Apropos of our recent discussion of pro ESCR advocates corrupting science by redefining the term embryo so as to make those in Petri dishes essentially nonentities: Nature editorialized against that form of scientific corruption 2005. It bears restating. From “Playing the Name Game” (NATURE|Vol 436|7 July 2005) in the wake of a meeting in which the strategy of denying that a pre-implanted embryo is really an embryo:.
It is true that embryo is an emotive term, but there is little scientific justification for redefining it. Whether taken from a fertility clinic or made through cloning, a blastocyst embryo has the potential to become a fully functional organism. And appearing to deny that fact will not fool die-hard opponents of this research. If anything, it will simply open up scientists to the accusation that they are trying to distance themselves from difficult moral issues by changing the terms of the debate.
(Note that a blastocyst is an embryo. It is the scientific term for the embryo at about one week’s development. I have actually heard scientists testify, “It isn’t an embryo, it’s only a blastocyst.”)
But I digress: Like I’ve been saying—unless Nature is also inaccurate and bases its scientific conclusions on religious precepts.