LifeNews - Admissions from one of the top embryonic stem cell research teams in the world that they falsified their research has the world scientific community worried that it has tainted the already controversial field of embryonic stem cell research. Pro-life groups say the scandal proves what they've said all along that the focus should be placed on adult stem cells.
I appreciate the ongoing reports from LifeNews related to the South Korean embryonic stem cell scandal and am pleased that the far reaching and exploitive claims of some ESC research proponents are being unmasked.
But while the reports of faked data and illegitimate results have cast a dark shadow on ESC research, the emphasis of criticism and debate needs to center on the intrinsic value of human life and not on the low probability of ESC success. The latter is a pragmatic argument that places the life of the embryo in a position that is subservient to the potential benefit his or her destruction will provide others. Conversely, the inherent dignity of human life impales any argument supporting pragmatism as a basis for bioethics.
Yes, ESC research hype is being exposed and resources will most likely be shifted to endeavors that may actually help people. However, it is a poor reflection on our culture that a scientist had to commit fraud for ESC supporters to lose enthusiasm for the destruction of human life.
Update: Per Steve's request below, LifeNews.com has *always* said the fact that embryonic stem cell research involves the desruction of human life is a problem. The point of this post is not to criticize pro-life media outlets but rather to encourage readers to maintain a clear perspective on the issue.
Image: *Adult* Neural Stem Cells residing in the hippocampus and in a region in the forebrain called the subventricular zone can generate new neurons.