According to Richard Seed, "cloning is inevitable. If I don't do it, someone else will. There's no way you can stop science" (qtd. in Kadrey 2001). Depending on one's personal opinion about cloning, human cloning in particular, a quote such as that will most likely either anger a reader or excite them. Human cloning is one of the hottest topics for debate in society today-the lines are very strictly drawn between those in favor of continuing cloning research and those who are staunchly opposed to it. Meanwhile, despite public opinion, science trudges on behind closed doors working to clone the first human. This paper will first provide a thorough, but brief, introduction into the topic of cloning itself, including its history and its mechanisms; then, through a series of carefully thought out points, it will illustrate why human cloning should not be allowed to continue at this point in time.
The "origins" of cloning are vague and variant from source to source. It has been suggested that cloning began in 1952 when a team of geneticists removed a nucleus from an embryonic frog cell and placed it into an egg cell from which the nucleus had been removed. To the amazement of the scientists, a frog was hatched from the egg cell with the embryonic nucleus. The research was furthered in 1975 when embryologist John Gurdon of Britain attempted to do the same thing with an adult cell. While his research was not fruitful, it started the ball rolling for later cloning attempts. Research with embryonic cells continued into the 1980s and led to the creation of cloned cows and sheep (Reilly 2000). Finally, in 1997, scientists were able to take an older cell, that of an adult sheep, and successfully created a cloned sheep from that older cell. The sheep was affectionately made known to the world in February of that year as Dolly. However, her creation sparked many efforts to end cloning research for fear of future possibilities involving human cloning. Later that same year, cows were cloned in the same manner, and if scientists had not already been considering investigating the cloning of humans, they were then (Humber and Almeder 1998). "Animal research has become routine. Mice, sheep, cows, goats, pigs, even a rare Asian gaur-a massive wild ox-have been cloned. Dogs and cats are expected to appear soon. Primate researcher [Don] Wolf expects to successfully impregnate monkeys with clones sometime this spring. You can now order up you own cloned cow on the Net" (Alexander 2001).
Recently, the lid on the topic of human cloning has come off in abrupt fashion. Scientists around the world claim that they now have the technology and participants to clone humans. Of notable interest is an Italian group headed by Severino Antinori and Panos Zavos who have created quite a stir by saying that they are "...ready to start work on the first human clone within weeks" (Italy doctor 2001). Antinori, an Italian...