Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Unfertilized Embryos?

If you follow science to any degree, you realize how incredibly ignorant most mainstream reporting on science is. The average reporter doesn't seem to know much more about science than he or she does about religion (One sense in which both fields are in the same boat), though despite this most reporters are sure that science somehow has all of tomorrows answers, though traditional religions at best have yesterday's answers.

So it's hardly surprising that one of CNN's blonde talking heads (Fox isn't alone in this affliction, it seems) had a gaffe on air in which she talked about how stem cell researches only wanted to use 'unfertilized embryos'.

However, it's significantly more disappointing to see someone from ScienceBlogs making the same mistake. "...using unfertilized and otherwise discarded embryos for research that might lead to life-saving cures." You can have an unfertilized egg, and you can have a discarded embryo, but having an unfertilized embryo is an impossibility by definition.

And people accuse us of not belonging to the 'reality based community'...


Joseph said...

It's common to blur the distinction between fertilization and implantation in discussions of "morning after" pills. The blurring is spreading.

Anonymous said...

I was astounded to hear former President Bill Clinton talk on CNN last night about embryonic stem cell research being done only on "unfertilized embryos"!
(an impossibility by definition).
Did he really mean what he said?

Anonymous said...

"In some species the action of an acid or a mechanical stimulation has been shown to trigger the division of the egg and the development of the embryo" Beauvoir.
Though this isn't necessarily relating to humans, it is a possibility.