SOC/BIO: Time/CNN poll on American attitudes to cloning

Date: Tue Feb 13 2001 - 09:23:38 MST

>From Reuters,
Monday February 12 6:53 PM ET
Americans Feel Cloning Is Against God's Will

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Most Americans think that cloning a human being
is a bad idea, according to recent Time/CNN poll. However, when pressed
about particulars relating to the issue, many say cloning would be okay
under certain circumstances.

For instance, 28% of those polled ``think cloning would be justified if it
were to produce vital organs used to save the lives of others.''

About 21% said it would be acceptable if used to save the life of a person
being cloned and 20% felt was okay for an infertile couple to have a child
using cloning.

There are many different reasons people feel cloning is a bad idea but most,
about one-third (34%), cite religious beliefs as their primary reason for

``Twenty-two percent say it is because cloning interferes with human
distinctiveness and individuality; another 22% because cloning could be used
for questionable purposes like breeding a superior race or cloning armies.
Overall, 69% think it is against God's will to clone human beings,''
according to a statement issued by Time.

The Time/CNN poll was conducted by telephone on February 7th and 8th. The
poll of 1,015 adult Americans was conducted by Yankelovich Partners and had
a margin of error for the total sample of +/- 3.1%.

The survey comes on the heels of highly publicized story earlier this month
that details a Canadian cult's desire to make the first cloned human from
the frozen cells of a dead baby. If successful, a clone of that dead child
will be the first baby produced by Clonaid, a for-profit subsidiary of the
Raelian cult. After the initial cloning, Clonaid will offer cloning services
to others at a fee of $200,000.

When the Raelians announced the cloning plans last October the announcement
was greeted with some skepticism. But last week a pair of well-known
fertility experts, Dr. Panos Zavos of the University of Kentucky and
obstetrician Dr. Severino Antinori of Rome, Italy, added some credibility to
the possibility that a human will soon be cloned when they said that they
were undertaking a human cloning project.

Whether or not the Raelian group proves to be successful remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, ``almost half (45%) of all Americans think it will be possible
to create a human clone within the next 10 years, but only 5% say they would
clone themselves if they had a chance,'' the pollsters report.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:39 MDT