Analogies and Artifacts:
Can Embryonic Stem Cell Research be Morally Acceptable?

Stem Cell Research — By on December 9, 2004 at 1:53 am

In his magisterial work



  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    In this entry on my blog, I covered, what I think is the principle moral objection to your position:

    When you equate people with zygotes, you are, in fact debasing human beings “by debasing Being itself,” as R. D. Laing wrote (in the context of patie de foie gras, but the logic applies here). If a human being is defined solely as the “sperm + egg and all cellular subdivisions thereafter, with an abstract ‘soul’ stamped in for good measure” one is denying the value of human experience in defining humanity- one is objectifying humanity, and therefore debasing the nature of humanity by debasing the confluence of human experience and Being.

    Indeed, it is the abstraction via strict equation of concrete, concious, living, flesh and blood people with the idea that anything with human DNA must be human and must be considered exactly the same as concrete, concious, living flesh and blood people is to basically engage in a lie.
    There may be moral issues with abortion in some cases, and there may not be moral issues with abortion in some cases. Ditto for stem-cell research.
    BTW, the title of this entry is, “Can Embryonic Stem Cell Research be Morally Acceptable?” and you go on and say, “In determining whether this development is consistent with Biblical ethics, however, we need not attempt to appeal directly to scripture. Instead, I suggest we rely on the application of scripture to

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    In this entry on my blog, I covered, what I think is the principle moral objection to your position:

    When you equate people with zygotes, you are, in fact debasing human beings “by debasing Being itself,” as R. D. Laing wrote (in the context of patie de foie gras, but the logic applies here). If a human being is defined solely as the “sperm + egg and all cellular subdivisions thereafter, with an abstract ‘soul’ stamped in for good measure” one is denying the value of human experience in defining humanity- one is objectifying humanity, and therefore debasing the nature of humanity by debasing the confluence of human experience and Being.

    Indeed, it is the abstraction via strict equation of concrete, concious, living, flesh and blood people with the idea that anything with human DNA must be human and must be considered exactly the same as concrete, concious, living flesh and blood people is to basically engage in a lie.
    There may be moral issues with abortion in some cases, and there may not be moral issues with abortion in some cases. Ditto for stem-cell research.
    BTW, the title of this entry is, “Can Embryonic Stem Cell Research be Morally Acceptable?” and you go on and say, “In determining whether this development is consistent with Biblical ethics, however, we need not attempt to appeal directly to scripture. Instead, I suggest we rely on the application of scripture to

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com/ jpe

    Weird. To return to Chesterson’s metaphor, my initial impression of the procedure is that it’s the equivalent of drawing a line around the playing field with chalk, stipulating that it’s a fence, and returning to play. In other words, the premium is placed on making everyone feel ok at the expense of resolving the issue. Perhaps that’s the only way to proceed, but it smells self-deceptive to me; that’s my initial intuition, and I realize it isn’t rigorously reconceptualized, but that’ll take more thought (which is in short supply during law school finals).
    Off-topic and ad hominem: I’ve always hated Catholic ethics. There are always odd and arbitrary lines being drawn, which are built up into beautiful, but arguably meaningless, systems. Kinda like spirographs.
    Remember spirographs? They ruled.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com jpe

    Weird. To return to Chesterson’s metaphor, my initial impression of the procedure is that it’s the equivalent of drawing a line around the playing field with chalk, stipulating that it’s a fence, and returning to play. In other words, the premium is placed on making everyone feel ok at the expense of resolving the issue. Perhaps that’s the only way to proceed, but it smells self-deceptive to me; that’s my initial intuition, and I realize it isn’t rigorously reconceptualized, but that’ll take more thought (which is in short supply during law school finals).
    Off-topic and ad hominem: I’ve always hated Catholic ethics. There are always odd and arbitrary lines being drawn, which are built up into beautiful, but arguably meaningless, systems. Kinda like spirographs.
    Remember spirographs? They ruled.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I’m happy with any compromise which permits this potentially revolutionary research to recieve sorely needed funding.
    Two minor quibbles:
    This recognition that human life begins at conception has naturally led Hurlbut to reject the present techniques for acquiring embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Harvesting ESCs requires that human embryos must be

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I’m happy with any compromise which permits this potentially revolutionary research to recieve sorely needed funding.
    Two minor quibbles:
    This recognition that human life begins at conception has naturally led Hurlbut to reject the present techniques for acquiring embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Harvesting ESCs requires that human embryos must be

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Mumon,
    When you equate people with zygotes, you are, in fact debasing human beings “by debasing Being itself,” as R. D. Laing wrote (in the context of patie de foie gras, but the logic applies here).
    From your comment I take it that you adhere to a California-style

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Mumon,
    When you equate people with zygotes, you are, in fact debasing human beings “by debasing Being itself,” as R. D. Laing wrote (in the context of patie de foie gras, but the logic applies here).
    From your comment I take it that you adhere to a California-style

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com/ jpe

    To many of us, relying on the opinion of an evangelical theologian might not give a morally acceptable answer
    Certainly true, but missing the point a bit. Mssr. Carter’s post is expressly oriented toward moral justification within Christianity.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com jpe

    To many of us, relying on the opinion of an evangelical theologian might not give a morally acceptable answer
    Certainly true, but missing the point a bit. Mssr. Carter’s post is expressly oriented toward moral justification within Christianity.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    DS: This is simply wrong. Current In Vitro Techniques are the source of unused human blastocytes. not ESCR.
    I

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    DS: This is simply wrong. Current In Vitro Techniques are the source of unused human blastocytes. not ESCR.
    I

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/ Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    If Buddhists so clearly place the start of personhood at conception, isn’t their position re abortion morally superior to Christian ethics, which has no explicit brightline? Or, to put the question differently, you have argued elsewhere that the people in the OT were somehow ignorant of human development, and this might justify their low regard for fetal life (as in the book of Numbers). Even if Buddhist ethics aren’t “true” to you, you have to grant that Buddhists got the “right” answer first, even if starting from the “wrong” premises. Perhaps this is a historical example of the adage, “ignorance is no excuse.”

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    If Buddhists so clearly place the start of personhood at conception, isn’t their position re abortion morally superior to Christian ethics, which has no explicit brightline? Or, to put the question differently, you have argued elsewhere that the people in the OT were somehow ignorant of human development, and this might justify their low regard for fetal life (as in the book of Numbers). Even if Buddhist ethics aren’t “true” to you, you have to grant that Buddhists got the “right” answer first, even if starting from the “wrong” premises. Perhaps this is a historical example of the adage, “ignorance is no excuse.”

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    Joe Carter:
    Thanks for the reply. Permit me to educate you a bit about Buddhism:
    From your comment I take it that you adhere to a California-style

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    Joe Carter:
    Thanks for the reply. Permit me to educate you a bit about Buddhism:
    From your comment I take it that you adhere to a California-style

  • http://johncoleman.typepad.com/ John Coleman

    What an excellent post, Joe; and I am sure they we are all anxious to read the follow-up. Certainly, in the realm of biotechnology, Christians should be cautious before they pronounce something as a moral abomination. It serves as a kind of stain on our ethical integrity, I think, every time we rush to judgment on an issue that, in the end, we approve. Great examples abound, but Eberhart Shockenhoeff has noted early Christian objections ot organ donation and street lamps. It seems there is a tendency among some Christians to oppose change as immoral when, in fact, it is morally neutral; and while I do not know the status of Saletan’s (Slate article) religious affiliations, his objection to the new proposal before the council seems quite Christian and conservative: the Hurlbut approach seems creepy.
    That said, this may be an issue where caution is warranted. The procedure Hurlbut describes does, indeed, seem more like a lab experiment than the development of an embryo; but is it possible? As soon as someone pronounces with Verne-like certainty that we can grow spare parts in jars, it is not the fact that spare parts are spare parts that should give us pause, it is the fact that moral boundaries bend quicker than physical ones with reference to material science; and even if the procedure Hurlbut describes is not morally objectionable, the procedure that may arise from what is now a clean and fantastic view may be something utterly different than the initial abstraction.
    Give it time, I say. But we should also remember that biotechnological revolutions are coming, and Christians have to find a way to assure that it is possible to participate ethically in these revolutions–no one will have the option of sitting them out.

  • http://johncoleman.typepad.com John Coleman

    What an excellent post, Joe; and I am sure they we are all anxious to read the follow-up. Certainly, in the realm of biotechnology, Christians should be cautious before they pronounce something as a moral abomination. It serves as a kind of stain on our ethical integrity, I think, every time we rush to judgment on an issue that, in the end, we approve. Great examples abound, but Eberhart Shockenhoeff has noted early Christian objections ot organ donation and street lamps. It seems there is a tendency among some Christians to oppose change as immoral when, in fact, it is morally neutral; and while I do not know the status of Saletan’s (Slate article) religious affiliations, his objection to the new proposal before the council seems quite Christian and conservative: the Hurlbut approach seems creepy.
    That said, this may be an issue where caution is warranted. The procedure Hurlbut describes does, indeed, seem more like a lab experiment than the development of an embryo; but is it possible? As soon as someone pronounces with Verne-like certainty that we can grow spare parts in jars, it is not the fact that spare parts are spare parts that should give us pause, it is the fact that moral boundaries bend quicker than physical ones with reference to material science; and even if the procedure Hurlbut describes is not morally objectionable, the procedure that may arise from what is now a clean and fantastic view may be something utterly different than the initial abstraction.
    Give it time, I say. But we should also remember that biotechnological revolutions are coming, and Christians have to find a way to assure that it is possible to participate ethically in these revolutions–no one will have the option of sitting them out.

