Well No Kidding

There’s an oddity in that piece in the Indy yesterday about Stephen Hawking’s rebuke of the reactionaries on the stem cell question.

President Bush and some religious authorities, notably the Catholic Church, argue that the microscopic, four-day-old embryos from which stem cells are derived are potential human lives.

Is that right? I don’t think it is. Because surely everyone argues or rather simply takes it for granted that any embryos, four day old or four second old, are potential human lives. We know that – that’s not disputed. What’s disputed is what follows from that; what’s disputed is whether potential human lives should be as protected as actual human lives. So – why did the reporters put that ‘potential’ in there? To make Bush and the Catholic church sound more rational and reasonable than they are? To make people who disagree with them sound less rational and reasonable than they are? A little of both? Don’t know, but it’s odd.

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