Thursday, 3 April 2008

Cardinal Keith: Liar, Lunatic or Lord?

Well, it's definitely not option 3 folks. In case you were wondering. The good Cardinal continues to tout the same old arguments about animal/human hybrid embryos undermining the dignity of human life and all that religious stuff, only this time with a twist. This time it's really obvious that he doesn't know what he's talking about.
"You might think I'd object to animal-human hybrid embryos on moral grounds. I do, but it's their bad science I really take exception to"
Can you guess, dear reader, exactly how many examples there are of "bad science" in his article to reassure you that he knoweth of what he speaks? Zero. Not one. He is at pains to explain that he is a science graduate - BSc Science Edinburgh University - yet he fails to present any of the promised scientific arguments.

It seems he is also most vexed by the fact that embryo research "may" or "might" produce results. This is odd behaviour for one so scientifically literate as any scientist knows that the outcome of their research is not a foregone conclusion. One can never say "my research will do the following," that would be bad science.

Apparently a survey has also shown that 67% of the British population oppose the creation of animal/human hybrids. I can't find any evidence for this opinion poll anywhere. What I did find, however, was a Guardian piece from 2007, describing the consultation process for the HFEB as follows:
"The consultation, a £150,000, three-month mix of opinion polls, public meetings and debates, found participants were initially cautious of merging animal and human material, but became more positive. "When further factual information was provided and further discussion took place, the majority of participants became more at ease with the idea," the HFEA's report says."
So perhaps the Cardinal's opinion poll is taken from the Journal of Knee-Jerk Religious Reactions in the Face of Incomplete Knowledge. Ah, that most respected of totally made up science journals.

It seems to me that religious leaders have been aware of this Bill, and the consultation surrounding it, for some time. It seems that they waited until now because they were hopeful that the Lords might deal with it quietly. Since the Lords haven't capitulated, they have decided to try and drum up the most vocal minority they can.

Thousands upon thousands of people marched in opposition to the war in Iraq. If the government is to maintain consistency it most certainly should avoid changing its mind over a few thousand postcards from poorly informed parishioners and the dishonest ravings of a few Cardinals.


artificialhabitat said...

Look, my fish picture now follows me around when I comment on things!

I should probably say something relevant to the post, so, er, yes, it was good. That Cardinal guy is an idiot. Isn't that a prerequisite for the job?

Stephen Bain said...

Oh look, so it does. And a very nice fish it is too.

Yeah, I think they have an exam that you basically have to fail before you're allowed in...

artificialhabitat said...

It's a Torsk, (Brosme brosme) resting next to an oil rig leg in the North Sea.