  • http://redstatealliance.blogspot.com/ Lex Rex

    Mumon wrote:
    “The precepts are guides for life, not strict, immutable rules to be followed slavishly. You own your adherence to the precepts.
    The fact that one can cite words in the Dhammapada does not relieve one from the burden of acting or not acting in this world- it is no refuge. You must rely on yourself. Now in reliance on one’s self, one finds that it is essential to follow the precepts, but when the precepts conflict, or when there are dilemmas, one must still be responsible….So it appears his post is oriented that way. But it does point to the larger question of why should one accept an arguably inferior Christian ethic?”
    These tenets seem to fly in the face of a position of moral superiority: If your precepts are not “strict immutable rules to be followed slavishly” and you “own” the adherence, then you can only argue that the individuals who do adhere to the precepts have the high ground. An ethic that is optional is not an ethic at all, it’s a mere option. What, for example, would be the better guide: 1. A system of rules that mandates stopping at a red light; or 2. A system of rules that makes stopping at the red light optional? Seems that our own legal structure, for both wrongs (malem prohibitum and malem in se) are better served by our Judeo-Christian foundation.

  • http://redstatealliance.blogspot.com Lex Rex

    Mumon wrote:
    “The precepts are guides for life, not strict, immutable rules to be followed slavishly. You own your adherence to the precepts.
    The fact that one can cite words in the Dhammapada does not relieve one from the burden of acting or not acting in this world- it is no refuge. You must rely on yourself. Now in reliance on one’s self, one finds that it is essential to follow the precepts, but when the precepts conflict, or when there are dilemmas, one must still be responsible….So it appears his post is oriented that way. But it does point to the larger question of why should one accept an arguably inferior Christian ethic?”
    These tenets seem to fly in the face of a position of moral superiority: If your precepts are not “strict immutable rules to be followed slavishly” and you “own” the adherence, then you can only argue that the individuals who do adhere to the precepts have the high ground. An ethic that is optional is not an ethic at all, it’s a mere option. What, for example, would be the better guide: 1. A system of rules that mandates stopping at a red light; or 2. A system of rules that makes stopping at the red light optional? Seems that our own legal structure, for both wrongs (malem prohibitum and malem in se) are better served by our Judeo-Christian foundation.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com/ jpe

    An ethic that is optional is not an ethic at all, it’s a mere option.
    You’re unnecessarily presupposing that ethics must take the form of first-order legal commands (“Stop at red lights!”). Many ethics, including Christianity I’d argue, take place at a higher level of generality (“You should drive responsibly.”). The Buddhist is compelled to follow these second-order ethical directives, but owns her own acts in the world. If you will, every act is a first-order interpretive application of second-order moral principles.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com jpe

    An ethic that is optional is not an ethic at all, it’s a mere option.
    You’re unnecessarily presupposing that ethics must take the form of first-order legal commands (“Stop at red lights!”). Many ethics, including Christianity I’d argue, take place at a higher level of generality (“You should drive responsibly.”). The Buddhist is compelled to follow these second-order ethical directives, but owns her own acts in the world. If you will, every act is a first-order interpretive application of second-order moral principles.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Jim: If Buddhists so clearly place the start of personhood at conception, isn’t their position re abortion morally superior to Christian ethics, which has no explicit brightline?
    Or, to put the question differently, you have argued elsewhere that the people in the OT were somehow ignorant of human development, and this might justify their low regard for fetal life (as in the book of Numbers).

    Two points of clarification need to be made. First, I think Christian ethics does have a bright line of clarification

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Jim: If Buddhists so clearly place the start of personhood at conception, isn’t their position re abortion morally superior to Christian ethics, which has no explicit brightline?
    Or, to put the question differently, you have argued elsewhere that the people in the OT were somehow ignorant of human development, and this might justify their low regard for fetal life (as in the book of Numbers).

    Two points of clarification need to be made. First, I think Christian ethics does have a bright line of clarification

  • http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/ von

    This is a very insightful and interesting post, Joe. I look forward to your follow-up.

  • http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/ von

    This is a very insightful and interesting post, Joe. I look forward to your follow-up.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ Kevin T. Keith

    There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics. More and more it seems a collection of idiosyncratic cranks who feel they have a mandate to dictate whatever personally appeals to them as individuals, and no obligation to ground it on anything other than their own emotional inclinations.
    Without going into the details of this “altered transfer” proposal, it’s obvious that Hurlbut has no grasp of moral reasoning.
    First, the analogy he gives is not only tortured but incoherent. (For some reason this Council has a penchant for literary analogies – Kass likes to give reading assignments to fellow Council-members, and they even published their own literary anthology. This is a weakness – it leads them to try to make arguments by citing short stories, which is not a very rigorous way of proceding. Hurlbut just proved it.) The story is unbelievable on its face (anyone who’s seen kids on the side of a cliff knows they don’t behave this way) – a non-trivial point if we’re to take the analogy seriously. More to the point, even the most superficial analysis would note it’s the kids’ fear that has paralyzed them – not the absence of walls per se. They could manage their situation by: not going close to the cliff (self-restraint); letting those go close to the cliff who want to (personal responsibility); or exploring the cliff and the ocean now that the damn wall is gone. All good options. What Hurlbut wants is a barrier that prevents anyone from doing what some people are afraid to do, which is at the least a controversial option and, arguably, ought to be disallowed. Note, finally, that whether there should be such a barrier or not, and what exactly it should prohibit, depends on what’s beyond the wall and whether or not it’s actually dangerous. In real-world terms, this means understanding and debating the actual facts of the issue, not citing silly children’s stories as a reason not to do so. As has usefully been said about pornography, so it may also be said about scientific research and the moral discourse that shapes it: we should not sink to “limiting the content of adult [discussion] to that which is suitable for children to hear.”
    As for his “scientific judgment,” he fails the most basic test of distinguishing between facts and values.

    When I looked at the scientific facts . . . I simply could not think

  • http://www.leanleft.com Kevin T. Keith

    There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics. More and more it seems a collection of idiosyncratic cranks who feel they have a mandate to dictate whatever personally appeals to them as individuals, and no obligation to ground it on anything other than their own emotional inclinations.
    Without going into the details of this “altered transfer” proposal, it’s obvious that Hurlbut has no grasp of moral reasoning.
    First, the analogy he gives is not only tortured but incoherent. (For some reason this Council has a penchant for literary analogies – Kass likes to give reading assignments to fellow Council-members, and they even published their own literary anthology. This is a weakness – it leads them to try to make arguments by citing short stories, which is not a very rigorous way of proceding. Hurlbut just proved it.) The story is unbelievable on its face (anyone who’s seen kids on the side of a cliff knows they don’t behave this way) – a non-trivial point if we’re to take the analogy seriously. More to the point, even the most superficial analysis would note it’s the kids’ fear that has paralyzed them – not the absence of walls per se. They could manage their situation by: not going close to the cliff (self-restraint); letting those go close to the cliff who want to (personal responsibility); or exploring the cliff and the ocean now that the damn wall is gone. All good options. What Hurlbut wants is a barrier that prevents anyone from doing what some people are afraid to do, which is at the least a controversial option and, arguably, ought to be disallowed. Note, finally, that whether there should be such a barrier or not, and what exactly it should prohibit, depends on what’s beyond the wall and whether or not it’s actually dangerous. In real-world terms, this means understanding and debating the actual facts of the issue, not citing silly children’s stories as a reason not to do so. As has usefully been said about pornography, so it may also be said about scientific research and the moral discourse that shapes it: we should not sink to “limiting the content of adult [discussion] to that which is suitable for children to hear.”
    As for his “scientific judgment,” he fails the most basic test of distinguishing between facts and values.

    When I looked at the scientific facts . . . I simply could not think

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    Joe:
    Thanks again for the reply.
    I hope you didn

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    Joe:
    Thanks again for the reply.
    I hope you didn

