The Sciences

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Misrepresent 'Em

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyJan 23, 2006 3:05 PM


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My book was reviewed in the Sunday Times of London yesterday. The reviewer was generally positive. Nevertheless, presumably out of the standard critic impulse to say something, anything negative, he created one of the most staggering strawmen I've ever witnessed:

But the central plank of [Mooney's] argument is the embryonic stem-cell issue. There is no doubt that Bush's solution to his dilemma was based on atrocious science. Exposing that fact is one thing. But to question the right of anybody to oppose experiments on human embryos, as Mooney does, is quite another. [Italics added]

Actually, stem cells aren't the central plank of my argument. Moreover, I never question the right of anyone to oppose embryo research, nor would I ever question that right.

Where they come up with this stuff, I will never understand. But it certainly is easier to criticize someone if you attribute dumb, indefensible positions to them.

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