you think he would feel differently if
> the embryos came from black people, like many soldiers
> and criminals do? He is in so tight with God that he
> can afford to be out of touch with reality. After all,
> once we start drowning in debt, he can just pray for
> it to part, like Moses did the red sea.

No need for Divine intervention when he can have more money printed  
up whenever he wishes!

- samantha

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