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December 30, 2002

Absolutely the Last Post on

Absolutely the Last Post on Cloning...Today, Maybe

You might get the feeling from reading the posts immediately below that I think human cloning is either wrong or impossible, neither of which is true. If I had my druthers, then Eve would be a clone, a happy, healthy one.* Of course, if I had my druthers, then Bigfoot would be real, too. The world would just be a more interesting place all round if all the wacked out stuff I believed in when I was twelve turned out to be true.

But I want the Clonaid kid to be real because I want the cat out of the bag. I want the science of cloning to outpace the efforts to outlaw it, or to regulate it. I want cloning to be as hard to shutdown as file trading is now.

No, I don't want to create an army of Bigwigs to conquer the world with (not that we couldn't), and I wouldn't expect a clone of myself to be anything like me. I don't need another me, and I've already passed on my genes once the old fashioned way. What I do want is a new liver, 30 years down the road, and a new heart, and new set of lungs, and the development of cloning technology is what will give that to me. The only other area of research that might do that for me as well is stem cell research, but that's already somewhat proscribed.

As far as the law now is concerned, I think that I've already got the right to clone myself.** If Roe v. Wade says that up to a certain point, a woman can do as she likes with a mass of cells in her body, then doesn't that same protection apply to me? After all, they're my cells, whether or not they are actually inside me. As the decision says;

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period, except when it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.

In other words, until potential human life becomes actual human life, current law allows a woman to do whatever she likes with her own cells. Not allowing me to do the same is discriminatory, even if what I do is grow a 19 week old fetus, then harvest it for its organs.

Not that I would do that, though I suspect you might get a different answer when I'm 80 and need a new bladder. Even then I would think that we would have the ability to grow organs without having to wrap them in a fetus, but that will likely depend on how far the science has advanced, and if Pat Robertson and his cronies have their way, I'll have to piss my undies like the oldsters do now.

*Watch. If it does turn out that Eve is a clone, there will be those pulling for her to grow up retarded, sick and miserable, even if they don't say so in public. They'll be the ones who mention the term "against nature" whenever the subject comes up.

**Constitutional scholars may disagree

Update: Andy at the WorldWideRant agrees that people are afraid Eve will be happy, healthy and normal. He also wonders who is crazier;

The person who posits a known science (genetic engineering) with a statistically possible entity (aliens) as the origin of life - or the one who posits an unknown angry sky god on the basis of a 2000 year old book?

Posted by Bigwig at December 30, 2002 09:16 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
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