Cloning Lies

October 24, 2007

In August, I noted that an effort is being made in Missouri to ban some types of embryonic stem cell research. The move is an attempt to partially undo an amendment passed last year that protected embryonic stem cell research in the state. In my book (For God's Sake, Shut Up!) I dealt with problems in the rhetoric during the debate over last year's amendment. I exposed the opponents of the research for lying, which I found especially troubling since the individuals in question were Christian leaders.

Unfortunately, the lies keep coming. Cloning Without Cures (CWC), the group behind the new measure, recently complained about the ballot language that Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan approved to explain their proposal. It mentions that the new amendment would "repeal the current ban on human cloning or attempted cloning." The CWC group complained that there is no such ban but that human cloning is currently allowed in Missouri. Throughout the debate last year over Amendment 2, those against embryonic stem cell research kept claiming that the amendment would allow the same procedure that resulted in the cloned sheep Dolly. They are repeating that claim. Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council stated:

The ballot language she issued for Amendment 2 said the measure would ban human cloning. This ignored the fact that the fine print created a constitutional right to do somatic cell nuclear transfer, which is the scientific name for cloning and is the same procedure used to clone Dolly the sheep.
The problem is that if Dolly's scientists had followed the procedure allowed under Amendment 2, they would never been able to create Dolly. There is some overlap but it cannot be called "the same procedure." The amendment, for instance, bans the implementation of the embryo into the womb and thus Dolly would have never happened using the procedure allowed currently in Missouri.

It is one thing to disagree with a certain type of research. It is another thing, however, to lie about it. Christians are supposed to set a better example than that. Our speech should be above reproach. It is sad to see some Christians cloning their lies from last year.