Cloning Today Man Has Progressed Term Paper

Pages: 12 (3309 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 16  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Genetics


Today man has progressed so much in the field of science that it has claimed to possess the power and knowledge to duplicate any living organism. In the year 1997, scientists at the Roslin Institute, Scotland, announced that they have successfully cloned a sheep. Proudly naming it "Dolly," this event led to a series of concerns all across the globe. Many rejoiced at this effort and were supportive while others felt that man was trying to play God. Debates on ethical and moral aspects of this achievement were conducted and people including religious sectors denounced this process. It should also be noted that Dolly was not the first animal to be cloned. The first animal to be cloned was a tadpole done more than four decades before Dolly. Cloning however does not only mean to clone man or animal but is also the term given to techniques that do not require the production of a genetic twin. DNA cloning as an example can be used in gene therapies to treat genetic conditions. Reproductive cloning comes under the category of asexual reproduction and is conducted by removing the DNA, thus the genetic information, from the ovum or the egg cell and replacing it with the genetic information of the father's cell (BBC).

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Term Paper on Cloning Today Man Has Progressed so Much Assignment

The news about the successful cloning of a sheep spread across the globe like fire in a forest. The first reaction of people was regarding the concerns of human cloning and one could only imagine how long it would be till scientists experiment on human clones and producing a successful genetic twin. After the cloning of the sheep, scientists have successfully cloned cows, goats, mice, cats, pigs, rabbits, and a gaur. Animal cloning brings up concerns regarding the meat of the genetically produced animal. It has now been established that the meat of a cloned animal is safe to consume and no evidence to suggest otherwise has been discovered. Further, an animal that is genetically engineered does pose a threat to the environment. If such an animal introduces their genes into wild populations then that would be hazardous to the environment. Such concerns are present for all types of genetically engineered animals including fish (Cat Lazaroff). Transgenic animals that would be more adaptable and fit would naturally replace the others. Environmental imbalance would be seen in cases where there is competition for a limited food source. If the rate of mating success is high in such transgenic animals for example a fish, then it would result in increased likelihood of the spread of the engineered genes in the ecosystem. This would be harmful if the transgenic animal, though have a high mating success, has a low survival rate. Further transgenic animals can have increased adaptability for example in cases where its tolerance to cold temperatures increase or its increased immune system. Such genes when introduced in the natural ecosystem can widen the adaptability of the animal thus altering and creating an instable environment.

The ethic of environmentalism also preaches a respect for nature as we find it, and argues that the complex structure of the natural world has much to teach us. It opposes the hubristic overconfidence inherent in the cloning project, and fears that such a project may erase the boundary between the natural and the technological." (Staff Working Paper 3b)

Human cloning and cloning in general brings a lot of ethical and moral issues. People and religious institutions brand this as man interfering with nature or man trying to play God. They feel that the act of producing life belongs to God alone and cloning should be avoided and not conducted under any circumstances. Christianity believes that man is made in the image of God and is created in uniqueness hence they say that if human cloning would be practiced then that would be man being created in the image of man rather than God. Hence they along with nearly all the major religions condemn the act of human cloning.

Moreover an important fact is that many might not take clones to be actual real people and they might be discriminated and treated to be inferior or expendable or replaceable. Human cloning is also looked upon as something that breaches human dignity. "In explicating the problem with cloning-to-produce-children based on control of the whole genotype and the production of children to selected specifications, the report notes that 'human dignity is at stake'. As a result, such cloning would constitute 'an injustice to the cloned child,' who would be 'seriously wronged,' not only harmed" (James F. Childress, p.15). People would not be 'people' anymore but will be replaceable products and therefore the society will not care much about other people are they will have a tendency to think that a person is substitutable. This type of thinking is naturally not right and life should be valued. Having a twin does not mean that one of them is expendable. Moreover governments or if terrorists get hold of such a technology, an entire army could be made by this. Governments could use such "expendable" people to conduct the clandestine operations and other underhanded businesses. One can only imagine how easy it would be for terrorist organization to increase the number of suicide bombers that they already have. They would be able to possess a fleet of suicide bombers and terrorists. This would take the world straight to the mouth of destruction. More abuse of such a technology would be seen if clones are made to be potential workers whose job would be to work for others. Additionally they might even be paid less that a normal human. This would again be morally wrong as it would be the practice of slavery.

Human cloning will bring forward another problem, the lack of genetic diversity. The purpose of sexual reproduction rather than asexual reproduction and its benefit is that the new genetic combinations give a species the ability to react and respond to the changing environmental conditions and "would endanger the ability of our species to survive major environmental changes." This diversity is achieved by the combining of the haploid gametes from the father and the mother to produce a diploid. "The deliberate imposition of a restriction on human genetic diversity would violate the very biological principles basic to the evolution of our species" (Michael C. Brannigan, p.25). Cloning which is asexual in nature would not only reduce the genetic diversity but also cause unlooked-for weaknesses and diseases.

The question that arises is that if embryos are frozen for later use and then it is decided not to use some, what will be done to them? Naturally they will be disposed of. Further embryos would require a definition as to whether they will be considered as individuals or just private property. Major religions like Islam and Christianity both consider the destruction of embryos to be nothing less than murder and as the process of cloning does include destroying embryos, a large majority of people do consider it to be a crime and therefore the act to be immoral or it being a sin. The act of human cloning is far from perfect and no human clone has been yet made, thus during the process of making this act a hundred percent, there will be many mistakes on the way which might include human beings with defects of a serious nature. This is in direct violation of human rights. For personal gains such experimentation on human life is not only unethical but a barbaric behavior and should never be allowed. "The human body is not a commodity or a collection of spare parts. All organisms belong to the integrity of nature, and we have no right to redesign them for our own profit or convenience" (Richard Heinberg).Cloning also brings about the fear that if the cloning of animals or humans is allowed and practiced, then it would lead to an imbalance in the natural cycle of life and would only add on to the already present problem of population explosion. They prefer to let nature handle this rather than man intervening and treading on the sanctity of life. Another aim to produce human clones is the fact that a medium should me made available to provide others with body organs or body parts with no fear of the recipient body rejecting the organ. People who have lost a limb in an accident or whose face is completely deformed or burnt would be able to have these repaired or regenerated with this breakthrough in the scientific world. This again raises many questions whether killing a clone which is also human is allowed to ensure that you continue to live. Many consider this as slaughter while others always have means to justify their intentions and purposes.

Where some fear that it would cause an imbalance in the web of life and the population, some scientists voice that cloning animals would actually help solve one of the major environmental problems. This… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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