The word clone comes from a Greek word meaning “sprout” or “twig,” and as used today it refers to the reproduction of another creature by scientific procedures apart from normal reproductive processes.

Milestones in animal cloning include the cloning of frogs in 1952 and the sheep “Dolly” in 1997. Human cloning would involve the removal of the nucleus of an unfertilized human egg and replacement of that nucleus with the nucleus of another human being, thus giving the newly fertilized egg the DNA of the person contributing to the nucleus. The hoped-for result would be a new person who would be an exact genetic copy of the original. In theory, this could then be repeated numerous times, producing unlimited genetic copies.

Human cloning, along with embryonic stem cell harvesting, is offered as a potential lifesaving opportunity. A cloned human being could produce exact genetic “spare parts” for a dying or injured person or could replace a dead loved one. Having a number of genetically identical human beings to use in experiments could also advance medical research.

There are many practical and ethical problems with human cloning. Early testing of the technology will no doubt have many failures, as happened in early animal experiments. There would certainly be many children thus produced who would have significant physical problems and deformities, as well as significant psychological problems.

Many questions about the ultimate responsibility for the care, training, and health of cloned humans would arise. Children produced outside the normal family would face many risks. The creation of clones according to some predetermined plan is much like what Hitler attempted. He sought to produce a “master race” through what his scientists called “eugenics.” Even though a cloned human would be an exact genetic copy, the clone would not be the same person, due to having different environmental factors, training, and life experiences, as well as being much younger than the original.

Genesis 1:26–27 describes the creation of the first humans:

God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

The man and woman were created in the image of God and were not the result of animal evolution. Human life must be respected more than animal life.

Cloning, embryonic stem cell research, and similar scientific studies may offer some potential benefit to mankind, but they of necessity involve the sacrifice of human life and experimentation on humans without their consent. It is God who “gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25).

Man, no matter what his motivation, does not have the right to take the life of one person for the benefit of another. Among the things that God hates is “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). —Bob Prichard

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