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Human Cloning

 Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed
Clinical Professor of Medicine
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Louisville, KY 40292
and
President, Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462
 
E-Mail:
IRFI@INAME.COM 
Website:
http://WWW.IRFI.ORG

 

   On February 22, 1997, Dr. Ian Wilmut, the 52-year old embryologist astonished the world by announcing that he had created the first animal cloned from an adult-a lamb named Dolly. By scrapping a few cells from the udder of a 6-year-old ewe, then fusing them into a specially altered egg cell from another sheep, Dr. Wilmut and his colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian which is seven miles from Edinburgh, Scotland, have suddenly nudged open one of the most forbidden- and fascinating-doors of modern life. People have been plagued with the possibility of building humans for centuries, much before Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein" in 1818. Researchers never believed that it was possible to create an identical genetic copy of an adult animal. Dr. Wilmut "does not have a belief in God."

On March 14, 1997, President Clinton declared "the creation of life is a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science" and he barred spending federal money on human cloning. He also urged a halt in private research until the ethical impact is better understood. Clinton asked the National Bioethics Advisory Commission a week before his announcement to review the ramifications cloning would have for humans and report back to him in 90 days. He imposed the restrictions of federal funds after learning that researchers in Oregon had cloned two rhesus monkeys- (the world's first cloned primates and the closest step yet to humans)_ from very early embryo cells-that is not the same as cloning the more sophisticated cells of an adult animal, or even a developing fetus. "Human cloning would have to raise deep concerns, given our most cherished concepts of faith and humanity," Clinton said. "Each human life is unique, born of a miracle that reaches beyond laboratory science. I believe we must respect this profound gift and resist the temptation to replicate ourselves. Science often moves faster than our ability to understand its implications. Any discovery that touches upon human creation is not simply a matter of scientific inquiry. It is a matter of morality and spirituality as well." 

Clinton asked private research workers-who are not covered by his directive-to voluntarily keep off at least until the National Bioethics Advisory Commission can study the matter. Others were afraid that a permanent ban could thwart vital research on how genes are turned on and off inside human cells, a key factor in finding a cure for cancer or some birth defects or unlock the secrets to diseases. Clinton, too, noted the difference cloning could make in agriculture, medical treatments or "helping to unlock the greatest secrets of the genetic code." But he did not want scientific progress to move so fast that new developments are not handled responsibly and that without ethical implications people will try to play God.  

History 

1938: Cloning conceived 

The idea of cloning had enticed scientists since 1938. When no one knew what genetic material was or consisted of, the first modern embryologist, Dr. Hans Spemann of Germany proposed what he called a "fantastical experiment" : taking the nucleus out of an egg cell and replacing it with a nucleus from another cell. In short, he suggested that scientists try to clone. 

1952: First cloning experiment with frogs 

The size of the eggs in the frogs are enormous compared with those of mammals, making them far easier to manipulate. Robert Briggs and T.J. King used a pipette to suck the nucleus from the cell of an advanced frog embryo and added it to a frog egg. It did not develop. 

1970: Another experiment yields better results 

John Gurdon who is now a faculty member at Cambridge University successfully cloned the frogs. Even though the frogs never reached adulthood (the eggs developed into tadpoles but died after they were ready to begin feeding), the technique was a landmark. He replaced the nucleus of a frog egg, one large cell, with that of another cell from another frog. He later showed that transplanted nuclei reverted to an embryonic state. 

1981: Cloning of mice 

Dr.Karl Illmense of the University of Geneva and Dr. Peter Hoppe of the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, claimed that they had transplanted the nuclei of mouse embryo cells into mouse eggs and produced three live mice that were clones of the embryos. Their mice were on the cover of the prestigious journal Science, and their research generated a lot of excitement. After a lengthy inquiry, it was discovered that Dr. Illmensee had faked his results. 

1982: Research delayed

Dr. James McGrath and Dr. Davor Solter, working at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, reported in Science journal that they could not repeat the mouse-cloning experiment and concluded that once mouse embryos have reached the two-cell stage they cannot be used for cloning. Other investigators confirmed their findings. 

1984: First embryo cloning of sheep

Steen Willadsen reported that he cloned a live lamb from immature sheep embryo cells. Others later reproduced his experiment using a variety of animals, including cattle, pigs, goats, rabbits, and rhesus monkeys.  

1994: Cloning of more advanced embryo cells 

Dr. Neal First of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who has been Dr.Ian Wilmut's most constant competitor, cloned calves from embryos that have grown to at least 120 cells. 

