Re: The Promise of Stem Cell Research

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 12:30:21 MDT

On Sat, Jul 21, 2001 at 03:38:29PM +1000, Damien Broderick wrote:
> I think we need to create a shift in the metaphysics of how living cells
> and processes are understood.

Definitely. I think Pierre Baldi had a good point in _The Shattered
Self_ that our metaphysical ideas about selfhood, individuality and
humanity have developed as special cases, mainly due to the particulars
of our evolutionary past. As new technologies and possibilities appear,
they have to be extended and re-evaluated.

> Alternatively, devise workarounds such as the
> idea I floated here the other day of abstracting one or more stem cells
> from a blastocyte prior to implanting it as a standard in vitro pregnancy
> (And how revealing and wonderful it is that such a *wild, sci-fi,
> futuristic, Frankenstein* phrase as `standard in vitro pregnancy' can be
> used unblushingly today!)

:-) As somebody in my quote file said:

Don't mind me ... I'm just sitting here marvelling at the thought that
we live in a world where a respectable scientist can use a phrase like
"third-quantized baby universe field operator" in cold blood :-)

Anyway, I wonder what happens if adult stem cell research advances to
the point where they can become totally totiopotent, and then in
principle the cells could also be made to grow into a viable blastocyst.
Are these cells then equivalent to humans in the eyes of the pro-lifers?

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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