Robert Edwrds was this week awarded a Nobel Prize for his pioneering work on IVF. It’s true, of course, that IVF made possible a range of procedures that generate important ethical questions – Arthur Caplan mentions some of them here (although the article in which he’s quoted is a little lightweight, and gives altogether too much space to the tremulous dark-hints-of-impending-doom crowd).
Predictably, the Vatican has issued a statement suggesting that the prize ought to have gone to someone else; PZ Myers gives it short shrift, though:
Among [the] peculiar complaints is the objection that [IVF] “didn’t treat the underlying problem of infertility but rather skirted it”, which is rather odd. This:
Couples can’t have children
Couples use IVF
Couples now have children
Looks to me like a rather direct way to treat infertility. Where they once could have no children, now they have children.
They also don’t like the fact that the procedure produces excess embryos which are then discarded, stored, or used in further research in reproduction. They prefer the natural method of intercourse, which produces excess embryos which are then flushed down the toilet to rot in the sewers.
For what it’s worth, I think the best response came from Jesus and Mo: