Call in the Clones!

For this week’s post, we decided to tackle arguments against cloning. Some of the most common arguments listed by The Scislands are:

1. Cloning will create a black market for stolen or discarded embryos.

2. Cloning will cause a resurgence of slavery.

3. Cloning will stop genetic improvements to a species. This is because genetic improvements usually occur through sexual reproduction, which result in a mixing of the genes of the mother and father.

All of these claims are based on irrational fears rather than fact, and have been proven false by various authors.  The first claim, that cloning will create a black market is one of the most extreme.

The first claim, that cloning will lead to a black market on organ trade is the most ludicrous of all of the arguments.  The black market for organs has been around for centuries….certainly longer than this technology. According to The Human Cloning Foundation, prisoners in China have had their organs removed unwillingly for sale on the black market, and these were humans, not clones.  So to argue that this technology would cause organ sell on the Black market is completely false.  Furthermore, this practice would be outlawed immediately because a clone is not property, but a human being.  Thus, no individual, clone or otherwise would be endangered by these black market sales.

The second claim, that cloning will cause slavery is contestable for a very similar principle.  Slavery, as we all know, is one of the oldest institutions known to man and has been outlawed in the civilized world for centuries.  To claim that cloning will increase this in wealthy nations is ridiculous.  Once again, because human clones are human, they have rights, and can thus not be enslaved. This proves that these claims are completely unsupported.   

The third and final claim, that “cloning will stop genetic improvements to a species. This is because genetic improvements usually occur through sexual reproduction, which result in a mixing of the genes of the mother and father.”  This too has been proven false.

According to a study done by Dr. Entcheva, cloned organisms can have varying traits depending on the stimuli.  In their experiment, the scientists had several enriched cultures, which they then exposed they then exposed to 5 different types of environments.  After cloning these cultures there were varying traits between them.  Surely, more genetically diverse organisms would also have  varying traits as well.

Bibliography

http://www.questacon.edu.au/indepth/cloning/arguments_against_cloning.html

http://www.humancloning.org/essays/esiann2.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC92523/

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