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Old 06-16-2007, 01:20 AM   #81
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Oh, and it's okay to terminate people who are sleeping. Sleeping people cannot preceive anything.
No!

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If he's unconsicuss? If he's antheizied? Well, it's okay to terminate then.
Hell, no!

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because obivously, it's not murder if the person is unaware it's murder...
Now, that is ridiculous!
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:45 AM   #82
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My question..., however, would....you ...consider somebody a human if their brain were removed, destroyed, and their body sustained only by machine.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...... However, if you're asking if somebody could be considered a "viable" human being, then at current levels of medical technology such a person would no longer be "viable", just a carcas (sort of like the embryo after you abort it, btw). Now, if we could grow a new central nervous system to put in place of the old one...then that person would be a "patient".


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Old 06-16-2007, 01:49 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by ET Warrior
My question to respond, however, would be if you would consider somebody a human if their brain were removed, destroyed, and their body sustained only by machine.
Now, this is ridiculous, of course they aren't human no more.
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Old 06-16-2007, 02:24 AM   #84
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Except how is it a strawman? It doesn't appear to be something orchastrated to easily argue against.
An entire post relegated to comparing my post to an advocation for murder of sleeping people isn't designed to be easy to argue against?

I rather think it is, although my post which further explains my point seems to have been either deleted by moderation or the server. If the former an explanation via PM would be delightful. If the latter, damn yous Lucas Forums. Damn. Yous.

I thought you could see mod comments here, sorry. Check your PM. I edited the previous post. --Jae




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Old 06-16-2007, 03:08 AM   #85
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An entire post relegated to comparing my post to an advocation for murder of sleeping people isn't designed to be easy to argue against?
What I was saying is that you said the term preceive.

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Perceive (Per*ceive") (?), v. t.
[imp. & p. p. Perceived (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Perceiving.]
[OF. percevoir, perceveir, L. percipere, perceptum; per (see Per-) + capere to take, receive. See Capacious, and cf. Perception.]

1. To obtain knowledge of through the senses; to receive impressions from by means of the bodily organs; to take cognizance of the existence, character, or identity of, by means of the senses; to see, hear, or feel; as, to perceive a distant ship; to perceive a discord. Reid.
2. To take intellectual cognizance of; to apprehend by the mind; to be convinced of by direct intuition; to note; to remark; to discern; to see; to understand. "Jesus perceived their wickedness." Matt. xxii. 18. "You may, fair lady, Perceive I speak sincerely." Shak. "Till we ourselves see it with our own eyes, and perceive it by our own understandings, we are still in the dark." Locke.
3. To be affected of influented by. [R.] "The upper regions of the air perceive the collection of the matter of tempests before the air here below." Bacon.
To preceive, you must be aware of your surrondings. I was not attempting to use a strawman, instead, I was stating that that definition of "life" is very strange to use, since we can lose our ability to preceive many times. Your definition seems to be a bit inaccurate, and I want to draw that out...It is a more of attempting to rebut your arguments by reducing it to the absurd.

You claim that it is all about nerological activity then, and that as long as you have a working brain, you preceive...So, I'll assume what you mean is that if you have an active brain, then that means that the person is "alive", in which case, it would be okay to terminate a child until he is 8 weeks old, because according to wikipedia, by the time a child is 8 week old, he has a brain, and since brains create neurons, the child would be alive by that time.

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8 weeks (condition at start of fetal stage). The risk of miscarriage decreases sharply at the beginning of the fetal stage.[5] At this point, all major structures, including hands, feet, head, brain, and other organs are present, but they continue to grow, develop, and become more functional.[6]
What I really want is just a consitent definition on what is living and what is not that the pro-lifers might agree with. I can provide one that would sastify you and me, but well, I don't like artibrary deadlines. I don't want doctors saying that, "I'm sorry, but you cannot abort this child. If you came in 24 hours ago, then we can abort the fetus, but since you diddly-daddled, the fetus is now offically alive, and therefore, I cannot terminate the fetus. Sorry."


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Old 06-16-2007, 09:08 AM   #86
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I'm not sure if we can keep this particular topic going, but here goes. I think it's quite a valid point to raise, whether or not concience has to do with whether or not something should be allowed to be terminated. We do not kill the living simply because they are not able to, given their present state (sleep for example) sense what's happening around them. IMO laying the strawman claim in this case is a cheap way to debase the arguement rather than confront it and trying to counter what had been put forth. Just because it argues your points doesn't make it a fallacy.

As for what Silentscope had said, for a woman to go through her pregnancy and decide at the last minute to have an abortion or something is more than a little rich. I don't think that's even possible, but if the pregnancy is unwanted (rape for example) then I think there are legitimate grounds for termination. On the other hand an unplanned pregnancy caused through negligence a woman should have the baby, and give them up for adoption rather than abortion. That's not to say they can't but if it's their own fault...but that's getting off topic.

How about stem cells, ect from death row convicts or something, harvesting what's needed from criminals put to death if that's possible?
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:17 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``

How about stem cells, ect from death row convicts or something, harvesting what's needed from criminals put to death if that's possible?
Death row convicts, you're funny, Nancy.

But I doubt alot people here will diagree with that, since they harvest organs from death row convicts, when death comes to collect it's due.

But I think that someone will only be able to collect adult stem cells.
Unless on the rare occasion when women get executed.

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Old 06-16-2007, 09:31 AM   #88
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Frankly, the existence of 'death row' is wrong. But that's another topic.

At the moment, there's a great deal of upheaval in this area. Personally, I don't think we will necessarily need embryonic stem cells, and I hope the skin-cell research proves true, not just because of my moral standpoint on embryoes, but also because the chance of those cells being rejected is virtually minimal, since they already contain the person's DNA.



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Old 06-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
To preceive, you must be aware of your surrondings.
No, you mustn't. You just need brain functionality. Even fully anesthetized our brain is working and responding to external stimuli. This is why dreams sometimes incorporate things that are going on around us, and why we wake up if someone yells our name.

The ONLY time we lose our ability to perceive completely is a complete loss of brain functionality. Of course at this point you're just arguing semantics with me. The crux of the argument was that neurological activity is a definitive cutoff that wasn't illogical.

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How about stem cells, ect from death row convicts or something, harvesting what's needed from criminals put to death if that's possible?
I think the problem would be finding enough blastocysts that are on death row. There aren't really problems harvesting adult stem cells, the debate is over embryonic stem cells.



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Old 06-16-2007, 10:51 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by ET Warrior
If there is neurological activity going on, then there is some manner of perception taking place. That's all I said.
Actually, that's not accurate. We have afferent and efferent pathways, along with reflex pathways in the neurological system. You certainly can have neurological activity without any perception whatsoever. A number of reflex pathways go through the spinal cord and never go to the brain. You can (and do) have all sorts of signals going out from brain to the body without any perception whatsoever coming into the brain.

How would you measure perception in an embryo, anyway? It's hard enough measuring it in people outside the womb.

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Originally Posted by Windu Chi
But I doubt alot people here will diagree with that, since they harvest organs from death row convicts,
They can't harvest convicts' organs (at least in the US)--the methods used to put them to death either electrocute or poison the organs, rendering them unusable.

On embryonic stem cells in general--if we can get more stem cells from umbilical cord blood and I just read recently from amniotic fluid, why are we even bothering killing embryos? It's a lot easier to get the embryonic stem cells from these other sources, and there are as many easily, if not more, stem cells there than in an embryo.


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Old 06-16-2007, 10:59 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
How would you measure perception in an embryo, anyway? It's hard enough measuring it in people outside the womb.
I think probably some nano circuit, when that tech become available.


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They can't harvest convicts' organs (at least in the US)--the methods used to put them to death either electrocute or poison the organs, rendering them unusable.
They still electrocute people, I thought that was ban, because they said, it was inhumane.

