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Discussion (47)¬

  1. robyn says:

    Wow. Mo, I’m…I’m actually surprised.

  2. Poor Richard says:

    As one of those sick atheists, I’ll take a new set of hearing nerves, thanks.
    But what’s this in the “Muslim Scientist”? (Which title is pretty funny to start with)– Proof Mo did divide the moon? Did they find dinosaur tracks next to the boot prints, too? Oh my, these beliefs are getting all mixed up with each other.

    Author, P. Richard’s Mom says, “Eat your veggies and don’t forget to wear
    your flak vest.”

    My conscience is rusting out in the front yeard with my ELR.

  3. Poor Richard says:

    I swear it was “yard” when I sent it. Is a Jinn the same as a Gremlin?

  4. Uncle Roger says:

    la la la… Jesus loves the little children… la la… except the Hideous Tragic Monster Babies… la la la

    Hmmm… That would be a great name for a band, actually. “And now, with their Def Leppard inspired renditions of Tomaso Albinoni’s Oboe Concertos, it’s the Hideous Tragic Monster Babies!”

  5. Apikoros says:

    Well, Jesus loves the little children that are still microscopic cells; the tragic babies with genetic diseases, who might actually be helped by this research…not so much.

    And by the way, the band should totally be “the Hideous Tragic Monster Babies…of ROCK!!!”

  6. If you want to see what does “Muslim Scientist” mean, check this out.

  7. Suraj says:

    “May be your conscience doesn’t have a conscience”… Wow!

  8. Amanda says:

    I may be an atheist, but I do not support Embryonic Stem Cell Research. I have done quite a bit of research concerning this subject because my grandmother had Adult stem cell therapy which put her Multiple Myeloma into remission for over 6 years.

    People are focusing on the wrong type of stem cell research. Adult stem cell research has treated so many people, while embryonic stem cell research hasn’t even produce a clinical trial… If anyone wants to know more, feel free to email me at [email protected]. This is one of my big issues… Its not a “moral” thing, its simply a thing of which one works…

  9. Apikoros says:

    Yes, bone marrow transplants work! This has been well documented over the last forty years since the first successful human trial.

    Human embryonic stem cells have existed for only 10 years now. Why not see what they can do, too?

    What’s moral about shutting down a promising avenue of research?

  10. mjm202036 says:

    First, Author, great comic…I’m all for pro-choice versus anti-choice (I refuse to call the other side anti-aborotion because all they want is to force the government to make the decisions for you)

    Second, I’m pretty sure that if the scientist could get the lobbyists insisting on government to stop embryonic stem cell research, they’d make it to clinical trials and be able to possibly do a lot more than what are doing now. Let the scientist have a shot before you shoot their ideas down.

  11. BWM says:

    I have to say, there seems to be no reason, to me, to not allow embryonic stem cell research. If it keeps failing, people will lose interest, but if it starts working, great news. Since, if I remember correctly, we no longer even need embryos to get the cells (having 11 lines, as I last heard), there should be little problem to allowing it.

  12. In answer to Amanda above. Ask yourself whether anybody took a paracetamol to kill pain before it had been discovered? Of course not. First comes the research, then a discovery (possibly though not necessarily), then comes the clinical trial. Then it gets accepted by religious people, all except Christian Scientists, that is – they die. The idea with embryonic stem cells is that they have the propensity to become any type of cell, like they do in embryos. If we can grow them and control their development then maybe we could make them help really sick people. Jesus said. “Heal the sick”. Isn’t it ironical that it’s being left to non-Christians to actually try and do it? Maybe they’re jealous that science has got the monopoly on miracles.

  13. JohnnieCanuck says:

    Now that you mention it, if an event gets labelled a miracle, it’s actually a scientific miracle.

    Baby falls out of a window and survives – science explains why.
    A large number of people killed but one survives -science explains why.
    Cancer patient goes into remission – science explains why.

    The strangest part is when sinners get the blame for attracting hurricanes and tornadoes from god, but he gets the credit for any he misses. Even if doctors had to work for hours to ensure their survival.

  14. Grim Reader says:

    Just in case anybody is misled by the cartoon, the HFE bill *will* allow the creation of ‘saviour siblings’ whose organs will be harvested – embryos don’t have organs so we’re talking about children born for that purpose.

    The human-animal hybrid embryos, however, will be destroyed after 14 days and are a seperate issue to the babies-for-spare-parts deal, but both are there in the bill.

  15. ms morbo says:

    are ’saviour siblings’ really about the “harvesting of organs” though? the cases i know of all relate to bone marrow, not lungs and kidneys. i’m pretty sure you can’t transplant whole organs from living children as a general rule. bone marrow is different as you’re body just makes more of it (and i don’t even think you need to go under on a general for the extraction)

    so “babies-for-spare-parts” i’m afraid, falls under the same misleading language banner as “monster children” does.

