STEM CELLS, EMBRYOS, CLONING, AND HUMANITY (PART 2)
If you read the well-articulated pieces opposing stem cell/cloning research as I have, you find that the ultimate objection goes not to the research methods, but to the ends which this science might logically lead: dramatic increases in health and lifespan, and genetic improvements in the human species. An almost superstitious "don't go there" mentality pervades the articles. Leon Kass, just appointed by the President to head the presidential commission on this science, is firmly in this camp, warning of a "post-human future". This is what truly angers me. I grew up embracing the speculative fiction of the thirties and forties, whose theme was the constant upward march of mankind, whether through better technology at home, exploration of the universe, or, frequently, the improvement of man himself. I believe in my bones that our destiny lies along that path, and to frustrate that journey betrays our essential humanity.