X-Message-Number: 19137
Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 21:52:06 -0700
From: "John Grigg" <>
Subject: How Dr. Gregory Stock did on the Art Bell show...

With great excitement I tuned in to the Art Bell radio show(listening 
audience in the many millions!) to hear Dr. Gregory Stock be interviewed 

for three hours.  It turned out to be a very worthwhile experience to say the 

Art started out by giving a laundry list of Dr. Stock's many achievements. 
 Art emphasized that this was a person who was uniquely qualified 

to speak on the subject of cloning and biotech.  Several times Bell used the 
term 'heavyhitter!'  

Art initially seemed to equate cloning with only the reproductive 
type.  Dr. Stock gently corrected him, and gave a "primer" to his 

lay audience to explain things.  I could tell he was very savvy about dealing 
with the media.

Stock said the overall underlying mechanisms of aging are not really 
understood yet.  And that it may be quite awhile until the aging 
process in humans can really be reversed.  

He brought up the difficulty in reengineering the genome in adult 

humans.  Stock sees gene mods in specific organs being done first for some time.

Early on religion was brought up.  Dr. Stock explained that there 
was a time when birth control and even vaccinations were considered 
very unnatural and against the will of God.  But in time people 
realized how important they were, and both society at large and 
religious organizations adapted to it.  He felt theraputic cloning 
and bioengineering would go through the same thing.  I felt it was 
an excellent point to bring up early in the interview.

When Art brought up how criticism has arisen about the use and disposal 
of stem cells for research, Stock rebutted that their are REAL people 
out there with REAL problems who desperately need the help stem 
cell research could provide.  He gave an emotionally strong delivery.  

I loved Dr. Stock's line about why some people can afford to be 
against genetic engineering, "life is beautiful to the healthy and 
attractive, but not always to nature's failed experiments!"  They 
were in some ways callous words, but with a lot of truth to them.  

Art's response was that twenty percent of the emails he was getting 
actually claimed clones would not have souls!  Bell playfully said 
when the clone appears on tv it sure better not have a blank stare! lol

The heated topic of insurance companies poking their nose in personal 
genome records was discussed.  We all know the possible dark possibilities 
there...  And as Stock shared, with the price of gene chips dropping 
precipitously, these matters will become more and more important.  

Dr. Stock saw the scenario where people have themselves privately 
screened and then buy up all the insurance they can before the any 
possible bad news about their genome leaks out.  The other side 
to it he felt would be companies saying we will insure no one until 
they allow us to pour over their genome!  

Since everyone will to an extent have chinks in their "genomic armor," 
he believes this may lead to egalitarianism.  Maybe?? lol

Dr. Stock will be holding the Storefront Genome Conference to discuss 
these very issues.  If I recall correctly it will be held at UCLA.   
His comment, "there are differences in individuals and in populations 
so we must get used to it" really shocked me.  I could imagine some 
people taking offense at him including entire populations into his statement!

Art brought up the popular notion that the wealthy will use genetic 
engineering to create an even greater gulf between rich and poor. 
 Stock disagreed with this and felt the rich were actually allowing 
themselves to be made into guinea pigs for the benefit of science! 
 He also briefly touched on how it would be more a "generational 
thing" then a "rich vrs. poor" thing.  I could imagine the wealthy 
feeling very estranged with their transhuman children!

Dr. Stock felt the real gulf would be about philosophy and religion 
among nations.  He felt Christian nations would be at a distinct 
disadvantage if they allow domestic religious arguments to hamstring 

biotech research.  Nations like China with a very  different 
outlook will not be hampered by such fears and concerns, so they 
will in time greatly outstrip us.  

I could tell Dr. Stock is to an extent quite the patriot.  He talked 
of the American character or 'constitution' and how it is in our 
very nature to want to strive, explore and successfully compete. 

 "Americans will want to shape the future and not watch others do so without 

Even GE crops were discussed.  This important subject was glossed 
over, but Stock did say China has greatly increased their yields 
by using this technology.  And since they are barrelling ahead in 
this area, we had better learn more.  

Dr. Stock did seem to have a competitive/nationalistic streak in 
him.  Or maybe he was just playing up to middle america, I don't know.      

"We are at a unique point of history and we must not let it slip 
by us."  Art continued to bring up how there were sure to be screwups 
as the research continued.  Dr. Stock mentioned in reply the U.S. 
space program and how there were casualties to achieve our goals 
of space exploration!  He felt this would be no different.       
Of matters relating to the singularity, Dr. Stock said the evolution 
and transformation of humanity is happening at astounding speed. 
 And within 5-10 generations we will be very changed.  He does see 
things taking more time to take off then many on the extro list.  

Ray Kurzweil was even mentioned! lol  Dr. Stock said in almost a 
derisive tone that he could not imagine Kurzweil's claim from a 
discussion coming true that within the next twenty years we will 
see surgical implants to enhance the capabilities of the human brain. 
 Stock believes we will get the impressive enhancements we need/want 

from noninvasive technologies.  Time for Ray Kurzweil to go on the Art Bell 
show! : )

Dr. Stock very strongly felt it is a case of government self-deceit 
if they believe they can have rules and committees to really control 

genetic engineering.  It will either happen here, or be driven underground or to
other nations.  

He felt the two big dangers involving genetic engineering are government 
interferance and/or a general pullback.  Dr. Stock sees this technology 

leading to conflict potentially worse then what even the abortion issue has so 
far engendered.

Dr. Stock emphasized he wants society to have a chance to learn 

about and discuss these technologies.  And that is what he is trying hard to do.

He said he has faith that the world our children and grandchildren 
will inherit will be wise in using these technologies.  BUT, Dr. 

Stock is not sure if he wants to live in the wonderful world he yearns for! LOL!

The interview ended with Art Bell saying, "Professor, you are an optimist!" 

I would put this interview up there with the ones done with Bart Kosko, David 
Brin, Michio Kaku and Brian Shock.   

best wishes to all,


Outgrown your current e-mail service?
Get a 25MB Inbox, POP3 Access, No Ads and No Taglines with LYCOS MAIL PLUS.

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=19137