Instructables

Cloning Ethics

I'm just curious as to how people view cloning. Base your response around these questions. Should it be legal in the U.S.? (if you live in another countries please post about your laws) Is it natural? Should it be done at all? What are the pros and cons? Also please be respectful and open minded toward other peoples views.

trebuchet036 years ago
Should it be legal? Yes. If we don't - someone else will. Is it Natural? Yes, but I fail to see the purpose of this question. The computer you're using isn't natural.. Nor are some of the foods you eat... Should it be done at all? If you don't someone else will. P: Positive Genetic traits are passed on C: Genetic bottlenecking A great deal of the foods you eat either are, or came from, some sort of cloned plant. Cloning is how I turn a couple tomato plants into a bunch of tomato plants (to save money :p). I mentioned genetic bottlenecking as a contrary - that's not to say we must continue cloning clones. A clone should be capable of reproducing - except in species that are not capable and cloning is the only method of reproduction (think seedless fruits/veggies). You may have noticed I focused more on plant cloning... Why? This has more of an effect on me. Going to school with a clone - that doesn't bother me... Nor does it change me... Weather or not you agree with human cloning... Understand that it's coming. Resist or progress forward. Keep in mind that resisting doesn't change the previous statement that "It's coming." If someone in N. America doesn't get the Nobel prize for it - someone from elsewhere will (no offense to those living elsewhere). The irony is the rhetoric that the US is failing as a leader in the world. Why? Well, imagine if we didn't find a vaccine for Polio because vaccines aren't natural...
Weather or not you agree with human cloning... Understand that it's coming. Resist or progress forward. Keep in mind that resisting doesn't change the previous statement that "It's coming." If someone in N. America doesn't get the Nobel prize for it - someone from elsewhere will (no offense to those living elsewhere). The irony is the rhetoric that the US is failing as a leader in the world. Why? Well, imagine if we didn't find a vaccine for Polio because vaccines aren't natural...

And what about an army of mechanized clones ? After all, it's coming too ...
And what about GMO food containing and spreading a sleeping-virus that may be activated in case of war ? It must be coming too ...
And what about replacing almost everything the nature provided for free, by patented and copyrighted cloned industrial GMO ? It must be coming too ...

Anyway, if human cloning leads the world to something really awful, we will probably still have a chance to change our mind and to cancel it all ... A little like with eugenics before and after WW2, that a lot of nations around the world considered as a great scientist progress ............ or like with the Nobel prized leukotomy ........

And what about an army of mechanized clones ? After all, it's coming too ...
If they're mechanized - there's no need for genetic cloning ;) Joking aside, I'm personally not worried about a clone army. Meat people aren't exactly the hardiest of soldier - other than their decision making abilities.

And what about GMO food containing and spreading a sleeping-virus that may be activated in case of war ? It must be coming too ...
What about GMO? Genetic modification of foods etc. has nothing to do with cloning. The environmental impacts of cloning are considered much safer than genetically modified foods. In any case - it's already here. Perhaps not the sleeping virus somehow activated in case of war (bonus points for Star Wars reference :) ).

And what about replacing almost everything the nature provided for free, by patented and copyrighted cloned industrial GMO ? It must be coming too ...
Before I answer this, please read up on GMO and cloning. These are two very different things. Next, read up on what a copyright is and what can by copyright. GMO's can not be protected by copyright - they're protected by patent. And in that case, it's not coming - it's already here (for example: Honda owns patents for high yield genetically modified rice - for biofuel research - this is several years old news).

Anyway, if human cloning leads the world to something really awful, we will probably still have a chance to change our mind and to cancel it all ...
And that is my case and point. The question "Should it be used" was never asked. But we can't answer this question until we've explored it. If human cloning leads the world to something really great, we will probably have a chance to change our mind and better the planet.
You missed my point. You replied point by point, and you ignored the real question behind the caricature I depicted.

My critique is about this it's coming, someone will do it, so let's do it first state of mind.

