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Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 18:21 GMT
Should human cloning be banned?
We discussed human cloning in our weekly phone-in programme, Talking Point. Our guest was Professor Richard Gardner of the Royal Society.
The group which claimed the first birth of a cloned human last week has said a second such baby was born to a Dutch lesbian couple on Friday.
Brigitte Boisselier, Chief executive of the US-based Clonaid organisation told a French news agency the child, a girl, weighed 2.7 kilograms (six pounds), but would not specify in which country the natural birth had taken place.
Sceptical international scientists are still awaiting DNA proof that the first baby - a girl named Eve - is indeed an exact genetic match of her 31-year-old American mother.
US President George W Bush has called on Congress to outlaw human cloning while French President Jacques Chirac described the development as "criminal and contrary to human dignity".
This Talking Point discussion has now closed. Thank you for your comments.
I can understand the idea of being able to recreate organs and limbs for people, but believe cloning human life is very disturbing. Progression through science is all very well, but when dealing with a living being you have to draw the line somewhere. We have no right to play God and I can only see problems arising from this. Has anyone even stopped to question over the mental state of the cloned humans? They'll be ridiculed and in the limelight for life. And for no fault of their own.
If human cloning is to be banned, will someone please tell me who/what is going to enforce this ban? I foresee a minefield of problems looming here!
I feel that human cloning should definitely be banned. What it is doing is upsetting the natural balance of nature. The original purpose of science and technology was to aid us in our pursuits of a better life for human kind but human cloning makes no sense whatever achieving this. Is our thirst for advancement in science worth forsaking our ethical beliefs? I hope not.
Once collective human knowledge crosses a barrier, it is difficult to reverse it through social, political or religious constraints. How could an effective ban on cloning be defined and why should we do it? I wonder if many people who are vocal against cloning really understand the process, the results and potential benefits in treating genetic and congenital defects. Also wonder why we did not have this kind of a reaction against test tube babies, which is also an unnatural process.
Michael, Canberra, Australia
For all the moralistic bluster about human cloning, has anyone really considered what the legal status of the resultant children would be? If a person is a clone, will they be afforded full human rights? This is surely a dichotomy. If you give them human rights, then you tacitly condone the means by which they were conceived. If you withhold such rights, then you are saying that not all human are created equal, and you might as well scrap human rights altogether.
I think human cloning is great. Glad science beat bad legislature. Genetic Research will allow us to save our own lives, and increase our own potential as human beings. Life will be longer, and happier. Also it opens many doors for more creative and imaginative thinking. No knowledge is inherently bad. Cloning is no more evil then a copper vein in a mine. It waits to be discovered and used by someone for better or for worse.
My main objection to cloning is not the morality issue but that cloning is idiotic. The reason we have thrived as a species is that sexual reproduction is a more successful strategy than asexual reproduction because it mixes and matches genes. Cloning is voluntary asexual reproduction. In cloning, reproductively we're turning ourselves into amoeba. I don't think we'll ever have enough knowledge to consciously guide human development in the right direction.
Even worse, the idea of cloning is built on a myth. Given that we are formed by both nature and nurture, another person with your genes is going to be you. It's an insane alliance of vanity, egoism and science.
Where do we ban cloning - in our country or throughout the world? We can ban it where we live, but what about a country half way around the world? How do we force, or at least convince, them to ban it in their society? We cannot. Do we let them continue what we consider inhumane? It's for the world leaders to decide on an international platform.
How long is the US going to stop latest developments in the world? Like Napster was freedom of music and now it is dead - the same way now for cloning. Are we coming to the death of a civilization as when in earlier times, new inventions were banned? A definite loss for science and human race.
Just because we can doesn't mean we should. Look at the atomic bomb.
Technology is great, but at what cost? We are eventually going to be the death of ourselves. And it will all be because we didn't know when to say no. I am all for medical innovations, and progress, but cloning humans, is just going too far.