Inhumane, which is ridiculous, how some people say that.
Well, some other people will call execution, inhumane.
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Old 06-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
On embryonic stem cells in general--if we can get more stem cells from umbilical cord blood and I just read recently from amniotic fluid, why are we even bothering killing embryos? It's a lot easier to get the embryonic stem cells from these other sources, and there are as many easily, if not more, stem cells there than in an embryo.
I'd be quite interested in reading that, Jae; if it is on the web, of course .
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Old 06-16-2007, 01:11 PM   #93
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Wake Forest article on amniotic fluid-derived stem cells.

Scientific American had a nice article, as did National Geographic. There are lots of articles on it but these seem to have more of the science than the news media puts into theirs.

Here's a National Geographic article on harvesting embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo.

For source purists: National Geographic and Scientific American are decent secondary sources that typically do a good job of synthesizing and quoting the primary sources and probably work better for the non-science folks here than the primary sources. Feel free to check out the original sources quoted by these.

@Windu Chi--introducing something that can alter electrical/chemical signals around a developing embryo/fetus could have some bad effects. There's so much development that's going on as a result of specific biochemical/electrical signals at very specific times that we just don't want to mess with in an embryo. If you alter just 1 cell at a very precise point in an embryo's development, you end up with major defects like missing limbs or organs.


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Old 06-16-2007, 01:35 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Wake Forest article on amniotic fluid-derived stem cells.

Scientific American had a nice article, as did National Geographic. There are lots of articles on it but these seem to have more of the science than the news media puts into theirs.

Here's a National Geographic article on harvesting embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo.
Thanks, Jae, they should prove to be an interesting read .
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:08 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Windu Chi
They still electrocute people, I thought that was ban, because they said, it was inhumane.
In the United States, capital punishment is only reserved for extreme crimes such as 1st degree murder...

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Originally Posted by Windu Chi
Inhumane, which is ridiculous, how some people say that.
Well, some other people will call execution, inhumane.
That's a pretty bad example there is a significant difference between executing a murderer and killing an infant, fetus, or embryo. A murderer killed another human being, the infant, fetus, or embryo did not do such a thing.
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Old 06-16-2007, 09:49 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL

That's a pretty bad example there is a significant difference between executing a murderer and killing an infant, fetus, or embryo. A murderer killed another human being, the infant, fetus, or embryo did not do such a thing.
What in the hell is you talking about, why are assuming I'm okaying bady killing, I said, I was against the damn abortion thing, concerning fetus.

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@Windu Chi--introducing something that can alter electrical/chemical signals around a developing embryo/fetus could have some bad effects. There's so much development that's going on as a result of specific biochemical/electrical signals at very specific times that we just don't want to mess with in an embryo. If you alter just 1 cell at a very precise point in an embryo's development, you end up with major defects like missing limbs or organs.
Yes, there is always difficulties, Jae, but there is always away.

I was talking about a nano circuit that the embryo will act like a resistive circuit element, that if there is some neurological signal spectrum, that will register with some help of a computer analog to digital signal converter, as neurological activity.
Of course the embryo's electrical resistance, will have be low enough to alow current to past in whatever the embryo's physical threshold tolerances to voltage levels and current levels, are.
Don't won't too high resistance, or it will heat the embryo up and cook it.
PH=I^2 Reb where PH is the heat dump into the embryo, I is the applied electrical current; and Reb is the embryo's resistance to electrical current.

The calculations I did with my Mathcad 11 software:
if: the applied electrical current I=0.20Amp and the the embryo's resistance to electrical current Reb=0.0005ohm or 50 milliohms
the heat dump into the embryo PH=2e-5W or 200 milliwatts.
That might be to high!
So, I will need to know also the specific heat, thermal conductivity and of course it's physical mechanical structure properties, like it's threshold tolerances to pressure and stress.

But I will ponder on how this can be done, Jae

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Old 06-17-2007, 12:14 AM   #97
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Okay, let me put it this way, at what point in development does one have a soul? Seriously, and infant cannot survive on its own without help from its mother or someone else. Does that mean the infant isn't a person, no it doesn't. One could argue that you're committing murder because embryos have a soul, it doesn't matter that they can't survive on their own yet, cause infants can't either.
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Old 06-17-2007, 12:32 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Okay, let me put it this way, at what point in development does one have a soul? Seriously, and infant cannot survive on its own without help from its mother or someone else. Does that mean the infant isn't a person, no it doesn't. One could argue that you're committing murder because embryos have a soul, it doesn't matter that they can't survive on their own yet, cause infants can't either.
Well, I'm open-minded GarfieldJL, so I believe animals have souls.
But I'm not really sure how, to figure that out.
I think souls may be compose of pure energy of EM waves, that maybe linked consciously through some kind of hyperspace dimension or couple to the zero-point vacuum energy field, of our universe.

But that's me, "thinking outside the box".
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:16 AM   #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windu Chi
I was talking about a nano circuit that the embryo will act like a resistive circuit element, that if there is some neurological signal spectrum, that will register with some help of a computer analog to digital signal converter, as neurological activity.
Of course the embryo's electrical resistance, will have be low enough to alow current to past in whatever the embryo's physical threshold tolerances to voltage levels and current levels, are.
Don't won't too high resistance, or it will heat the embryo up and cook it.
You'd also mess with the embryo's cell electrophysiology--the resting potential of a cell is around -60mV and can go to +40mV when it's firing/active. If you cause a cell to fire, it might send an inappropriate nerve or cardiac signal (for instance), or make a chemical at the wrong time (or too much or not enough at the right time), any of which would be detrimental to the baby. You don't want to mess with the electrical/biochemical actions in an embryo--if you make a mistake in just one cell in an embryo, it can end up causing major defects later, as I noted above.
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I think souls may be compose of pure energy of EM waves
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:27 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Okay, let me put it this way, at what point in development does one have a soul? Seriously, and infant cannot survive on its own without help from its mother or someone else. Does that mean the infant isn't a person, no it doesn't. One could argue that you're committing murder because embryos have a soul, it doesn't matter that they can't survive on their own yet, cause infants can't either.
I think ED mentioned something about that on page 2.

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Before you bring up how its "soul" makes it human - we're dealing with science, not religion...
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:39 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You'd also mess with the embryo's cell electrophysiology--the resting potential of a cell is around -60mV and can go to +40mV when it's firing/active.
So, -60mV firing and +40mV active, well, I will play with those values, with my software.
That data will be the wave voltage high/low signal amplitude.
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If you cause a cell to fire, it might send an inappropriate nerve or cardiac signal (for instance), or make a chemical at the wrong time (or too much or not enough at the right time), any of which would be detrimental to the baby.
Yes, that's why one must know how to decipher the signal specturm properly with a analog/digital frequency analyser and know what threshold voltage level when one will send an inappropriate nerve or cardiac signal.
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You don't want to mess with the electrical/biochemical actions in an embryo--if you make a mistake in just one cell in an embryo, it can end up causing major defects later, as I noted above.
Of course, you don't want to make a mistake, Jae.
But someone will figure all that out, one day.

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*Jae suddenly hears the song "What's on your mind (pure energy)" going through her head....*
What's you talking about, Jae.

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Old 06-17-2007, 02:44 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windu Chi
So, -60mV firing and +40mV active, well, I will play with those values, with my software.
That data will be the wave voltage high/low signal amplitude.
That's polarization/depolarization/repolarization.
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Originally Posted by Windu Chi
Yes, that's why one must know how to decipher the signal specturm properly with a analog/digital frequency analyser and know what threshold voltage level when one will send an inappropriate nerve or cardiac signal.
about -40 mV is the point where the cell is triggered to depolarize completely to the +40 point and then repolarize back to its resting state.


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What's you talking about, Jae.
A song from 1988. Click the link to see it.


