Cloning the Future

Cloning the Future

The lord god formed man from the dust of the ground and, the man breathed in through his nostrils the breath of life; and from there on man became a living soul. “The lord god then took one of his ribs and closed up his flesh instead thereof: and with the rib from which the lord god had taken from man he created woman. (Bible, Genesis 2)” Is cloning necessary for advancements in improving the quality of life? People often question whether or not we as a scientific nation are trying to play the role of god by the diverse issue of human cloning.

Early in 1997, Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut revealed to the world that he had successfully cloned an adult sheep, known to the world as Dolly. With this invention the world made a collective gasp at the realization that cloning was no longer an element to the science fiction world. Since then the cloning of human beings has been one of the most largely debated topics in the world. From the schoolhouse to the White House discussions have begun regarding the ethical implications of cloning. In several recent polls by Time magazine (The Ethics of Human Cloning 1998) “showed that 75% of the responding population thought that human cloning was a bad idea. Furthermore, 74% of the respondents believed that cloning was against gods' will, and when asked if they would clone themselves if presented with an opportunity, 91% responded with no.

However when asked to define human cloning an estimated 95% could not do it correctly”.

Opponents of human cloning often argue that it is immoral and unethical to clone human beings for both religious and humanitarian reasons. Moreover others describe human cloning as a luxury for the wealthy and as a tool for the Organ Market Development. Conversely, I feel that cloning is immoral and a bad idea for the following reasons.

First of all cloning may reduce genetic variability. Producing many clones runs the risk of creating a population that is entirely the same. This population would be susceptible to the same diseases. That means that one disease could devastate an entire population. One could easily picture the human race being wiped out by a single virus. However, less drastic but more probable events could occur from lack of genetic diversity. For example, if a large percent of the nation cattle population are clones, a particular strain of mad cow disease could affect the entire population. The result could be catastrophic food shortages. If human identical clones are made and disease strikes, what could we do to stop it from devastating our entire population? How many people would have to suffer and die for the sake of technology?

Second, cloning is currently a very expensive process. It requires large amounts of money and biological expertise. It took Ian Wilmut and his associates 277 tries to successfully create Dolly. Since then Dr Jamie Love created a new cloning technique (enucleated oocyte ) one that is proven to be more reliable. Although, even this technique has a 2% to 3% success rate. How much money would the United States be willing to spend on this project? Money that could otherwise be spent on things such as social security, Medicare, defense, roads, education, and towards our environment. Any research would eventually need to be tested on human beings. The ability to clone humans may lead to the genetic tailoring of offspring. It is conceivable that a scientist will be able to determine a baby's eye and hair color. In most cases even the baby's gender, or its' resistance to a certain disease.

Last but not least, let it be known that a clone is not an exact replica of another, it is simply a delayed identical twin. As with an identical twin the clone would have a different set of fingerprints. Scientists are concerned with the medical risks and uncertainty associated with the cloning of humans. Because clones are derived from an already existing adult cell, it has older genes. One fear is that if a baby is cloned, its chromosomes would match that of the donors. Meaning that a 5-year-old would look like a 10-year-old and a 10-year-old would look like a 20-year-old, with potential for heart disease and cancer to develop. Will the clones' life expectancy be shorter? Don't ask me, I don't know. Yet, neither do the scientists that are pushing to create them. Of all the things that cloning might be used for, it could be used to create a genetic underclass that could be used as slaves in the years to come, or on a more positive note it could be used to create humans with sub normal intelligence and above normal strength that could someday rule the world.

A person can not change what has happened in the past. Although they can influence what will happen in the future. If the United States government would decide to legalize cloning the results on our nation could be catastrophic to the future generations of America. As I previously mentioned, 91% of the responding population in Time magazine responded no to cloning themselves. Now for my pole, would you?

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