Human Clones: Why Not? | God’s Word Today

Human Clones- Why Not

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” – Psalm 139:13

 The world’s first three-parent child has been born.  A Jordanian couple used a new technique that combines the DNA of three people to create a baby boy.  The wife’s genes carry a rare genetic mutation so the nucleus of her egg was removed and replaced with that of an egg donor. An American medical team performed the procedure in Mexico.

“Well, what of it,” you may say?  Haven’t humans already been cloned?  No, say the experts at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Despite several highly-publicized claims, there is no solid, scientific evidence that human embryos have been cloned.

There are extremely complex issues which surround this topic of messing with the creation of life.  They are biblical, moral and ethical, and practical, and all of them are part of the equation.

First, is it biblical?  Of course, this argument is discounted by scientists.  But the Bible contends that man was created in the image of God with a human soul—a belief which Protestants, Jews, and Catholics all hold. If, however, as Catholics and most Protestants agree, a soul is imparted at conception, cloning violates the clear teaching of Scripture.  “Before I formed you in the womb,” God said in Jeremiah 1:5, “I knew youI set you apart.”  Before the womb…is God, the Giver of life.  Not man.  Cloning would violate the basic premise of the family structure which God ordained, namely, that a man and a woman come together in marriage, and in this relationship, reproduce themselves.

The second issue is moral and ethical in nature.  While there is no real consensus among those whose specialty is ethics, the question has to be faced: “What does it mean to be human?” What right does one have to perpetuate himself or herself? If and when an individual is cloned and is born with genetic problems or abnormalities, does that person have the right to sue those who cloned him?

There is a difference between scientists’ trying to produce stronger, healthier cattle or sheep, just as they sought to improve thousands of strains of wheat, corn, vegetables and other food products.  But of course, many have changed their thinking on genetically modified foods.  “We all have a moral obligation to employ caution when evaluating human activities (like production of GMO foods) that could hurt people or the environment,” states the manifesto of the Non-GMO Foods Project. Caution in modifying our food… but not our children… or life itself?  “But the result will be stronger, or smarter people!” you may hear. Historians, however, will remember that’s exactly what Adolph Hitler had in mind.

The third issue is practical.  Cloning isn’t simple; hundreds if not thousands of failures precede any vestige of success.  Again, the National Human Genome experts caution, “Reproductive cloning is a very inefficient technique and most cloned animal embryos cannot develop into healthy individuals.”

Most media today focus on the potential of embryonic stem cells to provide a cure for treating human disease.  But you may not have heard that scientists admit that there are “…striking similarities between embryonic stem cells and cancer cells. Both cell types have the ability to proliferate indefinitely and some studies show that after 60 cycles of cell division, stem cells can accumulate mutations that could lead to cancer.”

To those who say, “Nothing should stop scientific progress,” I would say that science has never been able to regulate itself.  Science is political and “ethics” can change with elections.

We are in deep trouble when we lose sight of what it means to be human, to have dignity, to know that we, yes, even “imperfect,” are still created in the image of God with a human soul and a spirit that lifts us above other life forms.  We must never forget.

Resource reading:  Psalm 139:1-18

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963.Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages.He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children (daughter Bonnie is now Guidelines president) and eight well-loved grandchildren.
Dr. Harold J. Sala

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