Tuesday, January 29, 2002


A hit piece from Chirs Mooney in the American Prospect on Friends of the Earth, and environmental group that has come out against human cloning. A few highlights:

Many on the right, for example, will oppose various forms of reproductive technology out of religiously grounded moral principles; many on the left, meanwhile, will wind up in the same place because of their reflexive distrust of "corporate" science. As a result, those in the relative center can find themselves besieged from both sides

Oh, pity the poor centrists -- "besieged" from both sides as they are. And they never do anything to try to paint their opposition as extremists or out of touch.

See if you can spot the deception in this sentence:

The vast majority of Americans oppose reproductive cloning, but therapeutic cloning has the overwhelming support of the scientific community because of its potential health benefits.

Yes, Monney transitions smoothly from the public's opposition to reporoductive cloning to scientists' support for theraputic cloning. Presumably Mooney is hoping the reader will gloss over the sentence and conclude that most Americans support theraputic cloning.

Mooney goes on the trash the "embryo-worshipping religious right," which is at best an unfair characterization of those who oppose cloning. He repeats the charge that opposition to cloning is ultimately based on aesthetics, forgetting that opposition to almost anything is ultimately based on aesthetics. He labels concern for where cloning will lead as "science-fiction" speculation.

It's a useful dodge -- any possible benefits to cloning are real and would help people suffering today. Any possible repurcussions are wild imaginings that would never harm anyone, except maybe a "tiny cluster of cells."

If seomeone truly believes that embryos aren't human life, and that it won't lead to more disturbing uses of technology, I can accpet that. I will strenuously disagree, but I will accept that. What I will not accept is name-calling and efforts to portray all cloning opponents as know-nothing religious zealots who want people to suffer and oppose all scientific progress and want to go back to the days of burning people who say the earth revolves around the sun.

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