Friday, June 15, 2007

Good Pro-Con Book on ESCR [SK]

The title is Human Embryo Experimentation published by Greenhaven Press, a firm specializing in educational materials for public and private schools. The essays contained in the book, both defending and critiquing the practice, are well-written and condensed, giving the reader a clear overview of the arguments presented by both sides.

Before I heap too much praise on this little volume (it's only 80 pages), I should disclose that I am one of the contributors. I make the case that embryonic stem cell research is immoral while journalist Michael Kinsley takes the opposing view. Some of my favorite pro-life apologists--including Robert George, Patrick Lee, and Wesley J. Smith--also contribute chapters.

Here's the table of contents:

1. Human Embryonic Research Is Necessary--Terry Devitt
2. The Potential of Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Is Exaggerated--Mary L. Davenport
3. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Immoral--Scott Klusendorf
4. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Is Not Immoral--Michael Kinsley
5. An Embryo Should Be Regarded as a Human Being--Patrick Lee and Robert P. George
6. Banning Stem Cell Research Violates Human Rights--David Holcberg and Alex Epstein
7. Stem Cell Research Should Be Federally Funded--Sam Berger
8. Embryonic Stem Cell Research Should Not Be Federally Funded--America
9. No Form of Stem Cell Research Should Be Federally Funded--Ron Paul
10. The Government Must Regulate Stem Cell Research--Bernadine P. Healy
11. Therapeutic Cloning of Human Embryos Should Be Banned--Wesley J. Smith
12. Therapeutic Cloning of Human Embryos Should Be Tolerated--Shane Ham
13. Embryonic Stem Cell Research Threatens Women’s Health--Pia de Solenni
14. Women Should Be Well Paid When Donating Eggs for Embryonic Research--Ronald M. Green

I have one minor gripe. The publisher writes, "Articles are printed in their entirety and footnotes and source notes are retained. These books offer the reader not only a full spectrum of dissent on the subject, but also the ability to test the validity of arguments by following up on sources used as evidence."

That's not exactly right. My article was edited (fairly) and most of my footnotes were not retained, including several important sources regarding the beginning of human life and ethical alternatives to ESCR. However, the publisher does refer readers to the original article from which my text was taken. (You can see my original piece here.) None of the other authors are footnoted well either.

Despite this one flaw, I think this volume is a great edition to our public and private school systems, provided they use it.

1 comment:

  1. SK,
    It sounds like an interesting book. Your essay was excellent, as always, and I really like the summary questions at the end. Hubby and I are going to study it, and give the kids a summer assignment to read it and answer the questions. I will send you thier papers....Thanks for posting this, Lori V.


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