This state of mind leads to a pseudo-scientific and aggressive industrial race where the boundaries of the ethic are not clearly drawn, and sometimes (most of the time ?) replaced by financial objectives ...

No big company accepts to spend time and money in a reasearch, just for the sake of "scientific exploration". They'll want a return on investment, in their own country, and anywhere in the world where local laws and ethics will let the do whatever they want ...

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Unlike what you seem to think, clones and GMO goes hand in hand : you create a genetically enhanced life form (beaf, corn ...) that is perfect for your commercial purpose, and you clone it at will to keep the traits and avoid the risk left to natural reproduction.

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About the "sleeping virus" (I did not see the last episodes of starwars, so it was not a reference), there've been some nasty experimentations and researches in this direction in South-Africa several decades ago.

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You said : But we can't answer this question until we've explored it. If human cloning leads the world to something really great, we will probably have a chance to change our mind and better the planet.

If I talked about "eugenics" (did you read the wikipedia article ?), it was to show you that playing naively with science and pseudo-science just because "it's science and progress", sometimes leads to the worst, more even when we don't take the time to think about what we are actually going to do.

If USA left behind its eugenics laws, it was only after WW2, when nazi's, at Nuremberg, justified some of their acts by citing USA (and its eugenics laws) as a source of inspiration ...

That's only then, that USA (and most of the non catholics nations of the world), opened their eyes and actually understood what they were doing with "eugenics". Before, they were all blind, concidering eugenics as progress and science. They were not aware of what they were actually doing.

Did not we learn anything from the past ? Aren't we supposed to be more intelligent and wiser nowadays ? Do we take the time to clearly draw the boundaries of ethic, or do we run blindly as fast as possible to win the first place ?

That's the questions I'm asking.
You missed my point. You replied point by point, and you ignored the real question behind the caricature I depicted.
No, I got it - I just chose to ignore it in my responses to pump more information out of your next reply. I am well aware of the ramifications and nasties it can cause. But I'm well aware that when one company steps down, another one steps up.

This state of mind leads to a pseudo-scientific and aggressive industrial race where the boundaries of the ethic are not clearly drawn, and sometimes (most of the time ?) replaced by financial objectives ...
Because the boundaries of ethics are clearly drawn?

No big company accepts to spend time and money in a reasearch, just for the sake of "scientific exploration". They'll want a return on investment, in their own country, and anywhere in the world where local laws and ethics will let the do whatever they want ...
This is exactly what I was getting at. If we don't - someone else in some other country will. Many in the US complain about the huge amount of regulation we have (even moreso in UK etc.). Why let pioneering research be done in a country without such regulation? That said - I would strike the word "big" from big companies. No company, even non profits, is going to go forward with something that will cause them to close shop (at least, not intentionally).

Unlike what you seem to think, clones and GMO goes hand in hand : you create a genetically enhanced life form (beaf, corn ...) that is perfect for your commercial purpose, and you clone it at will to keep the traits and avoid the risk left to natural reproduction.
It goes hand in hand - but it is not the ethical question. GMO and cloning are very different. One can exist without the other quite happily. Cloning has survived for hundreds of years without genetic modification.

If I talked about "eugenics" (did you read the wikipedia article ?), it was to show you that playing naively with science and pseudo-science just because "it's science and progress", sometimes leads to the worst, more even when we don't take the time to think about what we are actually going to do.
No, I didn't read the wikipedia article. The definition I was originally taught is something to the effect of "improving genetic properties through selective reproduction." This definition is incredibly broad - but important as humans have been doing this for thousands of years. We've raised and developed plants suitable to support our huge population. If humans went away - corn would disappear from the planet.

That's only then, that USA (and most of the non catholics nations of the world), opened their eyes and actually understood what they were doing with "eugenics". Before, they were all blind, concidering eugenics as progress and science. They were not aware of what they were actually doing.
So is this a religious ideal?

