July 21, 2008
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has issued a new report on Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
The reason for the report is not obvious, because it contains very little new information, and even as a collection of the arguments it is slanted and superficial. The science section is incomplete and contains a number of inaccuracies, e.g., "In the mid-1990s, scientists began studying embryonic stem cells, at first in mice" (instead, two groups first isolated mouse embryonic stem cells in 1981.)
Worthwhile are the interviews with Yuval Levin and Jonathan Moreno, presenting the case against and for embryonic stem cell research, respectively.
The poll information is somewhat interesting, showing continually decreasing support for embryonic stem cell research, though as most now realize, the phrasing of poll questions determines the responses.
Much more informative is the poll recently done by the Ethics & Public Policy Center on Public Opinion and the Embryo Debates, showing continuing confusion about the basic facts of the debate. That article is definitely worth your time to read. But the Pew report may only contribute to the relative lack of knowledge of real facts