In an encore presentation (from earlier this summer) of Larry King Live that aired Aug. 20, 2005, Art Linkletter (who is opposed to abortion and conservative for the most part) said that he was in favor of embryonic stem cell research and made some incorrect claims about whether a human embryo is alive or not. Linkletter, who is 93 years old, is famous for his long career in television including hosting the show "Kids Who Say the Darndest Things."
Here's the transcript:
KING: The controversy over stem-cells. Now, Nancy has come out strongly in favor of embryonic stem-cell research, and most of the country, 60, 65 percent, is in favor of it. I know you're conservative.
LINKLETTER: I'm for it.
KING: As is Orrin Hatch and many others.
LINKLETTER: I think anybody who looks at it -- well, it finally comes down partly to whether you think that the female egg, once meeting the male sperm, is a live creature. I don't think so. And they're taking stem-cells from so early in the embryo that it's not taking a life. It's not living yet.
KING: You think it's going to lead to a lot of cures? LINKLETTER: A lot of them. I doubt if it'll lead to Alzheimer's. They talk about it.
I find it so strange that people can actually believe (or maybe it's just a bad attempt at rationalization) that a young human embryo is not alive when they think that an older human embryo is alive. It's the same thing, for goodness sake. It's still a human embryo. Do people actually believe that something which grows and is developing isn't actually alive until it reaches a certain stage of development or a certain age? Wouldn't the reality that something is developing and aging indicate that the something is alive? How does something which isn't alive grow and develop until it reaches the stage when it becomes alive? Doesn't growth and aging in an organism seem to indicate that the organism is alive?
The claim that something isn't alive until it reaches a certain age has to be one of the most befuddled claims in the history of mankind. To say that something is created at one point and then becomes "alive" at another point makes no sense. To say that something is aging, growing and developing assumes that it is alive and retains the elements of life.