Christina Eichel

Summary Report #3

GN 301, 10:15 Section

Due: April 9, 2003


Shermer, Michael.

"I, Clone."

Scientific American, v.228 issue 4, April 2003.

"I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment"

This article takes a clear stance on the cloning debate, listing "The Three Laws of Cloning," which will supposedly protect clones and advance scientific research and discovery. The author feels that people"s fears of cloning are irrational and mainly consist of three myths. The Identical Personhood Myth is the idea that a human clone is like a xerox copy of somone. This is simply not true, because environmental factors matter as much as genetic ones. Thus the first law comes about: "A human clone is a human being no less unique in his or her personhood than an identical twin." The Playing God Myth states that cloning is evil and against God"s will. These things were once said of such widely accepted practices as the in vitro fertilization of today. The third myth, the Human Rights and Dignity Myth comes from the belief that cloning denies the dignity of human procreation. As stated earlier, clones are like twins, and it has never been suggested that twins have no rights or dignity. The second two laws of cloning come from this point: "A human clone has all the rights and privileges that accompany this legal and moral status (of being a human)" and "A human clone is to be accorded the dignity and respect due any member of our species." The author of this article believes that instead of restricting this new technology, these three laws should be implemented to allow scientific discovery to continue.

The author makes some great arguments, and gives counterpoints to several of the most concerning issues in the cloning debate. I believe that he is correct in saying that we should allow science to run its course. If every new discovery were restricted in this way, we would never get anywhere. Many of the most important and useful discoveries would never have been made. I believe that the fears that many people have about human cloning are, as the author of this article has said, quite irrational. I agree with the points that he made and believe his Laws of Cloning are a good way to help people understand the facts and advance cloning research and discoveries.