Biology 101: the embryo

Creative Minority Report is all over this and I simply bring that entry over here.

Please give CMR’s stats a bump.

But first:

From (my emphases).

em·bry·o  n.   pl. em·bry·os

         1. An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
         2. An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.
         3. The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
         4. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.

         1. The fertilized egg of a vertebrate animal following cleavage.
         2. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.

And now….

Newsflash! Embryos Aren’t Fertilized! So it’s ok to kill them. So said former President Bill Clinton five times in an interview last night. And what’s worse is that the brain surgeon who was nominated by President Obama to be Surgeon General didn’t even correct him.

Either CNN’s Sanjay Gupta doesn’t know what Clinton said is laughably wrong or he is so cravenly submissive to power that he failed to point out that of course embryos are fertilized, you dunce.

What do they think an embryo is, if not fertilized?

Transcript fo rthe video challenged:

Gupta: Let’s talk about something you talked a lot about in the early part of your presidency, stem cells. There was an order today providing federal money for embryonic stem cell research. First of all, let me just ask you, as someone who studied this, is this going to always be as divisive an issue as it is now? Is this going to be the abortion of the next generation? Or are people going to come around?

Clinton: I think – the answer is I think that we’ll work it through. If – particularly if it’s done right. If it’s obvious that we’re not taking embryos that can – that under any conceivable scenario would be used for a process that would allow them to be fertilized and become little babies, and I think if it’s obvious that we’re not talking about some science fiction cloning of human beings, then I think the American people will support this….

Gupta: Any reservations?

Clinton: I don’t know that I have any reservations, but I was – he has apparently decided to leave to the relevant professional committees the definition of which frozen embryos are basically going to be discarded, because they’re not going to be fertilized. I believe the American people believe it’s a pro-life decision to use an embryo that’s frozen and never going to be fertilized for embryonic stem cell research….

But those committees need to be really careful to make sure if they don’t want a big storm to be stirred up here, that any of the embryos that are used clearly have been placed beyond the pale of being fertilized before their use. There are a large number of embryos that we know are never going to be fertilized, where the people who are in control of them have made that clear. The research ought to be confined to those….

But there are values involved that we all ought to feel free to discuss in all scientific research. And that is the one thing that I think these committees need to make it clear that they’re not going to fool with any embryos where there’s any possibility, even if it’s somewhat remote, that they could be fertilized and become human beings.

What is this?

A slip? 

An attempt to deceive through repetition?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. IngridAiram says:


    And that is supposed to be an intelligent person? Doesn’t even know the difference between an ovum and an embryo *sigh*

  2. Tominellay says:

    I think the man just doesn’t know what he’s talking about…but is trying to play both sides…

    He is emphatic, though, that no fertilized embryo should be used for research, and I think he should hang by his tongue if he weasels on this!

  3. cordelia says:

    wow…the only thing i can imagine is that maybe he’s thinking embryos that won’t be implanted? can he really not know the difference between an egg and an embryo?

  4. Bobby Bambino says:

    One possibility which has come up on is that he is attempting to re-define terms. As Cordelia suggested, he is most likely trying to confuse implantation into all of this. The thing is, if this is true, it DOES show how intelligent he is because the “pro-choice” movement is built on a solid foundation of semantics. All the word games that they play are more or less what helped to make the pro-choice movement so popular among people, so why not try something similar when it comes to the ESCR debate?

  5. Viking says:

    I think we should pull a play from the liberal playbook and start reporting this according to our own spin…

    “Former President Clinton switches to a prolife stance, condemning the use of fertilized embryos in research.”

    Never mind that all embryos are fertilized.

    In all seriousness, it is possible he was going for “The Big Lie” play and trying to redefine words for the masses but I am more inclined to lean toward the simpler explanation of him being an scientific idiot and after 30 mins of skimmed research for the event, he got his terms mixed up and failed at making a play for a moral high ground. “We can go this far but of course we will never go here, we iz moral peoplez after allz.”

    Never mind that “here” is clearly further back than “this far.”

  6. Rancher says:

    In Clinton’s case it all hinges on what the definition of “is” is. Remember back to the Lewinski affair and recall that he has a problem with the usual and customary definitions of common English language words. And, of course, embryo is not a word he commonly uses. In fact he goes to great lengths to avoid it. The other possibility is that he is just a habitual liar and from prior conduct there is substantial evidence to support that contention.

  7. Ann says:

    I think there is a deliberate attempt to confuse the public into doubting the FACTS. Ovum are not yet fertilized, Embryos are already fertilized, and retired President Clinton\’s statements would make perfect sense if he either means ovums when he says embryos or else he means transferred when he says fertilized.

    Either way he is making pro life explanations more difficult because the average American is not careful enough about learning the correct terminology themselves and so are much easier to fool.

