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Online reaction to human cloning research

Human cloning is an issue with vital medical, ethical and religious implications, and not surprisingly, it has resulted in passionate debate between proponents, opponents and the undecided. The following quotes are a sampling of opinions posted by members of the CNN Community about research into human cloning. They illustrate arguments from all sides of the issue, but may not be representative of public opinion at large.

From the message boards

To all of you worried about cloning messing with nature: Man has been using cloning (albeit on plants) since the dawn of agriculture. Without cloning and genetic engineering, there is no way that the human race would have been able to grow to its current size -- there just wouldn't be enough food. -- D.F.

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The post-birth mortality rate of cloned animals is extremely high at present. While disposing of severely handicapped animals is one thing, human cloning with present techniques will most likely result in a significant number of severely and permanently disabled human beings. These disabled babies will far outnumber the healthy ones. Who will take care of the dozen or so "defectives" produced along with the healthy baby? -- Carol Boyd

...the only real problem with cloning human beings is how to gather the initial information on how to do it without trampling on the rights of the human being that is the clone. You can't force a child to be a guinea pig, and there is no other way to collect the data. -- Bob Lawrence

...if the research eventually resulted in the conception, growth and birth of a human outside of a natural womb then, as ridiculous as it sounds now, a logical application of that knowledge would be to colonize other planets. Think about it ... it would be much easier and cheaper (energy wise) to send cells than it would fully developed humans. -- Scott Avon

...there's no way (that I know of) to get all the way around the guinea pig issue, but right now, scientists are shooting in the dark. They should wait. -- Stavros Katsetos

Genetics are important, but they aren't the whole of us. Our environment, our choices and our actions have a great deal to with our destiny as well. -- Carol Boyd

Cloning a human being will be done within the next 10 years (5 or less is actually more likely). Prohibiting it will not prevent it, just drive it underground or cause the effort to be moved to a location with less restrictive laws. So regulate it, control it and watch those doing the research and those that will perform the procedures closely, but prohibition will not stop it. -- Barney Williams

Dr. Frankenstein wants to come alive in 2002! Hello? Clone a human? So the wealthy can have kids? What a lame excuse! -- John Machamer

What we are attempting to do is not right, and should be stopped right now. Cloning human organs is one thing, creating a life is totally different. ... A clone is a copy, a Xerox. That is how they will be treated in our society. The new group of people to discriminate. ... If we go down this road, it will be not be a pleasant one. Some things just should not happen. -- Ross Wolf

It will inevitably lead to genetic engineering. Human biases will lead to decisions that will not end up being the best for genetic diversity that stable natural selection does. We are far from understanding the complexities of nature. Until we do, it is an unnecessary risk that benefits few at best, and only takes away resources from much more worthwhile causes... It would create a very enticing possibility for cloning humans just for spare parts for those able to afford it. That would add to a sense of cheapening of life where unwanted lives(bodies) are just commodities to be used or disposed. -- N.N. Hawk

I say leave it alone, we are messin' with God's work and will pay for it one way or another. Just because we "could" go there doesn't mean we should. -- Kathleen Foster

The burning question in all God-fearing people's mind will be, that since GOD is the giver of all life through THE HOLY SPIRIT, what soul would a clone have? Or will it have a soul at all? Will this life without a soul, not attract the infusion of evil? -- Agnello Fernandes

Cloning is a medical procedure like any other. Treat it as such. -- Alonzo Fyfe

What it all boils down to, is people attempting to play God. It's disturbing the 'natural order of things'. Haven't we done enough damage to the world? Mend what's broken before developing new "toys". -- Jeanine Ruby

So they start cloning, and low and behold many years later there is a string of murders and violent behavior traced back to "the clones". An unexpected personality disorder. So, who is to blame when the clone goes berserk and kills someone. Will you blame the clone? The people who did the cloning? Sure can't blame God, not one of God's creatures. -- Johnny Rob Garcia

Scientific advancement should NEVER be halted or curtailed due to the concerns of any particular religion. ... To say research into cloning, human or otherwise, is "immoral" or "playing god" or whatnot is pure foolishness and the work of superstition and mythos. -- Dave Kuykendall

I would be for human cloning for the specific purpose of the aspect of cloning internal organs to replace diseased ones. A DNA sample of the pancreas and kidney would aid in growing organs to replace diseased organs that have failed due to diabetes.... -- Larry Phelps

Cloning is not a simple issue of religion. It is an issue of ethics. It is clearly wrong. If we are to continue to show respect for the individual life of each person, cloning should be hindered. -- Raymond Je

If we are forced to deal with laws banning clones, minimizing research, and having millions of people crying out from their hearts that this is wrong, then maybe it is. -- Ross Wolf



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