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As a human race, we have pursued constant technological progression and advancement. Indeed, our claim to the title of superior race can be attributed in part to the fervor in which we go about improving our own existence through invention and discovery. Thanks to advances in medicine, we have increased the overall lifespan of men and women. Due to continuous improvements in industrial technology, machines now do virtually everything for us that our ancestors had to do with their own hands. Every day, something is created that makes our lives easier. We are blessed with an intellect higher than that of any other creature on Earth, and we make unabashed use of it.
Quite possibly, our ancestors foresaw the day when our intellectual capacity would lead us in a direction that we would be ill prepared to follow. That day has arrived with the development of cloning. The cloning of sheep, cows, frogs, and other animals has already been successfully completed and human cloning is now a realistic possibility, the only constraints being the ethical and moral issues associated with reproducing a perfect copy of another human being. In The Paradox of Cloning, the author, James Q. Wilson, argues the benefits of cloning and asserts the gains will turn out to exceed the risks. Wilson is wrong in his assumption.
While I concede that cloning technology offers some exciting benefits, total human cloning also carries frightening, worldwide ramifications. While cloning is still in the infancy stage, we, as a worldwide society, should collectively reject any efforts to further technology in the area of human cloning. Wilson states that we need not react immediately to human cloning. He cites the 277 attempts that it took to clone one sheep, and insists that the road to human cloning will be long and difficult. I fail to see the logic here.
Regardless of how long successfully cloning a human actually takes, allowing laboratories to proceed with research and development would be a mistake. In allowing the process to begin, we are essentially making the decision to legalize cloning. Advocates would like nothing more than to be given the green light to proceed with experimental research. Half of their battle would be over and eventual cloning would be inevitable.
It is irresponsible to say that we need not worry about it because it is a long way off. To argue that we need not address the issue of cloning now is comparable to advising young parents not to worry about college for their children because the possibility is 18 long years away. In asking society to look the other way while cloning is in the developmental phase, Wilsons motives appear suspicious. Perhaps, he knows that by allowing billions of dollars to start pouring in for the purpose of subsidizing cloning research, we are effectively opening a door that cannot be shut. Suppose that human cloning is permitted and deemed legal. Contrary to Wilsons beliefs, it would be a very short time before we possess the scientific knowledge necessary to successfully clone a human.
In fact, scientists at Advanced Cell Technology have already cloned a human embryo by injecting genetic material into a cow egg. The embryo was allowed to live for 12 days before it was destroyed, primarily to pre-empt the inevitable ethical outcry (Sung 1). An embryo, it seems, can not be considered human until it attaches itself to the wall of the womb, which occurs at about 14 days. In allowing the progression of cloning, we must consider one basic issue.
How do we handle the failures and mistakes that occur during the early experimental stages? Many eggs were destroyed at various stages of development before scientists were able to create Dolly the sheep, the first successfully cloned animal (Bailey). What happens to the human embryos that live to be a fully developed fetus before scientist discover a flaw in their DNA? Do we discard these babies and continue on in the name of science? And how do we handle young children clones that start to show signs of a weakened immune system? Do we murder these children and call them an experimental loss or do we build orphanages to house the early misfit clones?
Who wants to explain to these kids that they simply will never be good enough because it just isnt in their genes? Keep in mind were not talking about a few children here and there. Hundreds of biotechnology firms worldwide are eager to enter the realm of cloning research, each with virtually unlimited finances. All of these companies will likely endure hundreds of failed attempts before one successful clone is created. Complicating matters, there will be a race between these firms to be the first company to successfully clone a human being.
This environment will not lend itself to patient, measured advances but instead to countless mistakes due to the frenzied pace of the experimental research. As a society, we should not fool ourselves into believing that we will be the benefactors of cloning without first destroying thousands of lives in the process. Upon perfecting the cloning process, another question would still remain. Do we really want to clone human beings? Anyone who can answer yes to this question must be willing to relinquish the individuality and uniqueness that we now enjoy. No longer would individual talents set us apart because any talent would be reproducible.
Michael Jordan wouldnt stand out any more than any other basketball player if his athletic abilities were available off the shelf at the local biotech clinic. Mark Mcguire's unique talent for crushing a baseball would be mediocre if we stocked every team with a clone that possessed his same ability. What fun would watching any sport be if all athletes were identical in skill level? Competition is essential to all sports and cloning would virtually eliminate competition by mass-producing athletes with identical athletic ability. What would we learn in music appreciation if Mozart's, Bach's, and Beethoven's were a dime a dozen? How valuable would a Rembrandt painting be if every museum paid a Rembrandt clone to produce their own works.
And the atrocities do not stop there. A company wishing to increase productivity could employ only clones that were genetically designed to be tireless and diligent workers, never needing a break or time o...
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Research essay sample on Clone A Human Human Cloning