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Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

Any topic related to science can be discussed here.
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Hot Thought
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Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#1 Postby Hot Thought » March 23rd, 2008, 11:41 pm

Hello, I was reading the links in the media scan {which are excellent btw} and the one article claimed that the Cardinals objection to the Embryonic bill were mistaken because:

"The transfer of DNA from one cell to another may create a hybrid cell, but it does not create life, either human or animal."

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/op ... 3906461.jp

Can someone unpack this for me please as I am unsure as to whether this article is saying that hybrid cells are not alive or that they are not human or animal.

I have read that pro-life groups equate human life with the union of sperm and egg,
and hence equate the harvesting of human embryonic stem cells to homicide.

Whilst I don't accept that harvesting stem cells is equivalent to homicide ! i.e. killing a human person I am curious as to what the definition of life that is widely accepted by biologists would be.

Many thanks
Jules

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Alan H
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#2 Postby Alan H » March 23rd, 2008, 11:54 pm

Hot Thought wrote:Hello, I was reading the links in the media scan {which are excellent btw}
Thanks! Although I post the links to the articles in the MediaScan thread, if you'd like to get the articles in an email, let me know by PM and I'll add your email address to the group.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Tom Rees
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#3 Postby Tom Rees » March 24th, 2008, 9:30 pm

Hot Thought wrote:Whilst I don't accept that harvesting stem cells is equivalent to homicide ! i.e. killing a human person I am curious as to what the definition of life that is widely accepted by biologists would be.

There is no generally accepted definition of life - they all fall down in some way. From a biological standpoint, life isn't created at conception. It's a continuum of life stretching all the way back to the first living organism.

The problem is that science has advanced to the point where our old, religion-based ethical systems are no help. The issue with human animal hybrids is that they are essentially clones. What happens is as follows:

They remove the animal DNA from the nucleus of the animal cell. The only DNA that's left is the DNA in the mitochondria (cell powerhouses that exist outside the nucleus), and this is a tiny tiny fraction of the total DNA.

They insert DNA from the donor - from an ordinary cell, not an embryo. Then they give it a chemical kick start, which turns it into something like an embryo. In theory, if you implanted this into a womb, it could grow into a person (albeit with animal mitochondria).

Is this a new life? It could turn into a new human being - a clone of the old one. So it could become a new life. But it isn't actually a human being - it's just a ball of cells. In reality, it's a tool for using the donor's DNA to create stem cells, which could be used to grow new tissue. So from that perspective, it's just like growing a skin graft in the lab from the patients cells, and grafting it back on to the patient.

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Hot Thought
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#4 Postby Hot Thought » March 25th, 2008, 5:11 pm

I found that very clear - many thanks for posting Tom!!

I can now understand that the paper is making the point that whilst the cells are alive and fall under the concept of 'life' they do not constitute what we mean by human or animal life. As you say they are just a bunch of cells which we lose on a regular basis.

However, once they turn into an embryo that would qualify it as a human life wouldn't it? Although not a person or what we ordinarily mean by a 'human being'. Still having just glanced at the bill which nicely linked from the science blog :0) it says that the cells are to be destroyed once they reach a 2 cell stage.

So at the moment I am struggling to see how this is any different in ethical issues than say female contraception. In both cases the only ethical issue concerns the potential of human life, it does not concern destroying human life or human beings and as such this seems like a very weak basis for an objection.

Does that sound about right?

Cheers
Jules

Tom Rees
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#5 Postby Tom Rees » March 25th, 2008, 9:13 pm

Hot Thought wrote:However, once they turn into an embryo that would qualify it as a human life wouldn't it?

It would if you're a catholic :) I wouldn't say that an early-stage embryo (i.e. a ball of cells) is a human life. According to the bill, you have to destroy the embryo by 14 days (and you're not allowed to implant it). I'm talking about an embryo rather than a foetus (which is the name for an embryo that has started to look a bit like a person, at around 2 months).

