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Stem Cell Science And Religious Belief



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Stem Cell Science And Religious Belief

To the Editor:

I would first like to thank The Newtown Bee for providing a remarkably good community forum in which citizens of Newtown can express their views no matter how much we may laugh at them in the privacy of our own home.

I would also like to commend Martin Blanco for his well-thought-out suggested reading list for Mr Bush this summer.

I am pleased that Nancy Johnson is supporting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The belief that a microscopic collection of cells four–five days old called a blastocyst is a human life is a religious belief, it has no basis in science. For Mr Bush to decide public policy on the basis of his personal religious belief is a flagrant sidestepping of the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

 I am quite confident that if put to a vote Mr Bush and his associates may be able to misinform the public enough to win. I am also quite confident that the great majority of those who support a ban on stem cell research including Mr Bush himself do not understand the science involved.

The center of the blastocyst is the inner cell mass composed of about 30 cells. It is this mass of cells that is removed and cultured in the hopes of growing a colony of stem cells. These embryonic stem cells are theorized by scientists to have great potential in fighting many diseases and conditions that other types of stem cell do not. Embryonic stem cell research is a unique opportunity to discover some tiny fraction of the essence of humanness.

I do not share Mr Bush’s religious views. I do not share his scientific views. He is a man of great faith. I have a basic understanding of science. I also suffer from a spinal cord injury. I have a deal for you Mr Bush and for all those who want to restrain science in the name of your religion: you keep your nose out of my spine, I’ll keep my nose out of your church.

Robert Karnoff

66 Great Ring Road, Sandy Hook                                  June 29, 2005

Comments are open. Be civil.

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