Dawkins on Dolly

Bob Carling (carling@tcp.co.uk)
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 10:58:52 GMT

I thought that those of you on the ASA and CIS lists would like to read this
from Stephen Clarke, posted on the ecotheology list.


>From: Stephen Clark <srlclark@liverpool.ac.uk>
>Subject: Dawkins on Dolly
>To: ecotheol@mailbase.ac.uk
>Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 10:19:46 +0000 (GMT)
>X-List: ecotheol@mailbase.ac.uk
>X-Unsub: To leave, send text 'leave ecotheol'
> to mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk
>Reply-To: ecotheol@mailbase.ac.uk
>Sender: ecotheol-request@mailbase.ac.uk
>For the record: several people who had been involved in the conversation
>which Dawkins is bleating about wrote to the Independent to say that
>the clerics concerned (and especially the rabbi concerned) had serious
>points to make which they had failed to express well (in the face of
>Dawkins' crossexamination).
>It is of course correct that a clone is no more `the same individual'
>as its source than twins are the same individual. The point is
>examined at length in C.J.Cherryh's brilliant novel *Cyteen*. It is
>also correct to say that such clones (like such twins or triplets or
>whatever) may turn out to have quite different characters and talents.
>But in that case what exactly is the point of cloning human beings? Why
>would anyone go to the trouble of so doing unless they believed that
>a clone would have the same talents and temperament? And what would it
>be like to have such a burden of expectation imposed on one? It's
>hard enough being an ordinary child of parents with Views about one's
>future. Being someone especially designed for a known end would be
>destructive of one's sense of self-worth.
>And even though, in reason and sound religion, a clone would be as
>much an individual human being as any, it is likely that those who
>created it, as an artefact, would also think of it as an artefact,
>not only to be judged (as above) by its success or failure at
>replicating the original, but to be treated as a tool in the hands
>of others.
>See Oliver O'Donovan *Begotten or Made* (OUP) for intelligent discussion
>of some of the issues.
>The trouble with Dawkins is that he is so obsessed with the supposed
>stupidities of `the religious' (or indeed of anyone at all who does
>not instantly agree with him) that he never really listens to the
>Stephen Clark
Dr R.C.J. Carling, Home address
Senior Editor, Life Sciences 90 Charlton Road
Chapman & Hall Shirley
2-6 Boundary Row Southampton, SO15 5EW, UK
London SE1 8HN, UK Tel: +44(0)1703-778830
Tel: +44(0)171-865-0066 Fax: +44(0)1703-342838 (but
Fax: +44(0)171-410-6907 please call first)
www.chaphall.com/chaphall.html www.tcp.co.uk/~carling
bob.carling@chall.co.uk (work) carling@tcp.co.uk (home)