I've been reading the bill more closely and see that it does also allow the creation of genuine hybrids - say with an animal sperm and a human embryo. Guess they are just future proofing because the motivation for the bill is somatic cell nuclear transfer (what I described above)

So at the moment I am struggling to see how this is any different in ethical issues than say female contraception. In both cases the only ethical issue concerns the potential of human life, it does not concern destroying human life or human beings and as such this seems like a very weak basis for an objection.

Does that sound about right?

Well it sounds right to me! I think that a 14-day old embryo cannot be classified as human life. To me 'human' begins either when there is enough grey matter to start to be functional, or when the embryo starts to look like a human. Somewhere around 3 months (i.e. the current cut off for almost all abortions).

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Alan H
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#6 Postby Alan H » March 25th, 2008, 10:09 pm

Tom Rees wrote:Well it sounds right to me! I think that a 14-day old embryo cannot be classified as human life. To me 'human' begins either when there is enough grey matter to start to be functional, or when the embryo starts to look like a human. Somewhere around 3 months (i.e. the current cut off for almost all abortions).
There obviously isn't an easy divide between embryo and human, but I would have thought that using a measure such as resemblance to a human would be fraught with difficulties and open to individual interpretation. Is this the same with brain function or is this more easily defined and therefore less open to debate?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#7 Postby Nick » March 26th, 2008, 4:02 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Tom. A further question if I may:

A sperm and egg, united in the womb, will develop into a human of some sort, unless aborted naturally or artificially. What is the current and future theoretical maximum time stem cells could survive in the lab without being implanted?

Tom Rees
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#8 Postby Tom Rees » March 26th, 2008, 6:19 pm

Alan H wrote:There obviously isn't an easy divide between embryo and human, but I would have thought that using a measure such as resemblance to a human would be fraught with difficulties and open to individual interpretation. Is this the same with brain function or is this more easily defined and therefore less open to debate?


You have exactly the same problem with brain function - perhaps even more so. The utilitarian philosopher Pete Singer is an advocate of treating all life forms equally based on their brain power. Based on this, he suggests that 'abortions' of infants up to 1 month after they have been born should be permissible.

He has a point, but few people would be able to stomach that. The reason, I think, is that we have a built-in resistance to treating things that look as if they're human as less than human. It's a barrier that I wouldn't want to break down. So that's why I think that 'yuck' factor should have a role to play. It's not scientific, but it does take into account the fact that humans aren't utilitarian robots.

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#9 Postby Emma Woolgatherer » March 26th, 2008, 7:28 pm

Tom Rees wrote:The utilitarian philosopher Pete Singer is an advocate of treating all life forms equally based on their brain power. Based on this, he suggests that 'abortions' of infants up to 1 month after they have been born should be permissible.

He has a point, but few people would be able to stomach that. The reason, I think, is that we have a built-in resistance to treating things that look as if they're human as less than human. It's a barrier that I wouldn't want to break down. So that's why I think that 'yuck' factor should have a role to play. It's not scientific, but it does take into account the fact that humans aren't utilitarian robots.

But does it? What if the 'yuck' factor works the other way sometimes? Or what if other emotions are involved, like fear and compassion and even love? What if you have an infant so severely physically deformed and/or brain-damaged that he or she doesn't even seem human? Or a baby who is destined to suffer terribly throughout his or her severely shortened life? What if the "natural" reaction of a mother or father would be to smother the poor little scrap with a pillow? There is evidence that infanticide used to be more widespread in the past (see British Archaeology, March 1995). What if our horrified reaction to the idea of infant euthanasia is not so much "built-in" as learned, a consequence of powerful cultural (and in particular religious) influences?

It's a very tricky topic, I know, but I think the possibility of legalising infant euthanasia in certain circumstances should be debated openly, and certainly not dismissed on the basis of the 'yuck' factor alone. (See "Doctors: let us kill disabled babies", Sunday Times, 5 November 2006.) We may not be utilitarian robots, but we're more complex than phrases like "built-in resistance" suggest, I think.

