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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mindless Propaganda

It appears that the proponents for embryonic stem cell research are at it again. I still don't understand why. Adult stem cells have scored 56 successful human treatments by early 2005, and more success comes along. The last count I've seen says that embryonic stem cell research has so far garnered ZERO successful human treatments. What's more, the impracticality of embryonic stem cell research is serious and well-documented. Here's an eye-opener:
 “ES [embryonic stem] cells and their derivatives carry the same likelihood of immune rejection as a transplanted organ because, like all cells, they carry the surface proteins, or antigens, by which the immune system recognizes invaders. Hundreds of combinations of different types of antigens are possible, meaning that hundreds of thousands of ES cell lines might be needed to establish a bank of cells with immune matches for most potential patients. Creating that many lines could require millions of discarded embryos from IVF clinics.”
 -R. Lanza and N. Rosenthal, “The Stem Cell Challenge,” Scientific American, June 2004, pp. 92-99 at p. 94. [Editor’s note: A recent study found that only 11,000 frozen embryos are available for research use from all the fertility clinics in the U.S., and that destroying all these embryos for their stem cells might produce a total of 275 cell lines. See Fertility and Sterility, May 2003, pp. 1063-9 at p. 1068.]
So why on earth do they keep pushing for this? Because backing out will seem to agree that the human life in embryos is a given, and is precious even at that early stage. On the other hand, making embryonic stem cell research legal and unrestricted advances the delusion that human life begins only at birth. Several billion dollars could be riding on this as abortion clinics and pharmaceuticals who sell abortion pills make their livelihood from the self-same delusion about when human life begins. They can't afford to lose the psych war, with abortion advocacy plummeting this year. Here's a quick way to resolve that delusion. Let us consider X and Y to be the unique DNA "fingerprints" of the father and mother, respectively, and Z is that of the embryo from the first hour of conception. If Z = Y, then we can say that the embryo is a cluster of tissue entirely belonging to the mother. If Z = X, then the embryo is a cluster of tissue that belongs to the father. Lo and behold, neither of the two are true. Z is a unique DNA fingerprint. It is autonomous. What's more, Z is also the unique DNA fingerprint of the baby born thereafter. We must conclude, therefore, that each human being's life began with such an embryo, from the moment of conception. No, it does not begin with the gametes: for each gamete, i.e., sperm or egg cells, bears the DNA of the father or the mother, and with only 23 chromosomes each. The embryo has a unique DNA with 46 chromosomes, identifying that embryo as human. The propaganda continues. They're still engaging in false dilemmas. The US Senate discussions apparently don't even mention adult stem cells. Where's the data that supports funding embryonic stem cell research as against adult stem cell research? Nowhere that I've noticed.

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