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Put that cloning gear away, son.
August 1, 2001 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Put that cloning gear away, son. House votes to make human cloning and medicines made abroad via cloning illegal. This doesn't look to good for the future of stem cell research.
posted by skallas (48 comments total)

 
More on yahoo.
posted by skallas at 8:13 AM on August 1, 2001


Does anyone believe this will actually stop cloning? Some hotshot medteam in Singapore or Perth or Bonn or Buenos Aires is going to clone away, and the self-important numblefucks in the American congress won't be able to do a thing about it. You can't stop science; you can only slow the process and move it out of your oversight. Which is better?

Every day, another dumbass maneuver from Washington. Next on Yahoo: "US Congress Briefly Removes, Then Reinserts Heads Up Own Asses; Reality just "too icky and resistant to control," say legislators."
posted by UncleFes at 8:28 AM on August 1, 2001


You can't stop science

Actually you can. Eugenics comes to mind. The problem here is instead of regulating cloning and providing a means for research congress pulled a war-on-drugs type rabbit out of their collective hats to simply make almost everything about cloning illegal. Some of the quotes on the trib article are just hilarious if you stop thinking these are the people that run the US.
posted by skallas at 8:39 AM on August 1, 2001


I forget..... What's wrong with cloning? What's the big deal?

"Cloning is an insult to humanity. It is science gone crazy."

Oh bull. That's reflexive babbling in response to a serious issue. Why is it so bad? I think we should be pushing forward on cloning research.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:39 AM on August 1, 2001


Hmm, 10 years in prison for taking a drug that was created using research from human clones. Makes perfect sense to me, especially when drunk drivers only get five for killing someone.

The penalties for many crimes involving technology don't seem to fit when compared to real world crimes. Someone who steals a person's credit card will probably get half the jail time that they would have received if they had stolen the card number online.

Back to cloning, there seems to be growing resentment of US policy these days; backing out of talks, treaties, etc. Just because the US bans cloning and clone research doesn't mean that other countries aren't going to go ahead with it.
posted by dave at 8:42 AM on August 1, 2001


The one thing about cloning that makes me against it is because it won't work the first time. It won't work the second time. It'll take dozens and dozens of attempts ( lives lost ) to get a "working" clone. I'm all for stem cell research, but this is a little different.
posted by Mark at 8:57 AM on August 1, 2001


You can't stop science

Probably true. As they say, "fools rush in..."

I find J. Robert Oppenheimer's words after witnessing the first nuclear explosion to be quite meaningful in the current context. He is quoting from the Bhagavadgita:

"I am become death, the shatterer of worlds."

Oppenheimer later suggested that the physics community, as a whole, should beg forgiveness for the sins that its intellectual greed unleashed upon the rest of the human race. Wasn't a popular idea. Sounds like it isn't popular here, either.
posted by nicolotesla at 9:10 AM on August 1, 2001


"It'll take dozens and dozens of attempts ( lives lost ) to get a "working" clone."

Just another good reason to do serious research on the subject rather than letting clandestine labs do it the hard way. The success rate is low because we don't know how to do it right yet. Don't you think early surgery techniques worked the same way?

I'm sure people had the same dire warnings while brain surgery was being perfected.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:24 AM on August 1, 2001


This may have been a show-vote. Sometimes one chamber is permitted to pass a bill for publicity reasons secure in the knowledge that the other will reject it, and this may be such a case. There's a high liklihood that this will be rejected in the Senate, according to this Washington Post article.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:27 AM on August 1, 2001


"Oppenheimer later suggested that the physics community, as a whole, should beg forgiveness......." Blah blah blah.

Yes, that's nice. But how does it relate to the topic at hand? Certainly scientists need to be ethical and cautious, but just throwing out this popular quote and then wandering off doesn't do anyone any good.

Why do you think cloning is bad? Do you really think creating a device that can kill millions of people in a few seconds is ethically related to being able to give life to genetic clones?

Why should we be so afraid of this?
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:40 AM on August 1, 2001


I have always found Oppenheimer's extravagant boo-hooing to be roughly on par with Paul Schaefer begging the band to kick his ass in "Spinal Tap."

That's quite a bit of ego, to name oneself "the shatterer of worlds," regardless of what you helped invent. The continued Swaggartly wailing was just the care and feeding of that ego.

Why should we be so afraid of this?