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#10 Postby Tom Rees » March 26th, 2008, 9:13 pm

Nick wrote:Thanks for the explanation, Tom. A further question if I may:

A sperm and egg, united in the womb, will develop into a human of some sort, unless aborted naturally or artificially. What is the current and future theoretical maximum time stem cells could survive in the lab without being implanted?


You've got me there, Nick! I don't know how long an embryo can be kept growing in the lab - not long, not much past 14 days. But more than that I can't say! Stem cells are different - but they also can't be kept for long (although you can freeze them and embryos).

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#11 Postby Tom Rees » March 26th, 2008, 9:26 pm

Emma W wrote:What if our horrified reaction to the idea of infant euthanasia is not so much "built-in" as learned, a consequence of powerful cultural (and in particular religious) influences?

I think that's a fair point, and I think a large part (if not all) of it is learned. As we all know you can quite easily become accustomed to doing things that would strike us, in our genteel society, as being horrific.

But that's also what I mean. We are unaccustomed to killing humans. I like it that way. If that means that we end up doing things that are strictly hypocritical - like experimenting on dogs but letting brain damaged people alone - then I'm OK with that.

In other words, what I mean is that us humans find it difficult to draw boundaries around abstract concepts. It's easy to tell the difference between a dog and a human. Not so easy to tell the difference between a human whose brain function is just below the acceptable level, and one whose brain function is just above.

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#12 Postby Alan C. » March 26th, 2008, 11:03 pm

Tom Rees
You've got me there, Nick! I don't know how long an embryo can be kept growing in the lab - not long, not much past 14 days.
From my limited reading of the subject, the cells have to be destroyed after 14 days maximum, so it's not really a case of "how long could they survive" after this period, they have to be destroyed after 14 days.
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#13 Postby Emma Woolgatherer » March 27th, 2008, 1:05 am

Tom Rees wrote:We are unaccustomed to killing humans. I like it that way. If that means that we end up doing things that are strictly hypocritical - like experimenting on dogs but letting brain damaged people alone - then I'm OK with that.

Ah well, I'm not. Like a lot of people, I'm not OK with experimenting on dogs — and monkeys, and apes ... But I am more OK with experimenting on severely brain-damaged people — people who are not now conscious or capable of feeling pain — if they gave their prior consent. Yes, I might even be prepared to draw up an advance decision myself stating that, if I were for any reason in a permanent vegetative state, then I would want my body to be used for HIV research. I'd have to think about it, discuss it with my family. But I can certainly see the sense of it. It hadn't occurred to me until now. I'd always assumed that I'd want to be killed if I were in a PVS (and not merely "allowed to die").

The idea of wanting to be killed in such circumstances is not such an alien one, I don't think. There's already a lot of support for some kind of voluntary euthanasia. According to a British Social Attitudes report (which surveyed 3,000 people), eight out of ten people support assisted dying for terminally ill people (BBC News, 24 January 2007). So we are not so horrified at the idea of killing human beings that we can't consider it appropriate in certain circumstances. We might even get accustomed to it. What Singer is advocating is that we consider non-voluntary euthanasia too. For those who don't have the mental capacity to volunteer, such as infants.

Tom Rees wrote:In other words, what I mean is that us humans find it difficult to draw boundaries around abstract concepts. It's easy to tell the difference between a dog and a human. Not so easy to tell the difference between a human whose brain function is just below the acceptable level, and one whose brain function is just above.

OK. I understand that there's a bit of a grey area between the permanent vegetative state and the minimally conscious state. And I admit that I wouldn't want to give my permission for my living body to be experimented on if there was a chance that I might really be minimally conscious and capable of experiencing pain and distress. But I don't have any problem with the idea of being killed when in a vegetative state, even if there were a chance that it might not have been permanent, or that I might be minimally conscious. And with more sophisticated neuroimaging, perhaps these are distinctions that will be more clearly determined in the future. The fact that this is a difficult area is not a reason to rule out change.

