CLONING: SOLUTIONS CREATE QUESTIONS
Gianni DeVincent Hayes, Ph.D
With the advancement of science and technology, I find myself wondering - worrying - a lot about what is going on in our world, and our place in it. I mostly fret over the sacredness of life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said about cloning on Extra T.V. (11/16/2000), "I would have been cloned." Christian Voices Heard.org states, "In a move that surprised many in the Pro-Family movement, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger …endorsed a ballot initiative (Proposition 71) that will bankroll embryonic stem cell research and human cloning to the tune of $3 billion in California...Special interest groups…will line their pockets…and they are currently outspending those of us who oppose it by $100 to $1.00. This will create a miniature NIH on the west coast, and provide a way to get around President's Bush's 2000 edict prohibiting grants to the NIH for human cloning research.
Does cloning oneself sound a bit egotistical, or something everyone should want - a double, triple, quintuple - even infinite numbers - of themselves? Replicating others or ourselves has no limits. Consider the ethics surrounding this, such as cloning a dead child, or a Stalin, a Hitler . . . hey, how about dinosaurs like those in Jurassic Park?
Where would it all end?
Superbreed Race Today?
Remember that Dr. Josef Mengele, called "The Angel of Death," gruesomely experimented on humans in Auschwitz camps. Is cloning not similar to his conducting grotesque tests on humans? And speaking of Nazis -- have you ever wondered what happened to them since they arrived in our country through our government's "Operation paperclip"? This was a cover-up that allowed our administration to sneak them and their companions in to the U.S. so as to avoid the Nuremberg Trials. Some German Nazis are still here, and many of them are offspring of the defectors, but more of them are offspring of offspring. With the Jew-killing Nazis' arrival in this country, so came their "superbreed" philosophy as witnessed through Hitler's attempt to, and Nietzsche's support for, eugenically engineering an Aryan society. Could their ideologies have found host in today's Neo-Nazis and other similar followers?
Offers Author House publishing regarding one of their author's books, "Hitler's maniacal plan for a master race did not end with World War II. It is being systematically implemented today at an accelerating pace.... [through]…leaders of some of America's largest corporations -- who not only funded and are behind the global eugenics movement -- but [also] aided Hitler's attempts to implement it through direct assistance to the Nazi War Machine… [There existed] a hidden agenda behind the importation of thousands of Nazi war criminals to the United States[:] abortion on demand, human chop shops, euthanasia, bioethics, cloning, genetic experiments, and an unending series of unethical medical testing programs conducted by the U.S. government. . . . This book, Hitler Is Winning, by Jerry Leonard, provides a preview regarding racial purity, "… The Nazi philosophy of Aryan supremacy was the natural outgrowth of what was thought to be a 'respectable' international intellectual movement known as…eugenics …."
Let's face it, Hitler was an antichrist-type in his own time who darn near accomplished what he and the Elite wanted: To create human beings, craft a society of the superior and dominant few, with genes for blue eyes, blond hair, very high IQs, statures that would be taller and stronger than average, and in extraordinarily good physical and emotional health -- the perfect breed.
Eugenically engineering life rips apart everything that most theists believe: That God is almighty and omnipotent and the sole creator of all life. But Aldous Huxley enlightens us in his Brave New World (BNW) as to how the Fordist government controlled who was born, how they were born, what they would look like, how bright they would be, and what kind of careers they would have. Recall the hatcheries in his novel, and the caste system they formed: The alphas (elite) and the betas, epsilons, deltas and gammas (the laborers). What choices did they have? Their lives were predetermined by a so-called "benevolent" government - the "Select Few" who grew/cloned humans to serve them. In his book, Huxley was showing how the privileged easily enslaves us, the commoners. Carbon copying a civilization for a labor pool is bad enough, but growing humans for that sole purpose is atrocious. And yet, in BNW, cloning was the preferred method of reproduction...a cloned human who would have all the attributes desired by the master-creator, who is not God in this case.
The cloning debate rages on. The late Christopher Reeves' unfortunate accident demonstrated the need for methods of repairing life-lasting bodily (and mental) damages, particularly for spinal cord injuries. He, as others, believed that embryonic stem cell cloning provided the answer. In this case, stem cells are removed from the embryo which is killed in the process. The idea here is to produce hearty body tissues for a sick person. Advocates advance that there would then be an endless supply of organs, with no worry of rejection, and no waiting lists. But the embryo dies. While it appears that cures may come about from such a practice, the problem gets down to taking a life (a becoming fetus) to give someone else life. "Is it ethical to take a life to save a life?...It's never right to create and then kill one person to find a cure another."