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Old 06-17-2007, 05:29 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
That's polarization/depolarization/repolarization.
Ok!
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
about -40 mV is the point where the cell is triggered to depolarize completely to the +40 point and then repolarize back to its resting state.
40 millivolts depolarize/repolarize!
Then this value will be a threshold trigger level.
I assume the potential voltage tolerance can't be much higher( like in a range factor of 10 or so or 400mV) then this value depending on potassium (K)/sodium ion concentrations or to much potassium (K)/sodium ion concentrations will diffuse across, and cause imbalance of charge across the cell membrane or a inappropriate signal.

Or, the mass of the ion flow might put to much stress and pressure on the cell membrane, and destroy it's structure, but of course this is just a guess, so I will have to calculate that by using dimensional analysis and the other information from the many 100's pdf files on physics and biology on my computer; the internet etcetera, Jae.

Also I found some good information here~Membrane potential and here~ Length constant, if it is accurate of course, wikipedia.
And here~The Action Potential.
I will study this data!

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Old 06-17-2007, 02:15 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk102
I think ED mentioned something about that on page 2.

You missed my point, the point is at what point during development does one have a soul, and when they have a soul they're a person from that instant on. That's why abortion is such a sticky issue, balancing the rights of women against the rights of a person whom cannot take care of themselves yet. So the destruction of embryos to harvest stem cells could be argued as murdering people in the name of science.

It's very hard to measure brain wave activity through a mother's womb because you can't put the electrodes on the embryo/fetus directly. So my question is at what point are we past the point of a woman's right to choose, because once the embryo/fetus has a soul I'd say the right to live trumps the right to choose.
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:34 PM   #105
Achilles
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Ugh...so much catching up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070607...o/stem_cells_23

No doubt this will make some breathe a little easier...
Unfortunately, the link is no longer available. Do you happen to recall the topic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Or the pro-abortion movement as "pro-choice"
I agree, hence why you'll never see me use either term without parenthesis. FWIW though, "pro-choice" is less misleading than "pro-life". "Pro-choice" implies that the opposition opposes choice which is true. "Pro-life" implies that the opposition opposes life which is a blantant misrepresentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
It seems there's good news all round:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...5082101180.html


So much for the necessity.
Maybe in the future, but this technique is still several years off from being a truely viable alternative. You can find a audio archive of an interview with the head researcher here where he says as much. Exciting breakthough? Certainly. But not an immediate alternative. In other words, so long as ESCR remains the gold standard, it should be the primary course for research.

...not to mention developmental research that cannot be done with ESC alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It bears repeating that researchers have found a way to create ESCs without killing embryos.
Sure. Doesn't that then create an ethical concern for the newly created embryonic stem cell? I mean we do have a cell that has the potential to become a human life? Doesn't it have a soul? Who's going to defend that soul's right to life?

Unless, of course, you want to tell me that this is somehow different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Achilles--I didn't say 'a lot of embryos are adopted out'. Many, if not most, are not adopted out. I just said it's available.
Then I'm afraid that I don't understand what your point is. Your argument does nothing to address my point that most frozen embryos die during the freezing process, the thawing process, remain frozen forever, or are left to "die" regardless. If you point was not to say that there is another viable alternative, then I'm not sure what it was and will need some clarification please. Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
A person is a person as soon as they have independent DNA in a living, independent cell.
I acknowledge that this is the definition that you choose to accept, however you've yet to produce a compelling argument for why it should be generally accepted, let alone "correct" or "true". There are other available definitions that I (and others) consider to be just as viable and perhaps a little more logical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Saying a child isn't living because it needs to be sustained in a uterus for awhile is like saying someone on a ventilator isn't alive because they need machines to breath for them. You can't have it both ways.
I'm sorry, when did I make any statement at all regarding someone on a ventalator? I don't believe that I ever did, so your argument seems very much like a strawman.

FWIW, my official stance is that lack of heartbeat and brain activity = not alive. If someone is on a ventilator, with no brain wave activity, and cannot survive without said machines, then they aren't alive. Not sure how that's having it both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The reason I haven't addressed the 'where would ESC research be without the restrictions' is because it's sheer speculation. We don't know where it would be at. We could divert all money from ASC in favor of ESC and still have absolutely no effective treatments derived from ESC, or we could have a lot. So that question is not very relevant--it's a crap shoot and that's it.
Good, so this means you can stop making definitive statements about the ineffectiveness of ESC research, correct? I mean, you can't say it's worthless right after admitting that you don't really know, right? Thank you for reinforcing my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Where would adult stem cell research be at if we had diverted those research dollars to ESC research? That I do know--we would not be nearly as far ahead as we are now in effective medical treatments. With all the embryonic stem cell lines we do have in the US and all the research going on in the rest of the world, if it was going to have some kind of beneficial outcome, we should have seen _something_ by now.
Ah, but by your own point, we could be much further ahead. To quote you (quoting me), "you can't have it both ways".

We have seen lots of "somethings", however your tendency has been to dismiss them because they tend to be promising lines of research rather than FDA approved cures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells are easy to harvest--it's done routinely in bone marrow transplants all the time. Other types of adult stem cells are likewise relatively easy to obtain. While 1 adult stem cell can't differentiate into every single kind of cell, the combination of different adult stem cells will differentiate into all the different cell types.
Source? ASC are currently very limited. And as I pointed out for Darth InSidious, neglecting ESCr in favor or ASCr does nothing to move developmental research forward. Another huge negative for the current course of action in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The point is moot anyway if they can derive ESC without killing an embryo.
Not true for the reasons provided above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I don't have an objection to ESC research itself, I have an objection to killing embryos to get those stem cells.
Sure, and are those objections based on rationale, ethical, and/or scientific reasons or are they based on your religious beliefs? If it's the former, please be so kind as to expand on what they are. If it's the latter, then we can just acknowledge that and move on if you would like.

*Skips over some back-and-forth between Jae and ED*

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
To be completely blunt, isn't there brain waves in an embryo before the tenth week? Seems to me one could argue the embryo is alive once there is brain waves. Because signs of motor functions occur earlier than week 10, while measurable brainwaves are sometime later, one has to bear in mind that one is trying to measure brainwave activity through the mother's womb.
Quite possibly a valid point, but a little bit of apples and oranges when compared to the "every living thing has a soul at the moment of conception" argument posed by the religious right. If research shows that there is measurable brain and heart activity at conception, I would be willing to change my views on abortion because of where the evidence leads, not some arbitrary religious argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Another argument against embryo stem cell research is that it has been shown that umbilical cords from a newborn also have stem cells that can be used instead of embryonic stem cells. That means there are other ways to get stem cells without having to go out and kill embryos. So I am completely against harvesting stem cells from embryos and aborted fetuses (in many cases done after it can be done legally barring danger to mother has been discovered now occur still by abortion clinics) we're looking at the possibility of people getting pregnent and get paid to have abortions so people can harvest stem cells. So in all honesty I'm going to go for an actual complete ban of harvesting embryonic stem cells, there are other ways to get stem cells in large amounts without destroying life.
Again, an interesting point. I'm not sure it what relevance it has in the context of what to do with unused human embryos in fertility clinics. Which raises the point: If Bush and the religious right are so interested in creating a culture of life, why aren't they moving to ban the practice of embryo destruction? It seems that the policy is that human embryos can be destroyed, however they cannot be destroyed for scientific research. It would really help me to understand the arguments if there weren't so many inconsistencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Before anyone accuses me of not caring about people with debilitating conditions that stem cells could be possibily used to cure, I had a grandfather with Parkinsons whom passed away a few years ago.
My sincere condolences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
While I would have loved to see him cured, he wouldn't have wanted unborn infants to die which is arguably what an embryo is, while they can't survive on their own, a newborn can't either without someone taking care of it are we going to say next that babies aren't people? One could then argue this about toddlers, and then children under 10.
Slipper-slope fallacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
So I'm going to support President Bush's decision to veto this latest House bill, because quite frankly there are other ways to get stem cells like a newborn's umbilical cord that has to be cut off after birth anyways.
I would support it too, if it made sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery
I don't have a full understanding...<snip>
For someone that claims not to have a full understanding, you seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the main issues. Kudos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Well, when one considers the fact that the fly as no ability to realise that it is alive - its sensory perceptions are for living, surviving, and reproducing... just as our own ones are (but that's beside the point) - it has no ability to miss being alive .
And how much time do we spend arguing for houseflies' rights to life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
However, I do have to ask the question: what is the difference between an undifferentiated, totipotent zygote and an undifferentiated, totipotent umbilical cord cell is?
To my understanding: none. However, Federal law prohibits funding of embryonic stem cell research regarless of the source. ESC from the umbilical cord are eligible for just as much federal funding as those taken from the embryos that would have been destroyed in the fertility clinics. Exactly zero dollars and zero cents. That's the first big problem.

