It seems to me that many popular accounts on cloning are not completely technically accurate and use inflammatory language. Things seem to be slowly improving as we come to a better understanding of what is (and is not) possible.
US Senator Tom Harkin, (D) IA has a very eloquent statement that closely reflects my (current) opinion. Who says Christians can't be radical ? Galileo was.
From: Lee Daniel Crocker Subject: Re: Yea, Harkin! (was Cloning) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 23:07:31 -0800 (PST) Organization: Piclab (http://www.piclab.com/) Reply-To: email@example.com "This has enormous potential for good, There should be no limits on human knowledge, none whatever. To those like President Clinton who say we can't play God, I say OK, fine, you can take your side alongside Pope Paul V who in 1616 tried to stop Galileo, they accused Galileo of trying to play God too. [...] I don't think cloning is demeaning to human nature, to attempt to limit human knowledge is demeaning. It's not legitimate to try to stop cloning. What nonsense, what utter, utter nonsense to think we can hold up our hand and just say "stop". Cloning will continue, the human mind will continue to inquire into it. Human cloning will take place and it will take place in my lifetime, and I don't fear it at all. I want to be on the side of the Galileos and those who say the human mind has no limits, rather than trying to stop something that's going to happen anyway." --US Senator Tom Harkin, (D) IA KGO radio replayed part of that speech in the news tonight. Until now, I was beginning to despair that libertarian voices on this issue would be drowned in the flood of anti-tech I'd been hearing. But the facts not only that he said it, but that it got airplay, encourage me. Among the rarest events humans may occasionally witness, like solar eclipses and bright comets, you may include hearing me praise a Democrat: your cousin done good today, John. Of course tomorrow he'll want me to pay for the reasearch, but hey, the quote will always be a good one. -- Lee Daniel Crocker http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html
See also nanotech.html#dna
see also christlib.html
Please note that cloning is *not* genetic engineering.
1. Cloning Xeroxes a person. 2. Human cloning is replication or making children into commodities. 3. Human cloning reduces biological diversity. 4. People created by cloning would be less ensouled than normal humans, or would be sub-human. 5. People created by cloning could be used for spare organs for normal humans. 6. All people created from the same genotype would be raised in batches and share secret empathy or communication. 7. Scientists who work on human cloning are evil or motivated by bad motives. 8. Babies created by cloning could be grown in artificial wombs. 9. Only selfish people want to create a child by cloning. 10. Human cloning is inherently evil: it can only be used for bad purposes by bad people.
. . . all "moulding" is evil, and . . . if human beings at birth had the power of choice and the means of understanding the world, it would be criminal; since they have not, we temporarily enslave them, for fear that, otherwise, they will suffer worse misfortunes from nature and from men, and this "temporary enslavement" is a necessary evil until such time as they are able to choose for themselves the "enslavement" having as its purpose not an inculcation of obedience but its contrary, the development of power of free judgment and choice; still, evil it remains, even if necessary.
``A mammoth undertaking: Can genetic science bring extinct species back to life? And if it can, should we let it?'' article by Katharine Mieszkowski http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2002/01/03/mammoth/
``Richard Stone ... [says] We could see a cloned mammoth within a generation, within 20 years. But there'll be human clones before there are mammoth clones, probably in the next five years.
Do you think that some governments, like the United States, will try to stop the resurrection of extinct species, as they have with human cloning?
I don't think any of the governments are going to step in and say: "How dare you! Don't clone the woolly mammoth!"
Animal cloning has taken place, and the only regulatory issues that it's triggered have been animal care, in ensuring that the clones are treated with the same standards as any other research animals. I think that would extend to mammoths as well. ''
``Mammoth Clone: Science, or Simply Fiction?'' article by Bill Gasperini http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/landofmammoth/dispatches/clonezone.html
[fixme: future history]
``DNA Yes, Clone No: Extinct Mammoth Likely to Remain Extinct'' article by Willow Lawson http://abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/mammoths000313.html
Looking further down the road, once the genes that promote disease (Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular problems) and those that promote longevity are identified, it will become possible for parents to select favorable genes for their progeny. Already, more than 1,000 healthy children have been born after their parents used pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to select among eight-cell embryos to find the ones that were free of disease genes. In the future, parents might also select embryos that bear longevity-promoting genes and implant those. Further in the future, parents will be able to add genes that improve their progeny’s immune systems, mental acuity, and athletic abilities by installing artificial chromosomes.
... the best reason for _not_ cloning human bodies. ...
If we have human clones, law enforcement goes down the tubes. ...
With different people (separate souls, if you will) possessing identical bodies, one could commit a crime, leave fingerprints, palm prints or DNA samples and there's no way to prove which clones actually did the deed.
DAV: this is silly, for 2 completely different reasons: (a) We already have this problem now with identical twins. To solve this problem, one would have to ban clones *and* ban identical twins. Are you willing to go that far ? (b) Yes, DNA samples cannot distinguish one clone (or one twin) from another -- but fingerprints can easily tell them apart, as can palm prints, bare footprints, iris scans, and retina scans http://www.forensic-evidence.com/site/ID/ID_Twins.html | http://www.aprint.com/ | http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/jgd1000/ | http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/jgd1000/genetics.html . [FIXME: crosslink #biometric]
One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. They picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.
The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."
God listened patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well! How about this? Let's have a man making contest."
To which the man replied, "OK, great!"
But God added, "Now we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam."
The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
God just looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"
"Woolly Mammoth Resurrection, "Jurassic Park" Planned" article by Stefan Lovgren, April 8, 2005 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/04/0408_050408_woollymammoth.html "Many mammoth experts scoff at the idea, calling it scientifically impossible and even morally irresponsible. ... An alternative method would be to clone a mammoth ..."
Started 1999-09-27 David Cary http://rdrop.com/~cary/html/cloning.html