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Caitlin R. Kiernan

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And speaking of Massachusetts, I just heard on CNN that the first human cloning has been successfuly performed there. I'm not inherently opposed to the idea of cloning humans (or anything else), but I have to question the need for any technology that produces more of us. Making babies is about the only thing for which our species seems to display a more or less universal talent. We hardly need any help.
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(26 November 2001)

 
Caitlin R. Kiernan

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"And here's some legislation: Thank the good lord that this passed before the break for vaycay. No cloning! No cloning! Urgent! Big red rubber stamper! Let's get this out of the way! Let's deal with this! The no cloning issue. Uhm, I wasn't really worried about it. I don't know about anybody else, but it really wasn't keeping me up nights. I think I'll worry about it when we finally get our jetpacks and our food pills for five course meals. I think then we'll deal with that because I think during Roddenberry times we were promised those two things and I haven't seen them, but just in case that wasn't enough for you, for Congress to get involved, the Vatican had something to say about it. The Vatican Counsel met, and I took this out of the New York Times, here's what they said after a big meeting, " 'Human cloning would not lead to identical souls because only God can create a soul,' a panel set up by Pope John Paul has concluded." Right on! They also took care of a couple other things that were burning issues. Apparently Trix are indeed for kids, and one other thing. After much deliberation it has been decided that no you cannot tackle the kid after he releases the ball in Smear The Queer. Can't do it. So we got that out of the way."

 
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"Animal behavior has evolved to battle parasites. In fact, we have parasites to thank for the existence of sex. Sex is a costly and time-consuming method of reproduction. Experiments have shown that, in the absence of parasites, species evolve toward parthenogenesis—or cloning—as the reproductive method of choice. In parthenogenesis each individual is able to self-replicate. But this produces almost no genetic variation. In the presence of parasites, cloning, while more energy-efficient, is not a viable reproductive strategy. It presents a stationary genetic target to parasites, who, once introduced into such a system, will quickly dominate it. ..."

 
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The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behavior control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.

 
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We, in this country, have believed by a substantial majority that cloning human beings is not right and should not be done. We certainly have all seen the rejections of Nazi Germany's abuses of science. As a society and a nation, there ought to be some limit on what we can allow or should allow.

 
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I am in favor of stem cell research. I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning.

 
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