May 20, 2013
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Oct. 14, 2010
/ 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
Journey to Destruction
Researchers announced Monday they had injected embryonic stem cells into a patient suffering from a spinal cord injury. It marked the world's first human clinical trial of a procedure developed from such a source. The procedure took place at Shepherd Center, a spinal cord injury facility in Atlanta. The use of embryonic stem cells for such purposes had been banned under the Bush administration, but allowed under the Obama administration.
The question is why?
In June 2009, Chinese scientists were the first in the world to induce cells from pigs to transform into pluripotent stem cells. Last April, the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego announced the discovery of a new technique that makes artificial stem cells safer for human transplantation.
The artificial cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, are made from fully differentiated adult cells, regressed back into an embryonic-like state. These act-alike embryonic stem cells don't carry the ethical difficulties of real embryonic stem cells, taken from days-old embryos.
President Obama, like President Clinton before him, claims to want to make abortion "safe, legal and rare." It is reasonable to say that curbing the use of embryonic stem cells might help make abortion if not less common, then at least less acceptable and restore a small scintilla of respect for human life as something more valuable than, say, a cabbage, or other species in the animal kingdom that enjoy the protection of law.
The answer to the "why?" question has something to do with how we view ourselves. If you are an evolutionist who does not believe in a Creator who endowed us with the right to life, you might be more liberal in your approach to manipulating human tissue for the "benefit" of others. But that still doesn't justify using embryonic stem cells when artificial ones appear to function just as well.
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If, on the other hand, you think "playing G0d" is not good for the human race and that other ways to relieve suffering can, should and, in fact, are being discovered, you are more likely to want to control human urges to do whatever can be done in a laboratory.
Appeals to the uniqueness of human life are likely to fall on deaf ears if you are an evolutionist. Reminders of the horrors unrestrained scientists have created in the past are likely to be viewed as an aberration.
In retrospect, great horrors are usually seen as springing up full-formed. Many people didn't notice the small steps that led to the Nazi Holocaust or to the selling of African slaves in the public square. Senses must first be dulled; religion trivialized; and self enthroned before tolerance for the horrific is accepted.
After the fact, even those who turned a blind eye to such things wonder aloud how it could have happened. Awards are bestowed on those who see evil before it conquers us and try to stop its advance, but not on historians who might have sounded a warning and live only to write about it later.
Threats from foreign powers are not the only challenge to our existence. Threats from inner powers can also destroy, though more slowly and imperceptibly than an atom bomb or terrorist attack.
American novelist Walker Percy saw clearly where the tinkering with human life leads. In "The Thanatos Syndrome," Percy writes, "You are a member of the first generation of doctors in the history of medicine to turn their backs on the oath of Hippocrates and kill millions of old, useless people, unborn children, born malformed children, for the good of mankind -- and to do so without a single murmur from one of you. Not a single letter of protest in the august New England Journal of Medicine. And do you know what you're going to end up doing? You a graduate of Harvard and a reader of the New York Times and a member of the Ford Foundation's Program for the Third World? Do you know what is going to happen to you? … You're going to end up killing Jews."
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Cal Thomas Archives
JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.
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