How do you see cloning ?

  • Favourably

    Votes: 22 23.7%
  • It could be a good thing

    Votes: 29 31.2%
  • I don't like it too much

    Votes: 23 24.7%
  • Dead against

    Votes: 9 9.7%
  • Don't know

    Votes: 5 5.4%
  • Don't care

    Votes: 5 5.4%

  • Total voters


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As Kakuzen pointed out, the first human clone has officially been born (but it's very possible it isn't the first, just that others were kept secret).

What is your opinion about cloning ?

Personally, I don't see any problem with cloning.

As in my opinion humans are no more than more intelligent animals, human and animal or plant cloning should not be seen differently. There has been sheep or other animals cloned years ago, but the population has accepted it. What's the difference with humans. I hear people saying its dangerous. Why ? Why human clones are more dangerous than animal's ?

Lots of people overreact because they are affraid of what they don't know. If the society had decided to ban planes because humans were not supposed to fly, where would we be now ?

Furthermore, clones have always existed naturally; we call them twins.

In vitro reproduction is praised by some for giving the opportunity to infertile couples to have a baby; why is it so much more shocking with cloning ?

Genetically modified food is readily available, but the same people that defend it now want to ban human cloning. The only reason behind this must be religious, not rational or scientific. Once we have started muddling with DNA, be it that of a plant, a cat or a human, the most important ethic step was taken. Relatively few people would argue that GM food is morally condemnable (they just refrain from eating it if they feel affraid). Scientist have been searching for a way cure hereditary diseases or mental "weaknesses" (a euphemism for illness) and when people view it like that, it is praiseworthy. Once we talk about making twins in the same tubes that have been used for decades with in vitro, people panic and call a immediate international ban. Did I miss something ?
I have just seen that my comment has been selected (with plenty of others) and highlighted by the BBC on its Talking Point section. Always make you feel like you exist. :) ;)
Congratulations Maciamo, you're quoted quite prominently! :)

I'm not an ardent advocat of cloning, but also not opposed. There's always the danger of abuse, that's why I'd opt for sound legal fundaments. Hm, some of the religious arguments against cloning found on BBC's Talking Point are quite irritating...
I'd like to add a comment about the opposition between stem cell cloning or full babies cloning, in reaction with comments I have read or heard recently.

Most people tend at least to agree that cloning stem cells for medical reason is a good thing. What people are usually affraid of is to see an army of 100 people the same like in some sci-fi movies. I don't know why anyone should do that. I am not against regulations of such excess.

However, I don't see any problem with cloning a baby to the image of someone (most likely an adult). The baby would have the same DNA, but would be born at a different epoch, place and have a completely different life whatsoever. Our environment and education are certainly play a much more essential role in the development of one's personality and conduct that the genes alone. Even intelligence is nothing genetically without a good education, nutrition and a positive environment. Just take 2 (real) twins, separated from birth and raised in completely different families, social background, even in different languages. These twins, sharing the same DNA, will have little in common except the physical appearance and maybe resistance, immunity, etc. I know that because I have read a lot about such cases of twins in psychological, educational or neuroscientific books. I know a few real twins myself. A pair of them, raised in the same family, looked exactly identical, but once you got to know them, they had very different interests and quite different character too (one was much kinder than the other, for instance).

Therefore, I am almost convinced that if you cloned a Hitler or Einstein, the clone, raised in a different world, the former would not become a dictator or racist, and the latter probably not a reknown genius (but possibly a mathemtician or scientist). At best, they could clone Brad Pitt and still have a handsome clone, but not necessarily bound to become an actor.
A lot of people have no clue what cloning actually means and conjure images that seem to originate right from Hollywood. While I am not so fond of experimenting with Hitler's, Einstein's or Pitt's genetical info cloning could result in immense medical progress. However, access to such technology should be clearly restricted. It's is very unfortunate that a doomsday sect made the headlines a few days ago.
I took the example of Brad Pitt because some people fear that the society, in a fit of eugenia, start cloning celebrities or beautiful people and that we'll end up seeing everybody look the same in the streets. Because such concern is widespread, I am fairly sure that it won't happen - at least not in a large scale. Very few people want "perfect" children that are not "genetically" theirs.

