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Cloning Policy and Misinformation
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So the U.N. has put forth a ban on cloning. Here's the story in Wired.

It says:

The United Nations has called on countries to ban all forms of human cloning "incompatable with human dignity." The American religious right claims victory, but others say the declaration is the result of political maneuvering influenced by pressure from the United States.

Yes, that's what they say.

Speaking about our backward religious policies toward science:

"In the scientific community in other countries we are ridiculed," said Kurt Gottfried, chairman of the Union of Concerned Scientists, in an interview. "It has certainly lowered our prestige across the world."


As I've mentioned before, when it comes to human cloning...

France has banned it.

Italy has banned it.

Russia has banned it.

According to this site, in answer to the question, "Is it legal to create an embryo purely for medical research?", the answer for these European countreis is:

Denmark: No.

Finland: No.

Germany: No.

Portugal: No.

Spain: No.

Britain: Yes.

The British researcher who cloned Dolly has been granted a license to clone human embryos, but among European countries, this is the exception.

So who are these countries that are ridiculing our position?

For the record, I agree with Britain's position. And there are indications that countries (such as South Korea and Britain) that oppose the UN ban will continue with the research in spite of the ban, even if it passes. Unilateralists!

More from Gottfried:

The United States is becoming notorious in the eyes of other countries, Gottfried said, as a nation that has allowed ideology to become a premise for science. That perception is sure to have harmful repercussions on the American science community, he said. Scientists are already leaving the country and graduate students are less uninterested in studying in the United States, he said.

This is nonsense. Where are they gonna go? Not France. I seriously doubt we're gonna have a brain drain to Britain over human cloning policy.

Anyway, though I disagree with Bush on this one, I'm pretty sick and tired of his administration being painted with the fundamentalist brush. The technology is controversial, and we happen to have the same position as most of the countries in Europe. So are Chirac and Schroeder redneck Bible-thumpers too?

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