Tradition :) as in aversion to change; fear of the unknown; herd skittishness; anti-intellectualism; antipathy toward things we don't understand; cultural bias against science and scientists; the feeling that science should be in service of political agendas, hence our willingness to put pure research at the behest of government funding; a history of divisive abortion politics with entrenched, uncompromising stances; unfounded beliefs in an afterlife ruled by a monomaniacal deity whose authority cannot be questioned; inaccurate and hysterical media reportage...
posted by UncleFes at 9:50 AM on August 1, 2001


why should we, not why are we...

I'm hoping the answer has to do with souls or something. that would be sweet.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:55 AM on August 1, 2001


So, basically, we're talking about religion, UncleFes?
posted by MarkO at 10:15 AM on August 1, 2001


Hello? I think we're forgetting a very important reason for banning cloning: avoiding the Clone Wars that George Lucas has presaged. Duh.

In the short-term this vote doesn't have a huge effect on stem-cell research, since such research is currently conducted on "left over" embryos from fertility treatments. But it ain't a good sign for the future of such research. At least here in the US.
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:15 AM on August 1, 2001


Crown of thorns in our collective side?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:20 AM on August 1, 2001


Now I can hardly wait until europe develops the first major disease cure using cloned stem cells so that I can count the nanoseconds that pass between that and when the US climbs off it's holy soapbox...
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:22 AM on August 1, 2001


Seriously, this one of those events that makes me feel at odds with the whole fucking species.
Very depressing.
I hope every one of those mostly Republican dickheads who voted this across enjoys the pleasure watching their children, wives, and selves go blind from diabetes, crazy from alzheimer's, or simply dead from heart failure.

I'm sick of having people who belive in a big man in the sky determine the what questions are okay to ask.

Fuck them all, the troglodytes.
posted by dong_resin at 10:26 AM on August 1, 2001


Now I can hardly wait until europe develops the first major disease cure using cloned stem cells so that I can count the nanoseconds that pass between that and when the US climbs off it's holy soapbox...

Well, if the Europeans find such a cure, then US pharmaceutical companies won't be profiting from it. So why would the US government change its policy?
posted by harmful at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2001


Well, if the Europeans find such a cure, then US pharmaceutical companies won't be profiting from it. So why would the US government change its policy?

Uh. For that exact reason, my friend. See, the US government doesn't really have any money of its own. Whatever it spends, it first has to take -- with force -- from others. And pharmaceutical companies are very nice "others" for the beurocratics to leech off, if you catch my drift.
posted by dagny at 10:44 AM on August 1, 2001


clones also come in handy during inter-galactic wars with species who breed faster than humans.

Thats what i've read anyways. hmmm...i have a thought though, is the religious argument against cloning, are they afraid that clones won't have souls? That they won't really be human? That if humans can play god and pull it off that humans are God?
posted by th3ph17 at 10:50 AM on August 1, 2001


Oppenheimer later suggested that the physics community, as a whole, should beg forgiveness for the sins that its intellectual greed unleashed upon the rest of the human race.

I think this is pretty important as its obvious that science serves the military-industrial complex. There's all sorts of morals with clones, drugs, etc but when developing weapons of (at the time) unimaginable devastation its A-OK.

Once someone, European or otherwise, finds a way to turn cloning technology into something as profitable as pharmaceuticals or weapons then congress will simply change its tune. I think SDB hits the nail on the head with his "show-vote" comment.
posted by skallas at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2001


So, basically, we're talking about religion, UncleFes?

No, it's about tradition. Religion is only one piece of the grander pattern of idiocy.
posted by UncleFes at 11:02 AM on August 1, 2001


I'm pretty religious. I believe in the Great God and all that, but even I don't understand why Cloning is evil. I'm all in favor of stem cell research and cloning.

If the technology/science didn't have the potential for good applications, it wouldn't be doable. It's not good or evil, it's what we as people do with it that can be good or evil. Whatever happened to free will and personal responsibility?
posted by Apoch at 11:09 AM on August 1, 2001


The House decision is a show-vote and stem-cell research should be legal. Basic cloning technology doesn't hurt anyone. The misuse of this technology, however, and its use to create an even greater divide between haves and have-nots, is not healthy for the human species, and should be legislated against.
posted by Marquis at 11:14 AM on August 1, 2001


Religion is only one piece of the grander pattern of idiocy.


You know "idiots" like the Puritan and alchemist troublemaker Isaac Newton or Deist Thomas Jefferson.