Did not we learn anything from the past ? Aren't we supposed to be more intelligent and wiser nowadays ? Do we take the time to clearly draw the boundaries of ethic, or do we run blindly as fast as possible to win the first place ?
Of course we learned from the past. We learned that history will repeat itself in the cyclical fashion it always does. If we've learned anything from the past - it's impossible to clearly draw anything - even more when applied to ethics.

So take this hypothetical as we seem to share the same opinion about:
They'll want a return on investment, in their own country, and anywhere in the world where local laws and ethics will let the do whatever they want ...

So a few large countries outlaw clone research. And lets say Sweden falls under the control of a leader hell bent on world domination (very uncharacteristic of Sweden and the Swedish people - but this is a hypothetical). Sweden dumps a lot of money internally and from external investment into clone research. It just so happens, by grand mistake, a researcher in Stockholm creates/discovers a vile fast reproducing organism capable of consuming several "flavors" of metals (steel, aluminum, whatever) and can be introduced to a city through their water system. Sweden, as the hypothetical evil nation it is, won't share this finding - but provides some very scary demonstrations. Awesome, not only are other countries not prepared - they have no idea what their dealing with.

I'm not suggesting that we allow research to do whatever they want - I have no problem with regulation. But because the US or the UK or Japan etc. takes it off the table - that doesn't mean research in the field has been taken off the table. I'm sure corporations will have no problems investing in countries overseas as they do now. The only difference is, it's outside of any control we have.
Because the boundaries of ethics are clearly drawn?

Most of the time, they're not, because we don't take the time required to draw them. We're in the race. We can't philosophize and run both at the same time. More even when we're running after money and Nobel prize.

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You seems to think that everything is safer when done by USA.

Did you read my reply to NachoMahma in this thread ?

Some GMO Company's of USA (that's just an illustration of the mentality we're talking about) are aggressively lobbying in my country. They're currently trying to influence the coming new legislation about GMO.
We don't even know what's the impact of GMO on the environment and on our health, and they plants and sell GMO everywhere around the world.
Those company from USA don't only take risk in USA, they create the risk everywhere around the world.
What is their ethic ?
Action first ? "Thoughts" and "ethics" only if something goes wrong ?

It's exactly like about global warming and environment : it's short vision and profit based ... and few decades later, we're opening our eyes and it's too late.

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About eugenics :

There are some peoples that want to bring it back into favour. That's probably why you got a so neutral definition, without all the Historical connotations.

If WW2 did not caused the end of eugenics laws in USA, currently, you'd probably be considered as an ugly mistake of the nature, as you're color blind. Maybe you'd not even be authorized to make babies later (forced castration ?).

My point is that most of the time, we discovered we were doing a mistake when it was too late, when things went out of control. Exactly like with eugenics in the beginning of the previous century.

Fish can't see the water they are in.

I don't want we outlaw research in the domain of GMO and cloning. My point is about canceling this dangerous race to the first place and to dollars. Because this is this race that make us blind, and that may lead us to somewhere dangerous.

More regulation. More regulation everywhere around the world, exactly like with WMD (even if it's failing). No competition, but cooperation.

Replacing financial objectives by technical and medical objectives.

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About : So is this a religious ideal?
No, it was just mean to itch you, and to show you that religious ethics can also save peoples from the bad sides of science ... sometimes. =o)

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About your hypothetical evil Sweden :
For instance, Iran (this so evil Iran) does research in cloning and GMO too.
But what did they do exactly ?
Did they created a dangerous virus ?
Are they selling GMO corn everywhere around the world and ignoring questions about environment and health ?
Are they aggressively lobbying the rest of the world to make as much money as they can ?
What's their evil plan ?

You will never believe that : They're creating two-humped camels from one-humped camels, because two-humped camels is a threatened species there ...