Of course one should understand those parents who have lost their children and want them back. But the problem is that it cannot clone an identical child. I don't mean the appearance, but the character and the inner world of the child that they have lost.
Scientist shouldn't even think of cloning human beings, they should concentrate more on improving human lives not creating human beings. This could lead to destruction.
Troubling as cloning may be, it is only a technology. Cloning has the potential to vastly improve the quality of life for many people. Religion and Politics should keep their hands off of science.
There is a big difference between therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning. The former could save lives, the latter should not be permitted.
How will society respond to adult cloned individuals, particularly if their numbers become plentiful? Will they be regarded by the 'man in the street' as human beings... or a lesser form? Throughout our history peoples branded by others as non-human and sub-human have faced severe discrimination, enslavement, and even extermination.
No-one knows the roads which the future will take, but I fear that we are paving a path that may lead to a regrettable destination.
Many people say that cloning is UNETHICAL. Who defines what is ethical? Test tube babies were unethical a few decades ago when the method was discovered and now it's an everyday routine process.
Cloning is ridiculous. As someone earlier mentioned, the world is already overpopulated. Cloning humans is not only ethically wrong and disturbing, but it is of no good to the human race whatsoever.
Jessi, Denver, USA
We should outlaw religion, not cloning. Consider how much more peaceful, understanding, wise and spiritually enlightened the human race would be if this horrible scourge could be eliminated. Poverty, injustice and war would be less serious, workable problems. We could even have a reasonable discussion about science and cloning.
Before any decision is made, we really ought to wait until the media circus is over.
Right now, it's just mob rule. An angry and confused mob exists only on emotion, with no shred of rational thought.
Come on, if there are people bent on doing something, they will be doing it no matter what. The Prohibition era in the US was one clear example. If you want to control something, put it under limits tight enough to prevent the most dangerous abuses, but not too tight to force someone doing it illegally.
Richard, Tadley, UK
The public is not enlightened enough to make a decision on this topic. Notions based on fictional stories of cloning have biased the public into thinking it is unethical and will be the demise of the human race. Unenlightened public opinion playing into major scientific decisions is parallel to the Salem witch trials.
The Raelians made the same claim in 1978! Now they are withholding their "proof", saying that they are protecting the child and parents. They just want the attention from stirring up controversy.
I think it is one of those great human advancements which no law can stop from happening.
Feisal Amour, Toronto, Canada
The world's reaction to human cloning is reminiscent of the 19th century reaction to Darwin's theory of evolution. Whenever there is a major scientific breakthrough that defies established views an angry reaction of this magnitude is expected. Scientific developments must be allowed to take place - otherwise we would still be in the middle ages.
I find the idea that this cult has succeeded in cloning a human ridiculous. Are we to believe that they had the accepted number of failed clones before this one? Where are all the other women whose implanted clones did not make it?
Aaron Pendlebury, Northampton England
Allowing the cloning of an entire human body is a slippery slope. Once the precedent is set, and cloning is allowed to continue, then more insidious applications, such as the attempt to create super soldiers or a pure race, is only a matter of time. Will my descendants have to be worried about being a certain percent "organic"?
A clone-Einstein may have the capabilities of the 'parent-Einstein' but this 'clone-Einstein' need not necessary create another theory of relativity. Think of the possibilities: Man could prevent the endangered species from being extinct; there could be cures for several diseases like cancer.
While I'm not a Christian fundamentalist, it would shock me if God did not punish us in some way for trying to be Him. More importantly, however, is the fact that there is too much room for abuse.
The only advantage to the cloning of human cells is that it will eliminate the abhorrent practice of animal vivisection.
If cloning is godless than there is obviously life without god, which finally once and for all makes god useless. No wonder so many religious fanatics are all worried about this turn of events. I am all for cloning, lets place humanity away from the pre-historical beliefs of current religions and join the 21st century.
