Sci·ence: a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws; systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation. Posts in this category pertain to all matters regarding science.

Government-Propogated Stem Cell Obfuscation

Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

You know, I generally like the web site as a decent roundup of recent studies and information. I don't, however, like it when this government-maintained web site propogates the unnecessary and agenda-driven obfuscation of the stem-cell issue:

TUESDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- What had once seemed a giant leap for science has turned out to be not even the smallest of steps -- for now.

Seoul National University's announcement Tuesday that all of Dr. Hwang Woo-suk's apparently groundbreaking research in human stem cells was faked closes a bitter chapter in the quest to find more and better remedies for human illnesses.

Hwang's only legitimate claim is having cloned the world's first dog, Snuppy.

For those who have pinned their professional and personal hopes on stem cells, the shocking disclosure means this area of research is headed back to square one.

"We're back to the beginning in terms of trying to achieve somatic cell nuclear transfer," said Dr. Susan Okie, a contributing editor with the New England Journal of Medicine.

For the uninitiated, "somatic cell nuclear transfer" (SCNT) is the technical term otherwise known as "therapeutic cloning" - in other words, embryonic stem cell research. The article, however, makes no mention of the differentiation of types of stem cells, nor that adult stem cell research has already delievered many bona fide treatments and therapies (as of July 2005, the stem-cell scorecard reads: Adult 65, Embryonic 0).

The article's out-of-context doom-and-gloom continues:

Research is being reset to "where we were before, where using somatic cell nuclear transfer to derive stem cells is only a theoretical possibility," added David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethnics. "We're hopeful, but whether it's possible and how long it's going to take is something that is now a complete unknown. This really is a setback in a lot of ways."

The setback is not a death knell for the field, however, experts predicted.

"I think these kinds of experiments will succeed," said Dr. Darwin Prockop, director of the Center for Gene Therapy at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. "They will eventually succeed, and perhaps sometime soon."

While SCNT researchers remain "hopeful" that "these kinds of experiments... will eventually succeed", adult and cord-blood stem-cell therapies already succeed, and without the ethical implications or thus-far false hope of embryonic stem cell research:

Leading proponents of research on embryonic stem cells are themselves lowering expectations that dramatic cures to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s are just around the corner. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that Lord Winston, the most prominent embryonic-stem-cell researcher in the United Kingdom, said that hopes for cures had been distorted by arrogance and spin.

“I view the current wave of optimism about embryonic stem cells with growing suspicion,” Winston told the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Similarly, South Korean cloning expert Curie Ahn now warns that scientists won’t be able to develop cures from embryonic stem cells for three to five more decades. In experiment after experiment, scientists are learning that embryonic stem cells are too carcinogenic or “wild” for therapeutic purposes.

Back to the article, more mis-information:

The damage to the public's perception of stem cell research is likely to linger, Prokop added: "Every time you say stem cell for a while, people will think 'fraud.'"

Nevertheless, stem cell research with the potential for real breakthroughs continues...

The article's one "more information" source link is to the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), hardly an unbiased source, as ISSCR are ardent supporters of embryonic stem cell research, and their FAQ discounts adult stem cell research as well as the already proven therapies from adult stem cell research.

Pro-Life = “Culture of Death”?

Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Clone The Truth, Cloning, Sanctity of Life, Stem Cells

Methinks this emailer mis-directed her email-based disdain:

The culture of death is you. You have no regard for the lives of living, suffering people. A cell is not a person, but I and millions of others are and our blood is on your hands.

You are cruel, callous, and very evil. Your God will not judge you kindly.

Ovarian cancer survivor, Parkinson's Disease prisoner for 10 years

For reference, this email was sent to, whose stated objective is as follows:

The objective of this site is to raise awareness and support for the pre-born and the sanctity of human life by communicating pro-life news and materials and by enabling a community of pro-life bloggers to promote their sites, interact with one another and influence internet readers.

Now, I'm quite sure our vitriolic emailer simply misdirected her missive, having intended to send it instead to Senate Democrats who tried to block a cord blood measure passed overwhelmingly by the house. I'm sure our emailer has not been taken in by the hype surrounding the completely unproven embryonic stem cell research, versus the already proven adult stem cell therapies.

But, in case I'm wrong, how about we give our misguided emailer a reality check, shall we?

More Planned Parenthood Stupidity

Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Sanctity of Life

Another post from Evangelical Outpost, this time concerning a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman both lying through her teeth, and uttering sheer idiocy:

In the latest edition of Planned Parenthood’s webzine choice! magazine, a reader asks Dr. Vanessa Cullins to resolve a dispute about whether life begins at conception or when “a baby takes its first breath.” Dr. Cullins, an obstetrician/gynecologist and vice president for medical affairs at PPFA, responds:

All kinds of people — theologians, philosophers, scientists, lawyers, legislators, and many others — hold very different views about when life begins. In fact, both the egg and the sperm are living things before they meet and join. There's no real argument there. The really hot question is, "When does being a person begin?" Most medical authorities and Planned Parenthood agree that it starts when a baby takes its first breath.

EO does a fine job discussing the moral irrelevance (and intellectual dishonesty) of such a statement; however, I was struck by its sheer stupidity.

