Human Cloning Thread-> Reality

Well since it’s inception cloning has been looked down upon. The religious overtones, the ethical implications and all the pro’s and con’s have been blathered about for awhile. Now Advanced Cell Technology, Inc in Massachusetts has come out with the first cloning of a human embryo. It is apparently supposed to be used for Medicine. The scientists who published this claim it is ‘Cellular Life not Human Life’.

Personally, I think this is a good step for medicine and a good step for the fight against certain diseases. I do not agree with the sci-fi cloning of human beings. Keeping a clone of yourself on a slab incase ‘it’ is needed is not something I would ever advocate. Cloning a liver from good liver cells to save myself one day is a different story all together. Of course there is other uses for cloning that may or may not be beneficial.

Do you all think this will A) Pass the senate? B) Become criminalized? C)Extend human life in the future? D)Cloning will become the norm for our childrens, children.

Well, looks like you beat me to starting this thread…

I, for one, am concerned about the apparent knee-jerk reaction of some lawmakers. Quoting from the CNN article this morning:

I am interested in what other people actually think about the issue. To me, there’s a vast number of potential benefits and potential consequences that will need to be considered, from medical benefits to sci-fi worlds, to unthinkable “doomsday scenarios”.

But the issue of whether or not to allow this first step, which may lead to taking command of our own evolution, is a rather large one to simply reject out of hand, as some individuals seem to be doing.

Put me down as being in favor of cloning, primarily for the purpose of organ transplants and sundry medical benefits.

The implications of human cloning are pretty stupendous. Huge strides in stem cell research are obviating the need for the Spare Body in the Freezer™ concept that has been bandied about so much of late. Where you get into really dicey territory is when you want to talk about cloning to create humanoids that are devoid of any full consciousness or personality (no forebrain). Easily trained like dogs, these humanoid “robots” could be used to perform all sorts of dangerous or fatal tasks (like cleaning up the Chernobyl core) and be considered disposable. Likewise, a breed of combat specialized humanoids would also be a likely offshoot from such efforts. The ethicality of this sort of work is extremely dubious and will pose some of the most difficult decisions that the human race will face in the future.

To answer the questions you have posed:

A) If you thought stem cell research caused a firestorm in the Senate, wait until you see what happens over human cloning.

B) Criminalization may be a possible upshot of such legislation but more likely will be loss of license and funding to individuals who violate such mandates.

C) Cloning techniques will most definitely contribute to the extension of human life in the future. Increased lifespan and reduced accident mortality rates have far reaching implications for society’s resouce distribution and utilization (see H.G. Wells’ Food of the Gods).

D) The adoption of cloning techniques as a human reproductive methodology is a dangerous and risky precedent as it represents a significant threat by potentially narrowing diversity in the human genetic pool. There are so many other drastic implications of this concept that it is unlikely to be permitted in the foreseeable future.

vast majority of people do not like the idea of superhumans… hence, they want to destroy anything what looks like tool for creation of superior beings… in my humble opinion vast majority of people deserves extermination because they are very harmful for evolution of higher forms of life…

I recall hearing this sort of thing coming out of Germany in the not so distant past, except they called it Eugenics.

I think cloning as a tool for stem cell research and development should be allowed and encouraged from the government. I do not see an unimplanted embryo as a human life.

While there are many social implications of reproductive cloning (taking the embryo, implanting it in a woman, and having her carry to term and give birth), I do not beleive the government can outlaw it. It’s a matter of privacy and reproductive rights, like abortion and birth control. They can, however, regulate it, including dsiallowing it until a safe method has been found. As it stands, science knows too little about the development and disorders of a clone to ethically clone a human being. More experimentation is necessary.

Personally, I can’t see why someone would want to clone themselves. The old fashioned way is better, as genetic diversity is key for the survival of the species. I expect it will be trendy for the super-rich (and bereaved) for awhile, then die down as people realize how different clones are from their gentic parents.

As for super/subhuman scenarios. Ban 'em. Not even worth thinking about. A human is something that is born from a woman’s uterus and is genetically similar to the “normal” human population. If this wasn’t true we’d already be using the profoundly retarded for slave labor. We see them as human, why not a being who is intentionally made to be disabled?

I, for one, do not understand the massive opposition to this issue. Do people people actually think clones would mindless automatons grown to adult size in big vat? Do they not understand that a clone is essentially an indentical twin of a person, which would come to term, be born, and grow up to be a complete and unique individual? This is insanity. It’s no more “unnatural” to me than in vitro fertilization.

Isn’t it a religious issue? The souls of the clones, etc.?

I personally would love to have a spare heart growing in my cloned self, just in case that morning jog does try to kill me one day.

The real risk I see at the moment is that clones have a very high rate of birth defects. Dolly the sheep was the first of a very long line of duds. Also, they have reduced lifespans. One hopes scientific improvements will over time tidy this up.

I think cloning organs is perfectly ok, it beats the donor system. but cloning people, i don’t really see a point that’s not evil (eventhough that sounds really corny :P)

Not much of a surprise that I wouldn’t understand it then I guess.

The evidence of the existence of a “soul” is insufficient to me, but wouldn’t a clone have a perfectly good soul of their very own? Or does God only give souls to people made by sexual intercourse? I guess that rules out in vitro.