Joel Baumbaugh, San Diego, CA, USA
A critical aspect that is rarely addressed within this topic is the resulting child. Shouldn't there be more attention paid to the fact that person who will be born without two biological parents?
What if it turns out that a future Pope is a clone? Who will call for his removal then?
Cloning should only be approved if its purpose is to cure serious diseases. With the exception of cloning the lead singer out of the Sugababes...
Many people seem to have nothing more than a science fiction concept of cloning, or have tainted their understanding with religious prejudice! Nonetheless, to have such a new and complicated technology applied to humans for the sake of money or publicity is grossly immoral. With such a risk of congenital defect or illness, and having been performed away from the world's eyes, one has to wonder - for every success story we hear, how many failures have there been? At least we've been notified pre-birth! International law will have to be drafted realistically on this one to avoid forcing similar experiments underground.
Cloning like any other powerful technology is capable of doing either great good or great evil. There has never been any powerful technology that can not be used for either good or evil (consider any thing from fire to atomic power). Cloning, like any new technology cannot be un-invented.
What we need to do, is put in place laws and regulations to insure that any viable human clone is given all the protections of any other human baby! If the clone is not viable, then we should not insist on it's having the rights of a human foetus/baby. In any case, if human cloning is made illegal it will still go on, just underground, with no legal protections for the clones.
Will it lead to us having less respect for the preciousness of life - by showing that it can be recreated?
Dirk Vandenheuvel, Belgium
Human cloning is now at the initial stage and we must accept more failures but be determined to further develop to such status which is extremely useful.
If God had meant for man to clone humans, He would not have given Eve to Adam with the ability to give birth; He would have just given Adam the ability to clone anything he needed. Cloning is just another sign that man is trying to become God.
The only thing cloning will accomplish is the destruction of human dignity.
Cloning is not going to take hold, because the old-fashioned way of making babies is just so much more fun!
I don't see how cloning can help reduce disease or poverty, or any of the other claims the pro-cloning people here are making. We have already seen with cloning of animals that the "clones" are less healthy than the originals they were copied from. With the cloning of plants we have seen that a single disease can wipe out the entire crop - something that doesn't happen in a more diverse population.
I think it is a mistake to object morally against cloning. A human clone is nothing more than an identical twin, which happens naturally. There are plenty of technical reasons for banning human cloning.
Cloning should not be banned, much of the opposition to cloning stems from the fear of unknown. What people don't seem to realise is that a person and his/her clone are going to be two different persons. Cloning gives us one more way of reproducing!
Human cloning is a sensitive subject and needs a closer assessment as to why there is a need for going one step ahead of others. Watching clones work like us and do what an average person does is no crime. Intricacies involved in the evolution of man and the affects of genetic mutilations still need a thorough probe. Until then we cannot say whether there is anything wrong in cloning human beings. Though it should only be restricted to experimentation.
If the "clone" has the same fingerprints as the original, it's truly a clone. If not, it is merely an identical twin, born years later. If it is truly a clone, this could potentially cause criminal problems.
Cloning is a bitter reality and we have to accept it. No matter what anyone does or says it will happen eventually and we can't stop it. It is the interference of humans into Godly matters and is the indication and start towards final day. So we should be ready for a chain of huge disasters to finalize the END.
Anonymous, Fort Collins, CO, USA
We have the ability to clone, so no matter what steps governments take to prevent it, human cloning will occur simply because we have the ability to do it. We're humans; we have to tinker with everything, even if it might mean our extinction as a race.
Well, to those who don't know it yet, I've got news for you: Each of us is a perfect clone of God! As the Bible says it well, God creates us to his own image by cloning himself, and therefore allowing us to inherit one of his most powerful features i.e. we can think, therefore create just like him - including cloning. Who is then to blame, God or us? Should we blame him for transferring us his powerful abilities to create or shall we blame ourselves for inheriting and exercising them?
