It all started back in the fifties when James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA (DSouza NA). Ever since there has been talk of human and animal cloning. It all seemed out of reach and basically impossible, but in 1997 that all changed when a sheep, named Dolly, was the first ever mammal to be cloned. She was cloned for the purpose of curing disease and research on animal organs for human transplantation (Schaeffer 3). Now that scientists know that it is possible to clone literally anything with DNA, the world has become a rather scary place.
This raises the question: Why is it unnatural to clone humans and animals? Many people say that religion is the underlining factor and god should be the only one with the right to create life. I believe in fate and Mother Nature more so then I do god. I believe that the whole world is mapped out and that we all have a time to live and die. The natural world is a wonderful and powerful environment that I feel would crumble if we began to allow people to take over the remote, so to speak. Personally, I liked the way that things were going until the human race started using technology to change the natural course of fate. Now look at our world, we are slowly destroying it with over population and these people feel the need to synthetically populate it with this new breed of test tube life.
Today they are trying to apply the technique of cloning to different aspects of
science and medical problems. Saving endangered species, for example, or allowing infertile parents to have a child of their own. Although these might seem like good ideas, a deeper investigation is really needed here. In early January of this year, Noah, an endangered species of the humpbacked wild guar was born to an ordinary farm cow named Bessie. The scientists thought they had solved the problem of saving endangered animals, but unfortunately Noah died just two days after his birth from a bacteria infection. These scientists are playing the role of Mother Nature. A cow should only carry her own offspring, not that of an entirely different species. Imagine the confusion of these surrogate mother animals when their baby is unnaturally theirs. Its not only a tragedy that this young guar had to die, but think about all of the trial runs and fetuses that were aborted or put to sleep because of physical or mental deformities. The subject of animal cloning has provoked debate about the ethics of interfering with nature as well as about the danger of using laboratory means to accomplish what habitat preservation and other conservation measures cannot (Gugliotta A3). Now there is talk that they are going to start cloning animals that have been extinct from ten to thousands of years ago. Scientists are contemplating the possibility of cloning a 20,000-year-old woolly mammoth from a block of ice in northern Siberia and are planning to use an elephant for it is surrogate mother (Gugliotta A3).This is just crazy, I dont think that I need to remind every one of the movie Jurassic Park. Do we want to move into a world of genetically engineered animals? I definitely do not; these animals became extinct for a reason and who are we to say that it is time for them to roam to earth again?
Another type of cloning that is now being investigated is the use of biotechnology to help infertile couples have children. Even Ian Wilmut, the scientist who cloned Dolly and has come out publicly against human cloning, was not trying to help sheep have genetically related children(Thomas 47). This technique to impregnate infertile couples is basically the same that they are using on the animals. First an egg is removed from a woman and all of its genetics are then stripped. Then the cells from the donor are injected and stimulated by an electrical charge. As a result of this, the cells divide and create embryos. This procedure would only clone the donor cells not the stripped egg. So if people were to do this they would basically be left with a baby that is a replica of one of the parents, or whom ever the donor cell belonged to. This raises the question: would the embryo be the parents child or sibling? People are also thinking about using this technique to bring loved ones back from the dead (Thomas 50). I do not know how
people can even consider cloning their dead mother and then carrying her around in their womb. This all seems like a sick and twisted sci-fi movie, if you ask me.
Its not what happens to the parents that disturbs me; it is what happens to the child. Imagine growing up being an exact replica of one of your parents. What a burden for those children, to know that their parents were striving to re-create themselves or someone deceased(McGraw 66). What will I look like when I am forty?That question will never have to cross the childs mind, all they will have to do is look at the parent they were cloned from or a picture of the person they were supposed to be.We also must think about all of the experimenting that needs to be done in order to make each pregnancy work. Just like Noah, the guar, numerous fetuses were discarded until the right one could be made. It is not ethical to kill so many potential lives of infants to create the one that the parents are striving for. Our fierce national debate over issues like abortion and euthanasia will seem tame and transparent compared with the questions that human cloning raises (Thomas 48).
Although my viewpoint is strictly against cloning, many people believe that it is good idea. The San Diego Zoo geneticist, Oliver Ryder, states that animal cloning will have a great impact on helping to preserve genetic variation. He believes that this technique will add new individuals to the dwindling gene pools of endangered species and help preserve wild life (Gugliotta A3). When in fact, cloning would divert scarce resources from programs like training rangers or preserving natural habitats. The cost of creating one cloned life could cost up to 15,000 dollars (Begley 59). Some people say that it is worth it and that we need to do what we can to help preserve, and in some cases
bring back these animals. Would we really be bringing them back for the better? Most of these animals are becoming extinct, or have been extinct, because their natural habitat is disappearing. The few number of animals that would be cloned, would merely become museum pieces…hanging only in zoos around the world. What a life for these poor animals, to be resurrected and then kept in a cage (Begley 59).
Various people even think that human cloning, or fertility cloning, is a good idea for couples who can not have children. They argue, Why does the law allow people more freedom to destroy a fetus than to create one (Thomas 46)? They are talking about the right to abort an unwanted child, but cloning will result in the death of hundreds of more fetuses. It takes countless test runs before a perfect and defect less child can be created through biotechnology. Is it right to murder all of these embryos to please the parents?Others argue that cloning is a wonderful thing because they can bring back children that have died from disease or in an accident, this all seems so strange to me. Imagine being born and raised by your parents, then finding out that you are only a replica of child that they had once had. It seems such a profound irony, says Ian Wilmut, the scientist who cloned Dolly, that in trying to make a copy of a child who had died tragically, one of the most likely outcomes is another dead child (Thomas 55). Is it healthy to bring back an imitation of some one they loved? I definitely do not think so; the past is the past. People have been dealing with deaths of loved ones forever; it is part of life.
In a Time and CNN poll about a month ago, groups of people were asked if they thought that it was a good idea to clone an animal, sixty-seven percent answered no.
Then they were asked if they thought that human cloning was a good idea, this time ninety percent answered no. In my opinion cloning any thing is wrong. We as the human race have gotten by just fine for centuries with out genetic cloning. Why do we really need it now? We do not; it is just another attention grabbing way for our technology to boom and take over all that is natural.
Baby, Its You! And You, And You…Renegade scientists say they are ready to start applying the techniques of cloning to human beings. Can they really do it, and how scary would that be? Time. Brigitte Thomas. 2001. 19 Feb. 2001 .
Cloned Ox Dies From Infection; Despite Setback, Researchers Will Continue Efforts to Save Other Endangered Species. The Washington Post. Guy Gugliotta. 2001. 13 Jan. 2001 .
Cloning the Endangered: With a growing number of species facing extinction, scientists have turned to a desperate strategy: replicate them–in surrogate moms. Newsweek.Aharon Begley. 2001. 16 Oct. 2000 .
Dolly greeted with excitement, reserve. National Catholic Reporter. Pamela Schaeffer. 2001. 14 Mar. 1997 .
Human Cloning: Not When, But Why. Business Week. Jay McGraw. 2001. 19 Feb. 2001 .
Staying Human: The Danger of Techno Utopia. National Review. Dinesh DSouza. 2001. 22 Jan. 2001 .