Thursday, November 15, 2007

Monkey Clones Today - Human Clones Tomorrow

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Monkey Clones Today - Human Clones Tomorrow

Yes, scientists have cloned monkeys. Big deal right? If you can clone a sheep you can clone a primate (people included) so there isn't a hell of a lot of scientific significance to that. Then they harvested embryonic stem cells from the cloned monkey fetus. Ok, thats more like it. Monkeys are, to a first approximation, people. Hell, to a first approximation snails are people. Monkeys are people to a twelfth approximation, there's absolutely no difference between monkeys and people, unless you happen to be a monkey or a person. So, if we can get stem cells from a cloned monkey, we can get them from a cloned person, which means all of our health problems are solved. All of them. Because once you get your hands on a bottle of your own embryonic stem cells, its a trivial matter for researchers to fix any damn thing that goes wrong.

But that's not what I want to talk about. That's the obvious stuff, you can find your own links to real news sources for the details. I linked to the Reason article because it has a quote I want to challenge. It talks about the political barriers and mentions the "social conservatives" (i.e. so-called 'love everyone' Christians) who want to stop science from saving lives, and who also oppose giving condoms to AIDS stricken countries. That's boring too, everyone knows all about those idiots, and Reason does a good job pointing out their mistakes. No, the quote that stuck out for me is quoted in Reason from this Post article:

Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, praised the work and tried to allay fears that it would speed the creation of a cloned baby.
What? You idiot, of course monkey clones lead to human clones. Does he think we're idiots? Even the morons who oppose human cloning aren't that stupid. No one is going to try to clone humans before monkeys, the progression is sheep - dogs - monkeys - people. Now that monkeys are checked off, we're one step closer to cloning humans, and that is a good thing. Mr. Alan Trounson is making apologies for things that don't need them. Stand up for what you actually believe Alan! Of course you think human cloning is a good idea, so stop pandering to the social conservative nutbars and admit it.

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