Why is a "news" magazine co-commissioning a poll with an organization that is actively advocating a position on the issue they are polling people about? Why aren't readers of PARADE told that the people asking the questions are actively advocating for embryonic stem cell research? Could that have affected how questions were asked and therefore answered?
The article and poll just add to the garbage dump-sized pile of evidence that mainstream media continues to try to shape America's opinion on these issues and don't even really want to try to ask balanced questions.
One question asks, "Scientists now can make embryonic stem cells for medical research by merging an unfertilized egg with a skin cell, for example. In other words, no fertilization takes place and there is no merger of egg and sperm. Knowing this, do you favor or oppose embryonic stem cell research?"
The results: 69% said they "favor," 22% "oppose" and 9% "don't know."
The headline of this slide on the poll slide show says, "American Favor Cloning Technology to Make Embryonic Stem Cells."
Notice how the poll never mentions the word "cloning," never mentions that an embryo is created through this technique and never mentions that a cloned embryo must be destroyed in order for scientists to create stem cells. The person answering the questions (if not learned on this subject) is left by this question with the erroneous impression that scientists can basically create embryonic stem cell without ever creating an embryo.
While this poll was specifically trying to deceptively describe so-called therapeutic cloning, some scientists are hoping to work on something called altered nuclear transfer which hopes to create pluripotent stem cells with cloning technology without creating an embryo.
Another question mentions the word "cloning" but doesn't mention what is being cloned.
"Therapeutic cloning is the use of cloning technology to help in the search for possible cures and treatments for diseases and disabilities. Do you think that research into therapeutic cloning should be allowed?"
Even though "cloning" is used, the question never mentions that a human embryo is created thru cloning. If the person answering the question hasn't heard about "therapeutic" cloning before the poll then all they know about it is that it helps scientists looking for cures. They don't know an embryo is created and then destroyed for their parts.
The results: 59% favor, 35% oppose, and 6% don't know.
This is what James Thomson, the first person to isolate embryonic stem cells, was talking about when he was interviewed by Newsweek and said, "See, you're trying to define it away, and it doesn't work. If you create an embryo by nuclear transfer, and you give it to somebody who didn't know where it came from, there would be no test you could do on that embryo to say where it came from. It is what it is.
It's true that they have a much lower probability of giving rise to a child. … But by any reasonable definition, at least at some frequency, you're creating an embryo. If you try to define it away, you're being disingenuous."
Looking at the Research! America glossary page for a greater idea about how biased and deceptive those in charge of this poll are.
Embryo—a medical term that refers to a group of cells that arise from a fertilized egg (after merging of egg and sperm). An embryo does have the potential to become a complete organism. The embryonic stage ends at eight weeks of development.
Has the potential to become a complete organism? I wonder where Research! America got their definition because they certainly didn't get it from an embryology book.
Therapeutic cloning—the use of cloning technology to help in the search for possible cures and treatments for diseases and disabilities.
Could you be a little more vague or positive?