Cloning and Genetical Enginering - If it Ain't Broke, Why Fix it?

Cloning and Genetical Enginering - If it Ain't Broke, Why Fix it?

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Cloning and Genetical Enginering - If it Ain't Broke, Why Fix it?

Taking a Pro or Con stand on cloning is difficult, because we know very little about genes, and there are different genetic sciences involved. We must, as Socrates so sagaciously points out, define the subject. Only then can we debate it.

There is obviously the full-bore version of cloning, being the complete duplication of an existing life-form, be it plant, animal, or human. (I separate animal and human purely for logistics.) We copy Sheep A's genes, strand by strand, and produce an exact duplicate. Meet Sheep B, C and D.

Then, there is gene therapy, which is not cloning proper, but genetics nevertheless, and therefore, worth mentioning. Gene therapy is the process of splicing out malevolent genes, like cerebral palsy, schizophrenia, and physical deformations.

There is also the dangerous gene mutation: Rearranging D.N.A. in the hopes of discovering how genes work, and hopefully, producing new wonders of plant, animal, and human life. Essentially playing cards with God, vainly hoping He'll fold.

All these possibilities are difficult to discuss, for they are fledgling sciences. We know very little of genes or D.N.A., which was only discovered in1951 by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins using X-ray diffraction.

Realizing my relative lack of knowledge concerning this subject, and realizing there are probably numerous, and very wise, arguments refuting mine, I shall, nevertheless, make my stand:

The pseudo-science of gene mutation is, at best, a risky experiment. To casually rearrange a thousand genes, as if building a new house of Legos, is exceedingly dangerous. We have only cataloged a few genes. We do not know if the order is important. And just as the child attempts a castle with his Legos, and ends up with a blue house with two chimneys, we end up with an abomination. Let us stick to Tinker-toys, shall we?

Besides, mutations, by definition, are mistakes in the architectural blue-prints of life. Although evolution is made possible by mutations, these mutations are slight and minor ones. One gene is dropped, tweaked, or duplicated. But the thousand remaining genes are untouched, in the same intangible, enigmatic, but important, order. This, combined with natural selection, relieves the gene pool of any dangerous or extraordinary change, and only allows the subtle, positive changes to take hold.

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Nature allows the black-winged moth mutation to flourish, while the normal, white-winged moth is gobbled up my voracious owls. If we scientists were in charge, we would {accidentally} create a moth three times as fast, with saliva capable of eating through titanium, pheromones to attract moths from 10 miles around, and an immunity to pesticides. Five years down the road, Super Moths are laying their larvae in the bloated remains of pompous humanity. To haphazardly manufacture something nature and natural selection has expressly forbidden is a fore-boding, risky idea.

Gene-therapy, on the other hand, seems to have only beneficent results. (In gene therapy, a type of virus known as a retrovirus is used to replace a defective gene in unhealthy cells with a new, healthy gene.)

When an ameosentisis determines that the developing embryo will develop with lungs outside of its body, why not splice out the faulty gene, (provided it has been positively identified,) and heal the sick embryo? Infant mortality would be greatly reduced, cancer might likewise be disposed of, and we would all get to starve to death in 10 generations, due to over-population, because we usurped the throne of Nature.

Thinking it through to its inevitable end, gene therapy also seems dangerous. Emotion dictates our actions. We hate to watch the infant squirm in its death throes, its brain open to the air, born without a skull. But this happens one in 1000 times because it should. Human beings are one of the few species who reproduce even when there is no need. Most other animals produce just enough offspring to guarantee the survival of the species. Let Nature be, and we will continue to grow and develop, not by leaps and bounds, but with a steady, measured step.

With cloning proper, I ask only this: Why? Why duplicate a being that already exists? Why destroy natural selection? Why obstruct our well ordered system of classification? Once an established pattern, we would eventually create a race of super-human automatons. And, being higher on the evolutionary ladder, what hesitation would they have in annihilating us, the flawed beings infecting the globe? (just like homo-sapiens destruction of Neanderthal man.)

Why trap ourselves by manufacturing 10 models of perfect people, who are programmed to fulfill some preconceived roll that they might not want to fulfill? Why tempt fate? Why replace ourselves with a superior species? Why make the average man obsolete? Why consider doing something when so many important questions cannot be answered with any assurance?

Again, when Man usurps the throne of Nature, we are asking for trouble. She created us. Let Her create anew.

So, as far as cloning and genetics is concerned, I believe, quite simply, if it ain't broke, why fix it?
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