Even among high-level Catholic clerics, arguments abound. The11/1/04 issue of Newsweek printed a brief commentary ("Catholicism and Stem Cells") by reader, Sergio Gutierrez, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Denver: ". . . The Roman Catholic Church fully supports and encourages stem-cell research, the kind involving adult stem cells, stem cells from umbilical cords, etc...But Archbishop Chaput joins many other ethicists, religious and secular, in objecting to embryonic stem-cell research because it deliberately destroys human life in its embryonic stage" [my emphasis]. The October 28th issue of The Dialog, a Catholic newspaper, quotes Georgetown University professor, Alphonso Gomez-Lobo, in an article titled "Ethicist: Stem Cell Research Crosses Moral Barrier," as referring to embryonic stem cell research as the "dismantling of human embryos," and that "...if human embryos are human beings at the earliest stage of their development, it is a matter of grave concern."
Actor Mel Gibson also takes great issue with Schwarzenegger's ploy for "taxpayers spend[ing] $6-billion to fund research involving human cloning and the destruction of human life." Gibson, who initially was in favor of stem cell research until he learned it would destroy human life, quips in the article:
Why are we being led into thinking Prop 71 isn't about cloning, when it is?….creating life simply to destroy it is wrong….In 23 years, [animal] [sic] embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single human cure. All it's yielded is tumors, rejection and mutations…. I found that the cloning of human embryos will be used in the process and that, for me, [is] an ethical problem…. Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund something I believe is unethical?" (Tax revenues)
Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, offers (also in that same article), "The true promise for treatment and cures lies with adult stem-cells, which do not require the cloning of human embryos nor the destruction of those embryos.
What Gibson thought Schwarzenegger was funding is the opposite, so to speak, to embryonic cloning, which is adult DNA or reproductive cloning, not annihilating embryos.
Sick Adult Clones
Adult DNA duplicating has forced the issue of early aging and an earlier death in the clone. The "Cloning Fact Sheet" explains that "Reproductive cloning [is] somatic cell nuclear transfer [where] scientists transfer genetic material from the nucleus of a donor adult cell to an egg whose nucleus, and thus its genetic material, has been removed...[which is then] treated with chemicals or electric current...[and later] transferred to the uterus of a female host." This is Dolly, the sheep - the first mammal to be cloned - that died at age six in February of 2003 of cancer, arthritis, and early aging. The article added that "Acquired mutations in mitochondrial DNA are believed to play an important role in the aging process.... Some scientists believe that errors or incompleteness in the reprogramming process cause the high rates of death, deformity, and disability observed among animal clones." Cloning, then, could mean that the copied specimen, perhaps even a human child, would die young of old age.
On the flip side, this same piece states, regarding embryonic cloning as opposed to adult-DNA transfer, "Reproductive cloning…could be used to repopulate endangered animals or animals that are difficult to breed. Therapeutic cloning may some day be used in humans to produce whole organs from single cells or to…healthy cells...."
Cloning applications also invite such disputes as to whether they will reduce the diversity of the gene pool created by individuals that aided evolution; or if beings will be created for organ harvesting. Visualize growing what would have been human for their heads, their intestines, their legs. Would torsos, only, provide that harvesting? Consider the comments in the New Scientist.Com's "'Humanized' organs Can Be Grown in Animals" regarding injecting stem cells into a sheep fetus while it is still in the womb: "When the sheep is born, much of it will consist of your own cells - ready to be harvested and given back to you." The adviso here, appended in the article, is the big fear of retroviruses destroying the organism. Along with this dread is that "we could see the creation of human beings which are growing yet technically dead because they have no brains.... now [that] we have the ability to do more or less whatever we like with life."
Can this lead to human cloning? Well, South Korea claims to have done this: "In this precise moment, there is a person in South Korea walking around with [embryonic] stem cells made for her," says John Cibelli from Michigan State University." In an ironic response, Robert Lanza from Advanced Cell Technology (the same company that claimed to have cloned a human embryo in 2001), said, "Now that the methodology is publicly available, it's time to enact a ban on cloning for reproduction."
Thus volleyballs the cloning debate: embryonic stem cell vs. adult cell cloning. The U.S. does various forms of cloning, but presumably not embryonic stem-cell transfer, while Europe has just voted in favor of this very practice as seen in "Europe Backs Stem Cell Research" which states that "The issue has caused controversy wherever it has been considered in the world. Supporters say it holds unrivaled promise of new medical treatments for diseases.... Opponents say the destruction of human embryos involved is ethically unacceptable." Yet, stocks of cloning corporations have dropped at the announcement of the passage of Prop 71 "…on the reality that any commercial application…may be farther into the future than most investors have speculated."