The second big problem is the fact that no sound argument has been presented for why embryos taken from fertility clinics should not be used. There are more, but these two are showstoppers and should be sufficient for the sake of this conversation. I personally don't care where the ESCs come from, I simply think that we should be doing the research and take offence to the fact that said research is limited in the U.S. for no logical reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Surely, because both the cell types are non-specialised, they both have the potential to be a human being - both given the right conditions? And the business of turning normal body cells into stem cells: surely that is creating the potential for a new, human life then destroying it?
Again you are correct. It seems to me that the religous conservative argument would be much more powerful if it were consistent. The fact that it's not leads me to think that most of the people adopting said arguments don't truly understand the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
My understanding of this area, however, is limited so feel free to strip away the illusion of knowledge and throw a book/source/site at me .
Doing fine so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Pavlos--the stem cells are harvested from an embryo, but an embryonic stem cell is not the same as an embryo. The stem cells are one of a number of different types of cells that an embryo has, like nerve cells or skin cells, etc. So an umbilical stem cell may be the same as one from an embryo, but that's just a part of the embryo, not the whole embryo.
I'm unclear on many of the point here, however with that said, on the surface, you appear to be wrong. Embryonic stems cells are not techincally an embryo (they are a blastocyst), however they will eventually become an embryo much later in the development cycle. Stem cells eventually become nerve cells and skins cells, so to say that they are different is technically correct, but at the very least also somewhat misleading.

One of the important aspects of embryonic stem cell research that gets glossed over in the "theraputic benefit debate" is the fact that studying embryonic stem cells might help us to understand/prevent birth defects. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how tricking ASCs into acting like ESCs will help us in that regard. Even if we find a viable theraputic alternative, we still leave all of that scientific discovery untouched by ignoring this research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Excuse for wandering in here with comments that may have already been addressed, but stem cells, they can help a lot of people right? We should be doing everything we can to help people shouldn't we? But there's a lot of concern over what this does over the sancity of your soul if this goes ahead? Let's talk about that, could the moral issues over stem cell research be explained to me? Isn't it something about using or killing off body parts, stem cells to encourage strong growth or something?
Hi Nancy, the big problem here is that there is no evidence that the soul exists. Trying to argue the possible affects on the soul is a little bit like debating the tooth fairies favorite flavor of ice cream. The moral issue is that there's isn't one. The only opposing arguments (that I've seen) are religious in nature and have no firm grounding in morals/ethics. I'm sorry that I don't have an answer more definitive than that. Perhaps if you had a more specific concern I could try to address your question(s) better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
The thing that in my mind makes taking embryonic stem cells from embryos just an excuse to butcher human life <snip>
An interesting perspective. Why do you think scientists would be interested in "butching human life" for the sake of doing so? Wouldn't that contradict their stated position that they want to help save human lives? If the true goal is to kill for the sake of killing, wouldn't there be easier ways to satisfy that desire (pets, abortion clinics, trigger-happy cop, etc)?

*skips over a bunch of stuff I've already addressed*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells won't turn into another separate life.
Sorry, this statement is incorrect. Link

If any human cell can be used to generate a human being, then abortion is no more tragic than bathing or scratching an itch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cell research has absolutely bore fruit. A _lot_ of fruit. See a previous post on that for all the results that have come out of _adult_ stem cell research--bone marrow transplants for cancer patients being one of the biggest uses right now out of the dozens of different treatments derived from adult stem cells.
It sure has. However if ASC is patently *so* much better than ESC then why isn't ESC allowed equitable access to research dollars? I've made this argument before Jae and I'm still awaiting your reply. If ASC is the real-deal and ESC has no potential, then research scientists would quickly figure this out on their own with artificial barriers being put up.

I think my point is conspicuously supported by the fact that so many researchers are trying to find ways to manufacture ESCs from ASCs and ESC's pluripotent nature is regarded as the gold standard. If ESCs were truly defunct as you seem to want for all of us to believe, then I don't understand why so much effort is being made in there arenas. Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me?

The rest of the thread seems to veer a little off-topic so I'll leave it there for now. Thanks to everyone for reading.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:17 PM   #106
Totenkopf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Ugh...so much catching up...

Unfortunately, the link is no longer available. Do you happen to recall the topic?
Not sure, but I think it had something to do with the political situation vis-a-vis congress's potential to override Bush re ESC research. Given the vagaries of politics, it might have proven unduly optomistic at the time the article was published.

Quote:
I agree, hence why you'll never see me use either term without parenthesis. FWIW though, "pro-choice" is less misleading than "pro-life". "Pro-choice" implies that the opposition opposes choice which is true. "Pro-life" implies that the opposition opposes life which is a blantant misrepresentation.
Frankly, pro-choice was the euphemism to put a "nicer/friendlier" face on the pro-abortion movement, thus a disingenuous marketing ploy to soften it's image. The reason I don't use the term pro-life is that I never got into the "whole cloth" concept. Technically, if you're pro-life, it might be expected that you'd oppose capital punishment as well. Hence I think in terms of anti-abortion, pro-capital punishment.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

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Old 06-27-2007, 08:53 PM   #107
GarfieldJL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windu Chi
Death row convicts, you're funny, Nancy.

But I doubt alot people here will diagree with that, since they harvest organs from death row convicts, when death comes to collect it's due.

Uh last time I checked that happens in China not the United States.
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Old 06-28-2007, 02:11 PM   #108
Jae Onasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Exciting breakthough? Certainly. But not an immediate alternative. In other words, so long as ESCR remains the gold standard, it should be the primary course for research.
Please explain to me how a course of research that has had no medical advances to date, despite world-wide research, can possibly be a gold-standard for anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It bears repeating that researchers have found a way to create ESCs without killing embryos.
Sure. Doesn't that then create an ethical concern for the newly created embryonic stem cell? I mean we do have a cell that has the potential to become a human life? Doesn't it have a soul? Who's going to defend that soul's right to life?

Unless, of course, you want to tell me that this is somehow different.
The stem cell has the potential to become a particular tissue, not the entire being. Sure, it can become any of the tissues, but by itself it cannot develop into anything other than one tissue type.

It's a respect for life issue, not (merely) a religious one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Achilles--I didn't say 'a lot of embryos are adopted out'. Many, if not most, are not adopted out. I just said it's available.
Then I'm afraid that I don't understand what your point is. Your argument does nothing to address my point that most frozen embryos die during the freezing process, the thawing process, remain frozen forever, or are left to "die" regardless. If you point was not to say that there is another viable alternative, then I'm not sure what it was and will need some clarification please. Thanks in advance.
There are options available besides experimenting with someone's life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
A person is a person as soon as they have independent DNA in a living, independent cell.
I acknowledge that this is the definition that you choose to accept, however you've yet to produce a compelling argument for why it should be generally accepted, let alone "correct" or "true". There are other available definitions that I (and others) consider to be just as viable and perhaps a little more logical.
Your 'definitions' are no more logical than any others, and in fact are less logical because they are variable. There's no way to test for brain waves, for instance, without possibly harming the child or causing risk of miscarriage. Heartbeat? It can't always be heard right away. Conception is the one definitive, indisputable point where a separate life is formed. There is no variability, there is no hedging, there is no 'adjusting the definition because we want to do experimentation on a week-16 fetus and we're currently limited to week 14 so now we'll justify it with this new thing'.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Saying a child isn't living because it needs to be sustained in a uterus for awhile is like saying someone on a ventilator isn't alive because they need machines to breath for them. You can't have it both ways.
I'm sorry, when did I make any statement at all regarding someone on a ventalator? I don't believe that I ever did, so your argument seems very much like a strawman.

