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Is Cloning Ethical?

Uploaded by Gotskillz on Jul 05, 2004

The clones are coming! The clones are coming!
When the news hit of Dolly, the first mammal cloned, it sent a shockwave of ethical repercussions around the world. Considered trite and boring by science fiction standards, cloning in Scotland generated enough excitement to put the picture of a sheep on front pages everywhere. Not since Louise Brown was there such a noteworthy birth. In the wake of public opinion that followed, it became clear that many people are confused as to what cloning really is. There are those who fear only the rich being able to grow spare parts for themselves. There are predictions of an army of Hitlers forming armed militia. Many people see adult replicas of the cloners serving unscrupulous needs. These people are mistaken, of course.

To understand what cloning really is, one must know the difference between genotype and phenotype. Genotype is the actual gene make-up of a living thing. Phenotype is what that living thing looks like. The brave new world of today sees a sheep identical to another, not only phenotypically but genotypically as well. For the first time, a sentient being, albeit it a herding animal, exists when it was never meant to be. Is this bad? I don't think so.

It's just weird.

An egg is emptied of it's DNA, and the whole amount of DNA from an already existing being is inserted into it. The egg is electrically and chemically stimulated to divide normally as if the full amount of DNA were the usual mixture from mother and father. This is a leap from artificial insemination and other assisted reproductive techniques. At least those mixed a mother's and a father's genes together to produce the next generation.

If one were to consider cloning an identical twin a generation later, one must look into the human meaning of progeny because cloning changes everything: Dolly is the same generation. A generation later.

Motherhood and fatherhood, grand motherhood and grand fatherhood imply different generations. Dolly being the same generation eliminates these distinctions. This promises to add a lot of confusion. And what of spare parts? Once it's clear that a baby is "conceived" and born, it becomes obvious that we can no more raid his...

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Uploaded by:   Gotskillz

Date:   07/05/2004

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   3 pages (761 words)

Views:   5845

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