The Christian View Of Cloning
Cloning is the ability to produce an exact duplicate of a certain creature using one of its cells and the ovum of another creature of the same species to produce an "embryo". This is then implanted into the womb of a surrogate mother resulting in a "clone", or an exact replica.
The details of the procedure are as follows, using the lamb, Dolly, produced by scientists as an illustration:
cell was taken from the ribs of a Finnish sheep.
This cell bears a copy of all the genes that pass down all the traits and characteristics of the Finnish sheep to its offspring. This cell is scientifically treated.
This cell multiplies producing other cells that are similar to it. This process is then halted temporarily.
An ovum is taken from the Scottish sheep
The ovum is kept alive in a solution and is scientifically treated.
The nucleus of this ovum is removed.
An electrical jolt is used to get the cell to unite with the ovum. The ovum (from which the nucleus has been extracted) thus acquires all the inherited characteristics of the mammal from which the cell was taken. It then produces an offspring that has all the traits of the Finnish sheep.
This cell grows and multiplies.
It is implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother.
The ewe gives birth to a lamb bearing all the characteristics of the Finnish sheep.
Second: Is it Possible to Clone Humans?
It is theoretically and scientifically possible to clone humans and research in this area has actually begun. Instead of being science fiction such as we read of in Huxley's book, Brave New World or in the Rufilk's novel about a millionaire who wants his son to be his clone entitled In His Image, or in the film The Children of Brazil which tells of multiple clones of Hitler, the world is now endeavoring to make this science fiction a reality. We don't know whether these efforts will succeed but we have to be ready for anything.
Third: What is Problem We Anticipate?
people imagine that the success of science in producing human clones casts
doubt on the existence of the Creator, and this alarms some of the religious
leader. The truth is that science explores the finite and tangible in contrast
to religion which is concerned with ---- in addition to material and temporal
matters ---- theological and doctrinal matters which we call metaphysical. That
is, what is beyond nature, beyond time, and beyond death.
There is no contradiction between religion and sound science.
On the contrary, sound science confirms faith. As science attempts to discover the laws of the universe and of nature, man and inherited characteristics, it realizes that behind all this is a great Creator, the Architect of the universe, the Giver of life, and so bows down in awe. As Newton said when he discovered the natural laws of the universe: ”I was like a child disporting himself on the shore of an immense ffb ocean." Einstein also said:"The more I learn about the universe, the more ignorant I feel" There are many secrets of life and existence that we are gradually discovering.
All that scientists can do is to submit absolutely to the laws of the universe and to follow them in awe in order to discover more new laws and phenomena. Thus, when they learned about the laws governing the planets, gravitation, speed, and time, they were able to go to the moon. They did not have to invent new laws or to challenge the existent laws. When the seven astronauts went on the spaceship "Challenger", there was a small defect that led to its exploding, burning and destroying all its passengers. That was because it did not adhere to the laws of the universe which have been put by the Great Architect.
Above all, no matter how much we learn about the cell, its reactions, its divisions, its attributes, we cannot "create" a live cell. Life emanates from God "in Whom is life" (Jn. 1:4), and ”in Whom we live and move and have our being"(Acts 17: 28). God is the origin of existence, the Giver of life and its Creator.
These attempts to clone humans which might succeed raise many issues:
Can these efforts really succeed in producing an exact replica of
a human being using one of his cells with an ovum from which the nucleus has
been removed without the need for a sperm?
Is this "clone" going to result in a defective human or one who is prone to rapid aging?
Is this not a way of doing away with reproduction? There will be no need for a man; it will be enough to take "reproductive seeds" from him and preserve them in a bank.
What about the personality of this cloned human? Will he resemble the person he was cloned from physically only, and will he then take different intellectual and religious paths?
What about the family in this case? There will be no need for one for it will be enough to have a preserved cell, an ovum and a borrowed womb to produce a child without father, mother, or family!
There will certainly be confusion in relationships. It will be possible for a woman to ask for the clone of her dead mother to be implanted into her womb or that of a borrowed or hired womb.
What about the instincts of a mother, of a father, in such cases/
What about the natural balance between genders. States might prefer to produce more males than females, or vice-versa.
The child will possess only his mother's traits, whereas we are accustomed to the child being the fruit of a sanctified marriage between a man and a woman, both of whom pass on their characteristics to their child.
Fourth: Does Cloning Have Possible Advantages?
respect to humans, scientists might be able to treat diseases by producing
animal cells that can be of use to man, or by producing organs or valves.
With respect to animals, scientists might produce better species of cattle, for instance, that might have milk that has a high protein content which would be good for children. Cloning could be used to produce a unique kind of meat, of milk products, of wool, or it could be used to propagate endangered species.
As for plants, scientists might be able to produce types that can resist drought, salt, and pests.
A Korean professor has stated that scientists might succeed in cloning a human within ten years. Some American scientists in Oregon have started to clone a monkey, which is a mammal.
We are now waiting to see what man will do with knowledge. Will he make it the means of human growth and development or will he make it a means of destruction and distortion?
God has created man to be free; it is up to him to make a choice and to bear the consequences of this choice. He has granted him a brain to be used for his good but if he misuses it, it could result in evil and devastation.
The discovery of nuclear
energy helped produce electricity which led to industrial development, but man
misused it to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki! Nobel discovered dynamite to be
used in road construction, but man used it to destroy himself. The Internet
also was intended for the dissemination of useful information, but man abused
it and placed harmful films on it!
O Man, watch out and see what you are doing to yourself and to others! Science must serve mankind, not destroy it.
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