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Nice peice KtK. In the US, right now, today, in 2004, the sole source of human ESC material is from IVF clinics who will either make them available for research, or figuratively flush them down the toilet. Thousands are flushed down the toilet every year because of IVF, and even a complete global ban on ESCR enforced with 100% perfection would not change that one bit. Thus, lifting the Fed Funds restriction on ESCR wouldn’t ever increase the number of blastocytes destroyed unless that sourcing process was changed. As long as that sole source is left intact, there would never be any increase in the number of blastocytes destroyed. If someone feels destroying blastocytes is the equivalent of murder, then they need to come clean and oppose IVF instead of idly standing by while, in their own admission, thousands of children are murdered each year.
    Speaking of child murder, right now, today, in the US, cells are cultivated from blastocytes prior to implantation and used to produce karyotypes so that prospective parents can screen out disjunctive chromosomal disorders like Kleinfelters or Trisomy-21. Those cells could just as easily be used to produce new ESCL’s BTW. If you view the use of a single cell or cells, which could theoretically develop into a person (Even though technically this could be construed as cloning), as murder, then you will have to oppose that as well.
    It’s never as simple as the antiscience crew makes it out or the laughably medivel BEC sucking up to the political conevenience of one man who sits in the oval Office would have anyone believe. History will look back on this period, and this issue in particular and loudly joke “Wht the F were they thinking?”. These ‘scientists’ shilling for the wingers are the same folks who back creationism in many cases. LOL ..They’re surely not a ‘bold group of scientific pioneers bravely tackling new challenges’.
    However, if a compromise can be reached which allows research to go forward unfettered by right wing fanatics, and that compromise addresses the concerns of a sizable minority in the US (Polls conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, PA, on 2001-JUN-20 to 24 A random sampling of 1,022 adults were polled. Margin of error is 3 points. It showed that American adults support stem cell research by about a 2:1 margin. 60% call for government grants. Other polls show similar results. On average it’s roughly 60% for, 30 % against), then I’m all for that compromise.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Nice peice KtK. In the US, right now, today, in 2004, the sole source of human ESC material is from IVF clinics who will either make them available for research, or figuratively flush them down the toilet. Thousands are flushed down the toilet every year because of IVF, and even a complete global ban on ESCR enforced with 100% perfection would not change that one bit. Thus, lifting the Fed Funds restriction on ESCR wouldn’t ever increase the number of blastocytes destroyed unless that sourcing process was changed. As long as that sole source is left intact, there would never be any increase in the number of blastocytes destroyed. If someone feels destroying blastocytes is the equivalent of murder, then they need to come clean and oppose IVF instead of idly standing by while, in their own admission, thousands of children are murdered each year.
    Speaking of child murder, right now, today, in the US, cells are cultivated from blastocytes prior to implantation and used to produce karyotypes so that prospective parents can screen out disjunctive chromosomal disorders like Kleinfelters or Trisomy-21. Those cells could just as easily be used to produce new ESCL’s BTW. If you view the use of a single cell or cells, which could theoretically develop into a person (Even though technically this could be construed as cloning), as murder, then you will have to oppose that as well.
    It’s never as simple as the antiscience crew makes it out or the laughably medivel BEC sucking up to the political conevenience of one man who sits in the oval Office would have anyone believe. History will look back on this period, and this issue in particular and loudly joke “Wht the F were they thinking?”. These ‘scientists’ shilling for the wingers are the same folks who back creationism in many cases. LOL ..They’re surely not a ‘bold group of scientific pioneers bravely tackling new challenges’.
    However, if a compromise can be reached which allows research to go forward unfettered by right wing fanatics, and that compromise addresses the concerns of a sizable minority in the US (Polls conducted by TNS Intersearch of Horsham, PA, on 2001-JUN-20 to 24 A random sampling of 1,022 adults were polled. Margin of error is 3 points. It showed that American adults support stem cell research by about a 2:1 margin. 60% call for government grants. Other polls show similar results. On average it’s roughly 60% for, 30 % against), then I’m all for that compromise.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Kevin,
    There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics. More and more it seems a collection of idiosyncratic cranks who feel they have a mandate to dictate whatever personally appeals to them as individuals, and no obligation to ground it on anything other than their own emotional inclinations.
    From the fact that you could make such a claim, I take it that you haven

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Kevin,
    There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics. More and more it seems a collection of idiosyncratic cranks who feel they have a mandate to dictate whatever personally appeals to them as individuals, and no obligation to ground it on anything other than their own emotional inclinations.
    From the fact that you could make such a claim, I take it that you haven

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/ Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    As a philosophical curiosity regarding a “substance view of personhood,” is there any ontological distinction, in that philosophical framework, between a live body and a dead one? What exactly has “changed” in the substance upon death?

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    As a philosophical curiosity regarding a “substance view of personhood,” is there any ontological distinction, in that philosophical framework, between a live body and a dead one? What exactly has “changed” in the substance upon death?

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Actually human sperm and human ova are alive, and they’re both human (obviously) so it’s not that “human life begins at conception” it’s “potential human starts developing as genetically unique at conception”. And conception istelf is a complicated process involving many stages both before and after the genetic material comes into contact though the first mitotic division and beyond. Even after fertilization and until the developing blastocyte differetiates into placental material-definitely not a human life in anyone’s book- and embryonic material, you can’t even point to a particular cell in a blastocyte and say which is a human cell and which is not. And the human cells might be dformed due to tetragins or mutagens and thus incapable of etting past the initial stages of simple division, which would mean it was never a potential life from the first moment that specific sperm penetrated that specific egg. It’s never as easy as you’d make it out to be Joe. And I’d be careful about calling others uninformed on any matter of science given your own track record.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Actually human sperm and human ova are alive, and they’re both human (obviously) so it’s not that “human life begins at conception” it’s “potential human starts developing as genetically unique at conception”. And conception istelf is a complicated process involving many stages both before and after the genetic material comes into contact though the first mitotic division and beyond. Even after fertilization and until the developing blastocyte differetiates into placental material-definitely not a human life in anyone’s book- and embryonic material, you can’t even point to a particular cell in a blastocyte and say which is a human cell and which is not. And the human cells might be dformed due to tetragins or mutagens and thus incapable of etting past the initial stages of simple division, which would mean it was never a potential life from the first moment that specific sperm penetrated that specific egg. It’s never as easy as you’d make it out to be Joe. And I’d be careful about calling others uninformed on any matter of science given your own track record.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    By your reasoning then, we could conclude that it is not a matter of fact that Caucasian people are

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    By your reasoning then, we could conclude that it is not a matter of fact that Caucasian people are

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Innocent Iraqi children and falsley accused inmates on Death Row don’t count as sacred human life among the wingers Mumon. In those cases the ends justify the means.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Innocent Iraqi children and falsley accused inmates on Death Row don’t count as sacred human life among the wingers Mumon. In those cases the ends justify the means.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com/ jpe

    By your reasoning then, we could conclude that it is not a matter of fact that Caucasian people are

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com jpe

    By your reasoning then, we could conclude that it is not a matter of fact that Caucasian people are

  • Nick

    You should really do your homework before making such a claim. The entity is not a

  • Nick

    You should really do your homework before making such a claim. The entity is not a

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com jpe

    Innocent Iraqi children and falsley accused inmates on Death Row don’t count as sacred human life among the wingers Mumon. In those cases the ends justify the means.
    Well, one can hold life sacred and still be utilitarian. The utilitarian-pacifist debate vis-a-vis Iraq isn’t whether life is sacred, it’s about what to do when two people can be saved at the expense of one life. The sacradness of life is just bracketed in that debate.

  • http://lespritdescalier.blogspot.com/ jpe

    Innocent Iraqi children and falsley accused inmates on Death Row don’t count as sacred human life among the wingers Mumon. In those cases the ends justify the means.
    Well, one can hold life sacred and still be utilitarian. The utilitarian-pacifist debate vis-a-vis Iraq isn’t whether life is sacred, it’s about what to do when two people can be saved at the expense of one life. The sacradness of life is just bracketed in that debate.

  • Nick

    To clarify my last post a little bit: Hurlbut is talking about creating entities that are so defective that they die very early in embryonic development, but not before embryonic development begins. Some development must occur to get the inner cell mass. If you believe that a person’s life begins at fertilization, prior the first cell division, then these little clumps of cells are crippled humans, doomed to die tragically young. There is little moral difference between Hurlbut’s proposals and gene modifying a fetus so that it never develops lungs, unless of course, you think there is some moral difference between a conceptus and a fetus.

  • Nick

    To clarify my last post a little bit: Hurlbut is talking about creating entities that are so defective that they die very early in embryonic development, but not before embryonic development begins. Some development must occur to get the inner cell mass. If you believe that a person’s life begins at fertilization, prior the first cell division, then these little clumps of cells are crippled humans, doomed to die tragically young. There is little moral difference between Hurlbut’s proposals and gene modifying a fetus so that it never develops lungs, unless of course, you think there is some moral difference between a conceptus and a fetus.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    DS: Actually human sperm and human ova are alive, and they’re both human
    (obviously) so it’s not that “human life begins at conception” it’s “potential
    human starts developing as genetically unique at conception”.

    I appreciate your taking the time to prove my point to Kevin about how confused people are about when life begins.
    Let’s begin to clear it up for you by starting with the human sperm. While the sperm cell is alive it is not the beginning of life. It requires that a pubescent male human already be alive before such a cell can even be created. Likewise it requires the presence of an ova before it can combine and form a new life.
    From the moment when the sperm makes contact with the oocyte (under normal conditions) the development of a new, living human has begun. There is no subsequent stage that is required before the process can begin. Human life begins at fertilization. That is an indisputable scientific fact.
    And conception istelf is a complicated process involving many stages both before and after the genetic material comes into contact though the first mitotic division and beyond. Even after fertilization and until the developing blastocyte differetiates into placental material-definitely not a human life in anyone’s book- and embryonic material, you can’t even point to a particular cell in a
    blastocyte and say which is a human cell and which is not.

    You are so confused that I hardly know where to begin. The fact the process may be

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    DS: Actually human sperm and human ova are alive, and they’re both human
    (obviously) so it’s not that “human life begins at conception” it’s “potential
    human starts developing as genetically unique at conception”.

    I appreciate your taking the time to prove my point to Kevin about how confused people are about when life begins.
    Let’s begin to clear it up for you by starting with the human sperm. While the sperm cell is alive it is not the beginning of life. It requires that a pubescent male human already be alive before such a cell can even be created. Likewise it requires the presence of an ova before it can combine and form a new life.
    From the moment when the sperm makes contact with the oocyte (under normal conditions) the development of a new, living human has begun. There is no subsequent stage that is required before the process can begin. Human life begins at fertilization. That is an indisputable scientific fact.
    And conception istelf is a complicated process involving many stages both before and after the genetic material comes into contact though the first mitotic division and beyond. Even after fertilization and until the developing blastocyte differetiates into placental material-definitely not a human life in anyone’s book- and embryonic material, you can’t even point to a particular cell in a
    blastocyte and say which is a human cell and which is not.

    You are so confused that I hardly know where to begin. The fact the process may be

  • Larry Lord

    Babies born with without brains are human beings too. So are so-called “brain dead” human beings. So I guess the fundies are advocating that we put these human beings in deep freeze indefinitely until we figure out how to grow a new brain for them. After all, they’re human beings with the potential for life.
    It would be just sick to want to use their organs to rescue a human being who happens to have a brain or isn’t brain dead. Wouldn’t it?
    We have to protect those moral boundaries or the next thing we know we’ll be bombing abortion clinics, assassinating doctors, or killing innocent people in other countries.