1996: Foundation laid for cloning of adult sheep 

Dr. Ian Wilmut of Roslin Institute, Roslin, Midlothian in Scotland, United Kingdom repeated Dr. Neal First's experiment with sheep, however he put embryo cells into a resting state before transferring their nuclei to sheep eggs. The eggs developed into normal embryos and then into lambs. 

1997: World's first adult sheep are cloned 

Ian Wilmut, A.E. Schnieke, J. McWhir, A.J. Kind and K.H.S. Campbell reported that they had cloned a 6-year-old adult sheep from an udder (mammary) cell in the world's most prestigious scientific journal, Nature of 27 February 1997(Vol.385, pp.810-813).
 

TECHNIQUE OF CLONING: 

The source of DNA (cell nucleus). A mammary cell is removed from the udder of a 6-year-old sheep (ewe) and cultured in a solution that starves it of nutrients to stop its development. Cells are constantly copying their own DNA and dividing. Researchers had to stop the donor cell from replicating its DNA. 
 

A donor sheep is injected with hormones to release eggs (source of host egg cell). The unfertilized egg's nucleus, and thus its DNA, is removed, eliminating all genetic characteristics of the egg donor. What is in the nucleus? The nucleus contain the chromosomes (27 pairs in sheep and 23 pairs in humans) consisting of proteins and DNA, the genetic material that makes each individual unique. 
 

The Cell and Egg are Fused and Activated 

The cell (mammary) which is the source of DNA is inserted inside the covering around the egg cell (of donor sheep).

An electrical charge is applied to the two cells causing their pores to open, and the contents of the mammary cell to ooze into the egg. The electrical charge also tricks the egg into believing that it has been fertilized so it starts to divide. Of the 277 cells that were fused only 30 began to develop. It begins to develop like a normal embryo. The cell begins to divide over and over again. Each cell is identical to the original. When the embryo reaches, or is about to reach, the blastocyst stage, and the cells form a hollow ball (blastocyst) before they begin to differentiate or specialize. 
 

After 6 days, the tiny embryos (29 of them) are implanted into the surrogate mother sheep (more that one embryo was implanted into a single sheep). Using ultrasound scans the surrogate sheep were monitored to confirm the pregnancy and monitor the development of the fetus once a month in the beginning and every two weeks later on. Out of 29 implanted, only one sheep gave birth to a lamb, which is genetically identical to the cell-donor (6-year-old ewe). This was named Dolly in honor of country singer Dolly Parton, whose mammary cells, Dr. Wilmut said, are equally famous. Dolly was born on July 5, 1996 at 4 P.M. It was a normal birth, head and forelegs first. She weighed 6.6 kilograms or about 14.5 pounds, and she was healthy.

Cloning of Humans:

After this exciting news many people all over the world believed that the cloning of humans is coming. The ethical, moral and theological frameworks of our society will be drastically affected, challenged and, at times, perhaps even devalued. We need to shape the policies and politics that will govern this remarkable technology. 

People who favor the cloning of humans argue that the knowledge of nuclear physics lead to the creation of the atomic and hydrogen bombs and at the same time the application of radiation and radionuclides in industry, medicine, agriculture, animal husbandry, etc. brought enormous benefits to mankind. In the late 1980s the United States undertook the human genome project. Again moral and ethical implications were raised and subsided and the project is moving along. Baby Louise was born out of invitro fertilization. Did it destroy the humaneness? Artificial insemination was opposed in the beginning. Now the opposition has melted away.

The benefits to mankind of cloning and genetic engineering are immeasurable- the creation of farm animals engineered to produce a specific drugs. A good example is three Roslin scientists had just produced the first genetically engineered sheep that secrete a human pharmaceutical protein in its milk, a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin, or ATT, which could be helpful in relieving the symptoms of cystic fibrosis. One can foresee animal clones that will be miniature drug factories, making drugs like the blood clotting factor for treating hemophilia that are now extraordinarily expensive. Another example is the production of "humanized organs". Scientists envision the cloning of animals whose organs are coated with human proteins so they can be used for transplants into patients, without rejection by the immune system. Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a New Haven-based Company and Nextran, a Princeton-based unit of Baxter Healthcare are developing transgenic pigs to serve as organ donors. It is postulated that using cells from organs, organs such as heart, arteries, liver can be grown. They also predict that cloning will lead to herds of prize livestock, like cows that produce enormous quantities of milk. Cloning technology could help control the protein thought to cause "mad cow disease" and its human analog, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  

One can also look into prevention of parent-child disease transmission. Cloning a child for infertile couples becomes a necessity. If this is acceptable, then the next extension is the creation of a clone of a child who was lost in a tragic accident. When people asked Dr. Wilmut "Does cloning means that if a child dies, you can get that child back?" he replied, "It's heart-wrenching. You could never get that child back. It would be something different. You need to understand the biology. People are not genes. They are so much more than that."

