Evidently there's a European law that a patent cannot be obtained on a product that requires the destruction of human embryos to produce. This is big stuff, because patenting ESCR lines is important to making money out of ESCR. A judge applied the apparently straightforward law in a straightforward case ruling that ESCR lines are not patentable, and predictably, the left is going ballistic.
Wesley J. Smith has a post that is just beautifully logical. Smith takes apart one rant on the subject by an ESCR advocate who uses the usual ad misericordium ("They're blocking my cure") along with junk science ("All the cells in your body are potential embryos") while completely ignoring the straightforward legal issue.
As Smith points out, the judge was applying the clear law to a clear case. The judge needn't be ethically opposed himself to ESCR to make the scientific and legal points that he made. Exactly. And I'm glad Smith doesn't feel squeamish about saying, sensibly and logically, that it's quite possible for a judge to do this, that judging isn't just all about applying one's own ethical beliefs to cases. In many cases judges aren't supposed to act as the "wise men of the village," deciding what we all must do. Sometimes they really can just make decisions based on external facts and written law, as in this case.
My favorite quotation in Smith's post is about the junk science:
The sophistry about every cell being capable of becoming an embryo is the old junk biology gambit that has to do with SCNT human cloning, in which a nucleus from a cell is used–with an enucleated egg–to create an embryo asexually. That doesn’t mean each of our cells is a potential embryo. If one wants to use the analogy, it means that each of our cells is a potential sperm.
I wish I'd thought of that myself in some discussions years ago with a friend who had been influenced by the "cells you brush off when you take a shower" nonsense: "If one wants to use the analogy, it means that each of our cells is a potential sperm."