Before we have a clear picture of the outcomes of such a technologically progressing act, whether good or not, I don't think it is clever to do human cloning. We are not ready for an age when we can decide what creatures can be made. Too many pros and cons of human cloning need to be taken into consideration before this action is legislated and acceptable to the public. By foreseeing the outcomes and thinking of the resolution of the problems we may face in the future can we probably be ready to deal with the challenge of human cloning.
Claims that the "uniqueness" of a clone would be violated are wrong, Twins have more genetic identity to each other than any clone created by pro-nuclear injection or somatic cell nuclear transfer. The word clone is unfortunately used to describe too many things and therefore gives the wrong impression to non-scientists who are the people who will (rightly) ultimately decide whether the technology should be banned.
This is a tempest in a teapot.
It's only a step on the road to reproduction without people. Fertilisation (in whatever form it takes) to birth in the lab - the ultimate goal!
The safest, most efficient, and fairest (for the child) method.
As long as human cloning is not used to "create the superior" race in years to come. I do not feel that it is immoral. If it can be proved that the procedure can be used to alleviate or decrease the risk of life threatening illnesses in society then the process should be welcomed as a step forward in medicine and embraced as an outlook towards a brighter and healthier tomorrow.
We as a race cannot be trusted with this ultimate knowledge. Does nuclear power ring any alarm bells to anyone? Nuclear power despite what anyone says is clean and safe (properly used). Now it causes more suffering than it stops in the form of a possible war against Iraq, simply because they may posses it. Cloning has a great potential to stop people's suffering worldwide, but will it be misused like nuclear power and go the same way? I think so, it won't be long before some country begins research into creating the ultimate human weapon. The gains from this knowledge will be quickly nullified by misuse that will no doubt occur.
Cloning is simply bravado. We should be thinking in terms of controlling the world's population and restoring the balance in the natural cycle. Our acceptance of cloning only shows us to be an arrogant species.
Having a cloned child is a somewhat selfish extension of the current trend of regarding children as a right, not a privilege, but I think that we should focus our efforts on the benefits that this new opportunity can bring us.
It is funny that whilst anything relating to birth is decried by the religious minorities in this country as being against god, they are quite happy for medical science to prevent their death.
Matt W, US
How can anybody create a life when one is not sure of the consequences of such manipulation? I wonder how many people who are vehemently are arguing that these things are bound to happen would be willing to offer themselves or their bodies for all these experiments? A person's right to research and create life doesn't extend to include imposing a life of suffering on someone-else. True, it may not be a life of suffering and scientists are probably only too wary of the process. But still, the fact remains that nothing's proved and the process once initiated cannot be undone. We haven't reached those stages where enough research has been done and it's safe to go ahead with it.
When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, the clergy condemned it as defying the will of God. People are still using God to stop progress. I think it's strange to clone humans and it may be a big mistake, but I don't see it as immoral.
Instead of producing yet more human beings, it's about time the same effort and money were put into making conditions better for those people already living on the planet. When disease and poverty do not take the lives of millions of people, when children are not systematically abused or murdered, when a new parent can be assured that their offspring will grow up in a safe environment: then is the time to consider cloning.
Nina, London, UK
As a pastor, I believe the question of cloning is prophetic fulfilment that says in the last days knowledge will increase. It's just unfortunate that may be those who do the exercise are not "born again" Christians and don't read the bible. Science without the knowledge of God makes one work against the creator.
I find it strange that so many people out there have absolutely no understanding of the word ethical. The say that cloning is not ethical. From my understanding of the meaning "Being in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the conduct of a profession" Now I was a scientist for 10 years and my understanding was always that science was all about the search for knowledge and understanding of things so how can cloning be unethical? Could it be that the people who are labelling cloning as unethical have religious tendencies which makes anything not 100% natural unethical? I do think that there should be controls over the use of cloning technologies but a ban would by definition be unethical for a scientist as it goes against the search for knowledge and understanding.
Lawrence, Edinburgh. Human cloning clearly is scientifically un-ethical because it is tantamount to unsolicited experimentation on a human being. Within already existing guidelines this is may be acceptable i.e. taken only to a foetal stage before destruction, but to allow it to develop into a child and adult is irresponsible and frankly revolting.
Mick B, UK
Cloning is a little like a hammer. A hammer and nails have lots of potential uses from building a shed to putting up a picture. About 2000 years ago some people used this fantastic new technology to nail people to large pieces of wood and hang them up to die. Should we ban this terrible new weapon? Could we ban it? I suspect not. Instead we remember a victim of the hammer whose words laid down an ethical foundation that moved his society beyond crucifixion as a way of solving it's problems.
We cannot regulate tools, processes or techniques - once invented there is no easy way to forget. What we need is a more comprehensive ethical framework that can deal with the issues that Jesus never even considered 2000 years ago.
Cloning should and must be regulated, but an outright ban would harm the progress of science. People were sceptical and horrified when IVF came about and, of course, people will be now. However, we now use IVF every day. As long as these cloned children are given the human rights endowed on all of us and are brought up correctly, I see having a clone as nothing more exciting than having a twin. I do not believe that cloning will take away individual uniqueness, since the 'parent' and the clone will still be separate people, with different lives and personalities. We can only clone the bones, muscles and organs which make up a person, not that person's individuality.
A fundamental part of being human, is to be unique. That completely goes out the window with cloning, and I would wholeheartedly support any ban imposed upon it.
This whole cloning business sickens me for the same reasons it sickens so many others... but what really bothers me is that these "brilliant" scientific minds can't concentrate their efforts into conquering cancer and heart disease - the real threats we face every day. This "bypassing God" business seems quite sick and dangerous to me. I hope it was all a hoax.
I don't think cloning in and of itself is wrong - it simply creates identical genetic material, the same way having a twin would. I do, however, worry that someday it could be used to create a certain type of 'designer human'. I don't think this is a possibility in the near future though, and I don't think we should ban human cloning until more research is done into the possible risk and benefits. If we were to always fear something new, then we'd still be stuck in the Stone Age.
The same arguments that are made against human cloning can and were made about other technological advances like the creation of the telescope or the automobile.
The real reasons people are against it are that it is unnatural and new to them and because over the years Hollywood has made a scary depiction of it.
P. Burns, England
I think that human cloning should be banned. I mean, is the world dangerously unpopulated? We already have billions of people on earth and we don't need more - at least not by artificial means.
Whatever happened to natural selection? Why when people are unable to have offspring naturally do they turn to science? This is nature's way of strengthening the gene pool. What's wrong with adoption, there are plenty of children out there who need a family already.
What will the cloned baby think when it grows up? Who is he/she? Does he/she have any human rights?
There needs to be a conference consisting of the scientific and ethical leaders of the world to discuss human cloning. This should be done through the United Nations with the end result being a treaty of some kind that the nations of the World can agree upon. When a decision is made and the treaty ratified, then it can be enforced by the United Nations.
Has anyone actually asked God? Has anyone actually met God? Is there a God? Science is Life; Life is Science - it's going to happen either now or in years to come.
Margaret Tidswell, Canada
Cloning is inevitable and so long as it is conducted ethically, it can benefit mankind.
The more we try to ban it, the more horrors will emerge as we will drive it underground.
This is historical moment for all people.
Are we, perhaps, getting two subjects mixed up here? I am against cloning of humans, but very much in favour of cloning stem cells for medical reasons.
One thing everyone should be clear about is what a "clone" really is. It's just a genetically identical copy of a person. The clone does not (and cannot) have the same mind as the original. So notions of cloning Osama bin Laden are baseless.
Some people alluded to the possibility that cloning may work counter-evolutionary. That's an interesting thought. This includes the whole gamut from effects on the diversity of the genome, the propagation of genetic defects, to possibly that it may impede further human evolution. It'll be great to hear expert opinions on this.