Problems in the cloning process aside for the moment, here’s my solution. Cloning is made perfectly legal. Clones are considered normal human beings and given all the rights, privleges, and protections afforded by law as everyone else, as is only fitting, since that’s what they would be. Problem solved. I see no need for all this nefarious sci-fi horseshit going around. (headless clone organ farms and stuff)

By the way, it’s not as if this is a particularly important issue to me, it just seems like the opposition to cloning is founded on gross ignorance. Or maybe I’m the ignorant one. If so, what am I missing?

How would you like 2 of you running around? Not only could that get confusing, but there could be lots of goverment foul-play and such going on. I think there was a good outer limits episode with cloning, and that one movie about cloning that Arnold S. did. It may be all sci-fi, but the base problem is pretty realistic.

For example, someone clones the president, they knock-off the president and replace him with a programed clone, but because he is exactly alike, no one notices. And because DNA samples are so easy to attain, this is totally out of the question.

See the problem now?

Is the evil president clone brainwashed by the scientific super-genius?

You forgot something - our evil mastermind must have a way of aging the clone. Otherwise, the President is going to look like a 6 month old baby.

No. If they cloned the president, first how would they “program” the clone, and who would believe an infant in the oval office?

If you cloned me tomorrow, the clone would functionally be my identical twin brother, and he’d be about 27 years younger than me. Not a big problem in my opinion.

One thing I agree with though

Not to mention all they’d have to do is fingerprint the Pres clone, and the jig would be up.

Or a retinal scan, or have the first spouse (or some other family member) ask him some personal trivia that the evil genius would never have thought to include in his programming.

Plus they’d have to get to the president in the first place to pull the switcheroo. Easier said than done. If they could do that, they’d simply kill him, or use a non-clone imposter. If it was a good likeness, he’d last as long as the clone.

I agree it is simply a matter of guranteeing clones the same right as “naturally” conceived people. There’s also issues about teh individuality of clones in regards to their gene parent.

I once eavesdropped on a TA and a student debating this issue:

TA: So you’re saying in your paper that you disagree with human cloning on moral grounds. Why?
Student: Well, the clone would be compared so much to its genetic parent, it wouldn’t be able to lead a life of its own. I’d feel sorry for it.
TA: I got compared to my sister growing up. Do you feel sorry for me?

This used to be the same grounds I used when I was opposed to cloning, but now it seems like a silly argument. Personally, I too can’t understand WHY someone would want to do it, but I also don’t understand what provokes infertile people to go through years of fertility treatments… I guess it’s the same logic here.

I would only worry about cloning if it became widespread all over the world, because there would be concern about our future genetic diversity. Perhaps an “only X number of clones per year” rule will be in the works???

Yep: zero. Hey, its a number! :smiley:

I am not certain what, exactly, cloning an embryo means. Are they cloning the fertilized egg before it first divides, are they cloning one of the cells which are produced after the first few divisions, are they cloning fetal tissue, and how, exactly, is cloning non-specific or specific cells any different from cell cultures? It seems they would have the same effect. The idea isn’t to grow a new person, but to grow a new batch of the same kind of cells.

I can sometimes understand the moral issues involved with cloning, though I pretty much disagree, and the “genetic diversity” argument really depends on a lot of other factors IMO. So I think a clone ban is excessive.

Seriously folks, I do not see any reason to think this whole thing will turn Sci-fi. We are not entering A Brave New World just yet. Clones are not going to be programmed. The closest I can find is that what Advanced Cell Technologies, Inc in Massachusetts wants to do is use the cloned human embryo for stem cell research. Apparently the process goes like this:

[li] A woman donates an Egg. Half the genetic structure is removed, and a ‘chemical’ solution is added to change the electric charge.[/li][li] The development of an embryo soon insues. Then once the stem cells start to form they are used to ‘grow’ organs or any cells a person may need. Liver, pancreas etc…etc…[/li]
One problem I have with this fourth grade explanation that was offered from CNN is that I do not see anything having to do with Sperm. Does this mean Sperm is not needed?

HEY QUAG TOP Is there a more concise definition for this? Or I should say, what is a more concise definition of what they are doing in Massachusetts?

Also quick technical question: Doesn’t a fertilized egg need vital minerals and vitamins as well as hormones and other stuffs? How could a chemical solution substitute for natural vitamins and minerals? I guess one has to consider they only want to research cell therapy, and possibly growing organs…But what could be on the horizon is what I think people are very worried about.

The medical uses for which the latest claims are being made as to the value of cloning appear far reaching and incredible, and I have no doubt that if pursued, wealthy women can can stretch out their lives indefinitely. Just like my vehicles, replacement parts will no doubt lead to many extra years.

Wealthy, because the cost would be prohibitive for HMO’s and national medicare systems, and women, because apparently this new method of cloning involves stimulation of eggs only , through chemicals.
Never mind that western women already live far longer lives than men, but this latest technology will further widen the gender gap.


They cannot clone their brains (at least, they can’t clone the memories and so forth), and brain cells die in droves as you age. Strike one against immortatilty.

Secondly, you cannot replace your whole body. All tissues’ whose cells reproduce will age. There is a small bit at the end of DNA which shortens over successive replication, and this is believed to be the key component in aging. Fixing that little bugger would take a retrovirus of some sort, though I’m not exactly sure how such a mechanism would work, and if it could work on all cells or if it would have to be specially designed for all the different tissues and organs in your body. That is a bit more than just expensive.

We are pretty much guaranteed to die, even with medicine on our side. Sorry, but even the rich get eaten.