FWIW, my official stance is that lack of heartbeat and brain activity = not alive. If someone is on a ventilator, with no brain wave activity, and cannot survive without said machines, then they aren't alive. Not sure how that's having it both ways.
A baby in-utero can't survive outside the uterus, just like someone in surgery can't survive without a ventilator breathing for them during/after the procedure. Both are alive, both need life support.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The reason I haven't addressed the 'where would ESC research be without the restrictions' is because it's sheer speculation. We don't know where it would be at. We could divert all money from ASC in favor of ESC and still have absolutely no effective treatments derived from ESC, or we could have a lot. So that question is not very relevant--it's a crap shoot and that's it.
Good, so this means you can stop making definitive statements about the ineffectiveness of ESC research, correct? I mean, you can't say it's worthless right after admitting that you don't really know, right? Thank you for reinforcing my point.
I NEVER said ESC was ineffective. I said ASC has accomplished far more. That's very different.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Where would adult stem cell research be at if we had diverted those research dollars to ESC research? That I do know--we would not be nearly as far ahead as we are now in effective medical treatments. With all the embryonic stem cell lines we do have in the US and all the research going on in the rest of the world, if it was going to have some kind of beneficial outcome, we should have seen _something_ by now.
Ah, but by your own point, we could be much further ahead. To quote you (quoting me), "you can't have it both ways".
You want to bet on something that has shown no medical benefits, or something that has?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
We have seen lots of "somethings", however your tendency has been to dismiss them because they tend to be promising lines of research rather than FDA approved cures.
What's benefiting people more now?
If you have a manufacturing process that is currently creating a product and shows promise for accomplishing more, and you have another process in R&D that shows it could do the same thing but has some major problems associated with it, which process should you put your money into? My point is that if you have limited research dollars, you should put the money where it's going to have the most impact, and that's ASC. If we had unlimited research dollars, it becomes a different ballgame, but right now there's only so much NIH grant money to go around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells are easy to harvest--it's done routinely in bone marrow transplants all the time. Other types of adult stem cells are likewise relatively easy to obtain. While 1 adult stem cell can't differentiate into every single kind of cell, the combination of different adult stem cells will differentiate into all the different cell types.
Source? ASC are currently very limited. And as I pointed out for Darth InSidious, neglecting ESCr in favor or ASCr does nothing to move developmental research forward. Another huge negative for the current course of action in the U.S.
Why aren't we seeing those advances in world research? Because there aren't any currently, and the problems of tumorgenicity in ESC is a tremendous problem that ASC does not have. If you have umbilical cord cells, you certainly have the ability to consider developmental research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The point is moot anyway if they can derive ESC without killing an embryo.
Not true for the reasons provided above.
You're ignoring a variety of articles saying otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I don't have an objection to ESC research itself, I have an objection to killing embryos to get those stem cells.
Sure, and are those objections based on rationale, ethical, and/or scientific reasons or are they based on your religious beliefs? If it's the former, please be so kind as to expand on what they are. If it's the latter, then we can just acknowledge that and move on if you would like.
It's unethical to experiment on someone and kill them without their consent.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Which raises the point: If Bush and the religious right are so interested in creating a culture of life, why aren't they moving to ban the practice of embryo destruction? It seems that the policy is that human embryos can be destroyed, however they cannot be destroyed for scientific research. It would really help me to understand the arguments if there weren't so many inconsistencies.
I wasn't aware they were. And they indeed should be consistent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
While I would have loved to see him cured, he wouldn't have wanted unborn infants to die which is arguably what an embryo is, while they can't survive on their own, a newborn can't either without someone taking care of it are we going to say next that babies aren't people? One could then argue this about toddlers, and then children under 10.
Slipper-slope fallacy.
Why is your definition of life any more valid than Barbara Boxer's, who allegedly once said 'it's not a life until the baby's taken home from the hospital'?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Well, when one considers the fact that the fly as no ability to realise that it is alive - its sensory perceptions are for living, surviving, and reproducing... just as our own ones are (but that's beside the point) - it has no ability to miss being alive .
And how much time do we spend arguing for houseflies' rights to life?
About as long as it takes for me to smack them with the fly-swatter and render the argument moot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
However, I do have to ask the question: what is the difference between an undifferentiated, totipotent zygote and an undifferentiated, totipotent umbilical cord cell is?
To my understanding: none. However, Federal law prohibits funding of embryonic stem cell research regarless of the source. ESC from the umbilical cord are eligible for just as much federal funding as those taken from the embryos that would have been destroyed in the fertility clinics. Exactly zero dollars and zero cents. That's the first big problem.
I do have an issue with that, because a stem cell, while it has the embryo's DNA, is not the embryo. It's a cell that's already differentiated within the embryo, and the stem cell will develop into a specific tissue at some point, but it can only become 1 tissue, not the whole baby. It's past the initial zygote stage. And yes, that's splitting hairs, but it's an important distinction. If you take a stem cell out and expose it to a variety of different hormones or biochemicals, it will turn into a variety of different tissues. However, it will not turn into another entire embryo--it's already differentiated beyond that point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
The second big problem is the fact that no sound argument has been presented for why embryos taken from fertility clinics should not be used. There are more, but these two are showstoppers and should be sufficient for the sake of this conversation. I personally don't care where the ESCs come from, I simply think that we should be doing the research and take offence to the fact that said research is limited in the U.S. for no logical reason.
Because we shouldn't be taking another life as a sacrifice for our own. I'm not sure how much more anyone needs than that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Surely, because both the cell types are non-specialised, they both have the potential to be a human being - both given the right conditions? And the business of turning normal body cells into stem cells: surely that is creating the potential for a new, human life then destroying it?
Again you are correct. It seems to me that the religous conservative argument would be much more powerful if it were consistent. The fact that it's not leads me to think that most of the people adopting said arguments don't truly understand the issue.
Um, yeah. I had to study embryology as part of brain and eye/vision development in doctor school. I understand it pretty damn well, thank you. Neither of you are correct in this instance. Stem cells, barring somatic cell nuclear transfer which is another subject entirely and not applicable to this argument because it involves different techniques entirely, cannot become an entirely new person. They can only differentiate into different tissues. You can take an adult cell, turn it into a stem cell, but you cannot make that stem cell turn into another entire person. You can make that stem cell turn into any other tissue that belongs to that person, but you can't make it an entire person. You can only turn that one stem cell into one tissue at a time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Pavlos--the stem cells are harvested from an embryo, but an embryonic stem cell is not the same as an embryo. The stem cells are one of a number of different types of cells that an embryo has, like nerve cells or skin cells, etc. So an umbilical stem cell may be the same as one from an embryo, but that's just a part of the embryo, not the whole embryo.
I'm unclear on many of the point here, however with that said, on the surface, you appear to be wrong.
Actually, he is correct here. It's a part, but not the whole, embryo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Embryonic stems cells are not techincally an embryo (they are a blastocyst),
ESCs are also not blastocysts. ESCs are derived from a very specific part of the blastocyst.
[quote="Achilles"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
however they will eventually become an embryo much later in the development cycle. Stem cells eventually become nerve cells and skins cells, so to say that they are different is technically correct, but at the very least also somewhat misleading.
I don't consider the 2 or 3 days between blastocyst-hood and embryo-hood 'much later'. We go from conceptus to zygote to blastocyst to embryo within about 1 week from fertilization. Some call the group of cells an embryo from fertilization to about week 8 in humans the embryo and blastocyst is just one stage of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
One of the important aspects of embryonic stem cell research that gets glossed over in the "theraputic benefit debate" is the fact that studying embryonic stem cells might help us to understand/prevent birth defects. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how tricking ASCs into acting like ESCs will help us in that regard. Even if we find a viable theraputic alternative, we still leave all of that scientific discovery untouched by ignoring this research.
That's a valid concern and it'd be interesting to see why folic acid prevents neural tube disorders, for instance. If we have other ways to get ESC without killing embryos, fine. I'm all for that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells won't turn into another separate life.
Sorry, this statement is incorrect. Link
Come on. That's a completely different issue entirely. You have to take a nucleus out of two cells and put the nucleus from the first cell into the denucleated second cell. That's completely different from taking a stem cell, exposing it the the appropriate hormone, and getting it to differentiate into a new tissue. If you want to discuss cloning, feel free to put that into a separate thread, and that'll be an interesting debate as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
If any human cell can be used to generate a human being, then abortion is no more tragic than bathing or scratching an itch.
Wow. That is a frightening concept. So killing a 36 week fetus is no more tragic than scratching oneself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cell research has absolutely bore fruit. A _lot_ of fruit.
It sure has. However if ASC is patently *so* much better than ESC then why isn't ESC allowed equitable access to research dollars? I've made this argument before Jae and I'm still awaiting your reply. If ASC is the real-deal and ESC has no potential, then research scientists would quickly figure this out on their own with artificial barriers being put up.
See above analogy to manufacturing process--a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. We only have so many research dollars to go around. And there's nothing stopping private organizations from conducting their own research. I just don't want my tax dollars going to something that kills another person's life, even if it's at an early stage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I think my point is conspicuously supported by the fact that so many researchers are trying to find ways to manufacture ESCs from ASCs and ESC's pluripotent nature is regarded as the gold standard.
Pluripotency is more convenient than using a couple different multipotent cells that accomplish the same goal, which is generating any tissue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
If ESCs were truly defunct as you seem to want for all of us to believe, then I don't understand why so much effort is being made in there arenas. Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me?
Where did I say it was defunct? I said I'd support research on ESC if they could obtain the cells without killing embryos. I would hardly consider that line of research defunct. I simply want research dollars to go to a. something that is currently producing the most results so I get more for my money, and b. something that doesn't kill another life to obtain results.

