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Argument: Human cloning reduces biological diversity in the human population

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Debate: Ban on human reproductive cloning

Supporting Evidence

"Why Environmentalists Oppose Human Cloning And Inheritable Genetic Modification". Friends of the Earth. Retrieved June 3rd, 2008 - "Ensuring Diversity & Ecosystem Survival

Cloning represents a fundamental shift in our relationship with nature. It is a break from the process of natural evolution known to build strength into species through diversity. It is the ultimate in monoculture.

In this “brave new world,” any distinction between the natural and the technological will be erased, deepening an alienation that fosters destructive behavior toward ecosystems. Why, for instance, protect habitat when a few cloned trophy specimens could be perpetuated in zoos?"

Dr. George Johnson. "Should A Clone Have Rights?". On Science. Retrieved July 9th, 2008 - I think an even more profound problem arises from another direction, one that does not cause public unrest because few of us think in its broad-brush terms. The problem that truly disturbs me as a biologist is that because cloning promotes genetic uniformity, making our genes more like each others, cloning increases the danger that at some future time a disease might arise against which the “common” cloned form has no resistance. Genetic variation is the chief defense our species has against an uncertain future. To strip ourselves of it, even partially, is to endanger our species.

"Is Human Reproductive Cloning Inevitable?" Future Options for UN Governance. United Nations University. Retrieved July 8th, 2008 - "Cloning and Nature. The issue of human control over reproduction is not fundamentally new, but one of degree. A number of persons have said that human reproductive cloning is going too far because it is no longer sexual reproduction. The key concern here is the extent that humans control nature, as well as the potential impact this control will have on genetic diversity and human psychology. It is argued that design of persons takes away autonomy of children whose biological characteristics would be due not to chance, as in sexual reproduction, but to the choice of the person responsible for the cloning. On the other hand it has also long been argued that for a child to exist at all cannot be against their interests. Human biological diversity is considered a fundamental part of human natural heritage, and diversity is recognised as part of the concept of human dignity in the Universal Declaration on Human Genome and Human Rights. This has led some to oppose any attempts to clone persons who would be identical to the cell nuclei donors. However, biologists would argue that a clone is not “identical” to its original. Not only genes influence the development of an organism. Gene plasticity, environmental factors, and neural topography structures differentiate clones from their parents. Thus while there are concerns of human dignity with respect to decrease in human diversity, it would only become significant if it was very widely practiced. The continuous mix of genetic data via sexual reproduction is a basic mechanism of natural evolution. The possibility of continuously recombining genetic data allows adaptive processes."

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