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What is your opinion on Embryonic Stem Cell Research?

I think Embryonic cells have more potential than adult stem cells, and this is an exciting field of study considering the many degenerative diseases out there. But we need more funding.

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They most definitely have more potential than adult stem cells- the comparison isn't even close. There are hundreds of debilitating diseases that could be ameliorated with stem cell research, particularly embryonic.

The opponents of this research are often misinformed- they envision people selling embryos for research. However, embryonic stem cells are obtained from embryos that would have been DISCARDED; often these are the product of in vitro fertilization techniques. During in vitro, many embryos are created, five to twelve implanted, just for the hope of getting one that works. The others are discarded. What a waste! It seems many who claim ethical opposition would rather have embryos thrown away than help actual living humans. These are not embryos that would ever grow to a fetus- they aren't "saving babies" by preventing this potentially game-changing research.

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Stellar answer. It's what I've come to expect from you.
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Aah, something we see eye to eye on Skept. Great answer.
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we definitely need more funding, the U.S. is so far behind Germany in this area imparticular.

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I agree. Molecular biology is prohibitively expensive.
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At the risk of offending or raising bad memories from the past, it is important to remember history. There was another time when Germany was ahead of the rest of the world in bio experimentation when they lost sight of the ethics So think hard about this and go beyond the utilitarian ideas.
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They aren't the only ones performing this research- pretty much everyone but us is.
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That saddens me skep. I'm actually on board with governmental funding.. We need it. Apart from the money raised by my bake sale. (As someone suggested.) :)
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There may be solutions to serious diseases but we as an ethical society would chose not to use the solution so it is not that simple. Suppose a person has a seriously degenerated heart. And suppose you have an exact match for that person. And suppose that person is important and someone makes the argument that he needs your heart more than you do. Or perhaps you are old and they are young and have more years to live. That would be outrageous even though it would actually be a solution to the disease problem. So the ethical consideration must be taken into account. If the embryo is a life then it would be considered unethical to take their life to prolong another life. You need to recognize that this is the fundamental issue. Adult stem cells do not have that complication.

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There are ethics at play here. I recognize that fact. But we are talking about a blastocyst which is at most, from 50 to 150 cells.
You make a good point, but I asked the question because I do not believe adult stem cells to be as useful..
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I'm not sure about your assumption about Adult Stem Cells HaiMai, but think again about the ethical argument I am offering for your consideration. If your heart is better than some heart pump, you would not agree to that solution. As for the number of cells, it is irrelevant. You presently have many more cells than a newborn and you are more independent than a newborn. There is a danger when using terms for the embryo that sound like they are not life. Don't lose sight of the fundamental question... is the embryo life? One other consideration. In every case, when we are unsure of life, we always opt for assumption that there is life. If there is an auto accident and a pedestrian is hit and lay bleeding on the street, we don't just assume they are dead but go to extreme to be sure.
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I'll play devil's advocate here. The embryos used in this research are donated from IVF. (In-Vitro Fertilization). Embryos that are not used are stored for ten years then destroyed. We are already mixing up life in a test tube and destroying what is not useful. Since that is the case, why not use them to save lives?
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This is a straw man argument. The difference from stem cells gathered from embryos and the organs harvested from living adults with families is light years.
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...Why?
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@Hai. Back to the fundamental question. Is the embryo life? If there is less utilitarian life such as what you are describing as "doomed" embryos, for example humans who are considered "worthless" and having no useful reason for existing for society, we still do not see it as ethically right to take their organs. And truthis argument of an adult with family also does not play. There are many non adult, non family people that we are not free to harvest from.
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In your analogy, One has nothing to do with the other, I'm afraid. This is a cell cluster, a blastocyst. There is no consciousness, no family, and in my view, no ethical impairment..
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You can reach that conclusion if you wish, but you must be sure. The cell culster at 3 weeks has a beating heart. I'm just saying that the ethic we practice is that you have no right to take another life. So you have to decide for sure when that life begins. As for your consciousness argument, have you ever seen the movie or read the book COMA. The story is that in order to provide a supply of organs for transplant, they make people who go for simple operations, go into a coma and then keep them alive until they need the organs. Of course again, we think this is outrageous but your argument is if there is no consciousness so we harvest? Anyway, when it comes to embryos and let's say even preborn or newborns, it is hard to know what is consciousness. You don't recall anything from that period of your life. Bottom line is you can justify anything if you conclude it is not "really" life.
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I think we ignore where this research could take us at our peril. The hundreds of thousands of lives that could be changed is simply to hard to ignore when you consider that we are doing no killing. These are cells that are already slated for destruction. If I may, do you consider the women who do not use all of the embryos (none use them all, and those are eventually destroyed) killers?
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misterg: Embryonic stem cell research uses IN VITRO embryos. These are embryos grown in TEST TUBES to be implanted into a womb later. The leftovers would just be thrown away anyway, so why not use them to help people and save lives?
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An embryo does not have a heart at three weeks. Fetuses don't develop the brain structure for consciousness until around 28 weeks gestation at the earliest- long after the abortion limit and VERY long after blastocyst stage.