    I also think we need to realize that the educational system has been dumbed down to such a low level that the average viewer of this interview will happily accept that Mr Clinton is correct.

    I have often wondered at Mr Clintons blunders, are they brilliant attempts to redefine terms or is he really that stupid?

  8. Steve says:

    Sounds like Clinton is using Hitler’s Big Lie technique.

    The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda tool. It was defined by Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf as a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”.

    He is one of the Enemy’s minions. He should be shunned.

  9. Geoffrey says:

    I see some things never change, including the father of lies. Clinton is a slave in need of liberation from more than just one cruel master, no offense to Hillary.

  10. Scott W. says:

    As another put it, he simply fell victim to his own obfuscation.

  11. Tara says:

    “I didn’t have sex with that woman.” Obviously he doesn’t know what
    it means to have sex either.

    Stem cells can come from other areas in the body–we don’t need to
    kill the FERTILIZED embryo to get stem cells, and they are NOT

  12. Vianney33 says:

    This is just like how the pro-aborts kept telling women that a fetus is just a blob of cells. And look how many believed that for so long and still do. Or at least enabled them to be willfully ignorant. This will enable people to cleanse their consciences by believing embrionic stem cells are just unfirtilized eggs that will never become a blob of cells which will never become a baby. See how this works? Bill is just liberating women from the truth.

  13. Lee says:

    We ought to seriously consider the possibility that neither Clinton nor Obama know what an embryo is. These guys are liberal arts majors, lawyers. Maybe they never had a biology course.

    Seems a great opportunity to play it straight, and slowly, patiently and publicly explain to Clinton, Obama and the Democratic party exactly what an embryo is. What an opportunity for the pro-life movement!

  14. Rachel says:

    Speaking of re-defining terms, every medical textbook and every person with a brain in his head agreed that pregnancy begins with conception, which is the joining of the sperm and the egg– UNTIL the Pill came along. The Pill prevents a fertilized egg from implanting, which of course would bother many women, but rather than allow women to make a fully informed choice (what’s up with that, “pro-choice activists”?) some medical sources now say that conception and pregnancy begin only with implantation. Just another politically-motivated obscuration of science. My own devout Protestant mother, who doesn’t have the benefit of a solid magisterium, got confused by this and opined that in vitro fertilization, and the destruction of “extra” embryos, must be okay because an embryo is not really a human until it’s implanted in a uterus.

    Then there’s the concept of “brain dead”, invented to suit the need for donor organs. Physicians aren’t nearly as certain as they pretend to be about whether a person really has zero chance of ever coming out of his coma.

    Another example: the way the Los Angeles Times (and probably other media sources I don’t know about) writes all the time about “stem cell research” without making it clear whether this particular research involves the destruction of human embryos. I believe they don’t want to help people make that distinction; they want to claim the victories of adult stem cell research and move embryonic research under that same umbrella of approval.

  15. Amy P. says:

    Remind me…where did Clinton study medicine and biology???

  16. Tom says:

    Imagine if this had been said by Reagan, Quayle or Palin once, let alone FIVE TIMES!

  17. Rick says:

    The answer to this riddle created by Bill Clinton is his use of the word “fertilize.” Mr. Clinton is a Rhodes Scholar: he knows the difference between an embryo and an ovum, an UNFERTILIZED HUMAN EGG CELL. He is switching the meaning of the word embryo to mean a fertilized human egg which will not be implanted into a human uterus either because it might not be viable after attempted fertilization because it was held in cryogenic storage for a long period and although it is suitable for fertilization it will not remain viable to produce a human person because its genetic code has disintegrated from a long period of cryogenic storage. When Bill Clinton says we will do it ” when its done right, if its OBVIOUS THAT WE ARE NOT TAKING EMBRYOS THAT CAN, THAT CAN UNDER ANY CONCEIVABLE CIRCUMSTANCE..SCENARIO THAT …OR A PROCESS THAT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO BECOME A …LITTLE BABIES…AND IF, I THINK ITS OBVIOUS THAT WE’RE NOT TALKIN ABOUT SOME SCIENCE FICTION CLONING OF HUMAN BEINGS.. THEN I THINK THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SUPPORT THIS.” Masterfully done: by redifining the meaning of embryo in the case of stem cell research to mean from an unwanted, undesirable, potenitally non viable, due to secondary circumstances human embryo ( not to mention the hellish evil of freezing human ovum) he flips to the Frankenstein-ish concept of the person whose arm is severed and through some culture method and harvesting of needed spare parts is through the miraculous skill of modern science restored. This is evil personified, it is what Nazi scientists wanted to do, it is what Mary Shelly wrote about in her novel in 1818. It is Satan’s offering to the corrupt modern mind born from the seed of Aristotelian paganism known as Spontaneous Generation. This former U.S. President and the now famous Dr. Sanjay Gupta of the world famous CNN put together their HYDRA and in the name of social service, notice how Gupta says in his introductory remark is this gonna be another abortion (issue)? — wants to show the American people that he cares and believes in stem cell research because he’s a great doctor and he KNOWS it can help people cure diabetes and whatever.

