Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So my Bioethics prof Leon Kass asked me the timeless question about subjectivity and standards of right and wrong, and expects me to answer: "Can you distinguish between objectionable and not objectionable use [of cloning], if the decision over who has the right to clone is merely subjective? How can there be a standard if the standards are subjective?" How can I answer this intelligently? Relativism, materialism, and determinism, while I think they're correct and make intuitive sense (up to a point), are pretty hard to argue. I've long since concluded that believing in God and an objective morality are merely cop-out assumptions to make debates convenient.

A random trippy observation, on pg 61 of "Human Cloning and Human Dignity" by Leon Kass, there is mention of preliminary results that I found, quite frankly, astounding: "As if things were not difficult enough, a further complication may soon arise, following reports of successful SCNT experiments in which human somatic cells were fused with animal oocytes, and the resulting product grown to the blastocyst stage of development. What are we to call the product of this kind of cloning? And what kind of species identity does it have? According to advance reports, the stem cells extracted from the blastocyst stage were demonstrated to be human stem cells (somewhat surprisingly, the mitochondria were also human in genotype)." How is this possible? I thought there were still 13 genes encoding the human mitochondria that were located only in the mitochondria themselves? How could animal mitochondria obtain and integrate these genes? I must know if the paper for this study been published yet, if anyone is aware of it, please send the link to me? I can't help but think these results must be a mistake, but if they aren't, the implications are staggering.


At 10:54:00 AM , Blogger Nicholas LeCompte said...

Ha! Looks like the blog-finder just became the blog-findee! The tables are turned, Miss Mackey.

Incidentally, the only rational explanation of how the animal mitochondria could have encoded human mitochondrial genes is that God created all life on Earth, and now He's a bit annoyed at biologists for continuing to deny Him. Therefore, He's screwing with their experiments:

Molecular biologist: The hell?
God: Gotcha! Hee hee hee!

Also, why is it that when I go to your blog, Firefox insists on trying to print the page?


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