Well, of course drumming bronze-age superstitions into young children’s heads via taxpayer-funded schools is wrong, but language like that is a little harsh, surely?
No, I’m just kidding! That’s not what he’s talking about at all:
What I am speaking of is the process whereby scientists create an embryo containing a mixture of animal and human genetic material.
With full might of government endorsement, Gordon Brown is promoting a bill that will allow the creation of animal-human hybrid embryos.
Yes, it’s curious that the Prime Minister should be doing something with government endorsement, but that’s the kind of constitutional mayhem we should be used to from new Labour.
What I particularly love about the fuming against “a mixture of animal and human genetic material” is that different animal species – including humans – share vast amounts of DNA. Genetically, I am mostly chimpanzee; you are mostly dog; Cardinal O’Brien is mostly rat.
This is the sort of thing that happens when you’re an evolved species rather than being the inbred descendants of a man made out of “the dust of the ground” and a woman then created out of genetic material from one of that man’s ribs and please don’t ask where the extra X chromosome came from.
The moral outrage is the outrage of a moral system that insists humanity should know its place and precious little more, and that esteems the sanctity of a microscopic few-days-old bundle of cells over the suffering of people with serious conditions who could benefit from new research.
(For more information, see the HFEA, which has details of the science, the history, international perspectives, and UK opinion polling and deliberative consultations.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to prepare myself to stuff my face in celebration of the fact that Jesus was executed by being sealed inside a giant chocolate ovoid, only to burrow out of it three days later in the reborn form of a bunny rabbit.
[Update: Nadine Dorries, anti-abortion Tory MP and sinister reactionary fact-blind idiot, has echoed the Archbisop:
It is a complete mystery to those who know that other methods of research are now available to develop treatments for those diseases which will supposedly benefit from cloning embryos. …
Like most things which pop up in Parliament and appear to have no rhyme or reason to them, just follow the money and all becomes clear: the Bill is a win for the biotechnology industry and lobby groups.
Ah, so it’s all about
A different view comes from a coalition of medical research charities:
The Bill will allow new avenues of scientific inquiry to be pursued which could greatly increase our understanding of serious medical conditions affecting millions of people throughout the UK, and ultimately lead to new treatments, at a time when such work is being significantly hampered by a shortage of donated human eggs available for medical research.
But, of course, the views of these “lobby groups” are, as Dorries reminds us, biased and unreliable. It is utterly irrefutable that medical research charities want to pursue pointlessly unproductive lines of research, so that they have nothing to show from their work. It’s completely beyond dispute that they want to publicly align themselves with a controversial technique so that they can attract criticism and risk losing donors.
Let's hope reason and belief triumph by third reading.
Belief? Belief? If she had an ounce of courage she’d say ‘faith’. Two ounces for ‘dogma’ and three for ‘ignorant fear’.]