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In 2000 the Science fiction film The Sixth Day highlighted the extent of human cloning and human perception and desire to pursue human cloning. The exercise was manifested productively that transcended the entire concept of ordinary inquiry. The movie raised many questions concerning cloning, “can cloning do this?"". Despite the film covering the whole process of the cloning, it lacked validity. The ""Hollywood” idea of cloning and that created by using different media influences how human beings relate to specific feelings and ideas in the process. The culmination of wild imagination, the appreciation of clones as “brainless monsters” In the Sixth Day. Identity theft and loss of diversity due to cloning call for legit concerns on human cloning. The misconceptions regarding the cloning process and clones identity among the public seek for immediate resolutions to ensure cloning no longer performs the part of interesting film plot to non-scientists.
A thorough examination to clarify various issues about human cloning “scare” is appropriate before dismissing the practice. One of the outstanding matters with clones is their ability to possess the same physical and personality traits as the cloned individual. The perception behind cloning is that the clone begins its life at the similar age of the cloned person and maintains the same thoughts, traits, habits, interest, and knowledge. Arnold, in The Sixth Day, poses all the features of the original clone and fails to recognize he is a clone. Arnold, after cloning, is still aware of the fact he is married, and he has children and even remembers his birthday. Arnold's clone provides the basis to believe that cloning the body is the same with the brain. The clone’s life commences its life at the very period as cloned person creates an assumption of age acceleration. The contradiction arises, when a clone is said to be different from that of the cloned individual, the clone is then described as a creature illuminating the features of the original person but with on soul. The clone is viewed as a manipulative creature whose desires are to replace the cloned individual and inhabit an ecosystem with other clones with the same intentions of returning cloned people and taking control over the universe. Philip Kitcher, writer of "There Will Never be another you" argues human cloning is disastrous and takes the role of creation and controlling from God to scientists.
The perceived ability of clones to retain the same traits as their parents, including talents, possessed by the parents, expresses the desires among people admire in other people, an example of characteristics such skin pigmentation, intelligence, height, body shapes among others. The desires are among teachers to spot students who exhibit excellent performance in their studies, parents who wish to have more children with the same traits possessed by their perfect kid, or individuals who feel they have unique abilities and would like to distribute their uniqueness hence the desire for cloning. Arlene Judith Klotzko, the author of A Clone of Your Own? The Ethics and Science of Cloning expound the concern of having cloning famous people such as Mozart. The other issue of concerns is having clones of dangerous people like Hitler which in turn would make the world insecure.
Human cloning for medical purposes can be beneficial to scores of individuals. In cases, where families have a relative or child in critical conditions, cloning might be a solution in saving the life of the patient on the verge of death and spare families the grief and pain of losing someone their love. Cloning might be considered saving the life of patient desperate for a kidney transplant. The patients can be cloned and the clone's kidney used to save the lives patient. Some may consider cloning as a positive solution and a way of dealing emotional stress as a result of losing a loved one. Cloning can be viewed as a way of prolonging one's life and giving patients a second chance to live.
Understanding the procedures for human cloning is essential to examine the hopes and fear it might create. Human cloning can successfully take place in two procedures according to Klotz K, one of the proceedings is Nuclear Transfer which involves the transfer of a nucleus from a body cell of the individual being cloned to an egg of which the nucleus is obtained (20). The procedure is a success depends on the ability of nucleus to hold a lot of the contents that account that genetic makeup, which differentiates one person from to the other. The egg is significant and contributes to the development of human life in its earliest form. Cloning starts with the egg possessing the nucleus from the desired individual. To understand how nuclear transfer takes place in a scientific way, the nucleus removed from the egg leaving the cytoplasm behind, its component which usually surrounding the central nucleus.
According to Kloztok, the cytoplasm is an important element, yet its role in cloning has not been identified with the nucleus. Tissues cells from the individual must be available for the procedure to be successful. The cells can be either somatic or body cells which can be extracted from any location in the body. Paul Lauritzen, the editor of Cloning and Future of Human Embryo Research, agree with this point, he pinpoints out for nuclear transfer can take place even with the nucleus coming from the different source (9). Embryo growth is initiated by an electric current between the egg and the nucleus which triggers growth. On the event the embryo forms it's then planted on the uterus of the surrogate mother, and she is in charge of the developing fetus until birth (20).
Blastomere separation or Embryo splitting is the other procedure in human cloning. The process involves splitting a developing embryo, not into many halves but numerous embryos (Lauritzen 8). Lauritzen argues the means can be successful and explains the possibility of separating the embryos and developing them into a different organism that is genetically identical. One the successfully experiment on embryo splitting is by Steen Willadsen, Steen studied the embryo splitting on different animals, he cut embryos of a cow, sheep, goat, and horse and planted the twin embryos in the animals of the same species after which transferred them to surrogate mothers of their species.