  • Larry Lord

    Babies born with without brains are human beings too. So are so-called “brain dead” human beings. So I guess the fundies are advocating that we put these human beings in deep freeze indefinitely until we figure out how to grow a new brain for them. After all, they’re human beings with the potential for life.
    It would be just sick to want to use their organs to rescue a human being who happens to have a brain or isn’t brain dead. Wouldn’t it?
    We have to protect those moral boundaries or the next thing we know we’ll be bombing abortion clinics, assassinating doctors, or killing innocent people in other countries.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Alright, I have some more time…
    Joe it’s not my goal to antagonize you. But your phrase that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate at all and I can easily show why. Let me give you some ultra basic background as a polite heads up so you can understand the minefield you’re walking into with this phrase. I’m assuming you’re being scientific in that claim and not invoking arbitrary untestable and controversial divine decree.
    Sperm and eggs in humans are produced by meioses, I’m sure you know that or have at least heard the term. Each cell which will eventually produce eggs and sperm has a full compliment of 23 chromosome pairs. Let’s call them 1AB, 2AB, 3AB … 23AB. Where A and B are the single chromosomes in each pair. When a sperm or egg (I’m going to stick with the egg from here on out, the process as simple as I’m reviewing here is symmetrical) is produced from cells which have a full compliment of 23 pairs, the end result is an egg which has one of the pairs from each of the 23 pairs. But which one of the pairs is random for each egg produced. So one egg might have 1A, 2B, 3B …23A and another might have 1B, 2B, 3A … 23A, or any permutation. (Since there are 23 pairs, there 23 factorial distinct permutations; 23 x 22 x 21 … x 3 x 2 x 1=2.5852016e+22. Which incidentally means that any two humans can potentially produce that many distinct offspring, squared!)
    But this process doesn’t always go off without a mistake and it’s common to end up with an egg which is missing a chromosome, or has an extra one, in a single slot. Instead of 1B or !A, it has 1AB or it has 1 with no chromos at all. If that egg lacks a chromo in a slot, or has an extra (And same for the sperm), that egg will either never produce a human when fertilized, or if it happens to be in a couple of precise slots it will produce a deformed human. Down’s Syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is three chromos in the 21st slot and it’s one of a handful of disjunctive disorders that doesn’t kill the embryo. In most cases in most such disjuncts the embryo will miscarry early on, in some cases depending on the specific slot, the egg will not even make it past a few abortive divisions.
    Looking only at those known disjunctive disorders, known slots missing or having an extra chromo, which result in fatality for the blastocyte, that is not a human life. It does not have the genetic material of a human, and it will never develop into a living human being, ever. It is not even a potential human life. Thus your simplistic phrase that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply, utterly, fatally, and scientifically, invalid; unless you define human life as a non viable fertilized egg. If you do that, then you’ve just defined your buddy’s Hurl compromise using disabled blastocytes as murder.
    This is just one example of things that can wrong in human development because of developmental pathology that cannot, ever, be corrected at this time (Another would be if the egg lacked mitochondria or the mitochondria were patholigical). The medical literature is chock full of pathologies of all kinds which produce the same end result and are inevitable given the initial conditions which exist before fertilization. To correct them we would have to be able to add genetic material from outside of the original set provided at conception.
    Moreover, to even be aware of it early on, we would have to take a cell and analyze it, which would destroy it.
    Potential human life might began at conception, or human life begins at conception roughly half the time, would be an accurate statements. Yours is not, it’s merely an imprecise catch phrase used often as a simplistic soundbite. In this case you used it and seemed kind of almost arrogant about it, even chastizing KtK. I can only guess from your usage and your past writing that you don’t have a clue about the most basic facts in development and homology. Or perhaps you just forget. Either way I’d be careful about calling others out.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Alright, I have some more time…
    Joe it’s not my goal to antagonize you. But your phrase that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate at all and I can easily show why. Let me give you some ultra basic background as a polite heads up so you can understand the minefield you’re walking into with this phrase. I’m assuming you’re being scientific in that claim and not invoking arbitrary untestable and controversial divine decree.
    Sperm and eggs in humans are produced by meioses, I’m sure you know that or have at least heard the term. Each cell which will eventually produce eggs and sperm has a full compliment of 23 chromosome pairs. Let’s call them 1AB, 2AB, 3AB … 23AB. Where A and B are the single chromosomes in each pair. When a sperm or egg (I’m going to stick with the egg from here on out, the process as simple as I’m reviewing here is symmetrical) is produced from cells which have a full compliment of 23 pairs, the end result is an egg which has one of the pairs from each of the 23 pairs. But which one of the pairs is random for each egg produced. So one egg might have 1A, 2B, 3B …23A and another might have 1B, 2B, 3A … 23A, or any permutation. (Since there are 23 pairs, there 23 factorial distinct permutations; 23 x 22 x 21 … x 3 x 2 x 1=2.5852016e+22. Which incidentally means that any two humans can potentially produce that many distinct offspring, squared!)
    But this process doesn’t always go off without a mistake and it’s common to end up with an egg which is missing a chromosome, or has an extra one, in a single slot. Instead of 1B or !A, it has 1AB or it has 1 with no chromos at all. If that egg lacks a chromo in a slot, or has an extra (And same for the sperm), that egg will either never produce a human when fertilized, or if it happens to be in a couple of precise slots it will produce a deformed human. Down’s Syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is three chromos in the 21st slot and it’s one of a handful of disjunctive disorders that doesn’t kill the embryo. In most cases in most such disjuncts the embryo will miscarry early on, in some cases depending on the specific slot, the egg will not even make it past a few abortive divisions.
    Looking only at those known disjunctive disorders, known slots missing or having an extra chromo, which result in fatality for the blastocyte, that is not a human life. It does not have the genetic material of a human, and it will never develop into a living human being, ever. It is not even a potential human life. Thus your simplistic phrase that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply, utterly, fatally, and scientifically, invalid; unless you define human life as a non viable fertilized egg. If you do that, then you’ve just defined your buddy’s Hurl compromise using disabled blastocytes as murder.
    This is just one example of things that can wrong in human development because of developmental pathology that cannot, ever, be corrected at this time (Another would be if the egg lacked mitochondria or the mitochondria were patholigical). The medical literature is chock full of pathologies of all kinds which produce the same end result and are inevitable given the initial conditions which exist before fertilization. To correct them we would have to be able to add genetic material from outside of the original set provided at conception.
    Moreover, to even be aware of it early on, we would have to take a cell and analyze it, which would destroy it.
    Potential human life might began at conception, or human life begins at conception roughly half the time, would be an accurate statements. Yours is not, it’s merely an imprecise catch phrase used often as a simplistic soundbite. In this case you used it and seemed kind of almost arrogant about it, even chastizing KtK. I can only guess from your usage and your past writing that you don’t have a clue about the most basic facts in development and homology. Or perhaps you just forget. Either way I’d be careful about calling others out.

  • Larry Lord

    I look forward to the day when the Culture of Life is running on full steam and we are executing criminals as rapidly as possible, including women who terminated their pregancies. No so-called “miscarriage” will go unprosecuted!!! All those women will be brought to justice and executed for the murder of the fertilized eggs in their wombs. WOmen who use RU486 or other kinds of day-after pills will be prosecuted and imprisoned for reckless endangerment — at least until we develop technology to determine whether in fact one of their eggs was fertilized and killed when they took the pill. In that case, capital punishment is the only answer that shows our respect for human life.
    The pile of dead women’s bodies will act as a powerful deterrent for young boys and girls. After a short period of time, unwanted pregnancies will decrease to zero and only mentally ill people will have abortions.
    What a glorious future it’s going to be. Praise the Lord!

  • Larry Lord

    I look forward to the day when the Culture of Life is running on full steam and we are executing criminals as rapidly as possible, including women who terminated their pregancies. No so-called “miscarriage” will go unprosecuted!!! All those women will be brought to justice and executed for the murder of the fertilized eggs in their wombs. WOmen who use RU486 or other kinds of day-after pills will be prosecuted and imprisoned for reckless endangerment — at least until we develop technology to determine whether in fact one of their eggs was fertilized and killed when they took the pill. In that case, capital punishment is the only answer that shows our respect for human life.
    The pile of dead women’s bodies will act as a powerful deterrent for young boys and girls. After a short period of time, unwanted pregnancies will decrease to zero and only mentally ill people will have abortions.
    What a glorious future it’s going to be. Praise the Lord!

  • Nick

    In the process thatHurlburt is talking about, fertilization never occurs. I’ll explain more in my next post.
    Please do. Fertilization never occurs if an embryo is generated by somatic cell transfer, but a living organism would result nonetheless.
    It would be helpful if you could clarify the difference between the following:
    1. A baby born by normal union of egg and sperm
    2. A baby born after somatic cell transfer
    3. An defective embryo produced by union of egg and sperm which carry cdx2 mutations.
    4. A defective embryo generated by somatic cell transfer after inactivation of cdx2.
    Thanks.