Economic pressures and yearning for knowledge are too potent to quell scientists' desires to conquer the unknown. The senators in the U.S. Congress argue that the discovery of the unknown is helpful to us. On the other hand the fear may stop the research which otherwise would have great benefits in the fields of medicine, agriculture, animals husbandry, etc. Now cloning is no more science fiction, it is a scientific fact. On March 12, 1997, scientists and ethicists testifying before the Senate Labor Subcommittee on Public Health and Safety "on cloning" urged Congress not to rush to ban research on cloning of human beings.

A House Republican introduced legislation to ban human cloning and President Clinton is urging people to "resist the temptation to replicate ourselves." Pollsters for Time Magazine asked people, if they had the chance, would they clone themselves? Seven percent said yes, 91 percent said no. When asked whether it is against God's will to clone humans, 74 percent replied yes, whereas 19 percent said no. ABC News asked people whether cloning of humans should be allowed. Ten percent said yes, 87 percent said no. Eighty two percent replied that human cloning would be morally wrong; 14 percent said it would be fine with them. 

A Maricopa Research survey found that 41 percent think humans will be cloned within 10 years, whatever the law says; 33 percent said they would not. The respondents picked the following persons in descending order for cloning: Mother Theresa (21 %); Billy Graham (19 %); Michelle Pfeiffer (7.7%); Michael Jordon (7.2%); Robert Redford (4 %); Bill Gates (3.9%); Bill Clinton (3.7%), and Hillary Rodham Clinton (2.3 percent). Forty-one percent rated very or somewhat likely to clone ancient genetic material and reproduce, dinosaurs, while 56 percent thought there wasn't much chance. 
 

Opposing Points 

Those who oppose cloning argue that Wilmut tried to clone DNA from 277 sheep in all-and only one took. Until his feat is replicated, some experts caution, no one can be sure his technique really works. And even if sheep can be reliably cloned, the technique may not work in humans because of peculiarities of our embryonic development. Science has made little or no headway in crucial areas of research, and some of its reputed advances have proved to be illusory.  

The media heralded the discovery of genes for schizophrenia, manic depression, alcoholism, novelty seeking and homosexuality. Scientists have failed to corroborate the initial claims about gay genes. The public is left with a false impression of inexorable scientific progress. However, genuine progress has been made in finding genes associated with certain diseases, such as Huntington's chorea, cystic fibrosis, Lou Gehrig's disease and early-on-set breast cancer. Cancer research poses a similar paradox. Since 1971 the U.S. has spent $30 billion on cancer research. But mortality rates from cancer have remained, overall, virtually unchanged during that period. All the research on cancer since 1971 has had a lopsided minuscule impact on treatment. The ultimate achievement for applied biology, of course, would be immortality. According to eminent evolutionary biologists immortality may be impossible to achieve. Science has extended and enriched our lives in many ways, intellectually and materially. It has given us vaccines, life saving drugs, supersonic jets, and laptop computers. But we still cannot comprehend ourselves. We still get cancer and become depressed. We still grow old and die. Far from becoming God-like, we are as mortal as ever. 

ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE 

Some Muslim scholars think that it is impossible to clone a human being. Because the human being is different from all of God's creations in that the human being has a soul. The argument is since science cannot clone a soul, a human being cannot be cloned. Looking at the past history of science, it is possible to clone a human being in our lifetime. A clone is like a photocopy of the original or an identical twin that is much younger in age. If an identical twin has a soul, then a human clone will also have a soul. A clone cannot be grown in a laboratory but in a surrogate mother's womb. The surrogate mother provides all the nutrients for the cloned cell to grow to become an embryo, a fetus and then after delivery a human child, just like the lamb Dolly. The only difference between a normal child and a clone child is in the genes. The normal child has 23 chromosomes from the mother and 23 chromosomes from the father or 23 pairs in every cell of the body except the germ cells or gametes (sperm or ova). The clone child will have 23 pairs of chromosomes of one parent. 
 

