Friday, June 29, 2007

Rationalizing Life Away

Dr. Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute, whose letter to the editor appeared in Monday’s edition of our local daily, and must have been sent to dozens of other papers, either is badly confused or it splitting hairs to rationalize away the clear ethical implications of the type of stem cell research that President Bush has vetoed, and that Lockitch favors. (Photo: Embryo at 4 weeks)

Lickitch’s claim that “an embryo is a potential, not an actual, human being, just as canvas is a potential, not an actual, work of art” is a faulty comparison.

It is a primitive cluster of cells,” Lockitch tells us, “which is no more unethical to destroy than the cells that make up one’s appendix.” This is where it becomes evident that Lockitch is confused, or splitting hairs. You see Dr., the appendix does not have the potential to become a human being, as does the embryo, which anyone who has had a couple of biology classes knows is the first stage in the process of creating a human being. To produce the stem cells that Lockitch wants to experiment with, you first must create an embryo, and that is accomplished by uniting a human sperm cell with a human egg, which is how babies are created. In fact, up until fairly recently the only way to produce an embryo was for one human male and one human female to do so together. Only after beginning the process of creating a living human being can you “harvest” the stem cells for research, which of course kills the fetus.

It is clear that the Creator (if you believe in a Creator) or the evolutionary process (if you prefer the scientific explanation) developed the uniting of sperm and egg for the clear and singular purpose of procreation of the species.

Lockitch apparently believes that taking a process that was designed by our Creator, or that evolved through millions of years of evolutionary progress, to produce offspring and then moving it into a laboratory somehow changes the purpose for which sperm and egg exist, and for which the process of uniting of sperm and egg exists. But whether you believe that God created the process of birth, or whether you believe that the process evolved along with the rest of the universe, you can’t deny the plain truth that the uniting of sperm and egg had one purpose and one purpose only, until science came along and changed the rules.

The only rationale for starting a process that was designed or evolved expressly to create a life, and to then destroy it, is that you do not believe life is something special to be revered and protected.

What an odd circumstance for a scientist to willingly destroy life on the premise of trying to find ways to save lives.

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