In a piece appearing on Yahoo News, William F. Buckley, Jr. aims to clear up the confusion surrounding the stem cell debate. Sadly, he failed.
Let's take a look at what he says:
In the matter of the stem cells, we are asked to focus on two completely different things. There are the so-called adult stem cells, which derive from cells that would never develop in a human being. To take such stem cells and do nuclear transfer research is OK. Nobody is arguing that what you are doing is snuffing out a human life.So far, so good.
By contrast, embryonic stem cells harbor life unborn, so that to take these and experiment with them is seen as experimentation with human beings. The ideal is to authorize the first kind of stem cell research but to forbid the second -- or, at least, to restrain it.Embryonic stem cells themselves do not harbor life. Rather, embryonic stem cells are components of blastocysts.
A strong argument could be (and is) made that a blastocyst is a life or harbors life, but to argue that an embryonic stem cell harbors a "life unborn" is completely false.