Stem cells result from in vitro fertilization of the egg outside the woman's body, resulting in a tiny group of identical "stem cells." When these are introduced into a woman's uterus, a pregnancy will (hopefully) result. If not so introduced, they will never develop into a human being, and can be kept viable for an indefinite period by deep freezing. Under the proper conditions, these cells can be made to grow into different kinds of human tissue that will not be rejected if implanted into a human. For example, burn victims could receive new skin, and severely damaged bone tissue could be replaced.
Creationists teach that a woman's egg becomes a human being at the moment of conception. Therefore, according to them, any kind of stem cell research is "baby killing." and should be punished as murder. So, you might ask, what to do with the stem cells? Keep them forever in the deep freeze? The creationist response is to not allow any in vitro fertilization to occur in the first place. Childless couples and burn victims are to be held hostage to a wildly intolerant religious dogma! America should be aware of the menace of the growing political power of the religious right and recognize it for what it is: America's Taliban! The following is excerpted from an article in the Institute for Creation Research's November 2001 issue of Back to Genesis. It was written by ICR's President, John Morris:
Biologists know that life comes from life - that there is no time during which life ceases and then restarts - thus, the inescapable conclusion that the new life begins at conception. Creationists additionally recognize human life as "the image of God," to be valued and protected. To destroy purposefully the image of God reveals an underlying attitude toward God Himself. Hopefully, all reasonable people would oppose "harvesting" the healthy heart of a living but unwilling individual to save the life of one in need of a heart transplant. Is this any different from harvesting an unborn's cells to save another? I think not. Evolution has often exposed on these pages as the anti-God religion. It has justified untold brutality and death throughout the millennia, including raccism, the holocaust, abortion, etc. Could we not conclude that hatred for the "image of God in man" is a major doctrine of this religion, and destruction of that "image" its sacrament? Nothing else explains the fervor with which it [stem cell research] is demanded and the unwillingness to consider [other] options.