Crossway has a good interview with Scott Klusendorf on the subject of embryonic stem cell research. Scott is the author of the new book: The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. This is an important topic for Christians to study, especially during these times when government policy is working to change the laws in this area. Here are the first three questions and answers:
- What are stem cells and why are scientists eager to use them in treating disease? Stem cells are fast growing, unspecialized cells that can reproduce themselves and grow new organs for the body. All 210 different types of human tissue originate from these primitive cells. Because they have the potential to grow into almost any kind of tissue—including nerves, bones, and muscle, scientists believe that the introduction of healthy stem cells into a patient may restore lost function to damaged organs, especially the brain.
- Why is stem cell research focused, at least in part, on embryos? Human embryos have an abundant supply of stem cells which scientists are eager to harvest in hopes of treating Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other illnesses. The practice of securing these early cells is known as embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). The problem is that you must destroy the embryo to secure its stem cells.
- Does that mean Christians should oppose all stem cell research? Absolutely not. Pro-life advocates agree that we should save lives. We also support funding stem-cell research. But, we’re opposed to one kind of stem-cell research that requires destroying defenseless human embryos so that other humans may (allegedly) benefit. That’s immoral.
Be sure to visit Crossway for the rest of the interview.