The embryos used in stem cell research are IVF remnants- they would be discarded anyway. There is ZERO chance those embryos will ever become even a fetus much less a baby.

Apparently the opponents of this research would rather have these embryos in the garbage than saving lives- those are the only two options.



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You shouldn't let religious propaganda cloud your knowledge of facts and stifle your ethical intelligence misterg. I would rethink my position, if I discovered I had been lied to.
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I may have over-characterized the fact that there is a detectible beating and beginnings of heart at around 3 weeks. The fact is that the embryo is fully complete and has all it needs to develop into a newborn. It is strictly a matter of care and nurture. I understand your point. Listen, if it was that clear that this blastocyst is a clump of cells, then there would be no reason to ask the question. The issue, like it or not is about the definition of when life begins. If you hold that it is after birth, or after some point of consciousness, or viability or some other arbitrary definition, then you will justify both the creation of excess and unusable embryos that will be discarded and their dissection and harvesting. But if you hold that life begins at conception then you would be more sensitive to the creation of such embryos that are in excess excess and will be discarded. It is as simple as that. The simple ethical challenge is just because we can do something does not make it right. And just because the end result may seem good, it does not make it necessarily right. See my examples of harvesting people in a coma, etc. To close your eyes to the question of the beginning and value of all human life, even the most vulnerable, is to take a step on a slippery slope and that is why we best tread carefully with such questions in my view.
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Thanks for your concern Truthis. I'm not spreading religion here but I think we are discussing ethics. Is it right to harvest from embryos. I think even the no-God people hold to there being some things that are right and some things are wrong. Not just that you think they are wrong for you, but you also think they are wrong for me as well as for you and you think I also ought not do them. And that's where this fits in I think that view is shared by no-God folks. But you may be treading on the dangerous ground described by Dostoyevsky. "Without God, all things are possible".
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But it IS a clump of cells.. As for the sensitivity, it is the women who use IVF therapy that are doing it, not researchers. Can you really deny how desperately this research is needed, including the funding?
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I'm wondering.. Do you disagree with IVF? If not, then you should have no problem with ESCR.
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Hai, a guy can offer me a genuine ROLEX for twenty bucks. I can fully know it is stolen and I can say, "Well, I did not steal it" and give him the twenty, and hey, I got myself a ROLEX. OK with that? OK if it was your ROLEX? I think you get the point.
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I do. But I don't think the analogy works here. The fact is, IVF is not going away, and if women choose to donate what they themselves have created for their own benefit, I see no ethical impairment. Misterg, do you agree with IVF?
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Hai, I think IVF is OK. We have a real case of it within my family and circle of friends. There is a question that is raised during the process about how many embryos to create. They also implant more than one and then they can use a process of selective reduction to eliminate "extras". If you hold to the fact that it is life you are dealing with in this process, you approach it in a whole different way and less utilitarian. You approach it with the honor due to the life you are dealing with.
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I'm glad to hear that. But how do you approach the "life" (if you view it as such) that is discarded or destroyed. Do you see what I mean?
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Hai, the argument that it is not going away is not the proof that it is right ethically. There are many things that persist for thousands of years and yet we would agree they are wrong. Regarding what the woman does, I think we can agree that she does not have rights over the life she creates. That life has rights of its own. So I go back to the question when did that life begin.
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Yes, I do see what you mean. I think you saw that dilemma in the position taken by George Bush who I believe holds to the position that life begins at conception. He supported your position that the embryos were going to be destroyed anyway so why not do research. And that makes some sense to me except that it leads to a practice without end and so you have to decide where you think life began and defend accordingly. Just think for a moment if it is true that the embryo is a life that cannot defend itself. There must be some voices who will speak out. For those who think it is not a life until birth, this sounds absurd, but I go back to my point that there is sufficient doubt that justifies caution no matter your opinion about the beginning of life.