I think it's perfectly reasonable and "natural" for compassionate human beings to consider the possibility of killing other human beings who are having to endure intolerable suffering, or, conversely, who are not sentient at all. I know this is a long way from questions about a bunch of cells. But the problem with the "bunch of cells" problem is that it focuses on the issue of whether a living thing is or is not a human being. I'm not convinced that that is so very crucial. I'd rather try to draw lines round difficult abstract concepts. But then maybe I'm utilitarian robot.

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#14 Postby Nick » March 27th, 2008, 11:37 am

Alan C. wrote:
Tom Rees
You've got me there, Nick! I don't know how long an embryo can be kept growing in the lab - not long, not much past 14 days.
From my limited reading of the subject, the cells have to be destroyed after 14 days maximum, so it's not really a case of "how long could they survive" after this period, they have to be destroyed after 14 days.

You are quite right, of course, Alan, but that is not what I was driving at. I was more interested in furthering my understanding of how far cells on a petri dish could be considered 'life'. If, as Tom suggests, not much more than 14 days, then I do not see that they can be called 'life' in any meaningful way whatsoever, any more than can hair or toe-nails.

I also heard that whereas embryology research consists of 100s of cells, this compares with 100,000 in the eye of a housefly. I can't verify that claim, but if true, 'life' seems to be overstating it somewhat.

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#15 Postby Alan H » March 28th, 2008, 4:57 pm

This Press Release has just been issued by the Catholic Church:
********************************************************************************
Cardinal calls for "Faith and Science" forum
http://scmo.org/articles/500/1/Cardinal ... Page1.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cardinal calls for "Faith and Science" forum

* By SCMO
* Published Today
* News Releases
SCMO

5 St Vincent Place, Glasgow G1 2DH

T: 0141 221 1168
F: 0141 204 2458
E: mail@scmo.org

View all articles by SCMO
EMBARGO 7.30PM FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2008

Cardinal O'Brien calls for "Faith and Science" forum on Embryology Bill

Speaking at a Public Meeting in Kirkaldy this evening (28 March) on the ‘Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill’, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will call for greater communication between faith leaders and scientists. He will say; "I see the way ahead through bringing together the Churches and peoples of all faiths, along with scientists who are involved at this present time". The Cardinal will add;

" have been approached by MPs and asked by others in the media to consider meeting with leading scientists who are currently involved in this area. I would be only too happy to agree to such a meeting and I am sure other Church representatives and leaders of other faiths would also agree.......In agreeing to such a meeting my only condition would be that the scientists were also willing to accept instruction from our Churches and peoples of faith on basic morality, on what human life really is, on the purpose of our life on earth"


Cardinal O'Brien will also use the opportunity of the meeting to restate his strong opposition to the Bill. The Cardinal's full text is shown below.

ENDS

Peter Kearney
Director
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291
pk@scmo.org
http://www.scmo.org




PUBLIC MEETING AT ST BRYCE KIRK, KIRKCALDY

ADDRESS BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O’BRIEN

FRIDAY 28 MARCH 2008


Introduction:

Since my Easter Sunday sermon, less than a week ago, a great number of concerns have been raised about many aspects of the ‘Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill’ – apart from the content of the Bill, these also concern freedom of conscience.

I have been asked why I raised the matter at this time – on Easter Sunday morning in my Cathedral. My reply would be the same as to why I raised the issue of abortion at the end of May last year when we were commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Abortion Act. Then, as now, I am simply trying to draw attention to changes in legislation which will greatly affect the society in which we live.

At Easter we commemorate the new life brought by Jesus Christ; now I am considering, along with yourselves, just what sort of new life we will be celebrating in our own country in a few years time.

I have two main concerns – one concerning the liberty of conscience allowed by the Labour Party to Labour MPs who do not agree with the content of this Bill; the other concerning the Bill itself.

Freedom of Conscience:

My remarks have focussed the attention of many on whether or not Labour Members of Parliament should be given a free vote with regard to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Many agree with me in that a free vote should be granted – particularly as free votes have been granted on causes much less important, such as fox hunting and the docking of dogs tails! Consequently, when this Bill is considered, I would certainly maintain that Members of Parliament of whatever Party should be allowed to vote according to their conscience.