  • Nick

    In the process thatHurlburt is talking about, fertilization never occurs. I’ll explain more in my next post.
    Please do. Fertilization never occurs if an embryo is generated by somatic cell transfer, but a living organism would result nonetheless.
    It would be helpful if you could clarify the difference between the following:
    1. A baby born by normal union of egg and sperm
    2. A baby born after somatic cell transfer
    3. An defective embryo produced by union of egg and sperm which carry cdx2 mutations.
    4. A defective embryo generated by somatic cell transfer after inactivation of cdx2.
    Thanks.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    And speaking of the “Culture of Life,” as I intimated above here’s another violation of the First Precept, thanks to our moralist Republican conservatives…
    And, if you’re really brave, do a web search on “Drug Free America Foundation” and “Betty Sembler.”
    If you persevere, you’ll find that Betty, and husband Mel, (now ambassador to Italy, thanks to the current occupant of the White House) once ran a string of “concentration camps for teens” called STRAIGHT, Inc.
    Culture of Life? More like Culture of Abu Ghraib.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    And speaking of the “Culture of Life,” as I intimated above here’s another violation of the First Precept, thanks to our moralist Republican conservatives…
    And, if you’re really brave, do a web search on “Drug Free America Foundation” and “Betty Sembler.”
    If you persevere, you’ll find that Betty, and husband Mel, (now ambassador to Italy, thanks to the current occupant of the White House) once ran a string of “concentration camps for teens” called STRAIGHT, Inc.
    Culture of Life? More like Culture of Abu Ghraib.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    A few quotes from embryology textbooks for DS. Just because some human lives begins during twinning or some conceptions don’t result in human beings (hydatiform moles) doesn’t mean that “human life begins at conception” is a faulty phrase.
    For example, striking flint with a rock creates a spark. This doesn’t mean that all sparks are created by striking flint with rocks or that everytime a rock strikes flint a spark is created.
    “Although human life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed. … The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.” (O’Rahilly, Ronan and M

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    A few quotes from embryology textbooks for DS. Just because some human lives begins during twinning or some conceptions don’t result in human beings (hydatiform moles) doesn’t mean that “human life begins at conception” is a faulty phrase.
    For example, striking flint with a rock creates a spark. This doesn’t mean that all sparks are created by striking flint with rocks or that everytime a rock strikes flint a spark is created.
    “Although human life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed. … The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.” (O’Rahilly, Ronan and M

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    A few quotes from embryology textbooks for DS. Just because some human lives begins during twinning or some conceptions don’t result in human beings (hydatiform moles) doesn’t mean that “human life begins at conception” is a faulty phrase.
    I agree it doesn’t have to be a faulty phrase if everything goes fine. It is however a faulty phrase if certian things go wrong, and things go wrong a lot. So stating categorically that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate. Unless one defines human life so broadly as to include every possible product of the union of any sperm and egg including fatal pathologies which lack the total compliment of genetic material commonly used to assign species identity in labs all over the world. Moreover, Joe was a bit of a prig about it, implying that he somehow has a special scientific understanding unavailable to those of who commented on his topic, as you can see from my comments and from the question Nick asked, Joe hasn’t even begun to wade through all the scientific issues. He hasn’t a clue and he’s simply parroting a soundbite he saw, heard, or read, in a freshman level text or in an RtL pamphlet. Blastcytes aren’t people; bottom line. They have no organs, no nerves, no differentation. You call define them as human if you wish, but people they are not. POtential people, in many cases they are. but acorns are not oak trees, eggs are not chicken breast, toddlers are not adults, and blastocyets are not a person. If you doubt me, try taking blood or a pulse from one :)

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    A few quotes from embryology textbooks for DS. Just because some human lives begins during twinning or some conceptions don’t result in human beings (hydatiform moles) doesn’t mean that “human life begins at conception” is a faulty phrase.
    I agree it doesn’t have to be a faulty phrase if everything goes fine. It is however a faulty phrase if certian things go wrong, and things go wrong a lot. So stating categorically that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate. Unless one defines human life so broadly as to include every possible product of the union of any sperm and egg including fatal pathologies which lack the total compliment of genetic material commonly used to assign species identity in labs all over the world. Moreover, Joe was a bit of a prig about it, implying that he somehow has a special scientific understanding unavailable to those of who commented on his topic, as you can see from my comments and from the question Nick asked, Joe hasn’t even begun to wade through all the scientific issues. He hasn’t a clue and he’s simply parroting a soundbite he saw, heard, or read, in a freshman level text or in an RtL pamphlet. Blastcytes aren’t people; bottom line. They have no organs, no nerves, no differentation. You call define them as human if you wish, but people they are not. POtential people, in many cases they are. but acorns are not oak trees, eggs are not chicken breast, toddlers are not adults, and blastocyets are not a person. If you doubt me, try taking blood or a pulse from one :)

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Maybe the phrase “at conception the life of a human being begins” or “99% of all human beings began life at conception” would be preferable to DS.
    The whole sperm and ova are human and alive argument is so tired. My arm is human and alive as well. It’s merely confusing parts and wholes. Sperm, ova, my arm, etc. are all parts of whole human beings while zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are whole human beings.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Maybe the phrase “at conception the life of a human being begins” or “99% of all human beings began life at conception” would be preferable to DS.
    The whole sperm and ova are human and alive argument is so tired. My arm is human and alive as well. It’s merely confusing parts and wholes. Sperm, ova, my arm, etc. are all parts of whole human beings while zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are whole human beings.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    You ain’t making things better Viv. I don’t recognize you on this forum, and I could be guessing wrong that you’re a member of the religious right. So I’ll address this to those who are.
    You’re forced by your peculiar religoius ideology which mandates for political purposes that blastocytes be defined as potential human life to maintain that human life begins at conception and so to ‘destroy a fertlized egg is the equavelent of murder”. Fine, but don’t kind yourself that your ideology is based on clear science or consistent morality, or even common sense.
    You don’t have a scientific leg to stand on if you think that a blastocyte is a person, has feelings, has conciousness, etc. Morphologically, an amoeba is a freakin supergenuis compared to a human blastocyte. At least the amoeba can survive and fend for itself. Your alleged human life doesn’t have the brains of a jellyfish. Scientifcally, a blastocyte is not a person unless you stretch the definition of person to the point of absurdity.
    You don’t have a moral case. Anyone on the pro-life side who isn’t organizing letter campaigns, lobbying, or shouting in the streets about IVF, is an accesory or complicit, or willing to ignore, mass child murder, using your own definitions.
    Yuo dobn’t have a poltical case as no politician is going to go up against IVF and abunch of cute photogenic children.
    You don’t even have the most basic consistency, again forced by your narrow ideology. For you have to claim it’s not murder “to kill innocent Iraqi’s caught in the wrong place (And Bacchus only knows how many pregant women with unborn Iraqi fetuses and blastocytes inside)” or “it’s OK to execute people found guilty of capital murder” for a potentially greater good. But it’s not OK to kill blastocytes … for a potentially greater good here in the US. That won’t fly.
    Either admit you’re politically motivated and yuo don’t give a hoot how ludicrously you’re going to rationalize your poltiics , provide some science and definitions and stick with them, or apply your morals consistently. Until then you’re nothing but an amusing display of human self righteous hypocrisy.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    You ain’t making things better Viv. I don’t recognize you on this forum, and I could be guessing wrong that you’re a member of the religious right. So I’ll address this to those who are.
    You’re forced by your peculiar religoius ideology which mandates for political purposes that blastocytes be defined as potential human life to maintain that human life begins at conception and so to ‘destroy a fertlized egg is the equavelent of murder”. Fine, but don’t kind yourself that your ideology is based on clear science or consistent morality, or even common sense.
    You don’t have a scientific leg to stand on if you think that a blastocyte is a person, has feelings, has conciousness, etc. Morphologically, an amoeba is a freakin supergenuis compared to a human blastocyte. At least the amoeba can survive and fend for itself. Your alleged human life doesn’t have the brains of a jellyfish. Scientifcally, a blastocyte is not a person unless you stretch the definition of person to the point of absurdity.
    You don’t have a moral case. Anyone on the pro-life side who isn’t organizing letter campaigns, lobbying, or shouting in the streets about IVF, is an accesory or complicit, or willing to ignore, mass child murder, using your own definitions.
    Yuo dobn’t have a poltical case as no politician is going to go up against IVF and abunch of cute photogenic children.
    You don’t even have the most basic consistency, again forced by your narrow ideology. For you have to claim it’s not murder “to kill innocent Iraqi’s caught in the wrong place (And Bacchus only knows how many pregant women with unborn Iraqi fetuses and blastocytes inside)” or “it’s OK to execute people found guilty of capital murder” for a potentially greater good. But it’s not OK to kill blastocytes … for a potentially greater good here in the US. That won’t fly.
    Either admit you’re politically motivated and yuo don’t give a hoot how ludicrously you’re going to rationalize your poltiics , provide some science and definitions and stick with them, or apply your morals consistently. Until then you’re nothing but an amusing display of human self righteous hypocrisy.

  • Larry Lord

    “Sperm, ova, my arm, etc. are all parts of whole human beings while zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are whole human beings.”
    Why did you leave out so-called “brain dead” human beings that Christians readily kill and bury all the time? Why do those human beings have less rights than “zygotes” which have no arms, legs, hearts, lungs, etc., and which (like brain-dead human beings) are not capable of respiring without constant aid from another human being?
    Let’s go, Jivin J. I assume you are an adult. It’s time to put down your script and act like one.

  • Larry Lord

    “Sperm, ova, my arm, etc. are all parts of whole human beings while zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are whole human beings.”
    Why did you leave out so-called “brain dead” human beings that Christians readily kill and bury all the time? Why do those human beings have less rights than “zygotes” which have no arms, legs, hearts, lungs, etc., and which (like brain-dead human beings) are not capable of respiring without constant aid from another human being?
    Let’s go, Jivin J. I assume you are an adult. It’s time to put down your script and act like one.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yeah last I checked a severed arm wasn’t a whole human being. Maybe I oughta consult those textbooks Joe was suggesting …

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yeah last I checked a severed arm wasn’t a whole human being. Maybe I oughta consult those textbooks Joe was suggesting …

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ Kevin T. Keith

    Me: There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics.
    Joe: From the fact that you could make such a claim, I take it that you haven

  • http://www.leanleft.com Kevin T. Keith

    Me: There’s an amazing amount of really shoddy thinking that comes out of the current Council on Bioethics.
    Joe: From the fact that you could make such a claim, I take it that you haven

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    DS: I agree it doesn’t have to be a faulty phrase if everything goes fine. It is however a faulty phrase if certian things go wrong, and things go wrong a lot. So stating categorically that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate.
    Yes, contrary to your repeated attempts to parse the words to change their meaning, it is accurate. Human life doesn

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    DS: I agree it doesn’t have to be a faulty phrase if everything goes fine. It is however a faulty phrase if certian things go wrong, and things go wrong a lot. So stating categorically that ‘human life begins at conception’ is simply not accurate.
    Yes, contrary to your repeated attempts to parse the words to change their meaning, it is accurate. Human life doesn

  • Larry Lord

    Nice post Kevin. Of course, your statements are doomed to be fisked and taken out of context …
    I probably wrote 2000 words on the loosey-goosey use of the term “human being” and the “rights” that “every” so-called “human being” is granted just by virtue of its status as a “human being.”
    No one has yet been able to articulate a compelling reason for declaring a single-celled embryo a “human being” with significant inalienable “rights” but a so-called “brain dead” human being (at any age) is just a grab bag of free organs for Christians to help themselves to. How does that work exactly? Why aren’t we freezing all these brain dead people or keeping them respiring? Don’t Christians believe in miracles anymore?