USA is so afraid to miss the first place, that, most of the time, USA is running alone, almost paranoid, and addicted to money and monopolies.
Then, aggressive lobbies makes everybody nervous, and everybody feel the need to run too ... and USA runs faster for the first place .......
You seems to think that everything is safer when done by USA.
No, I think things are safer when done under regulation. USA, UK, etc. happen to be two countries (of a many) that regulate heavily. Evil Sweden - probably not regulated so much.

That's probably why you got a so neutral definition, without all the Historical connotations.
Historical connotation is not the definition of a word ;) I am fully aware of the connotation, implication, etc. But thanks for saying neutral - I'm quite happy I haven't put a slant on it even when recalling from memory :D

My point is that most of the time, we discovered we were doing a mistake when it was too late, when things went out of control. Exactly like with eugenics in the beginning of the previous century.
I disagree - we learn about the mistakes of discovery when they go out of control. We do not learn about mistakes of discovery that don't go out of control - they're stopped, there's no problem - no need to add it to primary school history books.

No, it was just mean to itch you, and to show you that religious ethics can also save peoples from the bad sides of science ... sometimes. =o)
And what if m religion supports cloning? Who are you to question my religion? :p In any case, I'm well past the "get pissed off" stage with respect to religion and global research. Why? Because what we don't research is done elsewhere - so the religious dogma is useless anyway :p

For instance, Iran (this so evil Iran) does research in cloning and GMO too.
But what did they do exactly ?
Did they created a dangerous virus ?
Are they selling GMO corn everywhere around the world and ignoring questions about environment and health ?
Are they aggressively lobbying the rest of the world to make as much money as they can ?
What's their evil plan ?
I'm glad my point got across... We're letting Evil Sweden - and apparently Iran too - have the technological upper hand in this. Should Evil Sweden have evil plans for us - we'll get into research resolving these problems after something bad has already happened...

We seem to agree that despite one country not going forward, other countries will.

More regulation. More regulation everywhere around the world, exactly like with WMD (even if it's failing). No competition, but cooperation.
We can't cooperate if we remove ourselves from the field.

Then, aggressive lobbies makes everybody nervous, and everybody feel the need to run too ...
So we cut our nose in spite? Large corporations are not the only ones going forward with research. Sure, they may invest, heavily, but that doesn't make them a single player. But that said, a great deal of pharms sold by large corporations come out of Universities - which can't receive funding for illegal research :p

It's not a race - it's a bar. You can raise it, or I can raise it - but it's being raised. You don't have to be the first to raise it - but you sure as hell don't want to fall short.

Again, I'm saying further research needs to be done before we can make decision on should it come into practice.

And I should also mention that I mean no offense to the people of Sweden - I chose your country for it's incredibly high tolerance, high education level and etc.
No, I think things are safer when done under regulation. USA, UK, etc. happen to be two countries (of a many) that regulate heavily. Evil Sweden - probably not regulated so much.

And I find there is not enough regulation in USA.
If the regulation was that "heavy", GMO corns would never be sold before further research about their impact on the environment and health. The test is being done in live, and at large scale.
A principle of precaution should be applied, till we are 99,99% sure its safe enough for outside applications.

If you survive to the risks you take, then, you're just lucky. But you're playing with fire.

Here, they're doing the same thing than with pollution. They don't care till someone raise the alarm.

We did it at least twice in the past : eugenics and pollution.

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Historical connotation is not the definition of a word ;)

Unfortunately, "eugenics" is more than a word. It's an ideology that has already been explored.
Maybe we could talk about neo-eugenics instead ?

Will we chose our baby a la carte in the future ?
- Oh, Doctor, I saw a wonderful beautiful little girl at TV, I want the same one !
- My husband and I would like to make a baby. What do you have in your catalog ?
- Doctor, I want a baby clone of myself, with blue eyes and blond hair.

Will we create cloned genetically modified humans (something that will stand between biological robots and animals, and that will serve us) ?

What are the boundaries ? What's the ethics ? You did not tell me so far.

Honestly, except for organ transplant, I don't see the point for human cloning ...
Cloning beef for better meat ? And what about stopping to feed them with hormones first ? Maybe they'll taste better if they are bred more naturally .......

