>Nancy Valko forwarded Nigel Cameron’s latest op-ed, “The Truth, The Partial Truth, and Nothing But Evasions”:
It’s fascinating to see just what has been happening with the cloning debate. First, the pro-cloning advocates tried to neutralize an unpopular, sci-fi sounding word by adding an antidote “therapeutic.” Surely, they reckoned, “therapeutic cloning” sounds OK. But the American public proved more resilient than they expected (and not as dumb); they decided that therapeutic cloning was still cloning. So the same people who had made up this deeply dishonest phrase went back to the drawing board. (Or, at least, they went back to K Street—haunt of high-priced Washington lobbyists—and tried some more focus groups.)
The results were—to be fair!—ingenious. Two bold moves were taken. First, “cloning” was redefined. No longer could it be allowed to mean what everyone once thought it meant: using the Dolly-the-sheep technology (technically called somatic cell nuclear transfer) to create an embryo. Using cloning to mean, well, cloning, would make it harder to argue the difference between cloning embryos to make babies and cloning embryos to destroy them for experiments. So cloning was redefined as “the implantation of the cloned embryo.” Only implanted embryos are clones.
In fact, they’re called “unfertilized blastocysts” – which is the ultimate oxymoron similar to saying “fast slow” or “flat sphere” – second only to “family planning” and “reproductive services” as disingenuous euphemisms for abortion.
Sure, it’s the stuff of science fiction. In fact some of my favorite SF deals with the subject of who and what is the clone of a human. Read Bujold’s Vorkosigan series about Miles and his clones, whom he and his parents decide are children of both Miles and his parents, as well as the cloning technicians.