Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Behold, the loading of language

This Nature article begins with a hope that some new techniques in acquiring stem cells will help to quell the moral controversy surrounding stem cell research. The embryos are essentially rendered incapable of planting into the walls of the womb and therefore would not be able to survive were they even given the chance. The author of the editorial begins very optimistically and states that their article will essentially be an exploration of the different moral interpretations of various stem cell acquiring techniques. The neutrality of this article is like a breath of fresh air compared to the obvious biases and loaded language of the anti-stem cell research article from The Post Chronicle.

I particularly enjoyed the editorial from the science journal Nature, simply because it was such a neutral piece. In contrast to the loaded commentary supplied by The Post Chronicle, the article from Nature entitled “Every little helps” was very affective because, instead of diving into the moral issues surrounding embryonic stem cell research, they examine the debates themselves. My favorite thing about the Nature article is how it first explains the nuances of the scientific processes used to procure the cells used in the research, then the author explains how each individual process could be considered controversial or immoral. Though the author is obviously supportive of stem-cell research even by expressing the hope that the new processes will be considered more moral than the previous ones, I love the neutrality that is lent to the morality issues themselves. By explaining the seeds of the controversy from a point outside of the arguments it seems to lend the author much more credibility than the much more passionate Post Chronicle editorial.

In the said Post Chronicle editorial entitled “Infertile Minds: Behold the Voices of ‘Science’,” even the title suggests that nothing but controversial opinions are about to be spouted. The article is just one long and biased attack on a group of people that the author defines as “liberal” and then labels as essentially stupid, non-thinking beings. The author then attacks a Conservative senator who does not share their views by saying that his wording is “subtle” in the context of subversive and immorally cruel. Pretty much any person who claims that an embryo that has been specifically created for the purposes of research is no more immoral to experiment upon than a sperm or an egg is portrayed as a criminal who is trying to cheat the people out of their innocence. Since the language of the article does nothing but make me completely angry, I’d say the article in Nature is much better as portraying a point and conveying information.

Every little helps:

Infertile Minds: Behold the Voices of “Science”:

1 comment:

Daniel Lupton said...

Great job on your first post, Dana. Your thoughts are well-organized and well-expressed. I only have 2 small criticisms. 1, your links to the Nature article don't work. 2, while you certainly fulfill the demands of the assignment, I would like to see you engage more with the science rather than the ethics of this issue. Great job!