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I disagree - we learn about the mistakes of discovery when they go out of control. We do not learn about mistakes of discovery that don't go out of control - they're stopped, there's no problem - no need to add it to primary school history books.

Yes we can learn from mistakes.
But it does not mean we have to make mistakes to learn.
And we're also supposed to learn how not to reproduce the mistakes, and how to avoid other and similar mistakes.
We're also supposed to be smart enough to guess when we're going to do a mistake.
For instance (it's a political example this time) : war in Iraq, and the Bush's "domino effect" idea, we told him it was not going to work, and that it was going to lead to a quagmire. We knew it, because we took the time to analyze the situation. Bush could have avoided that if he used an other tactical ... but he was blinded by the action. 9/11 required a quick counter strike. There was race to revenge.

It's possible to guess when something is going to lead somewhere dangerous, because we are (supposedly) smarter and wiser than our ancestors.

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And what if m religion supports cloning? Who are you to question my religion? :p

You're out of context. It was about eugenics. =o)

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We seem to agree that despite one country not going forward, other countries will.

It told you already that we can go forward without running blindly for the first place (and you changed the image to cancel my point, by replying that it's not a race but a bar that we raise).
But companies like Montsanto or Pioneer run (after $$). There are patents.
They're not single players, but they play "worldwidely".
the world is already overpopulated as it is. btw, no i dont support cloning, just because its not natural
Patrik6 years ago
I think identical twins should be outlawed as well...

Cause, well, they're just freaky, and one of them is bound to be some sort of soulless monster, right?
I think they split the soul between them, and they are both half evil. I think we should just incinerate them all especially those damn olsen twins.
That's the kind of thing that gives me nightmares...
Holy Crap! That's not funny (it kinda is), that is flipping depressing. They should put her on suicide watch.
Or just explain how a condom works?
You know, if she claimed that she used a condom every time, and claimed that they broke, every time, she actually would be able to support those kids! Or just go on Maury.
westfw6 years ago
So most of the answers have been about cloning humans. Is that what you had in mind? Lacking accelerated growth, I don't think a cloned human would be any different than any other child. Gotta watch what the Law does; read some John Varley for bad examples. And it'd be a really tempting source of of experimental material for all those questions scientists have about the relative effects of genetics vs environment; I'm not sure anyone should be tempted that much. I don't have any problems with moral aspects of cloning other creatures. There's a danger (perhaps significant) of reducing diversity to a point where it would be bad, but we're already doing that with conventional breeding anyway. :-(
Lftndbt6 years ago
I say, the more Angelina Jolie's in the world the better... Those freakish collectors,you know the ones that collect sample of famous people hair, are going to make a mint if it goes ahead...
Doctor What6 years ago
Yes, it should be legal in the U.S. It's not natural, but neither is in-vetro fertilization, and that is also legal, not to mention the many, many embryos that are thrown out from in-vetro fertilization clinics. Yes, it should be done. Pros - I dunno, maybe the saving lives and curing diseases and paralysis part. Cons - Ummm... wait, hold on, I know if I take a while I can think of something... wait... no. Sorry, no cons.
aww, crap, I was thinking about stem cells, why? i don't know. Someone, please hit me with a shovel. But yes, cloning should be allowed. I don't really see cons, but the pros could be in the food we eat. Bigger and better crops, better meat, and if you clone humans, I don't see why not. It's not like you are taking the sould out of one person and transplanting it into someone else.
NachoMahma6 years ago
> Should it be legal in the U.S.?
. I see no reason why not.
.
> Is it natural?
. No. But then neither is in vitro fertilization, most neonatal care, condoms, &c.
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> Should it be done at all?
. See first response
.
What are the pros and cons?
. P: concurrent advances in genetic engineering
. C: concurrent advances in genetic engineering
dang, I spelled in vitro wrong. I just had a debate in biology class about it too.
. P: concurrent advances in genetic engineering
. C: concurrent advances in genetic engineering

Well, I see you put it in both pros and cons.