  • Larry Lord

    Nice post Kevin. Of course, your statements are doomed to be fisked and taken out of context …
    I probably wrote 2000 words on the loosey-goosey use of the term “human being” and the “rights” that “every” so-called “human being” is granted just by virtue of its status as a “human being.”
    No one has yet been able to articulate a compelling reason for declaring a single-celled embryo a “human being” with significant inalienable “rights” but a so-called “brain dead” human being (at any age) is just a grab bag of free organs for Christians to help themselves to. How does that work exactly? Why aren’t we freezing all these brain dead people or keeping them respiring? Don’t Christians believe in miracles anymore?

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    ~DS~
    Could you clarify why you insist “life cannot begin at conception” just because sometimes it dies before birth? That makes no sense. Death always comes after life. Sometimes sooner than one might prefer. I mean, some kids die before they talk. It doesn’t make infants not human until they exhibit the ability to reason. Or perhaps for you, it does.
    Kevin,
    You list a litany of “who is respected” as an ethicist and “who is not”. From whence did you get this “review”? Respected by whom? You? Who are you? I do know that 20 years ago when I was at school Mr Kass’s (and his wife’s) classes were amongst those most sought after by undergrads. He certainly had respect amongst the U of Chicago undergrad population.
    You seem to fall into the school of those complaining about the bioethics committee that they don’t seem to be doing much science. Duh. In fact, you complain

    This is a weakness – it leads them to try to make arguments by citing short stories, which is not a very rigorous way of proceding.

    Rigor? What are you a logical positivist? Ethics is not science, so clue in. Science will never give an answer to any ethical question.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    ~DS~
    Could you clarify why you insist “life cannot begin at conception” just because sometimes it dies before birth? That makes no sense. Death always comes after life. Sometimes sooner than one might prefer. I mean, some kids die before they talk. It doesn’t make infants not human until they exhibit the ability to reason. Or perhaps for you, it does.
    Kevin,
    You list a litany of “who is respected” as an ethicist and “who is not”. From whence did you get this “review”? Respected by whom? You? Who are you? I do know that 20 years ago when I was at school Mr Kass’s (and his wife’s) classes were amongst those most sought after by undergrads. He certainly had respect amongst the U of Chicago undergrad population.
    You seem to fall into the school of those complaining about the bioethics committee that they don’t seem to be doing much science. Duh. In fact, you complain

    This is a weakness – it leads them to try to make arguments by citing short stories, which is not a very rigorous way of proceding.

    Rigor? What are you a logical positivist? Ethics is not science, so clue in. Science will never give an answer to any ethical question.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yes Joe I realize the every human living underwent fertilization and subsequent development. Every Oak Tree standing started out as a tiny dot, which produced an acorn, which produced a seedling, etc. That doesn’t mean acorns=oak trees now does it?
    Every adult and went through the terrible twos. That doesn’t mean that toddlers=adults. And if you granted toddlers the legal rights of an adult you’d have a catastrophe on your hands pretty quick ;)
    My point is there is such a thing as a continious spectrum with very differnet objects on each end. But exactly where the transition occurs is a matter mostly of definition or emphasis on a specific arbitrary factor.
    If you want to define people as a blastocyte, that’s fin with me. It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s your call. But at least be consistent about it for crying out loud. The way it is right now, with you claiming blastocytes deserve the rights of people, you end up with some blastocytes being more equal than others.
    Friendly suggestion: There’s no point in telling people that they don’t what they’re talking about, until you confirm that they indeed do not know what they’re talking about relative to yourself. You have a succesful Blog here with a lot of traffic and there’s poeple looking in who will swoop down and gig you just because you’re a Christian and a right-to-lifer. I know it’s not always easy to stay cool, you’re taking hits from goons all the time I’m sure, but it’s probably a good idea to try.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yes Joe I realize the every human living underwent fertilization and subsequent development. Every Oak Tree standing started out as a tiny dot, which produced an acorn, which produced a seedling, etc. That doesn’t mean acorns=oak trees now does it?
    Every adult and went through the terrible twos. That doesn’t mean that toddlers=adults. And if you granted toddlers the legal rights of an adult you’d have a catastrophe on your hands pretty quick ;)
    My point is there is such a thing as a continious spectrum with very differnet objects on each end. But exactly where the transition occurs is a matter mostly of definition or emphasis on a specific arbitrary factor.
    If you want to define people as a blastocyte, that’s fin with me. It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s your call. But at least be consistent about it for crying out loud. The way it is right now, with you claiming blastocytes deserve the rights of people, you end up with some blastocytes being more equal than others.
    Friendly suggestion: There’s no point in telling people that they don’t what they’re talking about, until you confirm that they indeed do not know what they’re talking about relative to yourself. You have a succesful Blog here with a lot of traffic and there’s poeple looking in who will swoop down and gig you just because you’re a Christian and a right-to-lifer. I know it’s not always easy to stay cool, you’re taking hits from goons all the time I’m sure, but it’s probably a good idea to try.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Mark I didn’t say it cannot. I said it doesn’t always and in some cases it cannot.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    DS,
    you say: “Blastcytes aren’t people; bottom line. They have no organs, no nerves, no differentation. You call define them as human if you wish, but people they are not. POtential people, in many cases they are. but acorns are not oak trees, eggs are not chicken breast, toddlers are not adults, and blastocyets are not a person. If you doubt me, try taking blood or a pulse from one :)”
    I thought we were talking about science – that’s why I provide the quotes from embryology textbooks. You come back with the assertion that embryos (you use the term blastocyte) aren’t people. Well DS, what’s the difference between living human beings and people?
    Acorns aren’t oak trees but they are oaks. Your old and weak pro-choice analogy proves nothing more than the fact that embryos aren’t adult human beings.
    Since when did being able to have a pulse or take blood make one a “person?” You’re merely making up an arbitrary criteria for personhood because I’ve provided evidence that the unborn are human beings. I could do the same thing in a different way. “Liberal aren’t persons because you have to be conservative to be a person.” That’s an assertion based in a circular argument. That’s the way you’re arguing.
    Plus, then you’d have to believe that older embryos and fetuses where persons because they do have heart beats and blood flow thru their body.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Mark I didn’t say it cannot. I said it doesn’t always and in some cases it cannot.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    DS,
    you say: “Blastcytes aren’t people; bottom line. They have no organs, no nerves, no differentation. You call define them as human if you wish, but people they are not. POtential people, in many cases they are. but acorns are not oak trees, eggs are not chicken breast, toddlers are not adults, and blastocyets are not a person. If you doubt me, try taking blood or a pulse from one :)”
    I thought we were talking about science – that’s why I provide the quotes from embryology textbooks. You come back with the assertion that embryos (you use the term blastocyte) aren’t people. Well DS, what’s the difference between living human beings and people?
    Acorns aren’t oak trees but they are oaks. Your old and weak pro-choice analogy proves nothing more than the fact that embryos aren’t adult human beings.
    Since when did being able to have a pulse or take blood make one a “person?” You’re merely making up an arbitrary criteria for personhood because I’ve provided evidence that the unborn are human beings. I could do the same thing in a different way. “Liberal aren’t persons because you have to be conservative to be a person.” That’s an assertion based in a circular argument. That’s the way you’re arguing.
    Plus, then you’d have to believe that older embryos and fetuses where persons because they do have heart beats and blood flow thru their body.

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/ Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    I’ll repeat my question from above (it’s okay if it’s boring and you wish to ignore it; I won’t take it personally). Your basis for argument is the “substance view” of personality, in which the human is considered an ontologically unchanged substance based on biological unity and homogeneity, which is established at conception. My question, purely out of intellectual curiosity: in this perspective, are dead humans ontologically the same as live ones? If not, how/why is the distinction drawn?

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com Jim Anderson

    Joe,
    I’ll repeat my question from above (it’s okay if it’s boring and you wish to ignore it; I won’t take it personally). Your basis for argument is the “substance view” of personality, in which the human is considered an ontologically unchanged substance based on biological unity and homogeneity, which is established at conception. My question, purely out of intellectual curiosity: in this perspective, are dead humans ontologically the same as live ones? If not, how/why is the distinction drawn?