  16. ms morbo says:

    “your body”, not “you’re body”

    although, i guess, i are body.

  17. author says:

    Ms morbo – that was obviously the Grim Reader’s conscience talking.

  18. Grim Reader says:


    If you check out the wording of the bill as it stands at present, you will see it allows for the creation of ‘saviour siblings’ for treatment of an existing child that “suffers from a serious medical condition which could be treated by umbilical cord blood stem cells, bone marrow or other tissue of any resulting child.” Also, as i understand it, The Human Tissue Authority will be able to authorise transplants from donors too young to consent.

    I’d be delighted if you could show i am incorrect on this matter. If you think I’m misleading folk, then show where the wording of the bill unambiguously safeguards these ‘saviour siblings’ from having other tissue removed.

  19. ms morbo says:

    anyone want to help me on this? i don’t really know where and how to search for the current uk laws on the safeguards around living donation (why would the bill need to “unambiguosly safeguard” if the law already does?)

    the hta has to authorise child bonemarrow transplants, so their involvement in the consent is hardly a sign that we’re about to start taking organs which will cause a detrimental effect.

    “other tissue” definately doesn’t sound like “organs” though. could refer to tissue not yet considered for donation (ie, taking into account any future possibily of medical advances which may make viable for transplant tissue which is currently not), or possibly to livers, which you can donate a segment of, which will then regrow.

    anyway, i think its important to look up the current legal safeguards before making any conclusion based on the bill alone.

  20. Poor Richard says:

    More about this Cat issue, now a question in this blog for three or four weeks.

    No one sees the Cat, for It is God. Because It is God, It is beyond comprehension, so no one ever will see It, but since It is God, It obviously exists.

    It does, of course, make Itself known in miraculous ways, like nibbling on flowers or pissing on the carpet. Its purposes are mysterious, and if we challenge them, we can expect to be scratched (psst, pun, pun).

  21. ms morbo says:

    sooo… ceiling cat?

  22. Tie says:

    has anyone seen Fitna yet? can be found in youtube

  23. Grim Reader says:

    Ms Morbo,

    My apologies, i should have shared the link to the bill:

    I see what you are saying about the HTA needing to authorise any transplants being a safeguard of sorts, but that does require placing trust in the HTA. I have no reason to distrust them (knowing little about them), but considering how ethically dubious other aspects of the bill are, particularly concerning issues of consent, the bill’s opponent’s can’t be blamed for focusing on the fact that the term ‘other tissue’ has been slipped into the bill.

    Sadly, the bill does not clarify what ‘other tissue’ means, so your assertion that it ‘definitely doesnt sound like organs’ is (badum-tish) ‘misleading’. Actually, i do think you are engaging honestly in the discussion, but it has irked me that you’ve accused me of ‘misleading’ folk when all i’ve done is represent the objections to the bill as i understand it. Can you at least see I am arguing in good faith here?

    I think you’re correct that we should look up the current legal safeguards, but since i was up most of last night double-checking the HFE bill to see whether the info i have heard from Lord Alton is accurate, i am far too exhausted to look into it tonight! Would be grateful to anyone else who can provide analysis or linkage.

  24. Grim Reader says:

    oops, please excuse my grocer’s apostrophe.

  25. author says:

    Sadly, the bill does not clarify what ‘other tissue’ means, so your assertion that it ‘definitely doesnt sound like organs’ is (badum-tish) ‘misleading’

    Not as misleading as:

    Just in case anybody is misled by the cartoon, the HFE bill *will* allow the creation of ’saviour siblings’ whose organs will be harvested

  26. Grim Reader says:

    Ho hum, so ‘misleading’ just means anything you don’t agree with? I’ve cited the relevant bits of bill itself … got anything to actually contradict that?

    Bear in mind, this discussion is a result of your cartoon’s misrepresentation of the legitimate objections to the bill. I still assume good will on your part (i can understand license for comic effect), but you seem to be calling me a liar for expressing honest concern over the bill.

  27. Toast in the machine says:

    Not this Amanda Stitzer by any chance?

    ‘I decided to create this group two years ago because I was extremely concerned about the lack of young, pro-life individuals.’

    ‘We need to push our government to severely restrict abortion.’

    ‘We need to educate people on sexual responsibility and the true horrors of abortion.’


    Or is that a completely different Amanda Stitzer?

