Chuck Colson

Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, recently spoke at an ?educational symposium? to support a human cloning ban in Kentucky. At the symposium, Smith and his fellow scholars discussed the ethical and scientific problems with embryonic stem cell research, which creates cloned humans for the purpose of harvesting cells. But they also spent nearly forty-five minutes talking about ?exciting? developments in the ?morally non-controversial? field of adult stem cell research. And they had plenty to talk about.

Scientists have experimented using human umbilical cord blood stem cells in mice and creating human blood vessels that might restore eyesight to patients with diabetes-related blindness. Some diabetes patients have been treated with pancreatic tissue from cadavers, and 80 percent have achieved insulin independence. Muscle tissue has been regenerated in mice with muscular dystrophy. Even spinal cords have been regenerated using gene therapy. All of this happened with adult stem cells.

So there was plenty of good news to report. But the Louisville Courier-Journal?s article on the symposium downplayed this, giving very little space to what adult stem cell research has accomplished. On the other hand, cloning advocates? dubious claims about what they think they might someday be able to do were reported in detail. Smith adds, ?In a curious journalistic approach, cloning supporters from the Universities of Kentucky and Louisvillewere quoted extensively rebutting our wholly unreported remarks . . . ?

Wesley Smith generously refuses to speculate on the reasons, but I?ll speculate.

First of all, much of the drive to protect human embryos comes from a pro-life coalition. If there is any disfavored class in American society, it?s pro-lifers.

Second, the biotech industry and scientists generally are vehemently opposed to any restrictions on research?forget about moral objections. They believe that there should never be limits on what they can examine. Anybody who proposes any kind of limitations is seen as trying to take away scientists? freedom.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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