If they start cloning themselves, the good point is that one can give the best education possible to their clone (BTW, they probably won't want 2 the same) as they know themselves better than anybody else. The common mistake parents make is believing their (true) children are like them and deciding what they should do in function of their own desires. Natural children are only 50% similar to each parent and the resulting genetical bland is gives more often than not a very different individual. That is the cause of most parent-child problems. Parents's ideals often don't match their children's. With clones, this barrier won't exist anymore and the parent (don't need 2 anymore) can be in perfect harmony with his cloned baby. It surely sounds shocking nowadays, but it might well be the future of our civilisation. Or will it be ? Not everybody likes themselves enough to want to be cloned. My impression is that more people still prefer having children naturally with their loved one rather than having a child 100% like them. Others are affraid of what their children might look like (fear of being disappointed with their "life-investment") and would give a lot of money either to customize their offspring (genetical engineering) or simply be cloned (usually when they feel superior to other people).
Here's a FAQ page on cloning, quite interesting


FAQs included:

Is cloning "unnatural"?

Is an identical twin essentially the same as a clone?

Could some lunatic clone Hitler if human cloning were perfected?

Would a clone have a soul?

Could cloning be used to create "super warriors" or super-intelligent people?

Could cloning be used to save endangered species?

Could clones be "farmed" to provide spare body parts for their "parent" clone without problems of tissue rejection?

They are pretty frank in regard the fact that human genetics are still in a very early stage, as most of their answers are "possibly, yes" or "probably not".

One thing is for sure: scientists, philosophers and theologians will need to work on something like a "General Genetical Ethics Code". A lot of SF authors and literary scientists like Victor Asimov have already laid the foundations for such issues.
I've found an interesting article that confirms what I said about twins :

They're 10-year-old identical twins. So, just like a clone and its progenitor, they have identical genes.

They do look alike; even teachers mix them up. But Noel is about five pounds lighter than Holly. Noel has pierced ears; Holly isn't interested.

Noel is the more mechanically minded and ``definitely more of a go-getter,'' says their mother, Mary. Holly is ``more laid-back, she's more the peacemaker.''
But even identical twins are influenced by nongenetic factors -- starting with the womb and extending to parents, friends, opportunities in life, chance occurrences -- that influence who we are.

Since a clone and its progenitor would be born into different families at different times, these nongenetic factors could be expected to be more powerful.
Studies show that, in general, the correlation between identical twins is strong for height, less strong for IQ, lesser still for weight and then personality, Plomin said.

For all their differences, ``identical twins are more identical than clones will ever be''

Quite convincing. They also destroy the popular believe that cloning Michael Jordan or Mozart would make it possible to have a perfect basketball team or for Mozart's clone to continue his predecessor's work.
I'll answer these FAQ myslef without looking at the source to see if my opinion coincide :

Is cloning "unnatural"?

Depends on your definition of natural. It surely isn't supernatural, as we can do it. It's man-made, but not less natural than taking medicines, having an organ-transplant or communicating by mobile phones (all these things aren't availble "naturally" without human intervention).

Is an identical twin essentially the same as a clone?

Yes. They are even more similar as they were born together. As they are usually also raised together, that makes them even more similar (education, nutrition, environment, family, school...). Look at the previous post.

Could some lunatic clone Hitler if human cloning were perfected?

Theu could, but that wouldn't mean anything. A clone of Hitler would have a compltely different personality as he would not have the same life at all. They have more chance to educate any child to become a nazi dictator than try the clone. Anyway, the society is different and nobody would listen to nazi propaganda (which furthermore is prohibited in most Western countries).

Would a clone have a soul?

Not more than anybody (I don't believe in the "soul" concept as an Atheist). Next question !

Could cloning be used to create "super warriors" or super-intelligent people?

Not cloning, but genetical engineering, yes. However it would require a lot more knowledge than we have now and children would need to develop their skills afterwards. As we saw with real twins, IQ or physical condition isn't very much genetical (just a bit). Any athlete would become a worm without training. Any gifted child a riff-raff without education (even autodidact).

Could cloning be used to save endangered species?

Yes ! That's why I am totally in favour of it. If we can preserve the DNA of each species (plant and animal), we are also able to recreate each of them at any time in the future if they become extinct (because today's society hasn't been able to protect them).

Could clones be "farmed" to provide spare body parts for their "parent" clone without problems of tissue rejection?