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I think you are an interesting person, so please don't take this the wrong way, but let's go back to the fact that you agree with IVF. Since you agree, you also implicitly agree that a woman has rights over what she creates and therefore discards/destroys. I'm glad I'm getting a sensible discourse from you, rather than someone screaming "abortion."
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The components that constitute life is a discussion among biologists right now. But the discussion goes much deeper when you understand biochemistry a little. After a thorough analysis I've considered that "life" itself maybe an illusion and just a margin of a biochemical process denoted for religious reasons. If the hypothesis floats, we may see big changes.
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Ditto for you. Thanks for civil discussion even if we disagree on some things. I would say, and this is just my view, that the egg is hers and the sperm is his, and once we embark on a procedure, then there may be legal statements of ownership but they are not trying to address the ethics. I really haven't studied the latest but a few years ago I think the adult stem cell process was actually yielding some practical things while embryonic was still in research stage. That may not be enough to make you willing to shut the door on embryonic, but you might find it interesting to research.
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Your welcome.
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TIO, can you expound? Sounds intriguing.
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Ahh! Auto-Correct.. Honestly. -you're-
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Well haimai, it's about as incomplete as its sounds and like I said its under discussion among biologists. I could start by saying we have fundamental conception of what life and unlife is. When you glide down the gradient of what life is towards unlife and up towards life from unlife in, for example, the biochemical and biological process of evolution you expect to find a meeting point by which "this is when unlife turns into life." The problem is that it is not that simple. We see some type of intermediates that walk the line and are intuitively unable to classify. This is where my questions arose. If we cannot tell the difference from unlife to life in this section, have we properly classified from the very beginning? Evolution is a naturally occurring process that starts with nothing more than the basic building blocks of everything. Why is it important to distinguish a section of this gradient sliding upwards if we cannot actually define just when "life" occurs. It's just a process. A change occurring over time. Naturally, I still have a lot to think about and drawing any conclusions would be premature but it does call into question the importance of distinguishing these concepts when after all- the title is nearly or perhaps arbitrary.
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Thank you for writing this in a way I grasp. This is interesting, and I think you are correct- given what you wrote, it seems subjective.
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That's basically what I'm saying. I think understanding science in this way will be greatly helpful. Even just on this topic we would be able to sidestep religious objections like "life begins at conception." We know that these claims are malevolent when you understand The science behind abortion and IVF. Being stifled by semantic word play is hardly a productive cause for scientific resources and the longer we wait to take action on things that should be non issue the more suffering we will have. Of coarse without first confirming an assumption like this using the scientific method we have no right to say "life does not exist." I have strong feelings about finding the answers we seek though, I've had a suspicion that the way we've been doing science may have had a few corruptions in data due to religious bias even when considering some of the greatest minds science has known. I think people have been getting confused on some concepts that have no business getting confused over.
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And you are welcome, I don't get a great deal more technical myself so don't presume you are by any means you lack understanding. If you are referring to my explicit style of writing I just prefer to make very clear just what I mean so I don't have to repeat myself.
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1) Frankly, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear about data corruption the way you describe it. (But I won't.) Your post is discerning. I agree.

