Re: MEDICINE: parthenogenesis path to stem cells

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Nov 24 2001 - 17:00:58 MST

Sounds great!

Isn't there a risk of chromosome damage proportional to the amount of
rough handling the cells undergo? If so, this process is mainly going to
benefit women since the amount of damage to sperm cells is likely

On Sat, Nov 24, 2001 at 01:06:15PM -0800, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> This approach is *really* going to annoy various groups
> however because the approach generates stem cells via
> non-fertilization based routes which from at least some
> perspectives doesn't look like you are dealing with
> a "real" human being. Its going to push such groups
> more into the camp of having to say literally "any"
> cell with at least 23 chromosomes of human DNA can
> develop into a human so killing any cell so described
> is equivalent to killing a human being. On the slippery
> slope for sure!

And this also have the truly annoying effect of making people ask
dangerous questions about virgin births and so on. No doubt that is
going to cause reactions among certain christians.

People like Kass have a ready answer to all this: it doesn't matter what
the exact definition of human is, since all these technologies are
wrong. Why are they wrong? Because they fill Kass and his friends with
revulsion, and such a deep moral intuition can't be wrong, can it? Of
course, then Kass try to explain additional reasons (rationalizations)
why certain things shouldn't be done. I think his chief argument here is
that we see a commodization of life, and that leads to us undervaluing
the value of real human lives. It is interesting to ask if this kind of
slippery slope can't have the opposite effect: since humans can be
derived from nearly any kinds of cells (more or less), the important
things about being human does not hinge on cells. But Kass and many
other bioconservatives seem to hold a strangely genetically
deterministic view of the human being.

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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