Human Cloning: The Evil Science
Human Cloning: The Evil Science
It seemed innocent enough: let’s try and make a sheep without a daddy. The result was “Dolly” born on July 5, 1996. She had three mothers: one provided the egg, another provided the DNA and a third carried the cloned embryo to term.
While the world marveled, scientists immediately began the search to apply the process to humans. And it didn’t take long; the first human embryo was cloned in 2001. (That effort failed when the embryo died after only six cells being produced. To date, no cloned human embryos have survived).
Since then, the debate has raged over the ethics, benefits and dangers of human cloning.
How it Works
Cloning starts with an embryo. The most common technique is called “somatic cell nuclear transfer” (SCNT). It involves transferring the nucleus from a human somatic cell into an unfertilized egg which has had its nucleus (chromosomes) removed, or inactivated.
The hybrid cell is them stimulated to divide by using an electric shock.
SCNT produces a human embryo that is genetically identical to an existing, or previously existing, human being.
This new, single-cell embryo is grown in a laboratory for a few days. It is then either implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother (“reproductive cloning”), or destroyed to harvest its embryonic stem cells for experiments (“therapeutic cloning”).
The alleged purpose of reproductive cloning is the creation of children for infertile couples. It involves implanting the cloned embryo into a uterus with the intention of producing a live birth. If successful, the result would be a near identical twin of the person who donated the starting somatic cell.
Why reproductive cloning is wrong:
- God is the creator of life and has ordained that children are to be the result of marital love and intimacy.
- When we take the act of creating life away from God, it is not only dehumanizing for the individual, it threatens human dignity as a society.
- Cloning does not value each human being as unique and individual.
- Procreation should not be replaced by production in a laboratory.
- Human cloning represents a form of genetic engineering, which can lead to a despotic type of human breeding and an attempt by some individuals to dominate and pre-determine others. The Nazis engaged in similar practices while promoting their “master race.”
While the process of therapeutic cloning is the same as that for reproductive cloning, the purpose is vastly different. The gruesome objective is to create an embryo which is then destroyed in order to harvest its tissues for use in treating a variety of illnesses.
Why therapeutic cloning is wrong:
- While reproductive cloning is wrong, at least the objective is to produce a child. Therapeutic cloning is even worse. It involves the direct and explicit exploitation of one human being by another; the strong taking advantage of the weak.
- In other circumstances, such an act would be considered premeditated murder.
- The alleged medical advantages of therapeutic cloning are not supported by scientific research: it doesn’t work. And, even if it did, taking one life to save another is evil.
- There is the temptation to grow embryos within the uterus to the point of a fetus, which can then be aborted in order to harvest its organs.
- Proponents have already suggested that the process could be used to create human-animal hybrid clones for experiments and to practice cloning techniques.
Cloning is a Failure and Dangerous to Women
Aside from being morally wrong, cloning also is highly inefficient.
- The process has an enormous failure rate—95 to 99 percent of clones die before or soon after birth.
- For example, out of 277 cloned embryos, only one sheep, Dolly, was produced. And she was beset with lung cancer and crippling arthritis and had to be put down in 2003. The same failure rate is seen in all mammals that have been cloned.
Because cloning is so inefficient, it poses a great health risk to women.
- A vast supply of human eggs will be needed to create only a few embryos. The most optimistic estimates are that it will require 50-100 eggs to produce just one cloned embryo.
- As a result, human eggs will become a commodity and potentially lead to the exploitation of disadvantaged women worldwide.
- Studies have shown that many women have experienced health problems as a result of having eggs extracted for cloning.
The conclusion is that human cloning is unsafe and totally unethical. There is no valid or compelling reason—scientific or medical—to continue. A comprehensive ban on all human cloning is the only moral and logical path.
(Primary Source: Family Research Council, FRC.org: several articles on cloning and stem cell research)