Cloning Issue Genesis 11:1-9 records the sad story of the building of the tower of Babel. That project stands out as the first chapter in a story that continues to this day, and includes many similar kind of undertakings. As technology and ability increase so does man’s ability to do things that are ultimately not in his best interest. The first objection is that cloning is not wise. Wisdom is knowing the end of a matter from the beginning.
Proverbs 14:15 tells us “The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps.” It is sensible or prudent to think carefully about the path we are walking, and where it will lead us. Proverbs 22:3 reminds us “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished.” We want to be the kind of people who are actively looking out for evil before we are involved in it so deeply that escaping it is hard and painful. In Luke 14:28ff Jesus urges this same kind of thinking we He talks about counting costs. In that context He is urging us to count the cost of serving Him, but the principle applies to all of life: we should count the cost before we do something, before we embark on a project. We are at the place where wisdom says we need to stop for several reasons. First, no one really knows how it worked, if it will work again, or exactly why it worked.
For certain, we know what they did, we know the procedure. But “Roslin scientists have said the cloning was the result of much hit-and-miss experimentation and needs to be refined through further research.” Second, no one knows if the procedure is safe. To top it all off, we have no idea where this will lead. The possibilities and problems that could come from human cloning have not been thoroughly mapped out by any means. Interestingly, very little is said about potential good this could bring. No one is saying “If we can clone humans we can cure cancer.” Science doesn’t seem to be asking “Should we” only “Can we?” Yet everyone admits “the potential for evil is infinitely greater”than any good that might come of it.
Think of some of the complications that may arise. What will we do with “bad copies” — malformed babies who are the results of failed cloning experiments? The mind reels with the possibilities for sin and iniquity that human cloning presents. Cloning is just not wise. The folks at Babel ought to have asked “Should we?” before asking “Can we?” Are we wise enough to do better than they? The truth is that cloning is an attempt to control and choose who will be born. It is highly doubtful that we have the wisdom, moral sense, or moral fiber necessary to make good choices in that area.
We lack the wisdom to develop cloning properly, use it, or understand it. Why should we continue down such a path? How wise is it to board a train going where we don’t know, and traveling on untested tracks? The second objection to human cloning is that it can be outright sinful. This is true for several reasons. First, cloning results in abortions. Cloning is a complicated procedure that often does not work, so many, many cloned embryos must be made. In the Dolly experiment there were 277 cell fusions, resulting in 29 that began to grow and were implanted, 13 sheep became pregnant, but finally only 1 lamb.
As one ethicist said, “It took 277 trials and errors to produce Dolly the sheep, creating a cellular body count that would look like sheer carnage if the cells were human.” While toying with (and destroying) sheep embryos is not troubling to anyone what if that were done with human embryos? This is not an article on abortion, but we must advance the principle here that life begins at conception (see Psalm 139:13-16; Jer. 1:5). It is not right for scientists to murder hundreds of lives (that is what embryos are) in their scientific experiments! The means is not ethical. Further, cloning could be used to have a child outside of the family unit. God’s order for the family is clearly set forth in Ephesians 6:1-4. Children need parents, both a mom and a dad.
If you are not in a marriage where that home can be provided then the hard truth is God doesn’t want you to have kids. But who is it that is most thrilled with cloning? The homosexual community. Technology is trying to find yet another way to have children outside of the God-given pattern and plan. On the front page of a New York Times article a cell biologist from Washington University in St. Louis named Ursula Good enough quipped that with cloning “there’d be no need for men.” “A single woman might choose to clone herself rather than involve a man in any way.” Are we constructing a technology to circumvent God’s moral and natural laws? “God forbid that we should design such technology in order to give homosexual couples an opportunity to produce a family, or even to allow the unmarried to reproduce outside of marriage.” Perhaps worst of all, cloning will inevitably result in exploited children. When the experts are pressed to explain what cloning could be used for what do they talk about? How about producing a child as “spare parts” for your-self or for another child that is sick? What if your three-year old has kidney disease, ultimately will have to be on dialysis? No problem.
We’ll clone that kid, so that a new child will be an exact genetic match, then take one of those kidneys in 3-5 years. That would work as well for bone marrow transplants, and many other diseases. Yet we must ask if that is an appropriate reason to bring a child into this world? Yes, “spare parts” children are brought into this world (occasionally) already. But if doctors could guarantee a genetic match this will increase the practice dramatically. When we think about it one wonders how long it would be until someone clones a child for the clone’s heart? The child would be born, put on super growth stimulants, never cared for or loved, until he or she was big enough for the heart to be “harvested.” What a thought — we will just take what we want and leave the rest to die because we didn’t want you anyway.
We just needed a part! Psalms 127:3-5 says “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them . . .
.” Children are a gift from the Lord, not something to be exploited for our or another’s benefit! CONCLUSION The Bible does guide us, doesn’t it? Wisdom dictates that we stop cloning experimentation before the genie gets further out of the bottle, or more accurately, before Pandora’s box is open any wider. Scripture clearly shows us that the means to cloning is sinful, and will surely lead to more sin (exploited kids). It is very difficult to look at any of this and say “Yes, God is blessing this, this will help humanity, let’s go full speed ahead.” Human cloning looks more and more like our own Tower of Babel. Let’s be content to know that God made us, and that we did not make ourselves (Psalm 100:3). May we use our minds and technology to draw closer to him rather than building monuments to human pride that will only harm and hurt us all.