2) Because of my interest in the topic, some would try and show off and flood me with technical jargon I may not understand. You would not and did not and took the time to satisfy my curiosity. Which I appreciate, believe me.
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Good. I just speak about what I know of. I'm only so far in the biology series but I've noticed some subtle manipulation by my professor who is expressly Christian and teaching the controversy. It's made me begin to question not only his methods but the science too. Not because he is theist but because he has done sly things with word play I recognized right away from seeing it on ask so much. I like him but I'm watching him like a hawk. I won't say my grades have suffered but I'm rather alert now in his class but perhaps focusing a little on things I should not.

I am happy to satisfy your curiosity with what I have to offer haha
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Lol. Cute. ;)

Religion is SO insidious. It creeps up in all aspects of life. Like a nasty fungus..

I cannot believe you are only, what 18-19? I thought you probably worked in a lab! Wow, considering you are young that makes your writing even more impressive. I've talked to guys on here your age, and they do not write like you.
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I'm a late bloomer in acedemia and i should hope not, I'm 25 now. I'm flattered anyway, i know by now i am a talented writer. It took me about a 6 year drug binge to figure out I wanted to make money instead of burn out til I die. No i don't work in a lab haha but you are not the first to compliment my writing. Ive always got high marks in english- even when my trademark was expressed apathy. Communication is my strong point so it rolls of the tongue pretty easy for me. I'm working for my PHD as a pharmacist but the salary is starting to look a little lack luster so I may change majors.
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Be flattered. A clumsy compliment, but it was one, just the same.
Ha! You are not the only one. I ran from my problems and looked for the answers at the bottom of a bottle (and other things). Took me a while to figure out that sexiness will fade, and It's much better to have substance and education.

I'm totally saving my fungus comment for Betty and James. Fits to a T. :)
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Ya, I wasn't stoked on the whole growing up thing but I knew I had to do it. The bottle and the other bottle and the other bottle and whatever mind blowing chemicals I could get my paws on. Close calls with STDs and some how I managed to get out with no traffic violation tickets. So you must be schooling as well?

I noticed it and probably thought of one of them haha I think James may have been black balled though. He was hostile in everyone's face and like a child troll.
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James IS a fungus. Jock itch. Inflammatory and hard to shake..

Will be again. I'm trying to work things out right now to go back for my master's. it's no fun being another writer-artist SLASH bartender. Yay. :(
I try to play it like I'm misunderstood.. Dumbasses buy it, but no one else does. It doesn't help when people pressure you to breed.. What is THAT action?! They can save that.
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Hi Hai and Obvious . Geez that was fun reading throughout this whole thread. Yes, James HAS been black balled, even by the theists. Hapoy Valentines Day to both of you! Phone is dying so good night!
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Ha. Well we aim to entertain around here.

Thanks, Sincerity. Same to you! :)