Its one thing to criticize politics as pandering to the lowest common denominator and another to put general blame on something as complex as religion.
posted by skallas at 11:18 AM on August 1, 2001


Skallas: Religion was one of NINE items I mentioned, hardly "general blame," and I reiterated that it was part of a larger picture that contributed to the vote.

Healer, heal thyself :)
posted by UncleFes at 12:02 PM on August 1, 2001


You can't stop science

Actually you can. Eugenics comes to mind.


LOL You actually think this has been/will be stopped??
posted by rushmc at 12:25 PM on August 1, 2001


Its one thing to criticize politics as pandering to the lowest common denominator and another to put general blame on something as complex as religion.

Historically, religion has not only pandered to but actively sought (with great success) to create the LCD, so it seems reasonable to me.
posted by rushmc at 12:27 PM on August 1, 2001


I hope every one of those mostly Republican dickheads who voted this across enjoys the pleasure watching their children, wives, and selves go blind from diabetes, crazy from alzheimer's, or simply dead from heart failure.

Yeah, who cares about embryos, who cares about failed, deformed clones, who cares about the social/psychological consequences of being a clone, who cares about eugenics, about the comodification of children, who cares about the dangers of reduced genetic diversity, this research might help ME someday! It must go forward.

Seriously, one of the strongest arguments for me against cloning is that I think it will inevitably contribute to seeing children as projects, commodities, rather than persons:

I am also aware that we can all imagine circumstances in which we ourselves might—were the technology available—be tempted to turn to cloning. Parents who lose a young child in an accident and want to "replace" her. A seriously ill person in need of embryonic stem cells to repair damaged tissue. A person in need of organs for transplant. A person who is infertile and wants, in some sense, to reproduce. Once the child becomes a project or product, such temptations become almost irresistible. There is no end of good causes in the world, and they would sorely tempt us even if we did not live in a society for which the pursuit of health has become a god, justifying almost anything.

(From this website.)
posted by straight at 12:31 PM on August 1, 2001


and they would sorely tempt us even if we did not live in a society for which the pursuit of health has become a god, justifying almost anything.

Welcome, friends, to Ye Olde Slip'ry Slope! What'll you have? Take one technological advance, extrapolate wildly, add obligatory Huxley (alternate: Orwell) reference, stir excitedly. Delicious! Contains all your daily requirements of Luddism and Cognitive Dissonance :)
posted by UncleFes at 12:55 PM on August 1, 2001


Welcome, friends, to Ye Olde Slip'ry Slope!

"Slippery slope" here is more of an insult than an argument. The commodification I'm concerned about is happening now. People are talking about making embryos not in order to have children, but as products for research.
How exactly do you propose that we can allow cloning without turning children into products, commodities?
posted by straight at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2001


Good posting UncleFes!

If DeLay had considered this for a moment instead of doing his usual knee jerk he would have realized that with human cloning he and his Dixiecrat white robe wearing buddies would have yet another group to demean and subjugate.

Yeah, that's the ticket! No more fighting feminism, blacks, non Baptists, immigrants, whatever. Now we have the soulless invitros to hate...they're subhuman...enslave them...own your own...kill them without compunction.
posted by nofundy at 1:17 PM on August 1, 2001


"Slippery slope" here is more of an insult than an argument.

Yes it is, because your argument is that, because there is so much good that can come from this, we need to ban it. It's ridiculous. You're insulting me.

The commodification I'm concerned about is happening now.

Well, if it's happening now without cloning, how do you figure that banning cloning with prevent it?

People are talking about making embryos not in order to have children, but as products for research. How exactly do you propose that we can allow cloning without turning children into products, commodities?

You're assuming as fact an effect that you claim is already happening, don't describe, and really has no bearing on the subject. How will cloning turn children into products? In vitro fertilization didn't turn children into "products." Children are children. Products are products.

And then we get to the concept that an embryo is a person, which is rooted in religious, not scientific, theory. I'm not going to bother with this, because everyone probably has a pretty good idea what I think about basing public policy and scientific endeavor on the orders of a capricious magical being who no one has seen and for who no empirical evidence exists but is all powerful and demands obedience to an ancient set of rules, as interpreted by a self-appointed group of intermediaries who purport to be infused with a portion of the magical being's magicalness, thereby giving their own pronouncement's the magical being's reputed authority.

