So the Catholic church is on the move to try and shoot down the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which will come before parliament later this year.
Normally I wouldn't be too bothered about them up to their usual ideological agenda stuff - after all if I went after them on every single little thing they do, I'd be spending every waking minute on it. But they've stepped over the line on this.
I'm talking about this little document. This nonsense has been spread to their followers over the last couple of weeks.
Hybrids: The Bill will allow scientists to create embryos that are half human, half animal. For example, from the egg of a woman and the sperm from an animal. To do this would be a radical violation of human dignity.
Trying to conjure up images of half human half animal babies being born. Yeah right, and the world is flat.
What the scientists actually want do is quite different. For example an egg from an animal will be taken, its genetic information removed, and a human cell will be implanted, this will create embryonic stem cells, genetically identical to the person who's cell was implanted. There's no animal genes involved.
None of these may be implanted into a woman, and they must be destroyed within 14 days, or at the first signs of development of a nervous system.
Of course all of what they say is pretty meaningless, after all we are animals. May be half-human half-cow would be more appropriate, hey like my Tauren!
They go on to say this:
How Future Decisions are Made: At present, decisions are made by an unelected and unrepresentative body. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority appears to exclude people who cherish human life from conception.
Exclude people who cherish human life from conception? Wait, I know what you mean! You mean its those evil scientists doing their own thing. Once again this is the church trying to interfere in science - they even try and play the dictatorship card. You've done enough meddling in our schools as it is, why are you trying to get your fifthly hands into the science lab?
The answer is simple, to destroy science. They're upset at the progress that has been made over the last 300 years, they're upset they can't burn people alive for saying the Earth goes around the Sun any more.
What do I think? Let the scientists do the science. Science must be free of all external ideologies for it to perform to the best of its abilities. Scientists should decide what research they do, and be free to do it.
The church should not be stopping them from perusing areas of research they believe will be fruitful, neither should any other organisation - not even the government. Scientists believe it or not are human beings too, and they can make judgement on what they believe is right or wrong just like the next person.
Then they use the abortion card.
The Bill may be used as a vehicle to make abortion more common.
Abortions need to be free and easier to get. Although they like to use the pro-life slogan, and they've been banging their drums on this issue lately, trying to get the 24 weeks reduced. Ultimately this is about the rights of the woman to control what's going on in their body. I of course recognise the collection of cells has the potential to become a human being - which is why I don't think termination should be allowed up until birth, 24 weeks is a fine cut off point.
The fact they mention abortion seems to me like they're desperate to drum up support from the Catholics who are bright enough not to fall for their half-human half-animal nonsense.
One bishop commented in New Scientist:
If people are unhappy about genetically modified tomatoes, they should be made aware of proposals in the bill to allow the creation of genetically modified human embryos!
There's two reasons why people are opposed to genetically modified tomatoes, they're either new-age woo woo fans who think anything to do with science is tainted, or they're ignorant. Oh wait, that's only one reason.
We've been genetically modifying food for thousands of years. Virtually everything we eat is not in its "natural" (whatever that means) state. Using modern technology just allows us a finer level of control over it, instead of breeding different varieties and hoping some of the offspring have the traits we want.
I'm all for genetically modified human embryos if it means future generations won't have to deal with all the genetic faults we've inherited, all the diseases and the death we have to deal with. If we can create cures for Parkinson's disease and other crippling disorders science, and those people suffering shouldn't have the door slammed on them just because its against a religious ideology.
Just in the last few months science has made some amazing breakthroughs, growing organs - virtually from scratch, tailor made for whoever the organ is for to reduce the risk of rejection, using their own progenitor cells. We're quite literally in the middle of a revolution in medicine, to the point where many believe there are people alive today who will live for several hundred years.
The sooner we get religion stripped out of science and all public affairs the better, you only need to look to Africa to see the damage religious propaganda has on things like the spread of HIV.