To be clear, the act of breathing involves pulmonary function - that is, the transfer of oxygen through the lungs into the bloodstream. This oxygen is introduced to the lungs via respiration: breathing. Now, everyone knows that humans breathe air. However, as the PP spokeswoman fails to point out, humans breathe air only after the expulsion of the placenta from the uterus during childbirth. Prior to this act, respiration occurs inside the placenta, and the unborn child respirates the amniotic fluid it contains. Thus, the point that this woman attempts to make - that "human" being begins at the point of "first breath", and "first breath" occurs at childbirth, ergo "human" being begins at childbirth - is an utter fallacy. In truth, pulmonary function in unborn children begins about four weeks after fertilization.

If Planned Parenthood were intellectually honest and consistent, no abortions would thus be performed beyond the fourth week of pregnancy.

On Plausibility Structures

Filed in ScienceTags: Intelligent Design

Evangelical Outpost has a good primer on plausibility structures, especially with respect to Intelligent Design versus naturalism:

Everything that we believe is filtered through our plausibility structure – a belief-forming apparatus that acts as a gatekeeper, letting in evidence that is matched against what we already consider to be possible... Plausibility structures can prevent us from forming beliefs that are inconsistent with experience and evidence. But they can also have a negative impact, preventing us from forming true beliefs about reality. This appears to be the case within a broad segment of modern science. By accepting a plausibility structure that is limited to purely naturalistic explanations, many in the scientific community have imposed self-limiting and irrational criteria for explaining reality.

The truly ironic thing is, Evolutionists cannot seem to recognize their assumption that the mere introduction of Intelligent Design into the study of Origins would require them to delve into the religious and moral implications of such an introduction. One of the points made here, with reference to the work of Stephen Mayer, is that science is perfectly capable of exploring Intelligent Design completely removed from any such implication.


Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Missouri, Saint Louis, Sanctity of Life

I'm off to walk with the St. Louis Young Republicans in Missouri Pregnancy Resource Center's Walk4Life. Come out to the Tremayne Shelter at Creve Coeur Park and join us!

Bill Gives Unborn Equal Protection

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Sanctity of Life

ProLifeBlogs reports good news for innocent unborn humans in South Carolina:

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- An unborn child would have rights to due process and equal protection of the law under a bill passed by the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday. The measure passed on a 15-to-5 vote. It would establish that rights begin "at fertilization."

Not that the Fiat Federal Judiciary will let it stand... but it's about time some State decided to stand up to fight for the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for unborn humans.

Terri Passes

Filed in Science, Social IssuesTags: Sanctity of Life

From Gateway Pundit: Terry Schiavo has passed on:

I am the bread of life, all who come to me shall not hunger
All who believe in me shall not thirst
No one can come to me, unless the Father beakon

And I will raise you up, and I will raise, you up, and I will raise you up, on the last day!
Unless you eat of the flesh of the son of man
And drink of His blood, and drink of His blood, you cannot have life within you

Terri Shiavo passes today.
God Rest Her Soul...


Conservatism, Rule of Law, and Life

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Judiciary, Sanctity of Life

Instapundit argues the point that Conservatism holds the process and rule of law above all else:

But I do think that process, and the Constitution, matter. Trampling the Constitution in an earnest desire to do good in high-profile cases has been a hallmark of a certain sort of liberalism, and it's the sort of thing that I thought conservatives eschewed. If I were in charge of making the decision, I might well put the tube back and turn Terri Schiavo over to her family. But I'm not, and the Florida courts are, and they seem to have done a conscientious job. Maybe they came to the right decision, and maybe they didn't. But respecting their role in the system, and not rushing to overturn all the rules because we don't like the outcome, seems to me to be part of being a member of civilized society rather than a mob. As I say, I thought conservatives knew this.

But I respectfully disagree. Equally important to Conservatism - especially the Christian Conservatism I espouse - is the sanctity of life. The Right To Life is among the God-endowed rights given to all men, and was considered so important by our Founding Fathers as to be enumerated in the Declaration of Independence (which was, coincidentally, a formal declaration to overthrow the rule of law that had become tyrranical and one that denied those certain, inalienable rights). Even murderers convicted and sentenced to die get decades of appeals before their death is carried out. Terry Schiavo - an innocent woman guilty only of lacking the ability to speak for and defend herself - gets only as long as it takes her to starve (a cruel and unusual punishment by any standards) before her de facto death sentence is carried out.

When the legal process returns such a blatantly incorrect result - especially in matters of life and death - it is fully consistent with Conservatism to work to overturn that result.

Starved For Justice

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Judiciary, Sanctity of Life

Oh, how I love Ann Coulter:

Just once, we need an elected official to stand up to a clearly incorrect ruling by a court. Any incorrect ruling will do, but my vote is for a state court that has ordered a disabled woman to be starved to death at the request of her adulterous husband.

Our Federal Judiciary has become the Fiat Judiciary.
Can someone - anyone - explain to me why federal judges get lifetime appointments? Can someone explain why We The People get to vote our confidence in judges at the state level, but not at the federal level (except, perhaps, the appellate courts, if I remember correctly)? I think I'm going to look into that question, and pose it to Senator Talent.
If Terry Schiavo is allowed to die, her husband should be charged with murder, and Judge Greer should be impeached for incompetence, arrogance, and sticking the middle finger at the US Congress by ignoring a Congressional subpoena.
How the party that rejoices at sucking a living, breathing, unborn child from a womb with a vacuum, and allowing a living, breathing, handicapped woman to die of starvation and dehydration can claim to be the party of compassion and humanity, I will never understand.