“Just because we don’t regenerate doesn’t mean that we can’t regenerate. It just means that we don’t.”
Public Broadcasting System’s PBS NewsHour had a segment on regenerative medicine, reviewing the very impressive progress we’ve made in the last few years. The mere fact that PBS and scientists will state these facts in public is almost as huge, in terms of world view change, as the fact that the matrices plus stem cells work.
I was at a American Bioethics and Humanities annual convention when Yamanaka’s induced pluripotent cells first made the news. The Powers That Be for that group were angry and refused to allow any hopeful conversation that the iPSC’s would replace the need for research on destructive, embryonic stem cells. Damage control included scolding world authority figures *on* the panels for daring to bring up the subject in any serious way.
I’m convinced that the whole embryonic stem cell mess was more about the need to prove that abortion is wonderful and that there is no Creator. In fact, that’s exactly what one of the Clinton/Obama “bioethicists,” Robin Alta Charo, said about cloning in at least one meeting I attended in July, 2006. (More, here.)
Ms. Charo who introduces morality and her anti-religion bias into the conversation, by making it a matter of personal opinion whether or not embryonic humans are humans. The species of human embryos is a matter of taxonomy, since it’s scientifically documented and verifiable that the offspring of a given species are members of that species. Discrimination between the amount of protection given to some members of a species is much more a “religious” or moral decision than whether or not a given individual is a member of that species.
I’ve said it many times before, but: Break the egg of a bird, turtle, or lizard on the Endangered species list and it won’t matter that the animal couldn’t survive or was an embryo or fetus. The Feds know that an embryonic pelican is a pelican. We don’t have the same protection for our own children of tomorrow that we give lesser species, although we are the only species having the conversation in the first place.