Another consideration--the number of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization has gone down as the drugs used to cause ovulation for ovum harvesting have gotten better and the harvesting techniques themselves have gotten better. Fewer eggs are harvested, so fewer embryos are being produced and implantation techniques have improved, so women are going through fewer harvesting cycles before successful pregnancy. The number of embryos available for experimentation are decreasing, so developing other ways of obtaining ESC are going to become even more important.


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Old 07-17-2007, 11:42 PM   #109
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Generally, I try to reply point-by-point, but this time I'm compelled to jump around a little. Hopefully, I don't make my response too difficult to follow.

Firstly:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Where did I say it (ESC research) was defunct?
Forgive me if I find it amusing that this is in the same post as these:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Please explain to me how a course of research that has had no medical advances to date, despite world-wide research, can possibly be a gold-standard for anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Why aren't we seeing those advances in world research? Because there aren't any currently, and the problems of tumorgenicity in ESC is a tremendous problem that ASC does not have.
Those are only from your most recent post, however there are several other examples I could find from older messages. It seems pretty clear that you don't consider ESC research to be successful or anticipate it being successful in the future. That would seem to meet the definition of "defunct" don't you think? If I'm missing something in the translation, please feel free to set me straight.

Moving on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I said I'd support research on ESC if they could obtain the cells without killing embryos. I would hardly consider that line of research defunct. I simply want research dollars to go to a. something that is currently producing the most results so I get more for my money, and b. something that doesn't kill another life to obtain results.
This seems contradictory. Now you're saying that you would support ESCr if the stem cells could be obtained without "killing another life".

Ok.

Considering how vocal you've been about the effectiveness of ASCr vs the ineffectiveness of ESCr, why would want to pursue a course of research that has so many problem? Because you think it has potential? More potential that ASCs? Wouldn't this seem to be an admission that ESCs are superior (for research sake) to ASC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Please explain to me how a course of research that has had no medical advances to date, despite world-wide research, can possibly be a gold-standard for anything.
Please don't blame me for pointing out that ESCr is the gold standard. It certainly isn't my doing. If it were not, we wouldn't see researchers wasting their time trying to gerry-rid ASCs into ESCs and we certainly wouldn't see other researchers getting excited whenever someone announces a breakthrough. If you see smoke, odds are good that there's a fire.

For someone that works in the industry, you seem to have rather bewildering expectations for medical research. It seems your stance is, "since ESC has only produced results in a lab, but has yet to yield any treatments that can be used today, it's clearly not capable of doing so. Oh, and ignore the field of research has been artifically stymed by the federal government almost since the moment it was discovered."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The stem cell has the potential to become a particular tissue, not the entire being. Sure, it can become any of the tissues, but by itself it cannot develop into anything other than one tissue type.
It's been a while since I took a biology class, but if I recall correctly, cells make up tissues, tissues make up organs, and the body is comprised of organs. Unless I'm missing something obvious, your statment seems akin to saying that cars don't contain any iron ore, simply because we see processed steel (...and plastics and composites).

Back to my original point, the stem cells present in a blastocyst eventually become a fully-developed human being. So ESC from an umbilical cord, presents the exact same "ethical problem" as the ESC from the blastocyst. You can clone a real-life human being from any cell in the human body. Any cell. So any cell has the potential to be a human being. See the problem for your "ethical" argument?

Let's just call a spade a spade and admit that the opposition argument hinges on the existence of a soul. Even if we did, we'd still run into the problems that I pointed out before, but went ignored (see post #1 for a refresher). At the end of the day, the entire anti-ESC argument is based on an unclear, inconsistent, religious argument. The "ethical problem" has been decontructed many times and found to be a complete fabrication. So I repeat, there is no ethical reason to prevent, prohibit, what-have-you ESCr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's a respect for life issue, not (merely) a religious one.
Then shouldn't that respect for life be consistently fought for? Abolishment of the death penalty? Federal action to close down all fertility clinics until technology can be developed that eliminates the need for destruction of embryos? If you want to play the "respect for life" card, feel free, but as I've stated before it creates more problems for that argument than it solves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
There are options available besides experimenting with someone's life.
No one's life is being experimented with. Problem solved

Can't call "life" unless it's alive. I would certainly concede to calling it "potential for life" but then every cell has the potential for life. Since we lose thousands of cells every day, we then have a very serious problem that has been ignored for a very long time: The needless slaughter of trillions of "potential human lives" every day. At some point we can no longer blindly accept an arbitrary definition of "life".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Your 'definitions' are no more logical than any others, and in fact are less logical because they are variable. There's no way to test for brain waves, for instance, without possibly harming the child or causing risk of miscarriage. Heartbeat? It can't always be heard right away.
So medical science has yet to determine milestones for embryonic development? I could be wrong, but I seem to recall the OB/GYN having pretty specific expectations about my son's development. If the OB/GYN cannot hear a heartbeat at 8 1/2 do they just blow it off and say "well, you can't always hear it right away. I'm sure everything's fine"? Or do they have a point at which they begin to worry much sooner than that? About 5 weeks maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Conception is the one definitive, indisputable point where a separate life is formed.
I guarantee you that every human that has ever lived had a heartbeat and brain activity at some point. Hardly arbitrary. By way of comparison, not every fertilized egg has complete the gestation process and been born a living baby. Doesn't seem as though conception is very definitive after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
A baby in-utero can't survive outside the uterus, just like someone in surgery can't survive without a ventilator breathing for them during/after the procedure. Both are alive, both need life support.
Using one arbitrary definition of "alive", I suppose. Unfortunately, you change the analogy, so that makes this a little bit of a red herring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I NEVER said ESC was ineffective. I said ASC has accomplished far more. That's very different.
Should I interpret this as a "yes"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You want to bet on something that has shown no medical benefits, or something that has?
I want to bet on the avenue that has the greatest potential. If you can show me how ESCs can't do the things that ASCs can, then I'll happily go whever the evidence leads. However, I know that you can't because insufficent research has been done to support the argument.