You use the same arguments that all the anti-technology types make: we don't know what will happen if we proceed down this path. And as far as that goes, you're right, we don't. But where you say that, because we don't know, we must STOP, I say that not knowing is part and parcel of discovery and advancement. It is because we don't know that we endeavor to learn!

In the end, it doesn't matter what we think: the cloning cat is out of the bag. Someone will clone a human, regardless of what Congress thinks or bans. Someone will do stem cell research on human embryos. Someone will advance this technology, simply because it's potential outweighs the (imo rather specious) arguments against it. You really can't stop science.

Some people believe in the power of God; some believe in the power of protest; some in the power of Congress. But ALL of us KNOW the power, and the potential, of science. Yes, there will be problems, there always are. But to turn a blind eye and allow suffering to continue because we are afraid of what might happen is cowardice of the worst type - the cowardice of our own comfort. We are rich in health, but others are not, and to condemn them because we do not have the courage to say that we will search for answers and put down the problems in pursuit of the greater good is hypocrisy.
posted by UncleFes at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2001


And then we get to the concept that an embryo is a person, which is rooted in religious, not scientific, theory.

Well, the natural sciences have generally been good at leaving questions like that to theology and philosophy, both of which are somewhat contractually obliged to address them. (Two borderline states -- life and consciousness -- remain the most contentious areas of scientific research, and you won't find consensus no matter how hard you look.)

And I think that's what worries people: scientific method has been tremendously successful, not simply for what it has chosen to address, but also because of what it has chosen to exclude from its inquiries. So when you talk of turning a blind eye to science, UncleFes, it's worth remembering that science has been turning its own blind eyes at least as far back as Boyle and Newton. Not that mutual blindness brings vision. In fact, it requires that we learn more, to identify those blind spots and ask the questions that they throw up.
posted by holgate at 2:05 PM on August 1, 2001


Can I clone you, please, UncleFes? That is one good posting.
posted by dagny at 2:07 PM on August 1, 2001


"A person in need of organs for transplant."

We already have laws against killing people to harvest their organs. Cloning wouldn't in any way change this.

You seem to be thinking that once we start cloning, all sorts of basic concepts will suddenly vanish.

"who cares about embryos,"

The same people who care about in vitro fertilization. We transplant embryos now. Everyday.

"who cares about failed, deformed clones,"

The same people who want to perfect cloning.

Yes, we need better techniques and more research. Clearly this will never happen in humans if you have to impregnate dozens of women to get one success.

"who cares about the social/psychological consequences of being a clone, "

The same people who care about the social/psychological consequences of being any minority. We deal with this question everyday. And since you won't be able to tell a clone from a normally created person, I don't think this will be a real issue. Certainly clones will question the philosophical nature of their existence, but we all do this any way.

"who cares about eugenics, "

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't eugenics based on sterilizing people? If you're really worried that natural reproduction will be stifled in favor of cloning, I think that's a bit alarmist. What is your eugenics angle?

"about the comodification of children, "

I'm still not seeing what this would be. Parents shopping for clones when they want to have children? I think not. Why would parents want a child that is the same as someone else's child? Does this sound like something people would do?

"who cares about the dangers of reduced genetic diversity"

Oh please! Now you're reaching. That's just silly.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:48 PM on August 1, 2001


Frankly, I'm pleasantly surprised Straight could glean any meaning whatsoever from my previous typo-ridden rant.
Oh, it tastes sweet, but antifreeze, it's not for drinking. Not in the morning, anyway.

Isn't making the jump from using genetic material as the basis of research to the Sci-fi scenario of the inhuman clone frankenstein malformed drone army a wee bit of a drastic leap?
posted by dong_resin at 3:43 PM on August 1, 2001


From UncleFes: "Every day, another dumbass maneuver from Washington. Next on Yahoo: 'US Congress Briefly Removes, Then Reinserts Heads Up Own Asses; Reality just 'too icky and resistant to control,' say legislators.'"

From UncleFes: "No, it's about tradition. Religion is only one piece of the grander pattern of idiocy."

From nofundy: "If DeLay had considered this for a moment instead of doing his usual knee jerk he would have realized that with human cloning he and his Dixiecrat white robe wearing buddies would have yet another group to demean and subjugate."

From dong_resin: "I hope every one of those mostly Republican dickheads who voted this across enjoys the pleasure watching their children, wives, and selves go blind from diabetes, crazy from alzheimer's, or simply dead from heart failure ... I'm sick of having people who belive in a big man in the sky determine the what questions are okay to ask ... Fuck them all, the troglodytes."

