Monday, February 21, 2011

Questions and Answers

A student researcher had a list of questions sent to the HCF. Below are the questions and my answers.

1. What is your opinion on Human Cloning? (Is it ethical, wrong, etc.)
Human cloning is ethical because its purpose is to cure diseases and extend life.

2. Should any government money be spent on supporting or banning this?
Government money should be spent on supporting human cloning and stem cell research, but under strict guidelines.

3. Which people would be the first to be cloned?
I believe priority should be given to infertile parents, because human cloning would benefit them greatly.

4. Would human cloning decrease the size and diversity of the gene pool?
No, it won't, because cloned humans will still cohabitate with those normally birthed.

5. Would clones be considered as human beings or property?
Human beings because cloned humans would still need to grow in a woman's womb and then birthed after nine months. They will be issued birth certificates just like anybody else and carry the names of their parents.

6. Would diseases, damaged genomes, cancers, etc. be passed on from the clonee to the clone?
Possibly unless doctors are able to separate these at the earliest.

7. How does human cloning work?
The primary method is called somatic ce­ll nuclear transfer (SCNT), which is the same procedure that was used to create Dolly the sheep. Somatic cell nuclear transfer begins when doctors take the egg from a female donor and remove its nucleus, creating an enucleated egg. A cell, which contains DNA, is taken from the person who is being cloned. Then the enucleated egg is fused together with the cloning subject's cell using electricity. This creates an embryo, which is implanted into a surrogate mother through in vitro fertilization.

8. How many different ways can human cloning be accomplished?
So far, the only possibility is through somatic cell nuclear transfer.

9. Which beings would have the first priority to be cloned/have a clone?
Just about anybody can have himself cloned.

10. Would the adoption of human cloning in everyday life be considered a return to human slavery?
Why would it be? Humans use other humans for evil purposes whether they be clones or not. Look at the Nazis in World War II. Human slavery in one form or another is still with us today.

11. Would clones be farmed for donor organs, tissues, etc.?
No. The other form of human cloning is therapeutic human cloning. This is cloning organs or growing new cells specifically through stem cells. So there is no need to clone a human just to get organs.

12. Should people allowed to be cloned in order to gain "immortality"?
You cannot gain immortality through human cloning. If a person clones himself, his clone will not be the same exact replica. Yes, he may look alike and have the same mannerisms, but the clone will be a totally new human being. Its just like having a natural child. The child may look like and have the same mannerism of the parent, but the child is a totally new person.

13. Would an expansion of human cloning lead to issues with overpopulation and/or natural resources?
No. Many couples don't even like to have children. Why should the ability to clone humans be any different? It must be understood that human cloning does not use a machine in which clones can be produced en masse. That is science fiction. Cloning a human goes through the same process as natural birth.

14. Is human cloning beneficial or harmful to the progression of humanity?

15. What might be the consequences of uninhibited human cloning?
I don't believe there would be such a situation. Look at the answer of question no. 13.

16. If cloning was to be perfected, would there be no need for males?
Human cloning would simply be another alternative of having a child. The other way, of course, is through sex. Besides, when a cloned child is born, he would still need the care of both parents, male and female.

17. Would cloning have a detrimental effect on familial relationships?
No. A cloned child enters into the family just like anybody else.

18. Would a human clone's life expectancy be shorter or longer than that of a normal human being?
Science is still determing this.

Kindly post your comments below or if you have other questions. I will endeavor to answer them.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Human Cloning and the Bible

In a forum I ran into, a question was asked, "Will clones believe in the Bible?"

The question reveals the utter lack of knowledge of many people about human cloning. The question seems to imply that cloned humans would be Godless, soul-less beings unable to believe in the Bible or anything spiritual for that matter.

Belief in the Bible or even in the constitution of the United States is an individual choice. There are atheists as there are rebels. Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest men in the planet, is an avowed atheist. Is he a clone? His choice not to believe in God or in the Bible is a personal one.

On the other hand, Billy Graham, the distinguished evangelist, believes in God and the Bible. His choice to do so is also a personal one.

Both men came to their choices out of experience and influence as they grew up. Cloned humans will go through the same process. They will not be any different from you and I. They will be humans as humans can be. We won't even be able to tell the difference.

Cloned humans will individually have their own belief systems like any person, because they are persons! Heck, some might even ask silly questions like the one in the forum.