I would ask: when is a ‘free vote’ not a ‘free vote’!

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated that Labour MPs will be allowed a free vote on three key issues – the mixing of human and animal cells in research embryos, the use of IVF to create children who may be able to donate tissue or cells to cure a sick sibling, and the removal of the need to consider a child’s need for a father when a woman applies for IVF. However, Gordon Brown stressed that he would be voting in favour of all of the controversial element of the Bill and said that he expected his Party to endorse its broad themes, while adding: “I fully respect the views of those who have specific religious objections”. I would hope that the conscience of any Members of Parliament will not be dictated by their political party or leader – but will indeed really be a vote in conscience. If enough voices are raised against the Bill at the first stage, free votes may be extended to further stages.

2.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill:

This Bill is concerned with, human life in its earliest incarnation, but make no mistake, it is human! Crucially, it is not ‘potential human life’ but ‘human life with potential’.

We are told that the use of stem cells taken from human embryos ‘might’, ‘could’ or ‘may’ lead to treatments for many diseases – but these claims have been made now for over a decade without any substance. We continue to be told that experimenting on embryos will lead us to cures and treatments, particularly with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease.

Yet, as the years have gone by, not one single treatment or therapy has emerged. In the meantime, research using adult stem cells has led to over 70 different therapies and treatments, without destroying a single embryo. The creation of animal-human hybrid embryos is described as just a few little experiments to help the seriously ill and after all these embryos will be destroyed after 14 days.

However, I see this Bill as quite simply the thin edge of the wedge and ask “Where will we go to next?”. I have mentioned the passing of the Abortion Act some 40 years ago in 1967. At that time I don’t think anyone would have dreamt the statistics concerning abortion would be as they are now, when we have literally abortion on demand and pregnant teenagers are almost encouraged to have abortions. I myself have been accused of frightening people with statistics regarding the number of abortions. However, there is one vitally important statistic which we must have in mind concerning abortions at this time and it is quite simply to ask: “How many abortions have been refused over the past 40 years?”. We are so often told how many healthy babies in the womb have been killed, denied life! How many girls and young women, along with their husbands (or nowadays ‘partners’) are told: “Please keep your unborn babies, give them life, with the help of the many agencies ready to help them”. In other words how SAFE are the SAFEGAURDS we were promised then? And how likely is it that they would be any better today?

Is there a way ahead?:

I would ask both those who support me and those who criticise if there is any way ahead at this present time. I am aware of a great fear from many people who have spoken to me or written to me. The question being asked is quite simply: “What will our brave new world do next?”.

If animal-embryos are allowed to be kept for 14 days – why not 14 weeks or 28 weeks? Instead of destroying such embryos, why not fertilise them to see just what will happen? What happened after the death of Dolly the sheep – apart from the fact that its remains are now stuffed and in the National Museum of Scotland? What can we say of the company which created Dolly the sheep and then went bankrupt without producing any useable treatments? What other companies are financially involved in this so-called research at the present time? What can we say of those who indicate that human beings are only animals after all – and we can do what we like with them?


3.

I see the way ahead through bringing together the Churches and peoples of all faiths, along with scientists who are involved at this present time with the potential production of these human-animal hybrid embryos or who wish to consider such production themselves.

I have been approached by MPs and asked by others in the media to consider meeting with leading scientists who are currently involved in this area.

I would be only too happy to agree to such a meeting and I am sure other Church representatives and leaders of other faiths would also agree. No doubt, it is well known that at the last two General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland the Assembly voted against experimentation on human embryos. Members of other faiths are also strong in their defence of human life in its earliest stages. A joint statement, signed by the members of the Islamic Medical Association, Muslim Doctors Association, Islamic Medical Ethics Forum and Union of Muslim Organisations said British Muslims “fully support the Catholic leaders, Ministers and MPs in their opposition to this, the worst Bill in the history of Britain”. The Muslims labelled the Bill as an ‘inhumane, destructive and immoral Bill’. Those who are not particularly religious fall back on what is described as ‘natural law’, which in this case might be summed up as indicating: “What is being discussed is just not right! It is plain crazy!”.

