Thursday, September 29, 2011

Seeing Double

In July 1996, it was announced that a sheep had been been born at the Roslin Insitute near Edinburgh, Scotland. What was so amazing about this? Dolly was the first clone. She was very famous. A sweater knitted from her wool was placed in a museum. She had several sheep of her own, none of them clones and all healthy. Everyone talked about how humans would be next. But what is cloning, really?

Cloning comes from the Latin root meaning "to cut from". A clone is an organism grown from a single cell of the parent, genetically identical to the parent. To clone Dolly, they took the nucleus from a sheep egg and replaced it with the nucleus from a sheep cell. A little chemical manipulation and "Hello, Dolly". Cloning creates nothing new, it just makes a copy, like having an identical twin.

What happened to Dolly? At three, she showed signs of premature aging, and she passed away at age six - a young age for a sheep. "Goodbye, Dolly" didn't make the news a lot. But why did she die? Because of the cell that was put into the egg. The DNA was six years old when she was born. The egg that was used to produce her came from a six year old sheep, which made her genes six years old when she was born, meaning she aged faster and died a horrible death. Every cloned animal has died a horrible death.

We did not invent cloning. God did. If you've ever grown strawberries, you'll know that runners come off the plants, new plants for next year. These runners are actually clones of the plant. Some types of female insects produce eggs that, when hatched, produce clones of themselves.

Is cloning immoral? For my part, I have no problem with the idea of cloning plants and animals, if our intentions in doing so are right, such as attempting to cure a disease. We were granted dominion over them, and although we shouldn't abuse it, we can do many positive things through cloning plants and animals. We were not, however, given dominion over other humans. Think about it. God said we must not kill other people, but we were told it is alright to kill and eat animals. And furthermore, humans were meant to have two parents (although this is not always the case), but a cloned human could never. This goes directly against the Bible.

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