  28. But embryos are tiny babies!!! Wearing hats!!!! I’ve seen teh billboardz and I know!!!!

  29. Toast in the machine says:

    Seems like baseless scaremongering to me. Proposed Amendment 31 to the HF and E bill raised that exact point, but was voted down because it was referring to matters outside the scope of the legislation:
    ‘Any decision on whether an organ may or may not be transplanted from a child falls outside the scope of the Bill and is the province of the Human Tissue Authority, based on the merits of each case put to it’ and,
    ‘The use of organs from children in transplantation is governed by the Human Tissue Act… The Bill does not change this position. The amendment still allows embryo testing where the intention would be to treat the older sibling with other types of tissue from any resulting child, such as bone marrow, cord blood or, as discussed in Committee, types of tissue other than whole organs.’

    So it is the HTA which makes decisions in this area. Their code of practice on the donation of organs, tissue and cells states:

    ‘Any decision to proceed with the removal of an organ, part organ or tissue from a child who lacks capacity is governed by a test of best interests. This test should not be limited to medical interests, and should take account of emotional, psychological and social benefits. It is good practice that the practitioners involved assess the child’s best interests by discussing the matter with the child and the person who has parental responsibility for him or her8. In any case of doubt as to what is in the donor child’s best interests, the practitioners should seek legal advice and if necessary, the matter should be referred to the court.’

    ‘Children can be considered as living organ donors only in extremely rare circumstances, and donation under the Act should go ahead only with the approval of a panel of no fewer than three members of the HTA (after court approval to the removal has been obtained, where necessary in accordance with paragraph 28 above).’

    Any concerns about donations from children too young to give consent are nothing to do with this bill, and already regulated by the HTA.

  30. Poor Richard says:

    If you give your government the power to force a woman NOT to have an abortion, you automatically give it the power to force her TO HAVE an abortion.

    And some of you, my friends one and all, are going to live to see that day, though by that time we may be so numerous no one can see day at all.

    Be of good cheer, as Poor Dick always insists. Support the world-wide movement towards one baby per couple. Overpopulation is the only political issue that really matters, kids; and nobody wants to face it. This really is one we don’t want to leave up to Mother Nature, who knows very well how to abort whole populations in horrible ways.

    You know, we could just breed bigger and better Cats — think of your little pussycat Kittinski with a mouse. What if she weighed 250 pounds?

  31. ms morbo says:

    Toast in the machine: “The amendment still allows embryo testing where the intention would be to treat the older sibling with other types of tissue from any resulting child, such as bone marrow, cord blood or, as discussed in Committee, types of tissue OTHER than whole organs.’”

    thank you finding this, i was confident there was such a guard in place against selelction for whole orgen transplant, but being confident is not a counter argument, so its nice to see it there.

    Grim Reader:

    i’m sorry i irked you so, i had no intention to. it was not the fact that you felt counter to i that i felt was misleading, it was very specifically the use of the phrase “babies-for-spare-parts”, and reference to organs being “harvested” which i felt was (to quote the toon) “emotive and misleading language”. though in hind site i doubt you had any intention of it being so. when we are passionate about a point we’re making, it rarely helps anybody word their argument democratically, and i think its fair to say that we’ve both slipped a little into rhetoric over the course of this.

  32. Poor Richard says:

    Gosh, Grim, this is a COMIC strip. Ms M. at least recognizes inflation when it happens. Now, y’all can’t tell me you never heard arguments like J’s.

    Satire doesn’t mess with lead/mislead — it just points out how folks
    lead/mislead by their own stupidities. Moreover, don’t be misled by your teacher of 18th-c literature: satire does NOT require an implicit moral stance; Jonathan Swift did that only in “Modest Proposal,” but surely not in “Gulliver.”
    All satire has to do is launch the missile, and while that is difficult enough, the target will usually do the rest.

    Keep up the good work, Author. I haven’t had this much fun since the great
    era of dead baby jokes.

  33. Jefferson says:

    I wonder if playing with genetics would be ok for Catholics if scientists found the gay gene …

  34. Dick M. says:

    Isn’t a new comic past due?

  35. Ish says:

    Please author, I’m missing my fix of the Jesus and Mo show, can we have another?

  36. Poor Richard says:

    Author: Oh, the price of creativity. Now you must feel like Charles Dickens when Little Nell was dying and his public clamored at the door for him to let her live. Like cartoonists have on/off switches. How do the syndicated artists keep up with daily schedules? It must drive them nuts and also to the formation of studios with lots of helpers.

    Cool it, fans–we don’t want to make Author feel like this is a tenure review.
    However, Ish’s choice of the word “fix” is to the point. I’ve already got the shakes . . . .

  37. Poor Richard says:

    Oops- I forgot that not everyone knows Dickens’s novels often appeared first in serial form. This makes my analogy seem even weirder than it is.

