NRL News

The Myth of a “War Against Science”

by | Apr 14, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

David Klinghoffer

What follows borrows from complementary insights found in David Klinghoffer’s “The Stem-Cell War” at national review online and “Stem Cells: The Scientists Knew They Were Lying?” which appears at the Public Discourse website.

The latter condenses an interview conducted with two prominent professors, one a strong supporter of embryonic stem cell research (Arthur Caplan), the other a thoughtful critic (Robert George). Caplan’s particularly useful because of what he admits as a proponent. To wit:

·    “Embryonic stem-cell research was completely overhyped, in terms of its promise. And people knew it at the time. I tried to say so myself at different times myself, even though I support embryonic stem-cell research. But this notion that people would be out of their wheelchairs within a year if we could just get embryonic stem-cell research funded was just ludicrous. Just simply silly”; and

·    “ There’s a clinical trial going on in California with private funding, for a spinal cord study. That study is poorly designed, shouldn’t go on—I’ve said so. The model that you want to use on stem cells is in your eyes: if you wreck one, you still have the other, and they’re easy to access. But trying to shoot cells—and you don’t know what they’re going to do—into someone’s spinal cord on the basis of a couple of a few rat experiments… If that goes wrong, the hype has been such that when critics come in and say, “it shouldn’t have been done,” it will set the field back to zero. I’ve tried to tell my science colleagues, “If you make a mistake on this first trial, and kill somebody? You can hang it up.”

Last week we wrote about another highly questionable study using embryonic stem cells (“Ethically and medically dubious experiment using embryonic stem cells” at

You can read the entire interview with Professors Caplan and George at

Klinghoffer’s piece is very much reading as well ( He does yeoman work in recapitulating some of the many examples we’ve written about that show the power of adult stem cells, the only source of stem cells to heal anyone to date.

He also harkens back to little Charlie Knuth, who was recently taken home after undergoing a successful stem cell therapy. It was noted virtually nowhere (except with us) that he had received an adult stem cell transplant.

Ironically, his mother testified against a bill in Minnesota that would ban funding of human cloning on the confused and misguided notion that the bill would somehow ban embryonic stem cell transplants—which, as noted, were not part of her son’s recovery and haven’t worked anywhere anyway! (See

Klinghoffer shows how embryonic stem cell proponents have created an entire mythology about a fictitious Republican “war on science.”

But “The real war here is not a war on science,” he concludes. “It’s a war on truth.”

Good essay, and well worth your time.

I would very much appreciate your help by way of  feedback on National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at

Categories: Uncategorized