Organs or stem cells could be farmed without nervous system. It's one of the positive aspects of cloning as it will allow significant medical possibilities (cure and replace virtually anything in the body, even the neurons by implants, which could fight up aging and give us possibilities to live for several centuries). Who's still against ?
Yep, pretty close. :victory:

I like the aspect of saving endangered species most:

At the moment its success rate is very low (Dolly was only cloned after 276 tries) but if this can be improved on it might well turn out to be useful to increase the population of hard-to-breed animals. Extinct animals (or animals without females) would be more difficult. A female can't normally give birth to an animal of a different species, although in certain cases a female of a closely-related species could give birth to a clone of a different species.
Yes, and I am pretty sure it will one day be possible to give birth to any extinct species in an artificial foetus.

BTW, could mammoth be born from elephant ?

Look at this : Cow success may help clone mammoth

And that's in Japan, mind you ! That's not off-topic anymore. :D
I'm just wondering... what would we do with a mammoth, except put it in a zoo? Let it loose in the wild and you'll probably be disturbing the foodchain. Could be good, could be bad, could very well be unpredictable.

And that goes for genetic engineering too. Not so much for cloning, but genetic engineering is likely to cause very unpredictable results.

What would happen if a rogue gene would enter and interact in an established environment? Very unpredictable...

What is cloning, just for your information God have made cloning since a long time how? I think you have seen twins in your life that what cold God cloning.

Another thing these sinictes or what ever they call themself from where they brought the egg which they will make the baby from can tell me, and how made the egg who is the creater?

For God sake humans I think we have damge the world enguh we are not in need or another Fornkkshting .

God above all

Love KT
Some related news:

Human clone firm claims first cloned Japanese on the way: report

A cloning firm funded by the Raelians, the sect which recently claimed to have succeeded in producing two cloned humans, says the world's first cloned Japanese baby will be born next week, a news report says.

Clonaid president Dr Brigitte Boisselier has told Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) the Japanese baby would be born on Monday local time.

The baby was cloned with cells taken from a two-year-old boy who was killed in a car accident, Dr Boisselier told the Japanese television network, without saying where the baby would be born.

damn, that reminds me the subject of the english exam composition :eek:
As far as I can tell, the visceral fear of cloned armies or Hitler: The Sequel isn't the basis of popular rejection of the idea of cloning nor is it the most compelling argument against it. I see it as a question of dignity: is the exploitation of human cells a violation of human dignity, and by extension, human rights? This question is very similar to the one at the root of the abortion issue except "destruction" is substituted for "exploitation."

The way I see it, the concept of a violation of human dignity presupposes that there is something extra-special about being human that grants us a dignity to be violated. A Christian would say that that something is having an immortal soul, and would define "human" as a being with an immortal soul. This is a simple identification and doesn't explain how dignity enters the question, yet a large amount of people agree that it does simply by ascribing to the belief in basic human rights. A materialist might say that there is no such special quality, but would then have to argue that humans do not have and do not deserve to have basic human rights, in which case the whole issue would be moot anyway. (Then he would jump through a series of utilitarian hoops to show that we can still have rights if we want to, even if we don't deserve them.)

Thus, the question within the question is, "Is a homo sapiens cell human?"
Which can be reformulated into "Does that cell have dignity?" or "Is that cell deserving of basic human rights?"

The similar moral question that intrigues me more is "Should a cell that has the potential of being human be treated as if it had the same value as a human?"

My answer to this question, as anyone's answer would, depends upon what I believe a human to be, which is primarily an aesthetic belief. I believe that "human" is what we use to refer to homo sapiens while emphasizing the fact that we have evolved consciousness (and if not the only consciousness, then the most advantageous and visibly effective one). I call my belief aesthetic because I find the fact that we are animals, have the ability to reflect, and can discuss these questions to be a beautiful thing; it's sort of like cheering for the home team. Since I am such a big fan of Team Human, I am naturally very interested in any potential players. But are they actual players to me? No. Do they deserve special consideration from me? Yes. Why special consideration? For purely aesthetic reasons; I like Team Human the best, and I like things that are similar or somehow related to Team Human. An analogy: You like the Dallas Cowboys the best. You like a t-shirt that says "Dallas Cowboys" on it, too, but not as much as you like the actual team.

A single cell that shares the part of my genetic code that makes me homo sapiens is clearly not a human because a human is multicellular, even though it holds the potential for developing consciousness, my definition of the x variable in being human. At two cells, there is greater potential, and at a billion, even greater potential. However, a tiger, a frog, a tree, a moss, a femur, a kidney, and the polar ice caps all hold a kind of static potential for that special something, the x variable of consciousness, but I would say they have no chance of it developing. It would be a survival disadvantage to attempt the useless enterprise of nursing pebbles and fungi to that mystery breaking point and into consciousness, so we have to have some kind of taxonomic caste system in which we, the brahmin homo sapiens, who have the highest probability of being conscious in the next moment are at the top and the thing or group of things with the lowest chance are at the bottom.