From rushmc: "Historically, religion has not only pandered to but actively sought (with great success) to create the LCD, so it seems reasonable to me."

Forget the fact that this measure is opposed by non-religious people as well. Forget the fact that a significant number of Democrats voted for this bill. Forget about the fact that Tom Daschle (he's a Democrat, in case you don't know) opposes cloning "under virtually any circumstances." Forget the fact that organized religion gave you Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Theresa and not just the Inquisition. And forget that the Inquisition was 500 years ago.

I'm sorry if I appear a bit frustrated, but I was seriously misled about the purpose of this site. I thought that Metafilter was about debate and that its readers were openminded. I thought this was a community of intellectuals who sought first to understand and then to judge. I thought that someone, somewhere on the site, might actually be open to an honest discussion. I was wrong.

This is the most biased, closedminded, scapegoat-seeking thread that I've read on MetaFilter during my brief exposure to the site. This isn't a debate--it's a support group for a bunch of people who agree on 99% of the issues posed to them.

Enjoy your self-referential and self-congratulatory debate. Have fun nursing your conspiracy theories. I, for one, am not going to waste my time humoring a mistaken assumption that this was a forum for intellectual exploration.

Since you didn't like my last quote, here's another:

"I refuse to have a battle of wits against an unarmed person."
posted by nicolotesla at 8:52 PM on August 1, 2001


If I sounded flustered, here's why:
When I clicked on the radio today to hear all about the ban on cloning, the first thing I heard was some debate from the house on when the soul enters a living being.

That is the core of my frustration. They assume a soul as a fact.
It's not a fact, it's a concept.

To me, the concept of an immortal soul is the wishful thinking of a person who can't deal with the temporary nature of life. I may be wrong, but I'm going to base my life decisions on what I can not perceive. I will not accept your control of my life with such notions, either. If you want to believe in such crap, and live according to it, great. You may turn out to be right.. I don't know that there are not souls.
I don't know that I can't just jump off a bridge and fly , either, but I'm not going to just assume that I can.
Don't impose your delusions on me.

Any faith-based mode of thinking is exactly that : based on acceptance of some concept.
It does not allow for questioning of that concept. It makes assumptions about the nature of life.
Basically, any faith-based mode of thought is saying "here is how the universe works."
Ask enough questions of any faith, and you come down to "just because."

I am constantly confronted by religion-based thought from our government, which is just plain scary for me, an agnostic person who wishes to know why things are as they are, not just assume that he does.

What technology I'm allowed to benefit from, based on their acceptance of faith-based concepts, is completely unacceptable to me.

Dr. King, Ghandi, and Mother Theresa all rejected commonly accepted notions of their times, and sought new approaches. You only know their names because they rejected the status quo and said "These assumptions are unacceptable. There is another way."

When our society says "No cloning, we don't know enough about it", it's saying it wants safety, not knowledge. Historicaly, this is the fastest way to ruin. The people making these statements are doing it from a religious perspective, and that is why I want them to all go visit the god they want so bad to impress.
posted by dong_resin at 10:14 PM on August 1, 2001


Jeez, man, why'd you pick TWO of mine? :)

If you think this is some sort of mutual admiration society, think again. Check my postings on other topics - 9 times out of 10, I'm the guy getting his ass handed to him. Holgate, especially, LOVES to tear my arguments apart, and is really good at it, too.

But that's neither here nor there. I see all the people you name making their points and debating the issue, plus straight and skallas - not exactly a couple of mouthbreathers, intellectually - opposing those points. I see a single post from you, where in you and I agree on a point (you can't stop science) and you putting up a quote from Oppenheimer, to which I and a couple other people posted replies pertaining to the quote. I don't see anyone slamming you personally.

So what's the problem? Your frustration with this thread was a well-kept secret, since you only posted once. If you disagree with the points being made, disagree and post your argument. Instead, you say we're close-minded and insult our intelligence, while expecting a few non-sequitors about religious leaders which, so far as I can tell, don't have anything to do with the topic, to suddenly swing the debate...?
posted by UncleFes at 10:21 PM on August 1, 2001


Not my most constructive post, but:

UncleFes, dong_resin? Damn fine posting.