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laughing

You seem like you'd be a bartender if you didn't get educated, though, you look a little like a close friend of mine who is a stripper as well haha not saying you would do that but the resemblance is striking.
Well the truth is you are misunderstood, all atheist are for the most part. I know that game as well though. Do you get lots of people wanting to breed with you? lmao or is it like family pressure?
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hi sincerity, we are lively people so that is to be expected. happy VD. Yea I just saw someone who is admittedly religious flaming James. I wonder if it gets lonely in his castle in the clouds- then again, because he is the way he is I just don't care if he is.
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I don't want to pry hai but I enjoy chatting with you haha
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-She's laughing, so stop it, people are looking at her like she's nuts. :) -
Yes of course men want to "breed" with me, even though I don't strip (but maybe on request); it's like family and friends.. Look at my shining beautiful genius baby, when are YOU having one? Uggh.
When you write yea, it cracks me up.. Like you like bible speak. As in: Yea, though shalt not covet strippers in thine heart, lest ye contract drippy VD. So sayeth thy lord and Trojan..
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You aren't prying. You make me laugh. I like talking to you as well.
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Yea, they were just looking at me like I was nuts laughing at this. That's dope you might strip on request, girls with courage are sexy ;)
I'm not totally motivated to have kids either but my friend keeps showing me hers as well. I don't have that pressure cuz I think its a girl thing and some guys will say they want to breed with you just to "breed" with you. It soiunds like a bad line to use on you.
lol yea I spend too much time around these scripture parrots and I start talking like I'm a first century scholar.
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Ok, cool. :)
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Lmao. Yes, I like to entertain requests whenever possible, and if a first century scholar, such as yourself, put such a request to me in Aramaic or the original Greek, I'd be likely to acquiesce based on sheer freakiness alone.
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Funny you should say so, I'm taking Aramaic next term. I don't know if my school teaches that but I might have move a couple states over to get the class. It's been my passion to learn Aramaic since... 45 seconds ago.
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I encourage your pursuit of your passion. I too, have a passion for all things Aramaic, and am thinking of brushing up my skill set based upon expressed interest in same.
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This language sounds hot, I'm totally stoked to get my mouth moving in new ways.
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Lol

It IS. And you should be.. Practice makes perfect and you want to strive to receive an A in linguistics from me. ;)

You are the master of the double entendre, aren't you?
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I again today was inspired by you, I am not naturally that clever. It's all done for that A or B or where ever you like it ;)
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I don't like it, so I don't want to be forced to pay for it, if you think it needs more funding then you can raise funds how ever you want, I just don't want any part of it,..that's my opinion

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Why don't you like it?
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But if your wife is laying in a hospital bed and you know the only procedure that would help is one facilitated by the use of these methods you won't turn it down. What's that called? Oh yea hypocracy.
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I gave my opinion, and I stand by it, I have my beliefs, and respect yours
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Hey, I respect your opinion.
I just want to hear your opinion of why.
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Because, it would give a moral justification for abortion, and I don't support abortion, that's my stance on this issue
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Oh, alright.
Would you mind me asking if you are religious?
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I'm a Non Denominational Christian...but before I was a Christian when I was a teen I had girlfriend that I got pregnant and her family made her have an abortion, and I've been against it way before I was a Christian
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It has NOTHING to do with abortion. At all. It is derived from IVF. So you might want to tell people they cannot get those treatments because it is "abortion."
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It has nothing to do with abortion. At all. This is a misconception. This research stems from IVF therapy. Please get your facts straight.
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You asked my opinion, I gave it to you, not looking to argue, I just want no part of it, I don't want to be taxed for something I don't want or support, I'll tell you what, ill work on getting my facts straight, and you work on a bake sale or something to fund the research you want, just stay away from my wallet
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I'm looking for new information on this issue, you should too. The abortion thing is way off. And there is certainly nothing wrong with stating your opinion. Thats what i asked for. I merely corrected a wrong fact.
RE: My Bake Sale. I may just do this, this is great. Plus, if I were ever to get Parkinson's, I'll know I've done my part. :)
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You don't get to choose what you do and don't pay taxes on. I don't want to pay taxes on disproven "abstinence only" programs in our schools, vouchers for religious schools, the idiocy that is creationism, our bloated military, "faith based initiatives", war, and a host of other things on the conservative agenda.

Get over it.
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you get over it, she asked my opinion and I gave it
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A great idea that has been working tremendously well and should receive a lot more support than it does.

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It's hard to understand.. All of these people suffering from heinous diseases. Europe is way ahead of us. I believe we need to catch up.
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Won't happen until the fundamentalists butt-out of political affairs... So never. Haha!
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Agree. Clearly cooler heads need to prevail here. I think we are well past the point where we needed to make a stand..
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Needs more funding. We are being systematically stripped from the loop in science because other countries are now looking at us as the weak link. They will supersede all authority from America in time, buy us out, force new political sanctions on us and do the research any way. If America doesn't take it's head out of the bible we will become the laughing stock of history.

