Why are people upset about cloning?

A couple of days ago, hearings were held in the House of Representatives on the possibility of humans being cloned in the near future. A couple of quotes:

Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush: “Human cloning must be banned now and forever.”

Oklahoma Republica J. C. Watts: “Dolly the sheep will learn to fly before the U.S. House of Representatives condones human cloning.”

My question is: what’s the big freaking deal here? A clone is nothing be an identical twin of the original…ummm…clonee. Why should that bother anyone any more than any other biotechnology?

I would wager that it is just ignorance. Or too many Sci-Fi movies in which said clone has all of the personality traits of the original. (memories ect.) While some of those in politics might know differently, I can see them wanting to ban it just for the public vote.
Personally I dont see the big deal. So somebody can have a baby that has the same genetical make-up as me. They look like me, will go bald like me, and require glasses. Hmm, mabey I should feel sorry for them.
Now that I think about it, someday that clone of mine would be a rambuncious teenager, vandalize something or another and the police will be comming to my door with fingerprints that match mine and DNA that is identical. Could be some problems.

You will need to grab a bible thumper for the specifics but I vaguely recall something about religion having a problem with “man creates man” under his own control. If I made a clone of myself then God had nothing to do with it. No mysterious mixing of genes to create a unique and wonderful new individual. Clones are created by mans plan not by Gods. They are therefore unnatural and should not exist.

Something like that.

I personally think its a neat idea, how about being able to grow new organs and such. Of course my first thought would be how soon till we invent a way to transfer memories/skills, etc. We could live forever.

Cloning people simply for the purpose of organ growing is a bit immoral, though…

And not very fair to the clone, just being a copy of someone else.

IANA Cloning Expert, but those are a couple of objections I’ve heard of. Just my opinion, but even if it is relatively harmless compared to other steps we’ve made in science, it still should be treated with some sort of respect…

one problem with cloning is that it doesn’t work all the time and you have to do something with the mistakes.

This is correct. What I don’t understand is why many of those who use this argument against cloning are the same people who insist abortion should be legal. Isn’t that what an abortion is…“doing something about the mistake”??

If they can clone body parts without creating a full being to do so (like that human ear they grew on the back of a mouse) then I’m for cloning.
After all, isn’t one of the main purposes of medical science to help us cheat death? Now they may have the ultimate tool to do that, and everyone freaks out. Strange.

If they can make headless clones this won’t be a problem.

I always thought the people against cloning were the same people that were against abortion, but I guess more people are against cloning than are against abortion, so at least some pro-choice people must be anti-cloning.

I suspect that the “no God involved” point made earlier is probably the main reason, because I can’t think of any other “good” reasons even when I put my “religious-psycho” hat on.

For me, it seems that there are a great many moral, ethical, and legal questions that need to be asked and answered before we allow cloning (and that do not necessarily pertain to other biotechnologies.) And as I can’t even make a list of questions that is satisfactory - much less answer them, I’m incredibly uncomfortable with the idea of someone going ahead, doing it, and figuring out the consequences as we go along.

Well, the DNA might create a problem - but the fingerprints shouldn’t - they should be different enough to differentiate between the two of you. According to what I’ve read on the subject (which isn’t much, admittedly), the general pattern may be genetic in nature but the details are influenced by everything from pre-natal nutrition to blood pressure to contact with amniotic fluids.

Anyway - I think a lot of the politicians (and common folks) fear cloning because it smacks of playing God (of course, just how most of modern medicine isn’t considered the same, is beyond me).

I think cloning is very exciting, technologically. I’m not sure what use there is in cloning an entire human though - now, cloning organs, yes, that seems to have a very useful benefit. Perhaps cloning the whole is a stepping stone to selective cloning of parts.

What questions? Cloning presents NO new ethical problems. The only barrier to human cloning right now is technological…we could do it, but (IMHO) it would be unethical to clone humans today because of the high failure rate. When the techniques are perfected on animals, then cloning becomes unobjectionable.

Cloning simply creates a human baby. That baby is not a crisis for individuality or the human soul any more than naturally occuring clones are. My sisters are clones, and their existance is interesting but does not create any ethical problems.

Cloning creates no more problems than the creation of any other baby. If the person who creates a clone is an unfit parent, then the baby can be taken away from them and adopted.

I defy anyone to come up with a consistent ethical objection to cloning, aside from the current technological ones. A little thought, a little reflection on what cloning actually is and actually does, should be enough. What is so wrong about cloning? If you’ve got questions, I’ll answer them. Unless there is a compelling reason to ban cloning, how can we make it against the law? How can we put people in jail for cloning if we can’t even make a coherent argument against it?

Do you have a cite to back this statement up?