I now return to lurker status. :-)
posted by Spirit_VW at 10:34 PM on August 1, 2001


A bunch of people agree on a topic, and refuse to feel guilty just because they're ordered to.
Obviously, it's a conspiracy. Here's a tip, offered in good faith, nicolotesla: a MeFi discussion does not necessarily have to be an ideological firefight. In fact, there are those among us who think that debates detract from what the site is all about.
I'm with UncleFes here, though: if you want to have a real conversation about cloning and stem cell research, please say something more than 'it's wrong, it's evil, and so are you.'
posted by darukaru at 10:35 PM on August 1, 2001


I started to get mad over this, but then realized just how stupid that would be. Science was born of a thousand years and more of this same attitude, and it can hardly be stopped or greatly slowed by a few, or even a majority, who still profess that some knowledge may be too dangerous to know. Half of them don't even believe cloning is bad, they just think that saying so will help their approval ratings, and I think I'm being very generous stating that its only half.

People who choose to so religiously maintain their fears by banning the seeking of understanding that would allay them are more than just deluded. In the end, they are ineffectual, and they are forgotten.
posted by Nothing at 11:07 PM on August 1, 2001


Nothing,
True enough, but my mother is at risk for alzheimer's now. It's not an abstract for me, and these dickheads are in the way of research that could help.
They make me angry.
posted by dong_resin at 11:46 PM on August 1, 2001


"The commodification I'm concerned about is happening now. "

Well, if it's happening now without cloning, how do you figure that banning cloning with prevent it?


I don't think we can prevent it entirely, but I think we ought to fight to restrict it as much as possible. I think pursuing the means to create embryos and/or children for any purpose other than that you want to welcome another human being into the world cheapens human life. It will encourage people to think of children as things to be manipulated for our greatest convenience rather that people to be welcomed and loved. That there are already lots of other things that cheapen human life doesn't mean I'm content to let the process accelerate.

I also think that it is unacceptable that to get to the place where this could be done "safely" (meaning producing physically normal children), we will inevitably produce children who are misformed. That's pretty clear from the work that's been done on animals, and I think it's not an acceptable price to pay for cloning's dubious benefits. It's not like other experimental medicine where the choice is to try the experiment or let someone die.

As for social/psychological effects, I wasn't referring to some sort of prejudice against clones (although that too might be a problem) but the weirdness of being descended from a single parent, being able to see pretty much exactly what you're going to look like when you grow up. That seems like it would be a very difficult shadow to live in.

As for the argument that science must inevitably progress, I agree to some extent. I don't think there's some list of Things Man Was Not Meant To Know, but I think there's a difference between research and developing a technology and putting it into practice. Should we do everything we can just because we can? Is there never a place to weigh the social consequences of a new technology and decide that the possible costs outweigh the possible benefits? Or do you believe that the benefits of new technology always outweigh the costs?

I'm not indifferent to the needs of people with diabetes or parkinson's or alzheimer's disease (my dad's diabetic, and my odds of developing diabetes some day are above average) but I find it hard to believe that stem-cell research holds the only possible key to help these people.
posted by straight at 6:23 AM on August 2, 2001


we will inevitably produce children who are misformed
We inevitably produce children who are misformed in nature, as well. Is it an acceptable price to pay for the dubious benefits of reproduction?

the weirdness of being descended from a single parent, being able to see pretty much exactly what you're going to look like when you grow up. That seems like it would be a very difficult shadow to live in.
Why are we assuming that cloning must lead to identical twins of people stomping around the planet? My understanding of this research is that we're not going to be slaughtering full-grown people for parts--we're aiming to grow tissue, with the stem cells as the seeds. Please correct me if I'm wrong, here.
Are we going to give full human rights to muscle tissue and livers, now? As far as I can tell, the people who speak in terms of 'malformed children' and 'lives lost' are just restating a modern-day version of the 'is it human the instant the cell divides?' question.
posted by darukaru at 10:32 AM on August 2, 2001


Seriously, one of the strongest arguments for me against cloning is that I think it will inevitably contribute to seeing children as projects, commodities, rather than persons

All children start out as projects and end up as people. And they've been considered commodities throughout history. What do you see in cloning that will so drastically change this status quo?
posted by rushmc at 11:00 AM on August 2, 2001


Forget the fact that organized religion gave you Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Theresa and not just the Inquisition.

You are bombarding us with assumption again. To some of us, Mother Theresa was WORSE than the Inquisition. We don't all buy into media-bestowed sainthood.
posted by rushmc at 11:02 AM on August 2, 2001


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