Human Cloning Is Revealed Essay

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¶ … Cloning The topic discussed in this document is cloning. This topic is explored through the film entitled "Womb." Cloning is a popular scientific topic of interest for numerous reasons. There are a number of implications for the technology behind this phenomena, which has existed, at this point, for several years. The breadth of those implications span ethical concerns, religious ones, pragmatic necessities, and societal issues. Considering these factors, the topic is relevant today primarily because cloning represents the most successful efforts (to date), of the displacement of the reproductive process from humans to the realm of science. Typically, reproduction pertains to the realm of nature and biology -- the latter of which is essentially the science of the inner workings of organisms. Cloning is such a controversial topic and at the forefront of the aforementioned realms of life because it represents a man-made, scientific way to reproduce -- outside of the realms of nature and physical bodies.

The religious ramifications of cloning are fairly important and salient in the arguments against this scientific application. Specifically, there are a number of people who view the creation of life as a God given right. People believe that cloning inherently impinges upon that right because the reproductive process can now take place in laboratories. Part of this religious argument hinges upon spirituality as well. Many religious adherents subscribe to the notion that people are imbued with a soul, and that such a soul is either a reflection of or a small part of the divine essence that has created the universe and everything in it. If people were ever created via cloning, some people would believe that this practice would go against nature and God's will because it would not only tamper with the natural process of procreation, but also with the divine aspect of humanity.

There are also numerous ethical issues to cloning that keep it a relevant topic of interest today. Many of the aforementioned religious arguments apply to ethical considerations about this issue, such as whether or not it is ethical for mankind to attempt to 'play God' by removing the reproductive process from the woman (Fiester, 2005, p. 329-330). The rationale for proponents is based on the fact that there may be fewer issues pertaining to child birth issues such as either the mother or the child dying or suffering from complications related to birth. Additionally, cloned people could be used for undesirable positions and labor and benefit the world in this manner. The opposite opinion is largely based on the fact that ethically it is not right to create people for certain undesirable tasks, and that the ability to clone people could lead to power struggles.

Scientific Realities and Portrayal in the Media

Cloning is a very real phenomenon which was portrayed in "Womb." The topic was initially introduced to society as a scientific reality with the media coverage of the sheep named Dolly, which was one of the first examples of success in this endeavors (Pimple, 1998, p. 727). The concept behind cloning is linked to other scientific undertakings as well. For instance, the mutation and creation of food (popularly referred to as Frankenfood) (Rauch, 2003) is a tenet similar to cloning -- although in the former instance researchers are able to create different strands or types of food based on this scientific process. Stem cell research and efforts in this direction are also related to cloning, as the potential exists for people to determine specific characteristics of their progeny and to genetically guarantee a decreased chance of people suffering from many illnesses and specific conditions.

The aspects of cloning portrayed in "Womb" both adhere to the aforementioned information about this phenomena, and deviate from them. One of the most realistic parts of cloning evinced in this movie is the park that was populated with animals that were cloned. As previously denoted, the actualization of cloning was largely introduced to the world via the cloning of a sheep. Although cloned animals are not necessarily marketed to the public in a park the way they are in this film, the existence of such animals is a reality that no one can deny. In fact, some of the more eminent deployments of cloning pertain to the animal kingdom.

Some of the facets of stem cell research and its impact on reproduction are demonstrated in this movie as well. This part of the science portrayed in the film are plausible, although there are no public examples of this phenomenon just yet. The female protagonist is able to obtain cellular information from her dead...

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The fact that this cellular data is used to produce a likeness of the deceased lover adheres to contemporary science about stem cell research, which is closely linked to cloning. In the movie, the female protagonist utilizes the DNA of her deceased lover to become impregnated (Womb, 2010). This process is not cloning. However, it helps to produce a similar result in the film when the protagonist births a son strikingly similar to her deceased lover. Scientifically, artificial insemination has been used for several years. Thus, this facet of the movie is factually accurate. Nonetheless, there are some aspects of cloning that are fictional, such as the fact that children remark about a smell associated with cloned humans (Womb, 2010). As of yet, there is no scientific evidence to corroborate the notion that cloned humans would have a distinct smell.
Societal Impacts of the Science Investigated

There are a number of societal impacts of the issue of cloning, and of the science required to implement this phenomenon. Perhaps the most critical of these impacts is the ramifications that cloning can have for the reproductive process. With cloning, people will no longer need to procreate. Such a transition in the way that people are created would be tremendous, and felt throughout virtually all aspects of society. With cloning, scientists and those they work for (which would conceivably be the public sector) would be sought by potential parents. Society could very possibly face a situation in which they have to solicit children from these scientists. Cloning, of course, does not immediately take the power of reproduction away from women and men who choose to procreate. Still, it provides a viable option for mankind to create people at his whim and in accordance to his specifications.

Perhaps another social consequence of the science behind cloning pertains to the cloning of animals. Although the movie illustrated this point in conjunction with a park to see cloned animals, more pragmatic deployments of this facet of cloning would likely involve livestock. With cloning, scientists could work with farmers to create the numbers and different types of various livestock for human consumption. Therefore, the general public could face a situation in which it might have to purchase and cook meat that is cloned. For some time farmers have bolstered the yield of their livestock with hormones and artificial drugs. Perhaps the next step in this trend would involve farmers cloning livestock to make the food that people consume even more artificial than it already is.

Another important aspect of the real science about cloning pertains to the degree of selection and specification it can potentially offer. In the movie, the protagonist could only be assured of bearing a child similar to her deceased lover because she was impregnated with some his genetic data. This part of cloning of related to stem cell research and the genetic information that these cells offer. In real life, it is possible to replicate many facets of an individual through cloning, without necessarily having to impregnate anyone. Thus, the possibility exists for people to have alternatives or multiples of specific beings through the cloning process. Socially, this application of cloning could result in 'parents' being able to specify what characteristics their 'children' have. Those could be as innocuous as determining eye color or as significant as predetermining a child's proclivity for sports, the arts, or other qualities that could influence their proficiency in a certain occupation.

Conclusion

In summary, there are many different aspects of the cloning process that are germane to contemporary society. Again, the most profound implication of this scientific undertaking is that it can potentially give mankind reproductive power in an artificial way that does not involve women. Instead of growing a child in the womb for nine months, scientists can clone any variety of things (including people) in their laboratories. Because of these far reaching and life altering repercussions, cloning affects many different spheres of society. The religious and spiritual implications of this potential are that mankind is attempting to play God and actually usurp God's natural, divine power of procreation. Moreover, cloning undermines the natural order of life and way that life is created, which is why certain religious and spiritual arguments against it are sometimes synthesized with ethical ones. The film Womb addresses some of these. Not everyone in the movie believed that it was right for the female protagonist to try to reproduce…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Fiester, A. (2005). Ethical issues in animal cloning. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 48(2), 328-343. Retrieved fromhttp://repository.upenn.edu/bioethics_papers/35

Pimple, K. (1998). The ethics of human cloning and the fate of science in a democratic society. Valparaiso University Law Review. 32(2), 727-737.

Rauch, J. (2003). Will Frankenfood save the planet? The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/10/will-frankenfood-save-the-planet/302806/

Womb. (2010). Dir: B. Fliegauf. Perf: Green, E., Smith, M., Manville, L.


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