The two procedures are different from what is displayed by various films. Science methods do not develop massive numbers of human nor multiple the growth rates of clones four times compared to the rate of an average human. Even with cloning, humans remain as human; hence people do not have to worry about unwanted or dangerous features. The differences between cloning and the regular human reproduction are during the early stages after which cloning still takes place in the usual way: the fetus has to stay in the womb for nine months and even after birth the development rate is typical.
After addressing misconceptions of age and development, human cloning requires clarification on certain issues, one of them being the chance of clone taking the place of cloned individual. The clone cannot replace the cloned person despite the possessing the same traits (Klotzko 133). Clones can never have the same age as the cloned person though they have striking similarities. Clones might be viewed as having no different identifications and having the same habits and memories as the cloned individual; it's important for people to realize “clones" already exist in the world. Twins tend to show similar genetical characteristics (Klotzko 135). Despite the similarities, twins will show individual differences among themselves. As with twins, the same scenario applies to clones and this explains why the human brain cannot be replicated. George Johnson, retired New York Times writer, argues that the brain cannot be cloned; he expounds on this by giving an in-depth explanation on individuality. He explains identity cannot be transferred from parent to a clone by elaborating the development of the brain in the early stages. His argument, that the layouts of cells where neurons connected at making a big difference. The neurons are linked with each other by a junction known as synapses which create a circuit the twist and turns form the personality of an individual.
Johnson further explains that just as fingerprints, they are no similar brains. He continues to elaborate this by explaining positioning and placement of neurons during fetal development “neurons are allocated differently in a random manner and left to their own device" after a child is given birth to, personality develops as one is exposed to different situations and occasions. Experiences are interpreted differently by individuals, and the same experience can result in multiple impacts on people (Johnson 11). To ascertain this Klotzko states, twins, clones and every person develop their brain. The different activities individuals undertake, and the experience they encounter makes us who we are. Therefore, if twins can be raised in the same environment and yet develop a different personality; the same applies to clones. The argument by Richard C. Lewontin, writer of The Fallacy of Biological Determinism is that twins have different individuality despite the genetical similarities, to illustrate this he presents an example of parents with twin children doing all possible means to make them similar. Even with forced conformity, he affirms genetic clones cannot be turned to human clones (38), this explains why genetic clones can never be similar to those of the parents. The statement proves validity on the argument by Johnson on brain development and individuality.
The author of “Cloning after Dolly: Who’s Still Afraid?” Gregory E. Pence explains why clones are likely to show a lot of variations from their parents in comparison to twins who develop in a different womb environment as well as growing up in different surroundings (8). The level of intelligence inherited by children from their parents’, ranges between 60-70 percent according to Researcher Thomas Bouchard (137). Hence the possibility of a clone demonstrating high intellectual ability if the parent does. However, it’s not proved if a clone can inherit specific qualities from the parent that are a result of exposure to environmental experiences (Klotzko137).
Cloning a child with high intelligence level can lead to clone with the same IQ, but that doesn't guarantee he might possess the qualities such similar organizational skills, discipline and motivation as the cloned child. If the two go to the same school have different teachers and attend different classroom, they may develop different perception on everything. In the event the experience is negative it would make the classroom environment not conducive to learning and have a tremendous impact on education entirely. The same situation applies with twins, they may go to the same school but attending different classrooms, they are likely to develop different outlooks due to the teaching methods and their teacher’s personality. Pence illustrates that cloning can produce unpredictable results, he argues that multiple genes can lead to many surprises. He also states that human cloning doesn't necessarily result in controlling since the cloned human happens not to be controlled by the genes of the ancestors.
The Kloztok ideas of cloning famous people such as Mozart raises many questions such will the clone resemble the singer? It might be hard to predict if the clone would very smart and musically inclined considering the state of Mozart, the clone might possess 60% to 70 % of the intellectual and 60% ability to be musically inclined. The environment of Mozart as a child and adult are important aspects to determine what the future of Mozart is likely to be. Kloztko while checking Mozart background, found out that Mozart sister inspired him to play the piano at the age of three and a half years. The clone is likely not to have the privilege of having an older sister nor playing piano at the age of three. If the clones end up with parents who are inclined to teach him music and Italian culture, his music life might be limited. Kloztko always states that the music in the current world is different from the Era of music that made Mozart famous hence his clone is likely not receive the same fame as Mozart did.
