Loquitur Dome: The Eternal Debate

By Jill C. Hindman
April 5, 2001

Picture this, you have a dog named Skip. Skip is cute and playful and can do many tricks that you have trained him to do over the years. You wake up to him licking your face every morning and you snuggle with him at night. One day Skip goes to doggie heaven and you cannot bear to go on. You cheer up when you realize that you can clone your little pup and have him back again good as new. The day comes when Skip 2 arrives. He sure is cute, but not so playful. Instead of licking your face every morning he bites your big toe and at night he does not want to snuggle with you. Instead, he wants to bark endlessly into the night. Skip 2 is not interested in learning some silly tricks, and frankly he does not like being called Skip 2.

Cloning is the topic of many debates these days. Many argue that cloning will cure diseases, which is always a plus, but what price do we have to pay as a society for these technological advancements?

Yes, animal cloning may be the alternative route to human cloning in curing diseases, but if cloning animals got too out of control we may not allow any improvement among the species to come about. This could potentially interfere with natural evolution.

Not only is cloning a controversial issue, but also an expensive one. Cloning requires a lot of money and highly trained biological experts. The team that created the famous sheep, Dolly, attempted to clone the sheep 277 times before they succeeded. Um, let’s think about this. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a group of unbelievably brilliant scientists working together to find a cure for cancer or AIDS instead of cloning a sheep that will eventually make some cotton. I have enough T-shirts.

If there was a lack of genetic diversity, which could be the result if cloning became a common thing, humans or a particular species of animals could be wiped out by a single virus. What if there was an outbreak of mad cow disease? You think, “OK, we’ll just get rid of the cows that are infected.” But wait, a large percentage of the cows were cloned, which means that the entire cattle population may be infected. The nation could have drastic food shortages as a result of cloning.

OK, let’s move onto human cloning. One of my favorite words is “unique”. I have this card that someone gave to me once that says, “When everything in the world is a copy, you remain original.” Cute, I know. Well, if there were 10 more of me running around I guess I would have to get rid of that huh?

Procreation. Without it we would not be here. Producing offspring is what consummates a marriage. It is what creates generation after generation. If humans were cloned and people could pick every characteristic that their child would have physically, how boring would it be to walk down the street? Very boring. We would all resemble one another.

Diversity would be sucked away. The beauty of our world is reflected in our smiles, facial expressions and laughter. If we all were identical life would be uninteresting. Sure everyone would probably be good-looking, but after a while I would want to see someone with a crooked nose.

I know that in most cases people want clones for medical purposes, but the psychological effects that it could have on the cloned individual are not worth it. Taking away someone’s right to be a unique individual is not fair. No one has the right to play God.

Things are going fine the way that they are. Look at how far we have come as a society. Cloning is not a necessity; it is an option, an alternative. I opt to not agree with it.

Jill C. Hindman

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