Cloning opposition

John K Clark (
Sun, 2 Mar 1997 14:26:34 -0800 (PST)


The Washington Post reported today (March 2, 1997) that Don Wolf of the
Oregon Regional Primate Center has cloned monkeys from embryo cells using
techniques similar to the ones that resulted in a cloning sheep, the animals
were born last August. Dr. Wolf said that is as far as he intends to go,
he did not try to make a clone from an adult monkey, nor does he intend to,
it's not too hard to figure out why, in the next sentence the article says
that his work is federally funded.

The Journal "Nature" said they were under considerable pressure not to
publish the historic article on cloning, right up to the moment the presses
rolled attempts were made to suppress it. Fortunately Nature has guts and did
not cave in, they even put the entire article on the Web, you can read it at

Our old friend Jeremy Rifkin said there should be an immediate worldwide ban
on cloning and that the penalty for violation should "be on a par with murder".
A poll taken by ABC news says that 87% of Americans think cloning should be
banned, 6% would like to be cloned.

I'm not too worried because I think it's politicians not Scientists who are
guilty of hubris if they think they can stop this technology. For the first
time I found something that an "ethicist", the lowest form of human life,
said that I could agree with; to quote Ronald Munson, "The technology is not,
in principle policeable [...] These are relatively standard labs. That's the
amazing thing about biotechnology. It's fundamentally quite feasible".
Unlike Munson I am not appalled by this, I am delighted.

John K Clark

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