The effectiveness and efficiency of cloning to solve medical implications are still a make big question. Kitcher view of cloning as a way of prolonging life and providing a second chance to a patient on the verge of death might be impossible since cloning procedure is time-consuming. In the case of the patient in dire need of kidney transplant, cloning might not be a possible solution, since the patient has to wait for nine months for the clone to be born attain a certain age for his/her kidneys to have fully developed and be ready for donation. The patient might die if the clone's organs are not fully developed and he lacks eligible kidneys. According to Thomas A. Shannon, the author of Cloning Myths: Time to Take Thought, cloning might not be the solution to individuals who want have their clones, to attain organs. Thomas argues that clones would have the same human rights and interest as regular people with moral and legal standing. The alternative for individuals who want organs can be through organ cloning though not a reality yet; inquiry towards cloning harmonium is under way. The processes to achieve organ cloning are named in Three Concepts of Cloning Human Beings by Doctor Ke Hui Cui (279). The first method type I, involves the development of stem cells to produce a particular organ or part of the body. The method eliminates the need for human cloning for just obtaining organs.
The other procedure involves cloning pigs to use their organs for transplants in people. The process is referred to xenotransplantation, and Professor Carl Groth was behind the idea, his argument was that organs from cloned pigs, patients would not have to wait for a long time for new organs; also the organs from the pigs would cater for the shortages currently being experienced. Though the two methods are far from being realized, they make good alternatives to human cloning in a situation where cloning purposely is meant for attaining organs.
In a situation where family members desire to clone a deceased relative opens up a huge debate. Many people seem just fine with the idea that cloning a family member, they might not return in the same age and may also not retain any of the memories shared together. The decision to clone a deceased relative may be a result of grief and pain of losing a loved as well as minginess of the deceased person to the family. Professor Leon R. Kass from the University of Chicago quotes from the bioethics on reasons for cloning in the article "Wisdom of Repugnance" the quote that, standards must be judged by the way parent nurture and take care of their resulting child and whether they show the identical passion and love for the child produced into survival through a technical aided reproduction as they would bosom a baby Born normally (Kass 20).
The question remains if the cloned child would be raised and treated with the same love as just as a child born in the usual way? A company named Cloniad attempted to justify the cloning of deceased relative in their website, the company stated that human cloning could provide a second chance to a family member who died at a tender age using the same genetic code. Though people might have different views against and for cloning, it's important for people to understand that an admired one, particularly a child, is likely not to own the information of his/her relatives and parents and despite possessing the very traits, the cloned child might be unique.
The question on whether human cloning is useful or not, the moral basis of the practice will continue to create a lot of debate. The statement by President George W. Bush State Address in 2006 explains his position on human cloning. The president urged the legislation to prohibit any medical experiments that are unethical. He also stated that human cloning is immoral and unjustifiable, terming human life as a gift from God hence should never be undermined, devalued, discarded or made for sale. The former president stands on human cloning contrasts with that of Clonaide, the company that advocates for the need and importance of human cloning on their websites. A clear understanding of human cloning is necessary for comprehending the two different arguments. After understanding the whole phenomena, people can comprehend all the misconception and fear and engage in the debate whether human cloning is relevant or irrelevant to enough information to support their opinions.
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“FAQs.” Clonaid: Pioneers in Human Cloning. 2006. Clonaid. 20 April 2008 .
Groth, Carl-Gustav. “Progress in Xenotransplantation: A Personal View.” Xenotransplantation May 2006: 179-181. Academic Search Complete. EbscoHost. duPont-Ball Lib., Stetson U. 20 April 2008 .
Johnson, George. “Don’t Worry: A Brain Still Can’t Be Cloned.” Pence 9-11.
Kass, Leon R. “The Wisdom of Repugnance.” The Ethics of Human Cloning. Washington: AEI, 1998. 3-59.
Kitcher, Philip. “There Will Never Be Another You.” MacKinnon 53-67.
Klotzko, Arlene Judith. A Clone of Your Own? The Science and Ethics of Cloning. New York: Cambridge UP, 2006.
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Lewontin, Richard C. “Cloning and the Fallacy of Biological Determinism.” MacKinnon 37-49.
MacKinnon, Barbara, ed. Human Cloning: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Illinois P, 2000. Fitzpatrick 14
Pence, Gregory E. Cloning after Dolly: Who’s Still Afraid? Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004. ---, ed. Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Cloning Humans. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.
Shannon, Thomas A. “Cloning Myths: Time to Take Thought.” Commonweal 10 April 1998: 10-11. Academic Search Complete. EbscoHost. duPont-Ball Lib., Stetson U. 18 April 2008 .
The Sixth Day. Dir. Roger Spottiswoode. Perf. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Rapaport. Phoenix Pictures, 2000.
United States. State of the Union Address. Jan. 2006. 20 April 2008 .
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