As far as banning cloning, I don't think it'll work, and I don't think it's a smart response. Nothing works like real understanding. Human beings need to understand the basis of life, and like it or not, experimentation is the best way we know of.
Cloning technology is at a very early stage and to use it in this manner is highly irresponsible and unethical.
Cloning is unnatural; it is man playing at being god. Nothing good will come of it, there will be repercussions to cloning other humans, and these repercussions will be negative both physically and psychologically damaging to the clone.
The war on human cloning is lost before it is even started. With so much interest in human cloning the stakes are high, and people will do it no matter what bans have been put in place.
I think it is ungodly and against all of nature to clone a human being.
There is nothing good that can come out of cloning humans it is evil and dangerous.
Lots of people here are saying things like, "Cloning is against God", or that it is a "Godless" and "evil" science. But since no-one knows the mind of God, how can they be sure? Maybe He would like us to become more like Him in our abilities. Since it is impossible to know what God wants us to do in this case, we really should try to stick to real world facts and effects when arguing the benefits and disadvantages of this technology.
Cloning should be banned for now. No one knows the effects it will have on the genome, not to mention possible genetic maladies that may result from an improper cloning procedure. Beyond that, there is the question of whether or not cloning is even ethical. There are serious issues at stake. It would not hurt to wait five or ten years to look this problem over a bit better.
The people in this world are afraid of changing and think impossible. In the past, most people did not think that the rocket will be exist but it does. I am supporting human cloned for family reason.
I am a supporter of cloning for therapeutic purposes and I fear that if this is proved true it may set back the advances of the benefits of this technology. Science is like a double edged knife. For every invention can be misused but it is not the invention that is the issue but our state of mind! Let us not repeat history and prevent Galileo's of our time from opening our eyes. It is me and you who are wasting our time contemplating whether we should stop scientists from exploring further horizons.
At the moment there are major medical problems with cloning - there is a significant risk of genetically related disease. Do we want to condemn a person to that kind of life?
The question of banning is academic, since it would be unenforceable. However, there are plenty of nightmare scenarios in store for us; deformities, premature death, clone psychosis, clones of Osama Bin Laden.. God help us.
RABERAHONA, Antananarivo, MADAGASCAR
What exactly are people hoping to achieve with such an experiment? Surely time spent researching cloning would be time better spent exploring ways to help those already in existence, in fighting disease and the afflictions of today's world. Does man's arrogance know no limits?
To all those who say that research that is unnatural should be stopped, if it wasn't for doing the unnatural we would still be living in caves. I bet the first ever religious argument was over whether this new fangled fire stuff was stealing god's light and warmth. It is being unnatural that defines us as separate from animals!
Who wants to tell their son or daughter they were created in a laboratory?
Jane D, UK
I think cloning is against GOD and humanity further more we don't know what those creatures will turn into. Let God do His work and us humans be humans.
I haven't made my mind up either way, but the religious types should consider this:
If cloning is against God, then why did He give humans the ability to find out about how they work or why doesn't He stop it now?
I don't have a problem with cloning on a philosophical level, but I think it is cruel to experiment genetically with human beings. We don't know how long these cloned children will live or if they will suffer debilitating defects. It is one thing to clone sheep, but irresponsible to clone a human being until we know what the effects will be.
Sexual reproduction has been amazingly successful - look at the huge diversity of life that it has produced over the past billion years. Asexual reproduction (cloning) really is a step back into the primeval.
Will we be sending clones of the Human Race to another planet for survival should the world blow up? What utter rubbish cloning is, along with the shallow minds of the scientists pursuing the dream of eternity. This world will pass and has to end one day. Accept it!
Of course it must be banned. There is no need to clone a human at all. Nothing religious about it, nor good science - just bad morality and no clear obvious use.
