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The first thing that must be cleared up is what is cloning and what is a clone. The biological definition of clone is "an organism that has the same genetic information as another organism or organisms" ("Cloning" 1997). Therefore cloning is the production of a genetically identical duplicate of an "organism" ("Cloning" 1997).
People who argue in favor of cloning believe that it could directly help in curing diseases or to acquire new data for the sciences of embryology. Also, agricultural industry thinks cloning can help them as it improves. Cloning may be able to help the industry to produce better farm animals. The goal is to produce farm animals with ideal characteristics for the agricultural industry and to be able to manufacture better biological products such as high quality milk for humans. For instance, "at Roslin are trying to produce a sheep that produce milk with beneficial proteins for Cystic Fibrosis patients" (Kolata, 24 February 1997).
Scientists also are looking to help the endangered species to increase their population. But, they are mainly focusing their efforts for the improvement of life for humans. For example, "scientists foresee the cloning of pigs to produce organs that humans will not reject" (Wills 22). There are also possibilities that cloning could provide benefits to those who would like children. For instance, couples who are infertile, or have genetic disorders could use cloning to produce a child. Cloning could also provide children who need organ transplants to have a clone born to donate organs. Furthermore, it could help to provide a copy of a child for a couple whose child had died.
On the other hand, people against cloning believe that the biggest problem with the use of cloning is the decline in genetic diversity. Everyone could have the same genetic material and information. Also, if everyone has the same genetic information, then a disease would be able to eliminate all the population. Another argument is that cloning will not help endangered species. Currently, zoologists and environmentalists trying to save endangered species are not having so much troubles keeping population numbers up, but not having any animals to breed that are not cousins. The technique of cloning is not full developed yet. It is just in its developmental stages. Therefore, errors are occurring when scientists carry out the procedure. In his article Harris clearly states that: "For one thing, we're far from having perfected the procedure with animals" (Harris 5). If scientists try to clone endangered species we could possibly kill the last females of specie. Another problem is the debate about the moral rights of clones. Some say their rights will not be respected because clones are not granted a natural birth. That people would not receive clones with such excitement as a child of a couple who conceived naturally.
Most people do not accept or feel uncomfortable with cloning. In fact, a "national Time/CNN poll found ... that 74 percent of Americans thought it was wrong to clone a human and 91 percent said they would never even consider doing it" (Harris 2). These may be because the human race is taking nature into their own hands by cloning animals or people. Society is starting to question when the line for getting involved in natural events it is going to be drawn. Religious organizations also claim that cloning does not respect the fact that humans have souls. "They also consider its practice unnatural, and claim scientists are taking the work of God into their own hands" (Bruce, 1998).
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- Harris clearly states that: "For one thing, we're far from having perfected the procedure with animals" ...
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