Personally, I'd put it in cons only, because because of international patents and all the $$$ behind them, everybody want to be the first one at any price and is running as fast as possible almost blindly ...

For instance, here, we did not want Genetically Modified Organisms (corn, flowers, animals etc) because we don't yet know if it's 100% safe for health and environment, and our scientists feel forced to make research in this technology too because scientists and industrials (like Montsanto) from USA are patenting everything and are aggressively lobbying to enforce their GMO on our national territory ...
For some of our scientists, it's worst than being forced to study the English language at school just because USA is number one (sarcasm) .........
And the same is going to happen with animal and human cloning ........

This pseudo-scientist and industrial race to "I'm number one !" makes me really angry .............

Someday, someone will successfully be the first and last one to kill all of us in the name of "concurrent advances in I do better than mother nature and I'm number one" ...........
. Your objections seem to be with the application, not the technology. I guess I should have said "C: concurrent abuses of GE"
jtobako6 years ago
Is it natural? Look up Parthenogenesis. Then try Asexual reproduction

Pros/cons/shoulds/shouldn'ts? Would you treat someone with a disease or let the gods determine their fate? Is medicine a god given gift or mankind tampering with nature? If a person is infertile, should a medical intervention be allowed to produce a child from them? Should someone be mentally competent before donating organs-think about it, can I donate my brain-dead child's organs to save another's life? Should I have a second child in order to have matching tissue for another child suffering from a disease? Would it matter if that child had two parents or one?

These are all 'simple' yes-or-no questions-or are they?
uguy6 years ago
I think it is impossible to clone ethics.
Goodhart uguy6 years ago
Arrrrrrgh, beat me to it LOL
sardines454 (author) 6 years ago
Here's a fact to think about while coming up with an answer; human stem cells can be taken from umbilical chords not just unborn babies. Umbilical chords are also usually discarded after the birth.
Should it be legal in the France ?
Seems the European Union is going to imitate USA about cloned animals for human food. So, if EU makes it legal, France will be forced to make it legal too.
Personally, I'm as much opposed to cloned animals for human food, than I'm opposed to genetically modified food and to animals fed with hormones : food is "sacred" ! I don't want they sabotage what I eat !

About human cloning (for therapeutic purpose), it's not yet legal.
Cloning human is forbidden and illegal here.
I'm really divided about this particular purpose ...
If it's about cloning only some piece of the human body (heart, lungs, kidney, arm or legs) I'm OK. If it's about making a complete clone, I say NO.

Is it natural?
Twins are natural clones.
Anything that is synthesized by humans is not natural, unless we consider that any human activity is something natural as it is part of its natural evolution ........

Should it be done at all?
There is an other forum about "Cloned animals for human consumption : what's the point ?", where some members already stated their opinion about that.
Personally : cloning human organ, OK. Else, No.

What are the pros and cons?
Pros :
- organs transplants
Cons :
- MY food is sacred
- Females have uterus and eggs, and males have sperm : so far, this worked perfectly !
About human cloning (for therapeutic purpose), it's not yet legal.
Cloning human is forbidden and illegal here.
I'm really divided about this particular purpose ...
If it's about cloning only some piece of the human body (heart, lungs, kidney, arm or legs) I'm OK. If it's about making a complete clone, I say NO.

I think it's a really bad idea...

and on what choose... said, I think it'd be way interesting (doing on fellow species...) but it's a bad thing.
thejrb6 years ago
Is it natural? No Should it be done at all? depends on the situation. If they died in the first place it was because they couldn't adapt or humans killed them. If yes to second see the cons. What are the pros and cons? Pros-You could help bring back an extinct species. Cons- Since you are cloning the same animal one disease could knock all of them out.
thejrb thejrb6 years ago
Arrg there needs to be an edit button. I thought about it and the second answer should be no.