I believe that many of these exciting “alternative” methods would not have been achieved but for President Bush’s stalwart stand promoting ethical stem-cell research. Indeed, had the president followed the crowd instead of leading it, most research efforts would have been devoted to trying to perfect ESCR and human-cloning research — which, despite copious funding, have not worked out yet as scientists originally hoped.
Father Thomas Berg:
So here we have both the scientist who gave us embryonic-stem-cell research and the scientist who gave us cloning both telling us that the cloning agenda is now obsolete and that the future of robust stem-cell research does not lie in embryos.
Ponder the meaning.
At first some folks in Washington and elsewhere will certainly be inclined to deny it or insist human cloning or embryo-destructive research remain essential, but as these findings sink in, that view is likely to sink too. It offers a path to a win-win conclusion to what seemed like an intractable argument—you get the cells scientists have said are so valuable, and you avoid the violation of human equality and dignity that so troubles some of us. It’s not only ethically preferable, it also seems to be scientifically superior in some ways, because it’s so much easier and more direct (as British scientist Ian Wilmut noted late last week (almost breaking the story), it offers genetically matched embryonic-like stem cells, as you’d get from human cloning, but without the need for cloning or embryos; all you need is a tiny bit of skin)