I never ceased to be amazed at all of the scientific inaccuracies and spin the mainstream media is responsible for when reporting on embryonic stem cell research and cloning (and to a lesser extent, abortion).

This morning I read an article on This Is London about English researchers who are seeking to clone human embryos using rabbit eggs rather than human eggs. If successful, the resulting embryo would be a chimera: part human, part non-human. In this case it would be 99.9% human, .1% rabbit.

Not to make light of the moral issues involved with creating chimeras, but I can’t help to laugh when I think about what would happen if one of these cloned embryos was allowed to be born (rather than killing it within 14 days). Can you imagine what little Johnny would say in his 4th grade class when he has to research and report on his genealogy: “I am part English, part Italian, and part rabbit. My mom is the Cadbury bunny, my grandpa is Peter Cottontail, and my great grandpa is the Easter Bunny!

Humor aside, while creating chimeras has been going on for some time now, I find it odd how cavalier the reporting on it is. It is reported on as if there are no qualms about joining human and animals together. Maybe it’s because there is usually so little animal DNA involved (or the converse). The scary thing is that eventually scientists will start mixing more and more genetic info together so that it will be difficult to distinguish whether the chimera is human, animal, or something else. Right now scientists are simply getting the public comfortable with the practice in principle. Then, they will use the boil-the-frog strategy in which they will gradually and incrementally increase the mixing of DNA until they are finally able to achieve the levels of genetic mixing they really desire. The process will be slow enough that we—like a frog—won’t realize we’re being boiled in a pot of water.

But I digress. The reason I bring this article to your attention is to highlight what the article did not say, and the spin on what they did say.

What they did not say is that what these scientists want to do is clone human beings. As a general rule scientists and the media go to great lengths to avoid the “C” word, even if it means being intellectually dishonest and redefining established scientific definitions. The author did admit that what is being produced is an embryo (which is more than American media will usually admit), but s/he would not say how that embryo is being produced. S/he leaves it as the vague “create embryos.”

The article ends with these words: “The embryos will be allowed to grow for only 14 days, at which point they will be cells smaller than a pinhead.” Apart from the fact that this sentence seems to stop short of an actual finish by failing to note that they will be killed by the 14th day, and apart from the fact that this is a strange way to end an article, what is said is a common liberal tactic to devalue the life of that which they advocate killing. Why else comment on the size of the embryo? The presupposition is that since they are so small, they do not have value. How being small deprives one of value is never explained or defended. It is merely assumed, and merely asserted. The next time you hear somebody repeat this line, a good question to ask them is Exactly what size does one have to be before they become valuable and obtain the right to life? Chirp chirp chirp chirp.