PS: In an effort to save you some time and effort: Providing a list of ASC advances will not show that ESC aren't capable of producing similar results. It will only show that the inequitable advantage provided to ASCr has allowed some progress to be made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What's benefiting people more now?
Completely beside the point. I mention this each time you raise it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If you have a manufacturing process that is currently creating a product and shows promise for accomplishing more, and you have another process in R&D that shows it could do the same thing but has some major problems associated with it, which process should you put your money into?
Poor analogy. If I manufacture a product in the most effective way possible with the existing technology, I'm pretty happy. If R&D says that they have a line on a more effective and efficient technology which will allow me to improve my process, you'd better believe I'm going to invest in it before my competitors figure out how to do it first.

One of the first things that they teach you in business school is that it isn't smart to do things a certain way "just because you've always done it that way". Innovation = success. But perhaps Edison shouldn't have worked so hard to overcome the obstacles surrounding the lightbulb. We'd all be much better off had he opted to churn out a better candle, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
My point is that if you have limited research dollars, you should put the money where it's going to have the most impact, and that's ASC. If we had unlimited research dollars, it becomes a different ballgame, but right now there's only so much NIH grant money to go around.
NIH's registry for Active Funding Opportunities related to ESCs

Unfortunately, this isn't a case of the scarcity model ruining all our fun. This is artificial barriers to scientific research. If they were barriers truly based on ethics, then I would support them. However they are not, so I choose to oppose them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Why aren't we seeing those advances in world research?
You must not have liked my answer all the other times I've offered. I can only hope that once more does the trick.

1) We have (I used MSNBC because the article it fairly non-technical. I can provide more technical sources upon request).

2) If this is the future of medicine and the rest of the world has a jump-start, why do you think they would be inclined to give us updates? If Russia had a head start on nuclear weapons in the 40's and 50's do you think they would have been advertising to us? No, they would have done just like we did and announce the technology in a more memorable way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Because there aren't any currently, and the problems of tumorgenicity in ESC is a tremendous problem that ASC does not have. If you have umbilical cord cells, you certainly have the ability to consider developmental research.
It's very difficult to prove that something *doesn't* exist. Careful what statements you make, as someone might ask you to support them.

PS: My request for a source still stands. Please let me know if you do not intend on honoring it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
You're ignoring a variety of articles saying otherwise.
I'm not ignoring them if they have absolutely nothing to do with my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It's unethical to experiment on someone and kill them without their consent.
Right. So what if you are dealing with something that is incapable of giving concent? Like a laboratory rat, for instance. Regarding capacity for pain and/or suffering, a adult lab rat should have significantly more consideration than collection of 50-150 cells. Can we extend our "right to life" movement to lab rats as well?

Or can we concede that consent is not necessary unless consent is possible and/or some other ethical consideration?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I wasn't aware they were. And they indeed should be consistent.
You weren't aware that embryos are lost during the freezing and thawing processes and that un-implanted embryos are permitted to expire naturally? You sure seemed to be aware of it when you were arguing that some of those frozen embryos can be adopted out to other families instead of destroyed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Why is your definition of life any more valid than Barbara Boxer's, who allegedly once said 'it's not a life until the baby's taken home from the hospital'?
Red herring, but I'll play. Because Barbara Boxer's definition ignores the fact that an embryo show signs of life long before it goes home in a carseat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
About as long as it takes for me to smack them with the fly-swatter and render the argument moot.
Very clever. Am I to take your point that you have no problem killing a living organism which clearly displays every single characteristic necessary to qualify as "life"? Is this not hypocritical considering your stance regarding abortion and/or embryonic stem cell research? Could you please help me understand why a housefly with billions of cells is so easily cast off while a blastocyst with a maximum of 150 cells should be defended with the full force of our legal system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I do have an issue with that, because a stem cell, while it has the embryo's DNA, is not the embryo. It's a cell that's already differentiated within the embryo, and the stem cell will develop into a specific tissue at some point, but it can only become 1 tissue, not the whole baby. It's past the initial zygote stage. And yes, that's splitting hairs, but it's an important distinction. If you take a stem cell out and expose it to a variety of different hormones or biochemicals, it will turn into a variety of different tissues. However, it will not turn into another entire embryo--it's already differentiated beyond that point.
I believe that I already tackled this elsewhere, but in case I didn't:

This is splitting hairs (as you point out) however I fail to recognize the significance. Scientists, armed with sufficient understanding of the process, could potentially "build" an embryo out of a stem cell. Nature already does it, so we know it can be done, we just don't know how.

With that said, I'm not sure what this has to with the original point, which was "it doesn't matter where the embryonic stem cells come from because the current law doesn't differentiate by source, only by type. Therefore any embryonic stem cell is sequestered from gov't funding". I hope that helps to clarify.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Because we shouldn't be taking another life as a sacrifice for our own. I'm not sure how much more anyone needs than that.
That doesn't address the point, Jae. A majority of these embryos are going to die anyway regardless of what laws exist surround stem cell research. You seem to be ignoring this fact even though it's been raised several times.

My response is fashioned in such a way as to deliberately keep us on point. If you would like to branch out into a separate discussion about the ethics of sacrifice, please let me know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Um, yeah. I had to study embryology as part of brain and eye/vision development in doctor school. I understand it pretty damn well, thank you. Neither of you are correct in this instance. Stem cells, barring somatic cell nuclear transfer which is another subject entirely and not applicable to this argument because it involves different techniques entirely, cannot become an entirely new person. They can only differentiate into different tissues. You can take an adult cell, turn it into a stem cell, but you cannot make that stem cell turn into another entire person. You can make that stem cell turn into any other tissue that belongs to that person, but you can't make it an entire person. You can only turn that one stem cell into one tissue at a time.
Well then how does nature do it? If it weren't possible, then multi-celluar organisms wouldn't exist. "Human understanding being temporarily insufficient to duplicate in laboratory conditions" is not the same thing as "not possible". Besides, your reponse does not address my point, which is that ultra-conservative rhetoric on this matter is inconsistent, even though you presume to tell me that I am wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Actually, he is correct here. It's a part, but not the whole, embryo.
Clearly you were able to comprehend his point where I was not. Since he has not opted to clarify, I'm still not sure what he hoped to communicate, therefore, I still cannot offer a response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The link was not necessary, Jae. I think I've demonstrated in dozens of other posts that I am well aware of the difference. I do appreciate your effort to correct the minor error that I made in my haste though.

There seems to be some "fun with tags" here, so I'll try to weed out what's your's from what's mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi (I think???)
I don't consider the 2 or 3 days between blastocyst-hood and embryo-hood 'much later'. We go from conceptus to zygote to blastocyst to embryo within about 1 week from fertilization. Some call the group of cells an embryo from fertilization to about week 8 in humans the embryo and blastocyst is just one stage of that.
I was thinking of the context of a fully formed human ready for birthing, per the context of the conversation, however you are technically correct. Since you didn't address the thrust of my point, I'm assuming that it's uncontested?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi (I think???)
That's a valid concern and it'd be interesting to see why folic acid prevents neural tube disorders, for instance. If we have other ways to get ESC without killing embryos, fine. I'm all for that.
I suppose I'm happy to hear that you'd be on board with that. I guess I'd be curious to know what *ethical* argument you could present for why we should wait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi (I think???)
Come on. That's a completely different issue entirely.
No it is not. More on this in a moment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi (I think???)
You have to take a nucleus out of two cells and put the nucleus from the first cell into the denucleated second cell. That's completely different from taking a stem cell, exposing it the the appropriate hormone, and getting it to differentiate into a new tissue. If you want to discuss cloning, feel free to put that into a separate thread, and that'll be an interesting debate as well.
The point is that *any* living cell can be used to create a human life. If you would like to present an argument (within an ethical context) of why some cells deserve special protection, while others do not, I'd be more than happy to hear it. In fact, considering that I've raised this point several times, I will make a point of letting you know that I am specifically interested in anything you have to say on the matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Wow. That is a frightening concept. So killing a 36 week fetus is no more tragic than scratching oneself.
Was that a question or a statement? From a clinical perspective, you are correct. Luckily, most humans are not so cold. However, I do think such a realization speaks volumes for the ethicality of aborting a 20-25 week fetus for medical reasons. On a side note, I can't tell you how pleased I am that you at least acknowledged this point, considering how many times I've raised it. Perhaps there is hope for true dialog after all

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
See above analogy to manufacturing process--a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. We only have so many research dollars to go around.
And you, in turn, can see my response which shows the multitudes of organizations willing to contribute to NIH-managed research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
And there's nothing stopping private organizations from conducting their own research.
I know I've addressed this elsewhere, but I'll do it one more time here.

