[Paleopsych] CBC: None Dare Call It Cloning by Wesley J. Smith

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None Dare Call It Cloning by Wesley J. Smith
Center for Bioethics and Culture Newsletter

    "British scientists have been given permission to
    perform therapeutic cloning using human embryos for the first time,"
    reported the August 11, 2004, BBC News. What a remarkable statement.
    Not the fact that the UK will permit researchers to create human
    cloned embryos-that has been on the drawing board for some time. What
    made this report so startling was that the British government,
    researchers, and the BBC admit that the scientists will be "cloning
    human embryos" via "the same technique used to create Dolly the cloned
    sheep." (This is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT.)

    Just try and get American cloning advocates and their accomplices in
    the media to be as candid. On this side of the Atlantic, the C-word is
    now reserved for "reproductive cloning," that is SCNT intended to
    result in the birth of a cloned baby. But the exact same procedure
    used to create cloned embryos for use in research, is never called
    cloning anymore. Nor, do advocates usually admit the biological fact
    that the "product" of human SCNT is a cloned human embryo. Instead, in
    an act of utter cynicism, pro-cloners employ obfuscating words,
    redefined terms, and misleading slogans designed to sow confusion in
    the minds of the American people.

    Here are just two recent examples:
    Ron Reagan's speech at the Democrat Convention: Ron Reagan's speech,
    which he claimed to be about embryonic stem cell research (ESCR),
    actually touted therapeutic cloning, that is, the creation of cloned
    embryos for use in research and treatments. Not only did Reagan
    incorrectly describe embryonic stem cell research, but also, he
    intentionally misleads his audience when he said, "No fetuses are
    created, none destroyed" during the SCNT procedure.

    Well, of course, cloning doesn't create fetuses. What cloning it does
    do is create new human embryos through asexual means. Once in
    existence, these embryos develop in the same manner as natural

    Whether created through fertilization or cloning, the human embryonic
    stage of development lasts from the moment the embryo comes into being
    as a one-celled organism, through he eighth week. Thus, for cloning to
    create a fetus, the unborn child would have to come into existence
    already eight weeks along in development; clearly a preposterous
    notion. Thus, Reagan's clearly intended to misinform his audience
    toward the end of convincing them to support federal funding for human
    cloning research.

    California's Proposition 71: The California Stem Cell Research and
    Cures Act, which will appear on the November California ballot, claims
    to create a state constitutional right to conduct "stem cell
    research." In order to hide its radical nature, the initiative never
    once uses the word embryo, referring to them merely as "surplus
    products of in vitro fertilization treatments." Nor does the
    initiative mention embryonic stem cells. They are instead called
    "pluripotent stem cells."

    As to cloning, it mentions research on pluripotent stem cells that
    "may be derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer," thereby hiding
    from voters both that the stem cells would be taken from cloned
    embryos and that these nascent human lives would be destroyed in the
    process. The initiative does mention cloning, but true to form, only
    in connection with reproduction, thereby creating a false dichotomy
    between so-called reproductive cloning and SCNT, when the procedure is
    identical regardless of the use to which the cloned embryo is put.

    The UK is moving full speed ahead into cloning research, a truly
    deplorable turn of events. But at least in the UK, the cloning lobby
    admits what it is doing. That is more than we can say about most
    cloning advocates in this country who are working overtime to prevent
    the American people from finding out what's really up.

    Award winning author Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the
    Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for
    Bioethics and Culture. His book Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World
    will be published in October.

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