It is in this caste system that the cloning issue and the abortion issue diverge in my thoughts. A prenatal or gestating unicellular homo sapiens, even a cloned one, has a potential that, all circumstances being favorable, will develop into a consciousness within a finite amount of time. A cloned kidney does not. I may have many warm feelings towards that kidney. I may like it a lot. If I am going to die if I do not have it surgically implanted in me, that kidney is not high up enough in the caste system for me to worry about its dignity or autonomy. (I will refrain from discussing abortion.)

If anyone has deciphered this mess of nonsense, they might have seen the implication for another cloning issue here: What about a body engineered to be born (from womb or test tube) without a brain (one of the unfavorable circumstances) and intended to be used solely for its organs? The idea is repugnant to me, but my little ramble depends on my assertion that I am more than the sum of my parts.

[Incidentally, I don't mean to advocate our remaining species-centric. I think our species has developed to a point where we can and should broaden our range of protection and regard in the consciousness caste system without worrying about our own species survival.]

[[Why, yes! I do like to read sci-fi sometimes!]]

::goes outside for a :smoke: ::
The thing about GM food is that you dont clearly know about the side effects. Sure there are no side effects right now, but what about 20-30 years from now? What if you had third arm sticking out of your head after eating GM food. That'd be crazeee.

Sure cloning may save lives and yadda yadda, but then no one would die.

yah i sorry i cant ramble on this but yah...
yeah it could cause a serious over-population problem, imagine tokyo if everyone lived to be twice their normal age putting in all their young organs and ish. "clone i need those eyes!!! and throw in a kidney while youre at it." itd be kinda creepy to see some who looks 50 but is actually 150.

If humans are at the brahmin in the animal castes, shouldn't it be logical to classify each and every (genetically different) human from the most to the least developped, intelligent, capable, strong, beautiful, etc. ? The difficulty is choosing the criteria... Not everyone can be beautiful, intelligent and physically resistant at the same time. But among 100.000 people, some we surely be better in every respect than others. Being born and raised i a sane and favourable environment and having a good education certainly has a more decisive influence than DNA, but that's still a fact that a good-looking, healthy, intelligent and well-educated person cannot be compared to a malnourished and undereducated one.

If humans are superior to animals because they are more intelligent, then intelligence should also be a factor to classify humans and tell which have more rights than others. Do you see where I am going ? Nature doesn't like equality. It's thanks to diversification of life that evolution was possible and human exist. Evolution has always been the survival of the strongest and best adapted, not giving everybody equal chances. That is also true between humans.

@cloning or GM ?

I think lots of folk here are still confusing cloning and genetic engineering. "A body engineered to be born without brain" is not cloning, for I have never heard of any human being naturally born without a brain whose DNA could be "copied and pasted" to make a clone. Playing with DNA may be scary, but that's justly not the point of cloning. It's the ignorance of most people (even at government level) that has allowed genetic engineering to be legal and cloning illegal in most countries nowadays, when it should be the opposite. The US are the first to promote genetical enineering (all the GM products), but also the most virulent opponent to simple cloning. What's wrong in people's mind there ?
jeisan said:
yeah it could cause a serious over-population problem, imagine tokyo if everyone lived to be twice their normal age putting in all their young organs and ish. "clone i need those eyes!!! and throw in a kidney while youre at it." itd be kinda creepy to see some who looks 50 but is actually 150.

If people only replace their organs (in case of cancer, diseases, etc) to live longer, then it's going to be a serious problem because their brains continue their degeneration, so that all these "physically healthy" elderly would actually be completely unproductive, slow-witted, incapable of learning and adapting to new technologies and ideas, lacking imagination, and most probably boring. That'd be awful ! There are already too many oldies in politics and administration that keep refusing change and reform (especially in Japan) and ae a pain in the ss for younger generation.

If only neuron implants were possible, people could live with young and fresh memory and reasoning abilities till their old age, which would be absolutely wonderful. In this case, I would at least understand why respect for the elderly is important, since they'd have a much larger knowledge, experience AND still be able to make sense when they speak and be up to date with modern knowledge. However, a skull's size is limited and we won't be able to add neurons eternally ; maybe just replace the ones wasted on sex and alcohol. :D

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