I would be would have thought it to be the other way around (pro-life & anti-cloning). I’m pro-choice and I don’t have anything against cloning (I know that this hardly means anything). Unless someone can give me a good scientific reason on why cloning shouldn’t happen I’m not going to change my stance. The “we shouldn’t play God” argument doesn’t work for me. Is there anything in the Bible that says anything about cloning (serious question)?

Sign me up! I’ll give them everything they need to make a perfect, brainless version of me that I can tap into for spare parts if necessary. Bring it ON!

(I’m also SERIOUSLY looking into the options for cloning my dog. She is a simply perfect animal, and I would spend a whole lot of money to have all my dogs for the rest of my life be her starting DNA… it would also be very interesting to me, since she is a rescue I got when she was almost 4, to find out how much of who she is today was in her nature when she was born vs. the training and life experience she received. For instance, she doesn’t lick. Ever. Never, never, never. I think it was trained out of her. But she is a damn fine animal, and I know that her clone would not be her, but it would be a damn fine animal as well, of that I’m sure.)

Scientists have now cloned a bunch of different types of animals, both livestock and standard laboratory animals. They’ve noticed that aside from the very high failure rate, (only one or two embryos out of one hundred actually results in pregnancy), there are a bunch of other problems. In cows, many of the fetal calves grow abnormally large and then die right before birth. Many mice grow normally and then, months or years after birth, begin to get morbidly obese. Many clones have major birth defects or serious diseases such as diabetes that were not present in the DNA donor animals. Even Dolly began to get inexplicably overweight and had to be put on a diet.
I think that until we figure out exactly what is going on with cloning and can make sure that the resulting person isn’t going to have an unusually high chance of some major health problems, it would be unfair and unethical to clone. Gene regulation (the hypothesized source of the problems) is a very touchy business that we’re only beginning to understand. Until we have it worked out (a good while from now), I think that we should hold off from cloning instead of possibly handing someone very very loaded dice in the crapshoot that is health.

The way I understand it, chromosomes become shorter every time they are duplicated during cell division. This is thought to contribute to the aging process; that is, when the chromosomes are too short the cell doesn’t divide anymore and eventually dies. One of the problems with clones seems to be that the chromosomes are shorter to begin with, so the clone is genetically older than it appears.

My personal objection to cloning is that it could lead to a decrease in genetic diversity, which in turn leads to decreased adaptiveness to any environmental changes (new diseases for example). For example, many dog breeds suffer from a high rate of health problems because of inbreeding. Concievably, if whole human cloning is allowed, certain people will become popular cloning subjects, and these clones will have children, and their genes will become more common in the population, thus reducing the variety in the gene pool.

Ahh, was not aware of that. Thanks :stuck_out_tongue:
Something I’ll keep in mind when I hear that argument from my friends.

…yes is this geneetech customer service? yeah, I would like one of the Mariah Carey clones from page four of your catalog, but could I get her in blonde please…

The thing is that they won’t all be having children with the same people, I hope :eek:

I seriously dobt that 10 copies of me would have a serious impact on the gene pool unless cross breeding was withing a generation or two. 3-4 generations down the line there is plenty of outside DNA involved.

*Originally posted by pkbites *

They didn’t grow the ear on the back of the mouse, IIRC. The ‘ear’ was a synthetic scaffold of sorts. It was ‘implanted’ under the skin of the mouse as a sort of durability test.

I was wrong they did grow the ear on a mouse. I was right about the scaffold thing, though! :slight_smile:

Carry on.

That must be what happened to Fat Jesus! :slight_smile:

Headless clone ranching. You are not going to be able to grow headless clones of yourself. Can you imagine the expense of keeping a comatose patient alive for years? Because that is what it comes down to, trying to maintain a persistently vegetative patient. And how much are you going to have to pay a surrogate mother to carry a headless clone for you? I can imagine surrogate mothers who get satisfaction from birthing a healthy baby for loving parents. I cannot imagine surrogate mothers lining up to deliver a deliberately deformed baby. No. Headless clone ranching is wrong, it will not happen, and it is unneccesary anyway, since we are on the verge of being able to grow tissue cultures on scaffolds that could replace organs…all without the problems of deliberately creating brain-dead human babies.

Now, genetic diversity.

The genetic diversity argument would only hold if the vast majority of births were clone births. That is not, and never will be the case. Cloning will always be more difficult than drinking too much Jaegermeister and getting knocked up in the back seat of a Chevrolet. Even if tens of thousands, even millions of people are cloned, it won’t reduce genetic diversity by very much, after all there are still 6 billion people on this planet. Think about the reduction in genetic diversity that would follow by lowering our population levels back down to 3 billion. We’d lose half our genetic diversity! The genetic diversity argument against cloning fails.