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Jivin even scientists struggle with a universal definition of what it means to be human. If you limit it to any living or potential living matter which contains 23 pairs of haploid Human chromosomes, a pretty braod definition, you eliminate victims of Down’s and other genetic disorders while including every individual cell in a blastocyte as each being a seperate human (Which BTW regresses forever as you take each one and let it develop). I would argue Down’s victims and others deserve to be called human also. Almost any rigid definition you can come up with suffers from scientific flaws if pushed to an extreme. Stating that ‘human life begins at conception’ is riddled with scientific problems in practice. I think KtK was correct when he said that is a moral or ethical call, not a scientific one.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Jivin even scientists struggle with a universal definition of what it means to be human. If you limit it to any living or potential living matter which contains 23 pairs of haploid Human chromosomes, a pretty braod definition, you eliminate victims of Down’s and other genetic disorders while including every individual cell in a blastocyte as each being a seperate human (Which BTW regresses forever as you take each one and let it develop). I would argue Down’s victims and others deserve to be called human also. Almost any rigid definition you can come up with suffers from scientific flaws if pushed to an extreme. Stating that ‘human life begins at conception’ is riddled with scientific problems in practice. I think KtK was correct when he said that is a moral or ethical call, not a scientific one.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    DS – Did you mean Jivin J not Viv?
    You say: “You’re forced by your peculiar religoius ideology which mandates for political purposes that blastocytes be defined as potential human life to maintain that human life begins at conception and so to ‘destroy a fertlized egg is the equavelent of murder”. Fine, but don’t kind yourself that your ideology is based on clear science or consistent morality, or even common sense.”
    You know nothing about me or my religion so your ignorant attempt to pigeon hole is an obvious ad hominem attack.
    What religion says that at conception the life of a human being begins? Not Chrisitianity. Science tells us this.
    You say, “You don’t have a scientific leg to stand on if you think that a blastocyte is a person, has feelings, has conciousness, etc. Morphologically, an amoeba is a freakin supergenuis compared to a human blastocyte. At least the amoeba can survive and fend for itself. Your alleged human life doesn’t have the brains of a jellyfish. Scientifcally, a blastocyte is not a person unless you stretch the definition of person to the point of absurdity.”
    Me: Do you see how DS changes the subject from “human being” to “person?” This is what pro-choicers do when they’ve been proven wrong.
    What is the difference between a human being and a person? Please explain instead of merely asserting your opinion as if it was a fact that everyone understands.
    Science doesn’t touch the subject of “personhood.” It’s a philosophical argument. Attempting to act like it is a scientific one is not going to win any arguments.
    You:”You don’t have a moral case. Anyone on the pro-life side who isn’t organizing letter campaigns, lobbying, or shouting in the streets about IVF, is an accesory or complicit, or willing to ignore, mass child murder, using your own definitions.”
    Me: This is an ad hominem attack. It has nothing to do with my argument but attacks my supposed inconsistency instead. I could be right or wrong about whether the unborn are human beings or not regardless of whether I’m shouting in the street about anything. But thanks for showing us how not to argue.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    DS – Did you mean Jivin J not Viv?
    You say: “You’re forced by your peculiar religoius ideology which mandates for political purposes that blastocytes be defined as potential human life to maintain that human life begins at conception and so to ‘destroy a fertlized egg is the equavelent of murder”. Fine, but don’t kind yourself that your ideology is based on clear science or consistent morality, or even common sense.”
    You know nothing about me or my religion so your ignorant attempt to pigeon hole is an obvious ad hominem attack.
    What religion says that at conception the life of a human being begins? Not Chrisitianity. Science tells us this.
    You say, “You don’t have a scientific leg to stand on if you think that a blastocyte is a person, has feelings, has conciousness, etc. Morphologically, an amoeba is a freakin supergenuis compared to a human blastocyte. At least the amoeba can survive and fend for itself. Your alleged human life doesn’t have the brains of a jellyfish. Scientifcally, a blastocyte is not a person unless you stretch the definition of person to the point of absurdity.”
    Me: Do you see how DS changes the subject from “human being” to “person?” This is what pro-choicers do when they’ve been proven wrong.
    What is the difference between a human being and a person? Please explain instead of merely asserting your opinion as if it was a fact that everyone understands.
    Science doesn’t touch the subject of “personhood.” It’s a philosophical argument. Attempting to act like it is a scientific one is not going to win any arguments.
    You:”You don’t have a moral case. Anyone on the pro-life side who isn’t organizing letter campaigns, lobbying, or shouting in the streets about IVF, is an accesory or complicit, or willing to ignore, mass child murder, using your own definitions.”
    Me: This is an ad hominem attack. It has nothing to do with my argument but attacks my supposed inconsistency instead. I could be right or wrong about whether the unborn are human beings or not regardless of whether I’m shouting in the street about anything. But thanks for showing us how not to argue.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    DS,
    You’ve failed to address my embryology textbook quotes at all. You’ve merely ignored them.
    What scientist struggles with what it means to be human? Biologists? Probably not. Bioethics that have no background in biology? Maybe.
    Please inform us of the difference between “human beings” and “persons.” And if you have to think about it for a minute, understand that you’re discriminating against a group of human beings (the unborn) based on an arbitrary criteria that you don’t even have a definition for.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    DS,
    You’ve failed to address my embryology textbook quotes at all. You’ve merely ignored them.
    What scientist struggles with what it means to be human? Biologists? Probably not. Bioethics that have no background in biology? Maybe.
    Please inform us of the difference between “human beings” and “persons.” And if you have to think about it for a minute, understand that you’re discriminating against a group of human beings (the unborn) based on an arbitrary criteria that you don’t even have a definition for.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Larry,
    Do you understand what it means to be brain dead?
    Brain dead human beings are no longer living human beings. Have you ever read the Uniform Death Act? If not, read it and then get back to me.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Larry,
    Do you understand what it means to be brain dead?
    Brain dead human beings are no longer living human beings. Have you ever read the Uniform Death Act? If not, read it and then get back to me.

  • Larry Lord

    Jivin J, his feathers ruffled, writes
    “You know nothing about me or my religion so your ignorant attempt to pigeon hole is an obvious ad hominem attack.”
    So what is your religion? Are gay people going to suffer eternal torment in the pits of hell according to you? Or are they human beings capable of loving another person in a committed relationship and raising a family and who shouldn’t be discriminated against?
    You brought up your religious beliefs. Let’s have them. What does your holy book say about brain dead human beings? Or human beings at an early stage of development before they have brains, limbs or any other organs or differentiated tissue to speak of?
    Let’s hear it big guy. Time to play with the adults. Put down the script. Let’s hear some rational arguments instead of the stupid semantic bullcrap. That is, if you are capable of articulating a rational argument and setting your holy book and your preacher’s script aside for five seconds.

  • Larry Lord

    Jivin J, his feathers ruffled, writes
    “You know nothing about me or my religion so your ignorant attempt to pigeon hole is an obvious ad hominem attack.”
    So what is your religion? Are gay people going to suffer eternal torment in the pits of hell according to you? Or are they human beings capable of loving another person in a committed relationship and raising a family and who shouldn’t be discriminated against?
    You brought up your religious beliefs. Let’s have them. What does your holy book say about brain dead human beings? Or human beings at an early stage of development before they have brains, limbs or any other organs or differentiated tissue to speak of?
    Let’s hear it big guy. Time to play with the adults. Put down the script. Let’s hear some rational arguments instead of the stupid semantic bullcrap. That is, if you are capable of articulating a rational argument and setting your holy book and your preacher’s script aside for five seconds.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Larry,
    The fact that you don’t understand basic biology is what is truly funny. Acorns, oak seedlings, oak saplings are biologically oaks that aren’t fully developed. Zygotes, embryos, fetuses, newborns, adolescents, and pro-choice trolls are biologically human beings that aren’t fully developed.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Larry,
    The fact that you don’t understand basic biology is what is truly funny. Acorns, oak seedlings, oak saplings are biologically oaks that aren’t fully developed. Zygotes, embryos, fetuses, newborns, adolescents, and pro-choice trolls are biologically human beings that aren’t fully developed.

  • Larry Lord

    “Brain dead human beings are no longer living human beings. ”
    Oh really?
    “Have you ever read the Uniform Death Act?”
    Have you ever read Roe v. Wade?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!

  • Larry Lord

    “Brain dead human beings are no longer living human beings. ”
    Oh really?
    “Have you ever read the Uniform Death Act?”
    Have you ever read Roe v. Wade?
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!

  • Larry Lord

    “The fact that you don’t understand basic biology is what is truly funny.”
    The fact that you jump down someone’s throat because they allegedly “don’t know you” but then you accuse of a Ph.D. molecular biologist of not understanding “basic biology” is truly sad.
    And hypocritical. And it also ignores the point that I was making, which is valid and admitted by you, to the extent you can’t refute it. Kind of dishonest of you. Have you checked your ten commandments lately?
    Human beings are primates. Do primate embryos have inalienable rights?

  • Larry Lord

    “The fact that you don’t understand basic biology is what is truly funny.”
    The fact that you jump down someone’s throat because they allegedly “don’t know you” but then you accuse of a Ph.D. molecular biologist of not understanding “basic biology” is truly sad.
    And hypocritical. And it also ignores the point that I was making, which is valid and admitted by you, to the extent you can’t refute it. Kind of dishonest of you. Have you checked your ten commandments lately?
    Human beings are primates. Do primate embryos have inalienable rights?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Larry,
    DS brought up religion. None of my previous posts brought up religion. Have I based any of my arguments on the Bible? Or have they been based on logic and science?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Larry,
    DS brought up religion. None of my previous posts brought up religion. Have I based any of my arguments on the Bible? Or have they been based on logic and science?

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yes Jivin there is no fail proof universal definition of what a human is. We all have a pretty good idea what it mans to be human intuitively. But if you try to scientifically define it down to the “T” you end up with various definitions,e ach with some utility, but all of which fail in some cases. No matter how you frame it you will end up including some things you want to exclude, or excluding some items you wish to include. And in most cases, both. If you doubt me, pose a definition and let’s see if we can cause that to happen?

