Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Break out your tin foil hats, folks, they've cloned monkey embryos

That's right, a primate research center in Oregon has cloned monkey embryos. As the article says, this may be a breakthrough in the area of stem cell research. It may allow doctors to grow new tissues cloned from the patient herself, reducing the risk of rejection. That's great, but let's take this to the absurd side, shall we?

First, how long before we clone ourselves? I mean, seriously, are we about to enter some sort of Brave New World? Really, not much needs to be said about cloning that you can't read about or learn about in a thousand philosophy papers, bad sci-fi movies, and on other blogs. I'll just note that we're a step closer to it, and then I'll drop this right here.

Second, what are the religious fundamentalists going to say about all this? Part of the process described in the article includes infusing an unfertilized egg with DNA from the organism to be cloned. An embryo is created, and then stem cells are harvested from that embryo. What happens when we move to human DNA? Does this still raise the issue of destroying life by abortion for religious fundamentalists, or is this some sort of non-life, a mechanicially created organism not endowed with the spark of life given by the Divine Creator? (like that? I was trying to go dramatic there).

I think this is an honest and interesting question, and this new development adds a wrinkle to the whole "when does life begin?" debate. If it's not made by copulation between a man and a woman, is this life for the abortion debate?

Things to ponder.

1 comment:

Shane Rollins said...

It shouldn't be, but it's going to be turned into it. They main opponents right now to stem cell research are the anti abortion folks.

As for cloning, excellent. I must contact this man so he can begin work immediately on my army of flying monkeys and move closer to my goal of world domination.