Monday, February 19, 2001 Volume 66, Issue 99



To be or not to be: human cloning 

Melissa Kummer

Has anyone ever said to you that there is nobody in the world like you? Maybe you've been called "one of a kind."

It's a compliment to be called original and unique. That's what makes you who you are. This individuality is what keeps each of us from being a carbon-copy human being. This is a fact of life that will never be changed, right?

Wrong. An infertility specialist in Kentucky is currently racing other scientists to develop the first human clone. This human clone can be created within the next two and a half years, according to scientists.

Cloning technology has distinctive health benefits for society. Cloning organs for transplant is beneficial. Cloning technology can be used for treatment of various diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease. This cloning helps humanity.

But how can creating a human being from scratch help the human race?

The wonders of modern science can push the mind and soul of humanity to its limits, but they should not be responsible for creating the mind and soul of humanity.

The birth of a sheep named Dolly made history in 1997 as the first mammal successfully cloned.

Since then, scientists from all over the globe have been trying to take this miracle of science a step further.

Other scientists all over the world have cloned worms, mice and cows using the same method that was used with Dolly.

However, the scientists who have managed to accomplish this feat give far too little weight to the 98 percent failure rate they have endured.

It is unacceptable to have an almost guaranteed failure rate with human cloning.

The idea of applying this technology to humans is premature and illustrates severe scientific irresponsibility.

There are enormous risks involved in creating a human being by cloning.

In 1997, the National Bioethics Advisory Committee stated that "cloning humans would be both unsafe and unethical."

With such risk factors as miscarriages, stillbirths and birth defects present, it's quite obvious that the prospect of humans playing God should be seriously questioned.

Various supporters of human cloning have said that they would like to clone themselves. Their reasoning is that they would then be able to live longer in a different body.

There is no logic to that. Your mind is not transplanted when you are cloned. A mirror-image clone would be the epitome of an identical twin.

Science does amazing things for our lives. No one argues that. If approached responsibly, cloning can benefit humanity in countless ways.

However, cloning humans is not a responsible use of scientific resources. There are too many risks and too few benefits.

The message delivered by the science fiction thriller Jurassic Park said it best: scientists were so preoccupied with the fact that they could clone, they never stopped to consider if they should.

Kummer, a junior communication major, 
can be reached at

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