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    Yes Jivin there is no fail proof universal definition of what a human is. We all have a pretty good idea what it mans to be human intuitively. But if you try to scientifically define it down to the “T” you end up with various definitions,e ach with some utility, but all of which fail in some cases. No matter how you frame it you will end up including some things you want to exclude, or excluding some items you wish to include. And in most cases, both. If you doubt me, pose a definition and let’s see if we can cause that to happen?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    DS,
    I like that endeavor(sp?). You’re still ignoring my embryology textbook quotes but we’ll let that slide. How does this work:
    A human being is an organism that is human.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    DS,
    I like that endeavor(sp?). You’re still ignoring my embryology textbook quotes but we’ll let that slide. How does this work:
    A human being is an organism that is human.

  • Larry Lord

    “None of my previous posts brought up religion. Have I based any of my arguments on the Bible?”
    You tell me. Sure smells that way. “Discriminating against the unborn”? Who talks like that?
    Not scientists. Discrimination is a legal principle. There is no legally recognized “discrimatoin against the unborn” that I’m aware of. Discrimination against gay people, sure. But embryos? No, I don’t think so.
    So, are your religious beliefs based in “science and logic” as well?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    DS: My point is there is such a thing as a continious spectrum with very differnet objects on each end. But exactly where the transition occurs is a matter mostly of definition or emphasis on a specific arbitrary factor.
    I certainly recognize and agree that we place different markers along the route of human development. What I don

  • Larry Lord

    “None of my previous posts brought up religion. Have I based any of my arguments on the Bible?”
    You tell me. Sure smells that way. “Discriminating against the unborn”? Who talks like that?
    Not scientists. Discrimination is a legal principle. There is no legally recognized “discrimatoin against the unborn” that I’m aware of. Discrimination against gay people, sure. But embryos? No, I don’t think so.
    So, are your religious beliefs based in “science and logic” as well?

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    DS: My point is there is such a thing as a continious spectrum with very differnet objects on each end. But exactly where the transition occurs is a matter mostly of definition or emphasis on a specific arbitrary factor.
    I certainly recognize and agree that we place different markers along the route of human development. What I don

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I’ll even go first. I define humans as eukaryote metazoan chordates vetebral craniate placental mammals, which are unguiculate, claviculates possseing orbits completely encricled by bone, brains with a posterior calcarine fissue and at least one pair of apendages ends in an opposable digits who exhibit habitual bipedal locomotion with a vertebral collumn showing two curve, one in the thoracic and one in the lumber region, who are neurologically prewired to build and use complex tools as well developing speech with no concious effort as juveniles.
    That’s a solid definition of human morphology, but it’s easy to tear apart in specific cases. It would for example not include someone who oost their hands because they wouldn’t have opposable digits.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    I’ll even go first. I define humans as eukaryote metazoan chordates vetebral craniate placental mammals, which are unguiculate, claviculates possseing orbits completely encricled by bone, brains with a posterior calcarine fissue and at least one pair of apendages ends in an opposable digits who exhibit habitual bipedal locomotion with a vertebral collumn showing two curve, one in the thoracic and one in the lumber region, who are neurologically prewired to build and use complex tools as well developing speech with no concious effort as juveniles.
    That’s a solid definition of human morphology, but it’s easy to tear apart in specific cases. It would for example not include someone who oost their hands because they wouldn’t have opposable digits.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    No problem Joe. You’re a nice fellow who runs a great Blog, and I’m sorry if I get a little over anxious at times.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    No problem Joe. You’re a nice fellow who runs a great Blog, and I’m sorry if I get a little over anxious at times.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    A=A? Jivin I don’t think that’s going to be very useful for determinign the status of say … B.

  • http://groups.msn.com/EvolutionvCreation/welcome1.msnw ~DS~

    A=A? Jivin I don’t think that’s going to be very useful for determinign the status of say … B.

  • Nick

    *ahem* Uh, guys…
    [peeve] It’s blastocyst. Not blastocyte.
    blastocyst blastocyst blastocyst blastocyst.[/peeve]
    If it isn’t just a typographical error, a blastocyte would presumably be synonymous with blastomere: a single cell from an undifferentiated embryo.
    O.K. Carry on. It’s dinner time for me.

  • Nick

    *ahem* Uh, guys…
    [peeve] It’s blastocyst. Not blastocyte.
    blastocyst blastocyst blastocyst blastocyst.[/peeve]
    If it isn’t just a typographical error, a blastocyte would presumably be synonymous with blastomere: a single cell from an undifferentiated embryo.
    O.K. Carry on. It’s dinner time for me.

  • Chris Lutz

    Here is a good article related to this topic:
    http://www.techcentralstation.com/120304D.html

  • Chris Lutz

    Here is a good article related to this topic:
    http://www.techcentralstation.com/120304D.html

  • Larry Lord

    From Lutz’s article
    “One need not be a railroad engineer to identify a train wreck; nor to conclude that conducting a train blindfolded is criminal negligence. Yet many of our practitioners of Science declare presumptuously that none can say anything against their wild rush, because they know not how a train works.”
    Frankly, if you don’t know how a train works, you are better off staying in bed and praying.
    I can’t recall the last time I read such a pompous and self-righteous puffpiece as that one.
    Get a clue, folks. The debate is over. Stem cell research is going forward, human embryos are going to be used, and people who are really really sick are going to be cured by applications derived from the technology.
    Fundies, you better go back to building bombs and relying on snipers to shoot the bad guys because you ain’t winning this one.

  • Larry Lord

    From Lutz’s article
    “One need not be a railroad engineer to identify a train wreck; nor to conclude that conducting a train blindfolded is criminal negligence. Yet many of our practitioners of Science declare presumptuously that none can say anything against their wild rush, because they know not how a train works.”
    Frankly, if you don’t know how a train works, you are better off staying in bed and praying.
    I can’t recall the last time I read such a pompous and self-righteous puffpiece as that one.
    Get a clue, folks. The debate is over. Stem cell research is going forward, human embryos are going to be used, and people who are really really sick are going to be cured by applications derived from the technology.
    Fundies, you better go back to building bombs and relying on snipers to shoot the bad guys because you ain’t winning this one.

  • http://www.blogicus.com/archives/embryonic_stem_cells_without_an_embryo.php bLogicus

    Embryonic Stem Cells without an Embryo?

    This post and related comments at the Evangelical Outpost are worth a looking at. I haven’t studied and will not comment (yet) on the claim that there is a morally acceptable means for procuring ESCs through a technique known as…

  • http://www.blogicus.com/archives/embryonic_stem_cells_without_an_embryo.php bLogicus

    Embryonic Stem Cells without an Embryo?

    This post and related comments at the Evangelical Outpost are worth a looking at. I haven’t studied and will not comment (yet) on the claim that there is a morally acceptable means for procuring ESCs through a technique known as…

  • http://www.writewingconspiracy.com/archives/2004/12/bowing_to_my_su.html The Write Wing Conspiracy

    Bowing to My Superiors

    It being the case that I recently wrote an impassioned, if somewhat confused, post about recent developments in the embryonic stem cell research debate, I thought I’d pay y’all a quick visit from the void and share some illuminating linkage on the subj…

  • http://www.writewingconspiracy.com/archives/2004/12/bowing_to_my_su.html The Write Wing Conspiracy

    Bowing to My Superiors

    It being the case that I recently wrote an impassioned, if somewhat confused, post about recent developments in the embryonic stem cell research debate, I thought I’d pay y’all a quick visit from the void and share some illuminating linkage on the subj…

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Larry,
    The #1 sign that someone is losing an argument is that they try to change the subject. I was talking with DS and you about when human life begins, you tried to change the subject to talking about my religion and gay marriage it seems.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Larry,
    The #1 sign that someone is losing an argument is that they try to change the subject. I was talking with DS and you about when human life begins, you tried to change the subject to talking about my religion and gay marriage it seems.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    DS,
    I thought you wanted me to define what a human being was. Was I mistaken in what you wanted me to do?
    Do you agree with me that a human being is an organism that is human?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    DS,
    I thought you wanted me to define what a human being was. Was I mistaken in what you wanted me to do?
    Do you agree with me that a human being is an organism that is human?

  • Larry Lord

    Jivin
    “The #1 sign that someone is losing an argument is that they try to change the subject.”
    Of course, that could also mean I’m just bored of hearing the same stupid arguments trotted out for the hundredth time.
    I’m still reeling from the commment that “Brain dead human beings aren’t living human beings.”

  • Larry Lord

    Jivin
    “The #1 sign that someone is losing an argument is that they try to change the subject.”
    Of course, that could also mean I’m just bored of hearing the same stupid arguments trotted out for the hundredth time.
    I’m still reeling from the commment that “Brain dead human beings aren’t living human beings.”

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com/ Jivin J

    Larry,
    If you’re so bored with the arguments, why don’t you prove them wrong?
    Have you read the Uniform Death Act yet? Do you understand that brain dead human beings aren’t living human beings that are no longer “persons” – but they are dead human beings.
    Was your relative that you described as an “it” a boy or girl? What was his or her name?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com Jivin J

    Larry,
    If you’re so bored with the arguments, why don’t you prove them wrong?
    Have you read the Uniform Death Act yet? Do you understand that brain dead human beings aren’t living human beings that are no longer “persons” – but they are dead human beings.
    Was your relative that you described as an “it” a boy or girl? What was his or her name?

  • http://www.blogicus.com/archives/ethical_embryonic_stem_cell_research_proposed.php bLogicus

    Ethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research Proposed

    Reports of “ethical” embryonic stem cells first caught my attention several weeks ago at the Evangelical Outpost. Here is one such method that claims to produce stem cells that are quasi-embryonic without destroying a life: British scientists say they …

  • http://www.blogicus.com/archives/ethical_embryonic_stem_cell_research_proposed.php bLogicus

    Ethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research Proposed

    Reports of “ethical” embryonic stem cells first caught my attention several weeks ago at the Evangelical Outpost. Here is one such method that claims to produce stem cells that are quasi-embryonic without destroying a life: British scientists say they …