Have We Gone Too Far?
"I am ALPHA and OMEGA,
There is an article in TIME magazine this week (Feb. 19, 2001) about the cloning of humans, and how close we actually are to this feat. Some think it may be as early as the next few months, in fact. Most agree that it would be kept quiet for a few months due to public outcry against such procedures. (The first cloned sheep, Dolly, was kept quiet for seven months.) The article presented a fairly comprehensive picture in a relatively unbiased fashion. But I believe there are a few facts we need to look at.
First, let's not dismiss the importance of such a feat to the person conducting the experiment. The one who succeeds in cloning the first human will gain immeasureable fame and fortune. Publishing and publicity are the keys to research funding, as any member of the scientific community will tell you. The notoriety that will accompany this feat will give the scientist an elevated position and voice of authority, paving the way for expanded funding for pet projects, and a higher rung in the scientific hierarchy. Although there is a moratorium on human cloning, there are many renegade researchers who have publicly stated they will begin human cloning experiments anyway, and even some who claim to have already done so. Can we really believe that their reasons for this endeavor are truly, entirely altruistic?
There is no evidence that cloned human parts can replace failing aged or diseased parts. In fact, there is abundant evidence to the contrary--- most of the cloned cells have such genetic abnormalities that they do not survive, anyway. It takes hundreds of cloned cells to produce ONE viable cell. Do we really want to expend all that time, effort, and money for the chance of replacing one faulty part with another? Just exactly who stands to benefit from this? And suppose someone wants a genetically reproduced part, but can't afford it? Who decides who gets what part, and at what price, virtually deciding who lives and who dies?
The scientist who first cloned the sheep was not trying to help sheep have genetically related offspring--- He was attempting to help farmers grow genetically enhanced livestock. How often will this technology be used to genetically engineer a "perfect" child? Do we really want to open the door to "designer children"? What happens if the child isn't what the parents ordered? Can the doctor who "engineered" the child be held legally responsible for a less than perfect result?
It takes hundreds of fertilized eggs to produce one clone. Most die automatically due to genetic defects (98%). Are the would be parents who want a genetically related child aware of this? What if the embryo produced shows up to be defective? Then what? Do you abort the defective specimen, to try again for a perfect one? What if the defect doesn't show up until birth? Do you euthanize the child? What if the defect doesn't show up until the child is 2 years old, or seven? Where do you draw the line? Who makes the call?
Many of the people who are in favor of cloning say they want to replace a deceased child or loved one. Is this realistic? Ask any parent of twins who has lost one of them; another child could never replace one that was lost. And, as the magazine article asked, what if a child dies, and one parent wants to clone, but the other doesn't? Who owns the rights to the DNA of the deceased?
Many others in favor of cloning are homosexuals or lesbians who see this as an opportunity to procreate within their chosen "alternative" lifestyle. Can we justify this argument? Isn't it going against what the Bible teaches? And before I get a bunch of hate mail, let me state this: I am not judging the homosexual lifestyle. I don't have to, because God already has. (see Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, and Rom. 1:26-27, for starters) We cannot refuse to show the love of God to persons practicing homosexuality, but we also cannot condone and enable a lifestyle that God has said is wrong!
The fact is, the vast, overwhelming majority of the people (90%, according to the article) are against human cloning. The only ones in favor of it have their own mostly selfish reasons, or their own agenda to promote. Even the Scottish scientist who first cloned a sheep is adamantly against the cloning of a human being. He knows better than anyone the unimaginable risks involved, in such an undertaking---(it took 277 tries to produce Dolly the sheep)---as well as the unspeakable horrors of the failed attempts. He himself calls the attemps to clone humans "criminally irresponsible"
Obviously this is a very complex subject, but the bottom line is this: Just because we have the technology and the inclination to do something, doesn't make it the right thing to do. Science has gone too far, interfering in things that should be left in God's hands, such as life and death. The creation of man was God's crowning achievement, the only thing He created in His own image. Should we allow science to replace God? Would such a thing truly benefit mankind, or would we be opening up a Pandora's box of unimaginable horror? I believe it would be the latter.