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I couldn't agree more. When evangelists start messing around with things that degrade society in the name if their superstition, then now is the time to fight in the open. Opposing stem cell research, anti-family planning, gay-bashing and screwing up science education by ramming creationism through is too much!
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*of* Stupid Auto-Correct. More like Auto-Predict.
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If you would check your history books..... The laughing stock nations are those who did not have their head in the Bible!
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Except every developed nation on Earth but is is highly secular.

The ones that had their "heads in the bible" either sunk into poverty or committed atrocities like the Crusades and the Inquisition.
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@Lily, Skeptikitten and Truthisobvious are perfectly correct. Although I love my country, it is getting harder to take; hearing all this America is #1 bull. Our kids are losing interest in pursuing math and the sciences and America is falling behind other nations in so many ways its a joke. We DO have our heads stuck in the bible, and until that bible-thumping nonsense stops, things are only going to get worse
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Just as Africa is doing now. 99% Christians hiring witches, killing children and bible crusader militias run rampant raping and pillaging as they please ordained by god. Just as hitlers crusaders killing the Jews and gays failed with "god with us" stamped on their standard issue belt buckle the hate regime in America is too dragging our nation through the mud sure to place us directly in competition for most ethically incompetent if not just incompetent. We're over fat, undereducated, stupid, malevolent war mongers crusading across the planet and it will not surprise me when other countries begin to agree. We don't look as bad as Africa yet but if atheist numbers don't continue to rise we are on our way. The crusades were about stamping out non Christians and burning all writing that wasn't "of god" and guess what creationists have been trying to do to evolution and the science? Our political sanctions keep these maniacs from killing all of us and attempting to remove the idea of atheism from everywhere. I've heard one too many death threats and way too much of the real side of believers to be naive about just what they want. Quiet support for this psychopathic fringe cult of hate has become the norm in America when most of them have no idea what they are really supporting- war, hate, bigotry, violence and tyranny. Justice is watching god die like the rest of the deities so we see no more crusades or holocausts.
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Burning witches*
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Okay. I did wonder why Christians would ever want to hire witches, haha
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Tell us how you really feel, truth. :3
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Freaking auto correct
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Lol skep I know I'm long winded teehee
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they may be able to stitch my spinal cord back together. maybe I could feel my legs again.

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It would be wonderful.
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There is powerful evidence of success of the Adult stemcell ! 70 diseases are being chsnged for the better! And you do not have to sacrifice babies to do it! Cancers/ parkensins/ are some of many. That is where the funding needs to be!
Researchers are starting to shift their thinking and monies toward the Adult stemcell!
You can provide your own adult stem cells!

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Lily, no one is sacrificing babies.. If you think a cluster of cells "could be" a baby, you could call wasting sperm or menstruation "sacrificing babies.." As for Adult Stem Cells, read Skeptikitten's answer.
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Adult stem cells do not have pluripotentiality. They have nowhere NEAR the range of embryonic cells.

And as I said before- these cells are obtained from embryos that would be discarded anyway. They would never "become babies".

FYI- biologists are only settling for adult stem cells because religious fanatics have limited our ability to perform research on the best stem cells available.
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Well... It is not like they are good for much of anything else...

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I don't claim to know everything on this matter, but if these cells can better a person's existence here on earth, then its the right thing to do. As you guys said, they're only going to discard the unused cell clusters anyway. I say, put them to good use. & its sad, that there seem to be opposites of opinion on this matter, the more people oppose, the longer others keep suffering. peace.

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I agree wholeheartedly, Shay.
Good answer.
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Thanx. It's true though.
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Your special attention to the suffering of others is what sets you aside from people with political agendas and qualifies you as a great and compassionate human shay, thanx for your support.
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I don't understand how any human can lack compassion. thanx Truth.
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