Atlantic Unbound Interview on cloning

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Fri May 31 2002 - 10:32:06 EDT

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       Here is something on the sinterface between science and religion.

    Kyla Dunn, the author of The Atlantic's June cover story, talks about the
    state of therapeutic-cloning research and why it should not be banned


      s scientific advances bring cloning out of the realm of science fiction and
    into the domain of medical reality, concern is growing about what the
    possible implications will be. Tinkering with human DNA, many fear, amounts
    to playing Godˇand it could have disastrous consequences. Will experiments
    gone awry result in deformed human beings? Will people replicate themselves
    for egomaniacal reasons? Will the concept of human identity drastically
    change? "Life is a creation, not a commodity," President Bush argued last
    month in a speech before Congress, and as such, he emphasized, it should not
    be manufactured through cloning as though it were some kind of specialty

    But many also argue that an important distinction needs to be recognized
    between "reproductive cloning," in which the goal is the creation of a
    full-fledged human being, and "therapeutic cloning," in which the goal is
    the creation of a several-day-old embryo from which undifferentiated stem
    cells can be harvested and potentially used to cure a variety of devastating
    diseases. Those who believe that human life begins with the very existence
    of an embryo cannot countenance a procedure that involves an embryo's
    creation and destruction, even at a very early stage. But those who believe
    that human life does not begin at least until an embryo's cells have begun
    to differentiate themselves into distinctly human tissues feel that
    prohibiting such researchˇwhich could save the lives of many people with
    cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other
    illnessesˇwould in itself be reprehensible and disrespectful of human life.

    Read the rest of the article at


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