  38. Colonel Leisure says:

    When’s the next comic. I’m getting shakes here.

  39. Author dear, do you have the flu? Get well soon, whatever it is.

  40. Tie says:

    whats going on, where my Jesus and Mo fix?

    I hope you get back soon! seriously,

  41. mjm202036 says:

    For those that are harassing Author, please read Poor Richard’s last two comments.

  42. author says:

    Sorry everyone. I took a week off. I usually tell you when I’m going to do that, but this one sort of sneaked up on me. Normal service will be resumed next week, inshallah.

  43. Go Middies says:

    More…. Jesus… and Mo…..

    Must…. have…. cartoons…..

    Slowly…. slipping…. away.

  44. jerry w says:

    Dear author:
    If you can’t bring yourself to create a new issue,
    could you perhaps trim a few cels off a previous
    one and clone a new one for us?

    Inside joke material:
    BTW, “Cels” was an animation reference, and
    “issue” was sort of in the same vein.

  45. Amanda says:

    Yes, I am the same Amanda Stitzer from Protect our Posterity. Is it so weird for an atheist to be anti-abortion or anti-ESCR? It always shocks me how this issue has become so religiously based.

    To answer questions regarding Embryonic Stem Cell Research, I will post an old blog of mine about this issue:

    “I am so frustrated with how our media keeps saying “stem cell research” when referring to embryonic stem cell research. There are very different and very distinct types of stem cell research and most people don’t know the difference. The public’s ignorance on this issue is extremely frustrating! I believe in somatic stem cell research, but not embryonic for several reasons, but I will only address the scientific ones here:

    Embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) involves taking stem cells from a blastocyst (an embryo about 4 or 5 days old), which consists of approximately 50 to 150 cells total. The main advantage to ESCs is that we know they are pluripotent. Pluripotent means that the stem cells can develop into any type of cell that is inside of our bodies when given the proper stimulation. HOWEVER, ESCs are naturally programmed to divide continuously and remain undifferentiated. In order to be able to use ESCs, scientists have to be able to differentiate the desired cell type, purify the cell, and then be able to stop cell growth once it has done its job. Scientists can differentiate the specific cell type. However, the highest percentage of purity they have achieved is 80%, which is no where near what is necessary for cell transplantation in humans. Also, scientists still haven’t found a method of halting overgrowth! Cancer is caused by cells’ inability to stop growing! So, why is it that scientists believe they can harness the growth of ESCs when they have yet to cure cancer? Also, despite the other obstacles, the chances of transplant rejection are extremely high with embryonic stem cells. Then there’s the genetic instability of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos (aka “clone” without uterine implantation), since the chance of genetic mutations is exceedingly high. The probability of producing a stable SCNT embryo is less than 4%. Another thing, in more than 10 years worth of ESCR, they have yet to even produce a clinical trial!

    Somatic (adult) stem cell research (SSCR) involves taking stem cells from the patient, the blood from the patient’s umbilical cord, or a donor (living or dead). SSCs are multipotent. Multipotent means that the stem cells can develop into several different types of cells, but are limited in that they cannot develop into ANY type. SSCs are typically specialized to a certain group of cells, but in recent years we have found that some SSCs have been able to create cells outside of their group. This has become known as plasticity. Scientists are currently debating as to whether or not SSCs have the potential to be pluripotent just as ESCs are. The chances of transplant rejection or cancer are almost non-existent with SSCs, since the cells are being harvested from the patients own body and are not programmed to continuously divide. HOWEVER, as of now, we are unable to harvest SSCs to be able to create all 200+ cell types in our bodies. This doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, since they clearly have to because their progeny cells are present inside all of our bodies, but it simply means we haven’t been able to FIND them yet! The other issue with SSCs is that they can become damaged by lifestyle choices and environmental conditions. Purifying these stem cells is the normal practice, but it is no where near perfect. Also, the number of stem cells tends to be inversely proportionate to the age of the patient (or donor). These obstacles prove problematic, but are far easier to hurdle than those of ESCs. However, cord blood or primary teeth banking can help the next generation elude those complications, since those SSCs are undamaged, easier to harvest, and plentiful in numbers. Another thing, in more than 40 years worth of SSCR, they have produced numerous therapies and treatments!

    To be blunt, as of right now, ESCR is useless. Maybe at a later time it could be of some importance. However, in my opinion, by the time it could be of use, SSCR will have progressed to a point that ESCR will no longer be needed.”

  46. CyberAngel says:

    ESCR might be useless as of right now, but can one not use placenta of fetus instead of tissue from fetus itself – thus avoiding the moral problems?


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