In agreeing to such a meeting my only condition would be that the scientists were also willing to accept instruction from our Churches and peoples of faith on basic morality, on what human life really is, on the purpose of our life on earth and so on. I would ask them to be open to considering the great major questions concerning ‘life’ in all its aspects which have concerned man quite literally since the beginning of time.

I would also urge them to accept the case for a single permanent statutory national Bioethics Commission in our country. This would be a body which would engage with public concerns and inform Parliament on complex ethical questions. I see it as quite unacceptable that matters of such immense public concern are left to a simple vote by Members of Parliament, who sometimes are not able to have a free conscience vote and in other cases are voting without a full understanding of the magnitude of the issue under consideration.

I think it is worth remembering that Canada and Australia, as well as France, Italy and Germany here in Europe, have all banned the grotesque procedures which we seek to legalise. It cannot be said that the citizens and politicians of those countries care nothing for the chronically ill among them. Perhaps they don’t want to develop cures or therapies; perhaps they are simply anti-scientific luddites! Or could it be that we are wrong – and those in other democracies see no reason to attack the sanctity and dignity of human life when many alternatives exist?

Conclusion:

Among many others, I believe that this Bill is profoundly wrong and I know that many, many people agree with me. If you do agree with me, I urge you to contact your Member of Parliament as a matter of urgency and raise your concerns. I pray that you will be successful and that in defeating this legislation, we take our first steps on the road to becoming a society that truly and deeply values all human life!

[Captured: 28 March 2008 16:54:13]

###################


You can ignore all of it other than:
In agreeing to such a meeting my only condition would be that the scientists were also willing to accept instruction from our Churches and peoples of faith on basic morality, on what human life really is, on the purpose of our life on earth
What planet is this guy on! :hilarity:
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#16 Postby gcb01 » March 28th, 2008, 7:24 pm

the planet woo-woo. He wants not only to dictate to MPs, government minsters but also scientists what to think, which of course means "don't think, do what I say".
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Campbell

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#17 Postby Hot Thought » March 30th, 2008, 4:01 pm

"But the problem with the "bunch of cells" problem is that it focuses on the issue of whether a living thing is or is not a human being. I'm not convinced that that is so very crucial."

I agree with Emma the Utilitarian robot on the above :0). The moral issue should concern the properties of the cells, not just what classification 'human' or 'non-human' they fall into.

I suspect Emma would agree with the same point being made about other animals?

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#18 Postby Nick » April 2nd, 2008, 2:45 pm

A very good defence of the bill is presented by Andrew Copson of the BHA. He has a seriously sharp mind, and IMO makes mincemeat of the guy from SPUC (or SPUnC as I think it ought to be :D )

http://www.humanism.org.uk/site/cms/con ... ticle=2436

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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#19 Postby Alan C. » April 2nd, 2008, 3:03 pm

gcb01
He wants not only to dictate to MPs, government minsters but also scientists what to think,

From today's Guardian.

But Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor defended the church's right to speak out.
Did he mean that Christian faith leaders should have a privileged position when it came to making interventions in public policy? "Yes. I don't see why not."

And from the Daily Mail.
Yesterday, in a different interview on religion, the leader of Britain's Catholics claimed that "Judaeo-Christian values" were the only thing binding British society together.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor hit out at "aggressive secularism" in the UK and argued that Christian leaders should hold a privileged position over the representatives of other faiths in society.

I'm not a violent man, but I could cheerfully give this protector of paedophiles a bloody good slap.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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lewist
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Re: Stem Cell Research and the definition of life

#20 Postby lewist » April 2nd, 2008, 4:09 pm

I too am not given to violence but Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor needs put in his place.

Now I am editing to add ...and all the rest of them. Cures for these devastating illnesses are needed and these people seem to think their strange views are relevant in the debate. Let them have their say on the same basis as anyone else but no more. They get too much publicity.

My only regret is that they haven't mentioned brain cancer as one of the diseases that they might find a cure for through this research.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.


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