By: J. D. Longstreet
Does anybody seriously doubt there are human clones in existence today?
Ok… sounds like science fiction… right? Yeah, well, we have the scientific knowledge to do it now, and research is already well advanced in the creation of genetically modified human embryos possible leading to “designer babies.”
We have cloned mice, cows, goats, sheep, dogs, and cats…. how about a human? “NO!”, you say. Well, how do you KNOW? Huh? I mean… just because it’s against the law (in some US states), or it’s immoral, or some such objection, you don’t really believe that some scientist, somewhere, isn’t going to step forward, one of these days, hold a press conference, and sitting beside him, or her, will be a young male or female, oh, say, 8 or 9 years old. The scientist will introduce the young male, or female, to the world as the first human clone.
Oh, it’s going to happen… count on it.
So, when it DOES happen and we come to realize that we can manufacture additional humans… what will we do with them?
Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. Maybe we should first decide what, exactly they are. Synthetic humans? Manufactured humans? Artificial humans? I don’t know. I don’t even have a lexicon, a vocabulary, if you will, for it.
OK, there are already suggestions that we breed them, kind of like cattle, and slaughter them for their organs. No more organ shortages!
Then there are those who feel mankind has reached a point in our evolution at which we can produce clones to do the “heavy lifting” for us… I mean, the work! We could assign clones, upon their birth (?) to involuntary servitude… sometimes referred to as slavery.
Still others feel we could teach them, from birth, in the “art of war” and train them as warriors to fight our battles and our wars. I mean… if a clone soldier is killed, no one has to go notify the family. No flag draped coffins flown into to Delaware for the news cameras to splash all over the network news. (Oh, I forgot. The Clinton Administration stopped the newsies from covering those.)
Say a member of your family has passed away. Scientists believe it is possible to clone the deceased from a piece of the departed’s DNA. You wouldn’t be bringing them back from the dead… exactly. You’d be re-creating them… we think. Sounds a bit gruesome to me.
There is no federal law banning cloning a human being in the United States of America. That may come as a surprise to you. The Federal Drug Administration demands that you get their permission before you clone a human. So far as the Federal Government is concerned… that’s it. There are a few states, which have passed laws making it illegal inside those respective states.
Cloning is, indisputably, in it’s early stages. Much is yet to be learned about implanting embryos that are NOT defective. Many of the cloned animals have had serious problems in various organs such as defective hearts, lungs, and so forth. An animal can be “put down” if they are born with serious health problems. But… what do you do when you have created a human clone and that “clone” has a really bad heart? Do you euthanize them? Would that be considered a legal “mercy killing”? Would it be considered murder? This is a serious question and one we, as a society, are not yet ready to answer.
And what about the spiritual aspects of cloning? Will a cloned human have a soul? I don’t know! Science has yet to determine what a soul is, or even if such a thing as “a soul” exists.
These are serious questions we, as a society, are not yet ready and, in some cases, able to answer.
Thing is… we had better GET ready. One of these days, in the not too distant future, you’re going to be having your morning coffee, turn on the TV, to catch the news of developments overnight, and that press conference we described at the beginning of this piece will be in progress. Will you be ready then? I doubt it.
J. D. Longstreet