While cloning does have its benefits, such as reproducing organs, helping sick people, it also has huge risks, resulting in such anomalies as mutations, abnormal body functions, irregularly-sized doubles ["large offspring syndrome"], as well as infections, disorders, and even cancer.
So there you have the A, B, Cs of cloning.
A few years ago, when I first began researching cloning, I wrote a novel on it, titled Thy Brothers' Reaper (published 2002), which, unknowingly then, was a harbinger of what is happening today. My goal in the book was to bring about rumination over replicating humans for what could turn into ill-intended purposes.
In today's era of intrusive surveillance and tracking, "Big Brother-ism," implanted chips, bar codes for everything, and globalism vs nationalism, eugenics could be used to promote the dictates of any shadow group or power-monger in this portended Brave New World Order, such as the forgoing of our rights under states of emergencies, whether real or contrived, guarded by, say, a cloned national guard. What if, then, some charismatic lunatic - as I used Hitler here in this essay -- were to convince the masses that creating a society of the strongest, brightest, and healthiest individuals would behoove us in the future? His eradication of millions of innocent people, coupled with "superbreed" Nietzschean philosophy of genotypic selection, prove how far unrestrained experimentation can go when left in the hands of unbridled factions.
Does that mean if we create the most durable humans that we should ignore, eclipse, or even "liquidate" our sick, our poor, our hungry, our elderly, so as to rid us -- who live on an already overpopulated planet -- of those who are not the "survival of the fittest"? Equally horrible through our molecular juggling is the possibility of transmutating genes that could result in aberrant beings. Should these beings, then, and those who aren't members of the perfect "designer-genes" society, be purged?
Scrimmage genetics results in fumbles. The word genocide is a derivative of "genetics." Consider what position we should take when we're able to custom-blueprint our children at "pick-your-own" centers that promulgate gene selection for our offspring's eye color, hair color, height, and sex? Perhaps parents won't even have to worry about their lab-made, or hatched, or cloned children becoming sick, degenerative, terminal, or simply old, because scientific high-technology will have altered or removed those genes that would diminish us as fallible humans... and maybe modification of the aging gene would even make us immortal. If a clone - assuming it would be mortal - were to die, would its death be that of a human being? Or just a "being"? Where, then, is the sanctity of human life in all this?
The issue is a complex one with beneficial aspects and unspeakable ones. Yes, cloning can help those with spinal injuries, AIDS, and other diseases. And I deeply appreciate the importance of therapeutic genetics, so much so that I accept the need for cloning viable, healthy organs for the hundreds-of-thousands needing transplants, but where do we draw the line on faux pas humans?
What are the ethical, religious, and political ramifications? Do we throw out the principles of our forefathers and God's signature just for the advancement of science or for commercial interests? As it is, the debate over cloning is actually a moot point, according to the Lexington Herald Leader (09-02-01; Martin Cothran): "... the scientific community does not disagree with [cloning]; it [only] disagrees on when to do it."
Imagine: Creating entirely new creatures from existing ones. I wonder if they will have "spirit." One of the characters in my novel asks the same question and is answered by, "Only God puts souls in humans."
Human Cloning.org. Wednesday, October 27, 2004, page 2.
Dr. Gianni DeVincent Hayes is an internationally recognized author of 14 royalty-published books and over100 articles and short stories in highly circulated and commercial newspapers and magazines, such as PARADE, US, PEOPLE, REDBOOK, WOMAN'S DAY, and many others. One of her novels,"22 Friar Street," is under a movie option, and her novel on cloning, "Thy Brothers' Reaper," also had been optioned by a movie company. Hayes has a doctorate in the humanities, world literature and writing, with a concentration in eschatology (Bible prophecy and politics), and also has earned two masters in education and science.
Her bachelor's degree is in liberal arts, biology/chemistry; and certification has been achieved in writing at several universities. She speaks worldwide and has appeared on dozens of national radio and TV shows. Currently she is completing a full-length book on "Globalism and the Loss of Sovereignty" in all aspects of our lives - from parenting and education to religion, economy and politics. See the section under "religion" at www.creative-services.biz which is now under construction.
Remember that Dr. Josef Mengele, called "The Angel of Death," gruesomely experimented on humans in Auschwitz camps. Is cloning not similar to his conducting grotesque tests on humans? And speaking of Nazis -- have you ever wondered what happened to them since they arrived in our country through our government's "Operation paperclip"?