Michael Gahan, Cork, Eire
Here's a thought for all of you out there: Someday you may be cloned without even knowing it. All they need is a wimpy cell - scary? Or something you all are looking forward to?
This is a step closer to understanding our gene structure and how to correct genetic faults. We have to move on.
Up to now, cloning humans still symbolizes more the progress of biotechnology than its real contribution to human beings. Even if it could be accepted one day, those who benefit are mostly the rich instead of the man in need, which causes the increasing rich-poor discrepancy.
This is shocking what these people have done. God will certainly punish them for this hideous crime against mankind.
Why could cloning humans not be as natural as pregnancy? It is because the result could be influenced by the will of the other people - scientists. For one thing, they gain God-like power. For another, they are not so perfect as God, thus mistakes will inevitably occur. To minimize the faults, more kinds of people are needed and more and more problems follow. After all, pregnancy is the best policy.
Congratulations to Clonaid! This announcement is a new landmark in biotechnology. And while sceptics say they're afraid that the baby won't be in good health, they're just as afraid that it will be.
In India, burdened with the world's second largest population, we tend to see the cloning of human beings differently. There are already enough members of mankind and that it is vital for the living and for those to come (by natural birth) to live as happily and as well as the circumstances allow them to. It is equally vital not to prevent them from living better. As for infertile parents, there are enough orphans in the world to take care of.
That's great. The next step will be to produce a whole class of love slaves!
I say this cloning affair is exciting! Hopefully, it will stir up major international debates about ethics and science. The back-and-forth of whether Iraq has weapons was getting rather boring!
Michael Nikolich, Canada
The scientist in me is quivering with anticipation. The human being in me is deeply troubled.
I think cloning is a crime against humanity and God. We have no right to mess with nature in this way. There is too many risks.
Life should be more special. If one can "clone himself" by genetic technology, then he will not take his life as an important thing. And isn't the cloned baby a human who will have her own ideas in the future? What will she think about this kind of thing that happened to her?
Jacob Stansbury, Jr., United States of America
I don't see any problem with cloning. Lots of people overreact because they are afraid of what they don't know. If the society had decided to ban planes because humans were not supposed to fly, where would we be now? Furthermore, clones have always existed naturally; we call them twins. In vitro reproduction is praised by some for giving the opportunity to infertile couples to have a baby; why is it so much more shocking with cloning?
Cloning should be banned.
In all our research and discovery, we need to base our actions on Christian principles, having due regard to God's commandments and the general tenor of scripture.
As we look back throughout mankind's history, we have always ventured into unknown territory with the arrogant presumption that because we can create something, that we fully understand the implications.
Genetic engineering is the ultimate fashion science. Just because we can do something, does that mean we must?
Cloning is the best thing that has happened to humanity since the discovery of the wheel or fire. This way we will be able to sustain the population in, say, Europe where the rate of natural human growth is almost negative. We all know that the better the people live, the less they want to make babies.
Walter, LV - European women of today only want to bring a small number of children into the world because they know it's irresponsible to have too many, and in order to give the children they have the best possible start in life they prefer to limit the number of children. Cloning children when we haven't yet managed to clone healthy sheep yet is sheer irresponsibility too.
I can understand why infertile couples would want to clone to have a child but I think it is wrong to clone a lost child whether they died through accident or disease. You can never replace a child and trying to is just blinding yourself to the fact they are gone.
Human existence is reliant on genetic diversity - survival of the fittest - and through cloning you are reducing this diversity and may well be producing a child with a disease which has not yet become apparent in the donor.
I feel deeply for the child whose life is about to be exploited in the name of science. Right now, we do not understand enough about the creation of life to explore it in this way. Technology has given us the ability to jump ahead in our ability to explore the world, but too often in neglecting the little steps between these quantum leaps, we do not earn the right to this new knowledge and create horrible mistakes.
This Talking Point discussion has now closed. Thank you for your comments.
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