AQEEDA (Muslim Creed) 

The principal points of the Muslim Creed are Belief in Allah (the God); God's Angels, God's Messengers, God's Books, Belief in life after death (Aakhira); the Day of Resurrection (Qiyamah) and Qadr. 

The fifth point in Muslim creed is to believe in life after death; to believe in the Day of Resurrection. This is the most important article of faith in Islam. It is in fact, the basis upon which Islam builds its whole philosophy of Life. A person cannot be a Muslim until after he/she accepts this principle. The advent of resurrection or Qiyamah is more frequently mentioned in the Noble Qur'an than any other happening. On the day of Qiyamah, all human beings will be resurrected and will have to pass through God's judgement on their actions during this ephemeral life on earth. All this is vividly described in the Noble Qur'an. The word, Qiyaamah, occurs 68 times in the Qur'an. The Qur'an argues resurrection is rationally possible. 

O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection(consider) that We created you out of dust then out of sperm then out of a leech-like clot then out of a morsel of flesh partly formed and partly unformed in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you; And We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term then do We bring you out as babes then(foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die and some are sent back to the feeblest old age so that they know nothing after having known(much). And (further) thou seest the earth barren and lifeless but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life) it swells and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).

Surah 22.Al-Hajj: 5(verse) 

Commenting on this verse, Allama Yusuf Ali says "If they really have doubts in their minds about the life after death, they have only to turn their attention either to their own nature, or to the nature around. How wonderful is their own physical growth, from lifeless matter, to seed, fertilized ovum, foetus, chid, youth, age, and death! How can they doubt that the Author of all these wonderful stages in their life here can also give them another kind of life after the end of this life? Or, if they look at external nature, they see the earth dead and barren and Allah's fertilizing showers bring it in to life, growth and beauty in various forms. The Creator of this great pageant of Beauty can surely create yet another and a newer world. The stages of man's physical growth from nothing till he completes the cycle of this life are described in words whose accuracy, beauty, and comprehensiveness can only be fully understood by biologists. Parallel to the physical growth, may be understood man's inner growth, also by stages and by Allah's creative artistry." 

The Noble Prophet (SAS) has said the following in one of his moving sermons thus:

I swear by Allah that all of you will certainly die, just as you go to sleep at night. Then surely you will all be raised again as you wake up in the morning. Then you will definitely be judged for the deeds you had been doing. You will get rewards for good deeds and punishment for the evil ones; it will either be the everlasting life of Paradise or the endless torment of Hell-fire. (Cf.Sermons of the Holy Prophet, reproduced in Nahajul Balagha). 
 

To the Quresh, the concept of Aakhira and Qiyamah were way above their heads.

One may ask why Allah should not be able to recreate the form of man, which came into being out of scattered particles of clay and was then again turned into earth. 

The Qur'an makes repeated references to this matter, saying for example: "We created you from earth and return you to earth and then bring you forth it once more." (20:55) 

In this verse, our attention is drawn to the creative power of the Creator. Through the presentation of the past and future of man in this world and the Hereafter in a single panorama, solace and assurance are given to man's unquiet and skeptical soul. 

The dismayed people who imagine that the body of man disintegrates as a result of chemical and microbial actions within the soil and that it cannot be restored to life, to them the Qur'an says: "The unbelievers say: Is this not strange that we should be brought back after dying and turning to dust? Such a return is impossible. But We are fully aware of what the earth takes from them and it is We Who possess the Preserved Tablet." (50:2-4) 

This verse refers, then, to a group of unbelievers who deny the resurrection of the dead. It reminds them that Allah knows full well where the elements are that once made up their bodies before being dispersed and returned to the storehouse of nature. He will reassemble those elements on the plain of resurrection, thus reconstructing the body in a way the unbelievers thought impossible. This reconstruction will follow entirely the structure and contents of the body as it previously existed and be based entirely upon it. 

THE CONVINCING LOGIC OF THE QUR'AN.

