One of the latest medical and scientific breakthroughs has been the success of cloning. There has been a wide spread debate on whether or not scientists should try to clone a human. With this big debate on cloning going on, people are still asking themselves, "What is cloning?" Well, with the abilities to clone, sheep, cattle, and now primates, I'm left asking my self, "Why not humans?" It is evident that the affects of human cloning should be experimented with.
With every revolutionary breakthrough there will come criticism and blind argument. People seem to think that human cloning would come with many mishaps along the way, including clones that resemble freaks or monsters. But, according to the recently published article called "The Case for Cloning Humans" by Dr. Steven Vere of Bolder Creek, California, human cloning is not the same as human genetic engineering. In human cloning, DNA is copied to create someone who is an exact twin of an existing person, and consequently not a monster or a freak. Dr. Vere continues that human genetic engineering would involve the modification of human DNA to create a person who may be unlike any person who previously existed. This could conceivably lead to the creation of very unusual individuals, even monsters. Human genetic engineering, while having vast positive potential, is indeed a very risky undertaking and should be conducted only with the greatest circumspection and oversight. Cloning is tame in comparison with genetic engineering. If you are afraid of human cloning, you are going to be petrified by human genetic engineering. The main people who oppose cloning are those whom belong to predominant American religions. The biggest of those religions, being Christianity, opposes cloning the most. I ask my self why, the Bible and the holy texts do not explicitly prohibit human cloning. Consequently, religious opposition to human cloning is not firmly based. There will nevertheless be many who think that cloning humans is "wrong" or "God's work." If Christians listen to themselves they would realize that "playing God" contradicts what they actually believe. According to their religion there is only one god and no human, or mortal, can be god or possess powers characteristic of a god, that's contradiction number one. Contradiction number two, god is all controlling, and what he says goes. Well, if cloning was against gods will he would just destroy it or (since he knows past, present and future) not even create the ability or process to clone in the first place. Christians should come around to agreeing with cloning sooner or later. This would follow their past 1000 years of decision making. Christians have fought every medical and technical advance since the first uses of
anaesthetics during childbirth. They argued back then that a medication that hindered the pain of childbirth, went against the curse of childbirth that god had put on women. Once Christians found the usefulness of the drug they stopped bickering. Now it's common practice for Christian women to use
anaesthetics during childbirth. I feel that the same thing will happen, and history will repeat itself in the way of cloning.
We can reap the medical benefits of cloning without cloning a human. Scientists James Robl and Steve Stice of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst hope to produce a herd of genetically identical cattle that will produce milk that contains human serum albumin protein. With this medical technology we could save countless lives, human serum albumin is used to maintain fluid balance and is regularly given to patients who have lost a lot of blood.
With this big debate on cloning going on, people are still asking themselves "What is cloning". Well, cloning is the coping of cells through a process of human tissue culture media, which allows a cell to grow and divide intill a state of quiescence, which the cell enters, with out dying. After a state of quiescence is met you can proceed to remove the nucleus out of a unfertilized human egg. Take one of the quiescent cells in it's entirely, and implant it inside the coat around the egg (known as the zona pellucida) next to the egg itself. Now you just fuse the two cells together, in a procedure known as electroshock. Next, implant the embryo in a human mother where it can be carried to term, and born normally. This procedure was used in the recent revolutionary cloning of a rheres monkey at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, in Oregon. This brought new hope and theories to the possible cloning of a human. A new wave of documents and writings on human cloning followed this breakthrough. In the book Who's afraid of cloning? The author, Gregory E. Pence, tackles the subject head on, arguing for human cloning. Pence, a medical ethicist and professor of philosophy at University of Alabama, wants to know how a consensus on human cloning can be reached when only one side of the argument has been heard. That one side has been represented by such ethicists as Kass, Caplan, Meilander and the recent report of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, all of witch through up their hands at the mere thought of human cloning. Pence goes on to point out that many of the arguments against human cloning were used earlier against in-vitro fertilization. The horrified ethicists are, Pence emphasizes, genetic fatalists who cannot entertain new ideas and scientific progress, and science fiction and misunderstandings of what cloning does have helped overwhelm logical discussion. My theory is, if we do clone a human we wouldn't make a habit of it, but rather spark more interest in cloning that furthermore would result in more research. As far as creating an inferior society of clones, well it won't happen. People are humanitarians and would never let the creation of an inferior society happen. It's clear to see that we will eventually develop a method of cloning for humans. It's also clear to see that cloning would never get out of hand.
Right now we can only dream of the possibilities and theorize on the impossibilities. The technology and methods exist, the potential is there, and criticism will be short lived. Why not experiment with the possibilities, and see how far cloning can take us. The subject of cloning continues to draw worldwide attention, and with this comes hope that we will some day be able to create new ways to deal with the problems of today.
Jason goes to school at Sprague High School in Salem, OR. He wrote this paper for his advanced writing class.