FROM Adam Weissman,
Contact Keith Olbermann/Countdown (segment aired October
1, 2010) to challenge blatant speciesism AND the idea that
animal experiments are needed for future medical advances.
Richard Stockwell, Executive Producer -
Please blind CC me on your letters at
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
On the October 1st episode of Countdown with Keith Olbermann,
the host ignores a remarkable irony in two consecutive segments.
It's fairly stunning yet also unsurprising. To wit -- he has a
Harvard scientist on bashing creationists and making the
argument for students understanding
evolution. And one of the points he makes is that we need to
fight superbugs and one of the ways we are going to do this is
with research on animals because there are experiments we can't
do on human beings and that requires understanding evolution.
The next segment covers the U.S. apologizing for experiments in
Guatemalans some decades ago and includes a quote from one of
the researchers saying "we couldn't do this at home." The
comment is almost a dead-on restatement of the quote by the
pro-evolution academic applied in a different context. Yet one
portrayed as an atrocity and the other is the uncontested
comment of a person portrayed as a voice of reason. Adding to
the irony, the title of the latter segment was "Inhumane."
Here are the quotes:
"Great advances in diseases like cancer, Alzheimer's, and
Parkinson's Disease are often going to come from research on
other animals because you can't give cancer or Parkinson's
disease to a human -- you can to a mouse. We have to understand
the relationship between a mouse and a human in order to
understand that science."- Dr. Stephen Pinker, Harvard
This is from the second segment:
"Between 1946 and 1948, under Dr. Thomas Culter's direction,
nearly 700 people, female prostitutes, male prison inmates,
mental patients, soldiers, were infected in Guatemala with
Syphilis and gonorrhea, injecting them with the diseases into
their skins, genitals, spines. The U.S goal was to determine the
effect of Penicillin in sexually transmitted diseases.
Guatemalan authorities provided access to their patients in
exchange for supplies....he United States Surgeon General Thomas
Parran saying at the time, quote, "you know, we couldn't do such
an experiment in this country." The experiments ended after two
years. And Dr. Cutler would later on to oversee the equally
shameful Tuskegee, Alabama syphilis study two decades later."
This is a good opportunity to challenge blatant speciesism
along with the idea that animal experiments are needed for
future medical advances. Please ONLY write if you intend to
offer thoughtful commentary on the ethics question or provide
well researched facts on the scientific issue. Sloppy arguments
and angry condemnations will only detract from better argued
letters. In this case, quality matters even more than quantity
You can view the segments on this page -- make sure to catch
the October 1 episode:
Thank you for everything you do for animals!