When the Prophet of Islam (SAS) expounded the topic of Qiyamah (resurrection) to the pagan Arabs, a Bedouin named Ubayy bin Khalaf (who was cursed by the Prophet (S) for putting the intestines of a camel on the back of the Prophet (S). He was killed in the battle of Badr and his body parts were mutilated but he was not thrown in the well. Sahih Bukhari Hadith 5.193) picked up a decayed bone and set out for Madinah to visit the Prophet (SAS). In the hope of refuting the arguments of the Prophet and the logic of the Qur'an on which they were based, he raised up the bone, as if it were a valuable and convincing piece of evidence, and crumbled it to dust, scattering the pieces in the air. Then he addressed the Prophet Muhammad (SAS) these crude, unadorned words inspired by his rebelliousness and ignorance: "Who will restore to life the scattered particles of this rotten bone?" He believed that he would thus be able to refute the arguments of the Prophet (SAS) and to destroy the belief of others in resurrection of the dead. His ignorant mode of thought prevented him from having any correct notion of the creation of being so that he imagined that the scattered particles of a decayed bone could not possibly be brought back to life. He adamantly maintained that the reassembling of the countless particles of the body was unacceptable to man's reason.

The Noble Qur'an replied with this persuading argument based on convincing logic: "(O Messenger) say: "Who first brought them to life will restore them to life. He has knowledge of all His creation. . Is the Creator Who brought into being the heavens and the earth, incapable of creating the like thereof? Certainly He is the Creator and All-Knowing." (36:79-81)  

The Qur'an invites man to contemplate the whole vast structure of creation together with the innumerable phenomena and minutiae it contains, using his wisdom and intelligence which are his means for recognizing the principles underlying the universe. Thus cloning enables man to realize that the restoration of life to man through resurrection is not more difficult than the initial creation out of a mass of different materials that were compounded together.  
 

Man may well ask himself how the breath of life may be infused anew into the particles of his body once they have been scattered in the recesses of the earth, and how lifeless matter may be brought back to life although its constituent elements have been dispersed. But the dispersal does not result in their permanent alienation from each other, and the human intellect can well understand that the infinite and eternal creative power of God has no difficulty whatsoever in compounding afresh those scattered elements so that they begin pulsating with life anew. The Noble Qur'an reminds man of Allah's unlimited power to restore all the minute qualities and precise details of man's limbs with the following words: "Does man imagine that We are not capable of reassembling his decayed bones? We are able even to restore his fingers to their previous state." (75:3-4).

In this verse Allah selects to mention out of all the marvels of man's composition the lines in his fingers as an example of His power. In the whole world, two people cannot be found with exactly identical fingerprints. This unique quality of fingerprints, first indicated in the Qur'an remained unknown until their discovery by British scientists in 1884.

Cloning of humans is neither forbidden in the Qur'an nor in the Hadith. The Shariah including Qiyas and Ijma are silent on this topic. Hence the cloning of humans has to be addressed through Ijtihad. As long as cloning of humans does not violate the commands of Allah (SWT) and as long as cloning of humans is for the benefit of mankind, the Muslims should welcome this technology. This scientific accomplishment is in itself an indication of the reality of resurrection; it provides a method, which joined together with reflection, may permit us to understand Qiyamah (resurrection) and prove it scientifically.

CONCLUSION (LAST PART)  

The word "clone" was originally a horticultural term derived from the Greek word for "twig." The laboratory technique that produced the lamb "Dolly", can theoretically work for producing human beings as clones. Cloning of human beings has been shown in Hollywood movies such as "THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL" and "MULTICIPLITY." The possibility of cloning of human beings appears to be attainable. It is giving the excitement to many both in the scientific establishment as well as the general public that science fiction will come to life. If misused this science fiction can turn scary.The public is very concerned about these prospects. Cloning is a drastic demand to the most fundamental laws of biology. Hence it is reasonable for the public to be concerned about the future that might intimidate human nobility and decorum. 

Because of the potential of mind-boggling possibilities the governments are formulating guidelines for the unknown future of human cloning. As a drastic step the Vatican called for a worldwide ban on human cloning. A decade ago, Donum Vitae, a 1987 Vatican document, condemned cloning because it violates "the dignity both of human procreation and of the conjugal union." In the United States the national commission on Bioethics is studying the legal and ethical implications of human cloning. Most of the nations in Europe already prohibit human cloning. However they are examining the moral implications of cloning other species. 

The creation of Dolly has produced a long list of difficult dilemmas for scientists and politicians, philosophers and theologians. First of all why would anybody want to clone a human being? The ethicists pondering over human cloning scenarios say the choice is of two types: (a) parents who want to clone a child, do it in order to provide transplants for a dying child or to replace that child, and (b) adults who for a conglomeration of reasons might want to clone themselves.

