Cloning myths

Matt Kuhns

The recent editorial “Cloning: Technology taken too far” was, without question, the worst garbage to ever appear in the Daily. Nearly every assertion in the 2-part editorial was full of misinformation and paranoia.

It seems that the authors of the cloning editorial did most of their research on cloning by watching science fiction movies and cartoons. Most of the editorial was based on the popular myth that clones are created from a single strand of DNA and grown to adulthood in a tank, and are identical to the genetic source both physically and mentally. But to my knowledge, there is no process for artificial gestation, accelerated aging or memory transference! (Memory is not encoded on DNA, for those who don’t know.)

As though this unfortunate misconception weren’t bad enough, the Daily fueled people’s fears of cloning through their thoughtless speculation.

The Daily described “the production of identical humans” as “a frightening concept.” A needlessly frightening concept, too, because clones would be no more identical than twins. In fact they would be less similar because of differences in age and environment. Or do twins frighten the Daily’s editors, too?

The Daily asks “are we prepared for hundreds of McGriff-Jischke debates?” As I explained above, memory is not contained in DNA. The prospect of cloning legions of a public figure is thoroughly fictional — as well as hopelessly cliched.

Probably the most ludicrous of the Daily’s fears was “thousands of famine-stricken children” produced through cloning. Cloning could not possibly cause overpopulation because it’s no faster than natural conception. And considering that it took dozens of attempts to produce one successful calf clone, cloning would very likely be slower!

As tremendously poor as the Daily’s other ideas on cloning were, however, none came close to their sad declaration that clones are “pseudo-people” rather than “honest-to-goodness human beings.” And why did the Daily make this delineation? Because clones are created in a laboratory. (Perhaps the Daily considers test-tube babies sub-human, too?)

If and when the first clones enter our society, I hope that they will not have to face the sort of ignorance and bigotry that the Daily propagates.

Matt Kuhns


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