June 30, 2013

Human Cloning and the Human Spirit

Earlier this year (2013), researchers reported they have cloned human embryos to produce stem cells. The accomplishment is a huge step toward the possibility of treating human diseases; however, the news also raises the obvious question: will it ever be possible to clone a person?

Scientists have already cloned frogs, mice, cats, sheep, pigs and cows; however, in each case researchers had to overcome many problems. For example, Dr. Robert Lanza, scientist, theoretician and author of Biocentrism, cloned a species of cattle called banteng, and it was twice the size of a normal banteng when it was born.  

“The extremely high rate of death, and the risk of developmental abnormalities from cloning makes cloning people unethical,” Lanza said.

Despite the risks, humans will likely be cloned someday, but Catholic Priest Father Saunders refers to the end result of that process as “soulless replicas of human beings.”  

Human cloning disregards the prevailing conviction that we are more than the sum of our biological functions. It overlooks that part of us we know as the human spirit or soul, and fails to account for what humans can accomplish through ambition, love, determination, faith and willpower.

One of the best films of the nineties was Gattaca, the story of a future society where someone’s station in life is determined by manipulating the genes in a fetus. The tagline for the movie is an astute comment on human cloning: 
“There is no gene for the human spirit.”