How about the fear of reprisals, ala denial/removal/reduction of gov't funding and contracts for other research projects? If Bush is willing to suspend habeas corpus, I'm sure he wouldn't bat an eyelash at blacklisting some NGO's that didn't play by his rules.

How about businesses not wanting to waste millions or billions of dollars chasing after a line of research that someone (everyone? No one?) else is working on? One of the major concerns that state gov'ts funding this research have voiced is that without centralized management (ala NIH), two or more groups could be working on the same research at the same time and no one would know. If this is daunting for gov'ts then I can easily see where it would be orders of magnitude moreso for private businesses or vulnerable corporations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I just don't want my tax dollars going to something that kills another person's life, even if it's at an early stage.
I'll point out once more that you already do (HINT: United States military).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Pluripotency is more convenient than using a couple different multipotent cells that accomplish the same goal, which is generating any tissue.
Not sure how this contradicts either of my points. You seem to acknowledge that pluripotency is preferable, however this does nothing to address the more common observation that everyone seems to be trying to find a way to emulate embryonic stem cells. I'll ask the question again: If they are not superior, then why the mad dash to be the research group that patents the technology? If the cell type is defunct, it sure would seem as though a lot of people are wasting a lot of time. If ASC are clearly so much better, then wouldn't it make more sense to stop dickering around with ESC? The fact that the research community does not seem to share your (or Dick Cheney's) scientific sensibilities tells me that maybe they know something that you don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Another consideration--the number of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization has gone down as the drugs used to cause ovulation for ovum harvesting have gotten better and the harvesting techniques themselves have gotten better. Fewer eggs are harvested, so fewer embryos are being produced and implantation techniques have improved, so women are going through fewer harvesting cycles before successful pregnancy. The number of embryos available for experimentation are decreasing, so developing other ways of obtaining ESC are going to become even more important.
While this is all good news, it does little to present a valid argument for why research scientists should have been prohibited from using discarded embryos for the past 6 years (and will continue to face such prohibitions for the rest of the current presidency). This is a red herring.

My sincere apologies for the delayed response. I've been chipping away at this for a couple of weeks and I'm glad to have finally completed it. My apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors. Thank you for reading.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:45 AM   #110
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Embryonic Stem Cells Repair Human Heart: Problems with cell survival, functioning may have been solved in rat experiments.
Quote:
MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Experiments in rats show that human embryonic stem cells can repair damaged heart muscle, improve heart function and slow the progression of heart failure.
Link

I heard about this on the news yesterday and thought others might find the results of the study interesting.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:42 PM   #111
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3 scientists win Nobel Prize in medicine

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I thought this news might be worth it.

Link
Quote:
NEW YORK - As a child in Italy during World War II, he lived for years on the streets and in orphanages. Six decades later, as a scientist in the United States, Mario Capecchi joined two other researchers in winning the Nobel Prize in medicine.

Their work led to a powerful and widely used technique to manipulate genes in mice, which has helped scientists study heart disease, diabetes, cancer, cystic fibrosis and other diseases.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:55 AM   #112
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Bumping again:

US approves 1st stem cell study for spinal injury

Full Story

Quote:
Whatever its outcome, the study will mark a new chapter in the contentious history of embryonic stem cell research in the United States a field where debate spilled out of the laboratory long ago and into national politics.

While some overseas doctors claim to use human embryonic stem cells in their clinics, stem cell experts said they knew of no previous human studies that use such cells.

"It's a milestone and it's a breakthrough for the field" because Geron passed the safety hurdles for getting federal clearance to launch the study, said Ed Baetge, chief scientific officer of Novocell Inc. His company hopes to begin a similar human study for treating diabetes in a few years.
Stem cell testing on humans. Enjoy.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:32 PM   #113
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I've no idea why this is even being asked on a game forum...
But, as a scientist, my answer is simple;

1) Adult stem cell research has shown a few sucesses. Embryonic stem cell research has shown none. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

2) Adult stem cell research can be done without any ethical questions. Many people object to embryonic stem cell research for a variety of reason, many of which make sense (or at least merit thought). +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

3) Private investors are willing to invest in adult stem cell research. No private investors are willing to invest in embryonic stem cell research. The government does not need to be involved; the market has already decided. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

4) The poster of this web site errs grievously when he says scientists don't object to stem cell research, only religious people do. He is wrong, Wrong, WRONG. I work with several scientists who object to embryonic stem cell research on purely ethical (non-religious) grounds. And, of course, most scientists ARE religious people! The poster's mischaracterization of the discussion only confuses the issue. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

NOW, can we get back to playing Knights of the Old Republic!? I came here to play a game and get away from this for awhile.

Welcome to the forum, please refrain from questioning someone's honesty or integrity.- mimartin


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Last edited by mimartin; 02-03-2009 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #114
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Then you supposedly chose the wrong path when heading down here into Kavar's Corner, a place to discuss more serious issues not necessarily connected to KotOR that much. ;~



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Old 02-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volar the Healer View Post
I've no idea why this is even being asked on a game forum...
But, as a scientist, my answer is simple;

1) Adult stem cell research has shown a few sucesses. Embryonic stem cell research has shown none. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

2) Adult stem cell research can be done without any ethical questions. Many people object to embryonic stem cell research for a variety of reason, many of which make sense (or at least merit thought). +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

3) Private investors are willing to invest in adult stem cell research. No private investors are willing to invest in embryonic stem cell research. The government does not need to be involved; the market has already decided. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

4) The poster of this web site errs grievously when he says scientists don't object to stem cell research, only religious people do. He is wrong, Wrong, WRONG. I work with several scientists who object to embryonic stem cell research on purely ethical (non-religious) grounds. And, of course, most scientists ARE religious people! The poster's mischaracterization of the discussion only confuses the issue. +1 point adult stem cell research, 0 points embryonic stem cell research

NOW, can we get back to playing Knights of the Old Republic!? I came here to play a game and get away from this for awhile.

Welcome to the forum, please refrain from questioning someone's honesty or integrity.- mimartin

Also, you don't *have* to post or read things here if you want to get way from "this" for a while, so you could just stick to the KotOR section of the forums And welcome to the forums btw, I hope you enjoy your stay here -- j7



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Old 02-03-2009, 06:12 PM   #116
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Ray Jones and jonathen7 have both suggested I do not *have* to be on this thread. Both are correct.

Since my work in a National Laboratory gives me an insider's view into the latest scientific research, I often have the opportunity to correct the tremendous amount of misinformation and propoganda that is repeated in a variety of scientific fields. The current state of scientific research is far different than the media and some college professors say it is. But, being half Italian, my passion sometimes gets the best of me. For my outburst, I apologize. The four facts I quote are correct, but I should have expressed them in a kinder way.

I really did come here just for KotOR, and to the KotOR thread I shall go.

Clone trooper: "Sir, it's time for you to leave!"
Senator: "And so it is."


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No Jesus No Peace
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