It has been the premise of many science fiction films but thanks to modern technology, human cloning does not seem like such a far out possibility. While humanity is still a long way from replicating itself, scientists have been able to produce exact copies of highly complex organisms, including large, intelligent mammals such as ourselves. Since the day when this science is no longer fiction seems to be rapidly approaching, it is important to consider some pros and cons to the practice of human cloning.
The Pros of Human Cloning
1. Extended Life
There are many possible ways human cloning could extend the lives of ordinary people. Organs could be duplicated and transplanted to patients in need of a transplant. Cloning could enable advanced medical testing and lead to significant breakthroughs in the treatment of terminal diseases. Brain transplants could also become a possibility, allowing the sentient aspects of human existence to move from a dying host to a new, healthy body.
2. Scientific Progress
The successful cloning of a human would be one of the great achievements in scientific history. Not only would the act itself be of seminal importance but the knowledge unleashed by this development would surely be felt in other disciplines and applied to different processes.
3. Advanced Evolution
Along with human cloning could also come the possibility to speed up human evolution. The biological improvements that previously took thousands of years to develop could be designed into these new and improved humans. Indeed, if cloning technology advances beyond current limitations, the effects could potentially be transmitted to those who are already still alive.
The Cons of Human Cloning
1. Ethical Questions
Many science fiction movies that feature human clones often present complex or troubling moral situations. This is because the creation of an individual who is an exact copy of a living person creates potential ambiguities in the law and troubling moral conundrums. The ethical questions raised by human cloning are immense and could potentially shake society to its core.
2. Biological Concerns
Human clones could also present many troubling medical possibilities. These new creations could be more vulnerable to certain diseases or perpetuate the development of unknown strains that cannot be contained by existing medicine. Most troubling of all, it would be impossible to determine which of these problems was most likely to develop before clones were already created.
3. Societal Problems
The introduction of clones to modern society could produce unknown repercussions among domestic populations or between countries. Perhaps clones increase inequality between rich and poor or allow rouge states to create huge armies from a single soldier. These are all real, if remote, possibilities presented by human cloning.