fbpx To Clone or Not to Clone? | Tomorrow's World

To Clone or Not to Clone?

Comment on this article

We hear a lot about cloning today, but it's an idea that has been around for over 30 years. Back in the 60s, embryologists were first able to clone frogs in the laboratory. This was exciting and seemed rather harmless at the time. The process was rather simple since frogs, which are amphibians, readily develop outside of the mother's body. No attachment to the mother through a placenta is needed.

We hear a lot about cloning today, but it's an idea that has been around for over 30 years. Back in the 60s, embryologists were first able to clone frogs in the laboratory. This was exciting and seemed rather harmless at the time. The process was rather simple since frogs, which are amphibians, readily develop outside of the mother's body. No attachment to the mother through a placenta is needed.

A scientist simply removes the nucleus of an unfertilized frog egg and inserts (in its place) the nucleus from a body cell of the mother. After a short period of time, the free-floating frog egg develops into a tadpole and then a short time later an exact copy of the mother frog develops.

That is about as far as it got in cloning animals for several decades. Dolly the sheep burst on the scene a few years ago as the first mammal to be cloned. The world and the scientific community were electrified with this new development. Some scientists began to consider human cloning as a real possibility.

Just recently the latest development in cloning occurred when the first ever kitten was cloned at Texas A&M University. It wasn't an easy accomplishment though, as it took 188 tries to get one little kitten. This, of course will encourage other scientists in the belief that if it can be accomplished in other mammals, it can be accomplished in humans in time.

One of the persistent concerns of human cloning is the possibility of premature aging, as well as defects in the clone. Japanese scientists have found, for example, that most cloned mice die early of liver cancer and lung problems.

If human cloning produces defective human beings, how will researchers handle it? Will they kill them off with the reasoning that they were created by scientists in the first place? Or on the other hand, if defective clones are allowed to live, who will pay the potential life-long medical bills?

The matter of premature aging seems to be a real concern. It is well know that there seems to be a pre-set number of cell divisions in any particular type of human tissue. When the biological genetic clock slows down or stops the cell division, it becomes apparent that this is part of the aging process that cannot be reversed.

Of course the clone is taken from an adult cell that already has a degree of aging. Will this hidden, apparent age be transmitted to every cell of the body of the young clone? Many scientists are concerned that the clone will have a significantly reduced life span. Would it be fair or moral to create human clones that will live only a potentially short lifespan?

Another question that scientists have not addressed yet is the question of intelligence in a human clone. In the Bible, we find something that is little understood in the scientific community concerning human intelligence.

In 1 Corinthians 2:11 we read: "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?"

In other words, according to the Creator, no human being could know the thoughts of a human or think like a human without the spirit of man that is in him.

Brain researchers have know for years that physically, the human brain is only 10 to 20 percent better than other mammal brains. In reality though, the human intellect is "light years" ahead of any dolphin or chimpanzee. There is a huge gulf in intellectual ability that cannot be explained by the slightly superior human brain. The difference, according to the Creator, is the human spirit that God gives to each human.

The unanswered question is: "Will human clones receive the spirit of man from the Creator or will designer clones only be functioning mentally like intelligent animals without the human spirit?" This is a question that will only be answered on the birth of the first human clone.

Another key question concerns our origins as the human race. Have we simply evolved to our current state or is there a Creator who designed us exactly as we were meant to be? In other words, are we only the product of natural selection and will we now exercise unnatural selection among human clones? For example, do we select only the most intelligent or the most outstanding specimens of physical beauty for cloning?

Some who would desire to be cloned may feel that it could give them another life to experience…in a sense, a little taste of immortality.

But clearly that will not be the case! Identical twins who are, in a sense, genetic clones of each other have separate consciousness and identities. Real life clones would function the same way.

Very likely, the development of human clones will be accomplished in our lifetime. But at what cost? Will humans lead themselves down the unknown path of scientific experimentation only to find a dead end?

In actual fact, according to the God of the Bible, God will soon intervene in human affairs and will stop this mad rush to fiddle with what God has so masterfully designed…the human body, the human brain, the human mind.

In the plan of the Creator God, the human body is only designed to live a limited number of years. It is only a temporary structure for the human experience. God's real intention is for us humans to receive training in His way of life and actually become fully trained as future members of God's Family.

God wants to expand His spiritual family and allow you, in time, to become an actual member of the God family. In reality, God's intention is to produce His mind within you so that you can actually think like God and become a real son of God; a God-Being who will live forever!

So, would you rather be cloned, as some scientists propose, and eventually die (both you and your clone)? Or would you rather be fully born into the Family of God and live forever?

If the latter is of more interest to you, please request our free booklet Your Ultimate Destiny.

This is Jeffrey Fall with commentary for the Living Church of God.