Many ethicists believe that after the initial phase of excitement, there will not be much pursuit in cloning human beings. Making duplicates, they say, shallows next to the marvel of creating an original human being the conventional way. An Academic Bioethicist argues that a couple who want to clone a dying child will never diminish their love for the cloned child nor will they reject the cloned child. They will treat the cloned child as if it is naturally born. Most experts agree that it would be psychologically harmful if a child sensed he or she had been brought into the world simply as a commodity (organ donor). Recently some couples conceived a second child with nonfatal bone marrow transplant in mind. Many ethicists did not oppose to this. In this case the biological match is 1 in 4 or 25 per cent, whereas the biological match in the case of cloned child for nonfatal bone marrow transplant is 100 percent. However, as mentioned earlier there is no need to clone a child for organ transplants, because Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. located in Connecticut is developing animal organs by altering the genetic code of the animal organs for transplanting into humans without the fear of rejection (the human immune system attacks and destroys tissues from other species). 

Infertile couples may be tempted to get children by cloning. However such couples have other options, such as in vitro fertilization or adoption. However their wish to clone a child cannot be denied ethically.  

People are interested to know if cloning of the dead is possible. In the cloning method an immature egg cell without its nucleus(containing the genetic material ) is fused with the donor's(dead person) cell containing the nucleus

which has the genetic material called the DNA. It is important that the donor cell have an intact membrane around its DNA. Unfortunately, as soon as a person dies the membrane begins to fall apart. And also the DNA disintegrates after death of a person. In theory it is possible. 

Many people want to know if a cloned human being be indistinguishable from the prototype (original). People who are familiar with identical twins know that identical genes (carry hereditary material) don't produce identical people. Twins are more akin than clones would be, because they share the same uterine environment, and they are raised in the same family. However the present evidence suggests the clones will have very dissimilar personalities. John Rennie, Editor in Chief of the Scientific American in his editorial in the May 1997 issue says, it would be..."wrong to expect human clones to match up in the infinite variety of personal characteristics. Second, cloning is not yet a technology ready for use on human cells... Yet rushing to human experiments could be tragic. Finally, even when cloning of humans is safe, it isn't necessarily going to be popular. Cloning won't replace the old style of reproduction: it's not as much fun, and it's a lot more expensive.

Cloning commercially valuable animals makes perfect economic sense-it is a potentially surer thing than breeding." Biologists testify that a clone would not be identical to the "master copy." For example, they say that the clone's cells would have mitochondria (energy producing organelle in the cell) that came from the egg donor, not from the nucleus donor (the cell from the subject to be cloned). A molecular-biology laboratory would be able to detect most of the physical differences between the original (master copy) and the clones (copies). The one possible deviation is fecundity. The scientists that created Dolly the lamb clone think it will be infertile. The answer to this will be known when Dolly matures and is old enough to breed. Scientists do not know whether the clone lives longer than the original human.  

ORGANIZED RELIGION 

Many ethical questions that are raised regarding cloning are based in theology. The interest for conserving human decorum and personal sovereignty for instance is intensely based on religious and scriptural tenets. Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish theologians are warning against applying the new cloning technology to humans. For the Catholics the "natural moral law" prohibits tampering with human procreation. Although the Protestants support using technology to mend defects in nature, they object to human cloning as it traverses the border. They are afraid of placing too much power in the hands of immoral human beings who are subject to accomplishing "horrific abuses." Judaism also tends to favor using technology to ameliorate on nature's defects. However cloning is prohibited as it violates the enigma of what it means to be human. The Judeo-Christian theologians are worried that cloning infringes on God as the originator of life. Some theologians argue that cloning is not the same as creating life from scrape. The components used in cloning are alive or contain the ingredients of life. The physical mixing and manipulation of ingredients of life is called Khaliq in Arabic. It is still only God Who is Bari (Creator of living and non-living from nothing) creates life.  

Most of the theologians agree with scientists that the human clone would have his or her own body, mind and soul. Also the human clone dies as the original human. Valiant Ventures located in the Bahamas Islands in the Caribbean announced that it would build a laboratory to clone people willing to pay. The company was founded for the purpose by the Raelian Movement, a self-styled religious organization. At present, producing healthy human clones may demonstrate to be unduly hard. North American Islamic Scholars opine that Islam does not prohibit research and research related to human cloning does not interfere with God's power of creating living and non-living things out of nothing. Human cloning is a methodology to understand human creation in some more depth. However, Islam proscribes misuse of cloning research that destroys human dignity. 

 

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