  18. Phel says:

    Either Clinton never had sex ed or…

    An attempt to deceive through repetition?

    Absolutely…worse is that he might have contracted a case of Alinsky-itis. Keep repeating it until it’s accepted as true.

  19. This is much too clever to be an accident.

  20. stgemma says:

    Tired of seeing the press trying to shape the culture of the world. Time to stop listening to them, in my opinion.

    I had a few pages of stuff written…but it’s useless dribble. We need to pray more and help educate our family, friends, and loved ones about the truth of things and not what the press wants us to believe.

  21. supertradmom says:

    Should we not be praying for such men as Clinton, politicians who obviously have created their own “truth” through self-deception?

  22. Vianney33 says:

    First Obama taught us a geography lesson on how many states there are in the US during the campaign. Then those pillars of Catholicism Nancy and Joe gave us a Catechism lesson. Now Bill Clinton gives us a reproductive biology lesson. Who would have thunk that you could get masters level courses by just watching TV. I can’t wait for the upcoming course on Catholic Moral Theology with professor Douglas Kmieck…

  23. Doc Angelicus says:

    What is this? At best it’s culpable ignorance. At worst it’s an Orwellian production of the Ministry (or as we say in the US, the Department) of Truth. Either way, it’s a manifestation of the man’s true colors.

    I like Viking’s suggestion a lot. Wanna see a reaction from the libs? Use Clinton’s words against them.

  24. Glen says:

    Just like abortion (a semantic itself) the Left will attempt to redefine the battlefield on stem cell research. A former POTUS and a medical doctor use public airwaves to launch a campaign of lies and deceit. This is another example of why we need the Church to be our moral compass and not the state. A secularized society will author its own demise.

  25. ssoldie says:

    babble,babble,babble and blather, we had it then, we have it now,and always ‘it’s for the children’,and so many other false social misrepresentations,his words were moronic then and are moronic now… enough said.

  26. MargoB says:

    Good shot, Vianney33! LOL! :)

  27. J.Byrne says:

    Did anyone notice the defination talked about implantation as well.

    4. In humans, the prefetal product of conception from implantation through the eighth week of development.

    So are they defining an embryo as something that has to be implanted? That’s suspect to me.

  28. avecrux says:

    Most children take a biology course in high school – although junior high sometimes, too.
    I know President Obama said these things were above his pay grade as a US Senator, even though he had to make many life and death decisions back then. Perhaps former President Clinton agrees. If they need assistance in performing due diligence (somehow George W Bush seemed to know how to get this down), one of my kids would be happy to serve as a paid advisor.

  29. TJM says:

    In media world Dems are always “brilliant” and Republicans are always “stupid.” What about that don’t you understand? Tom

  30. Phil Swain says:

    I think Clinton is using the term fertilization as a farmer or gardener would. What he is saying is that the embryo, which is to be destroyed, should not be an embryo which is otherwise receiving nutrients. Clinton understands that the American people are not yet ready for the harvesting of fetal parts. Not yet.

  31. Jeff says:

    William Saletan over at Slate has an excellent article detailing what might be called the “slippery slope” on embryonic stem cell research Given the promising results of skin cell to stem cell conversion, it would make far better sense to encourage this avenue of research as opposed to advocating the destruction of embryos.

  32. Immaculatae says:

    “An attempt to deceive through repetition.”
    Neurolinguistic programming, reframind techniques?

  33. Gail F says:

    No one has commented on the DOCTOR doing the interview. Believe what you want about why Clinton said what he said. The real question is, why didn’t Gupta correct him or ask for a clarification? If anyone was obfuscating, it was him.

  34. Bill says:

    Simply put, it’s a lie. A deliberate lie. He knows what he’s doing. So did Gupta. There’s no way either of them would speak the truth on this matter.

    We need prayer. Do we need a Jonah who will walk through this nation warning everyone of impending destruction? Would anyone listen? Do we have forty days? I doubt we have forty years.

  35. “This is much too clever to be an accident.”

    No. It’s much too stupid to be intentional.

  36. Aaron King says:

    What I find the most disturbing is that ‘dr.’ Gupta (initially an Obama pick for Surgeon General) does not make ANY effort to correct our former president in his error… Is this guy stupid, too? Or is something else going on?

  37. It is remarkable that Clinton does not understand what an embryo is.

  38. Gary says:

    Argumentum Ad nauseam

    Ad nauseam….argumentative style at its best.
    A logical fallacy and a possible tactic; have to rule it in to rule it out.

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