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Author Topic: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?  (Read 11390 times)

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #25 on: 27/10/2013 19:55:06 »
Since young Sheldrake, though a throughly nice guy,  is provably wrong in each of his assertions, why don't you tell us, for a moment, what you think. Or better still, what you know and can prove.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #26 on: 27/10/2013 20:10:08 »
Since young Sheldrake, though a throughly nice guy,  is provably wrong in each of his assertions, why don't you tell us, for a moment, what you think. Or better still, what you know and can prove.
[/quote]

Just read what the guy has to say first , silly , and then , try to prove him wrong .
He's so right about what he has to say regarding that false and unscientific materialism in science at least = reality , life or the universe are not just material physical ...processes .
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #27 on: 27/10/2013 20:16:37 »
The current "state of the art" in human cloning is to clone the tissue in a damaged organ - usually by creating a "scaffold" by 3D printing, and populating the scaffold with stem cells taken from the patient's body. This replacement organ is then surgically implanted into the patient.

This technique avoids rejection of a transplanted organ, and avoids the need for lifetime immunosuppressant therapy (with resulting risks of infection and cancer).

At present, this is mostly restricted to organs with a simple structure (like a bladder or throat), rather than organs with a microscopic structure like the kidney.

Shorter telomeres are not such a problem here, as the new organ only has to survive as long as the patient.

Quote
Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction?
It will remain Science-Fiction until someone actually does it - it is really just a question of "When?" and "Where are the ethics committees weakest?".

Copying an existing human has limited benefit if the clone carries the same (or most likely additional) genetic problems when compared to the original model.

I think that a more widely useful technology to develop would be the ability to correct genetic abnormalities in a fetus, which means that the baby would have fewer genetic problems than their parent (whether that parent shares 50% or 100% of genetic material with the baby).
« Last Edit: 27/10/2013 20:22:21 by evan_au »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #28 on: 27/10/2013 20:21:06 »
it is really just a question of "When?" and "Where are the ethics committees weakest?".

From the point of view of an ethics committee member, I can't see any a priori objection to human cloning if the objective is beneficial to the new human and appears reasonably achievable. What did you have in mind?
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #29 on: 27/10/2013 20:26:00 »
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree,
the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your
brain.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory.

Re 7. If what you are seeing is actually "out there" how are optical-illusions possible ?
         If you see the nuts moving in the still picture below your brain has created an incorrect model of what is "out there" ....


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/10-optical-illusions-that-will-blow-your-mind_n_3307500.html 


Re 8. Brain injuries can cause loss of memory => brain is the store of memory.

Re 9. If anyone had developed telepathy they would be rich as Croesus , and wouldn't have to sell tat on TV shopping channels  ...

Quote from: theguardian.com
[Uri Geller] designs a range of jewellery that he sells on QVC, creates pottery, exhibits his artwork around the world and he has written 15 books (and is just finishing his fourth novel).
http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2003/nov/08/features.jobsmoney1
« Last Edit: 27/10/2013 20:43:51 by RD »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #30 on: 27/10/2013 20:42:35 »
Quote from: alancalverd
From the point of view of an ethics committee member, I can't see any a priori objection to human cloning
It took several hundred attempts to clone Dolly the sheep - these failed attempts had a wide variety of outcomes from "failure to implant", up to "death immediately after birth". Dolly, as the first published "success" suffered from premature aging.

A doctor's commitment to "do no harm" would usually discourage (in Western ethics committees):
  • Creating a baby who would have a severely shortened lifespan [but they will probably find a way around this problem, eventually. I suggest they test it in sheep and monkeys first.]
  • Taking hundreds of donated eggs to be used in cloning experiments without explicit permission from the donors
  • I have heard that many women making use of superovulation for assisted fertility are unwilling to donate unwanted eggs for use by those in need of donated eggs.
  • Potentially creating many deformed babies
  • Providing informed consent by the women carrying the cloned child that it would not be genetically their child, that there was a low risk that it would survive to term, and there was a increased risk that the child would be deformed.
  • Despite its problems, if someone genuinely wanted a child, the traditional approach is still highly reliable when compared to the initially unreliable technique of cloning. (Or, at least the traditional risks are widely known and generally accepted.)
  • In many Western countries, there are laws against reproductive cloning (perhaps for reasons like those mentioned above, or for religious reasons)
« Last Edit: 27/10/2013 20:56:55 by evan_au »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #31 on: 27/10/2013 21:12:00 »
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree,
the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your
brain.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory.

Re 7. If what you are seeing is actually "out there" how are optical-illusions possible ?
         If you see the nuts moving in the still picture below your brain has created an incorrect model of what is "out there" ....


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/23/10-optical-illusions-that-will-blow-your-mind_n_3307500.html 


Re 8. Brain injuries can cause loss of memory => brain is the store of memory.

Re 9. If anyone had developed telepathy they would be rich as Croesus , and wouldn't have to sell tat on TV shopping channels  ...

Quote from: theguardian.com
[Uri Geller] designs a range of jewellery that he sells on QVC, creates pottery, exhibits his artwork around the world and he has written 15 books (and is just finishing his fourth novel).
http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2003/nov/08/features.jobsmoney1
[/quote]

Don't be silly , use your mind :
If consciousness is created by the brain , if memory is stored in the brain , (I don't believe i am discussing this stupid materialist non-sense  again  ) , then , just think about the analogy of a radio or a tv set :
Do you think that the tv set creates the images it receives ,so, when the tv set is damaged or just some specific parts of it at least , and therefore ceases to function and ceases todisplay those images : does that mean that the tv set used to create those images it used to receive when it used to function properly ...that's obviously no question = Obama must be living inside the tv set indeed haha

As for memory , check your own radio to see if you can find some traces of what it might have broadcasted yesterday ...inside of it .

Concerning  the optical illusions , they can be explained without resorting to that materialist silly false belief assumption that mind is in the brain , or that our representations  of reality are in our heads .
Come, on ...

As for telepathy and the rest , just know that reality is not exclusively material physical ,as materialism wanna make you believe it is .

Has science ever proved the "fact " to be "true" , or rather the materialist belief assumption to be "true "  that reality is exclusively material physical ? Obviously ...not .

Pfff......Unbelievable
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #32 on: 28/10/2013 00:18:44 »
It took several hundred attempts to clone Dolly the sheep - these failed attempts had a wide variety of outcomes from "failure to implant", up to "death immediately after birth".
but, as they say, "lessons have been learned". Loss of a blastocyst is not an ethical problem, nor is stillbirth or the death of a nonviable infant. One hopes to avoid  such outcomes and indeed successful cloning should do so because we would have full control of the genes and thus the anatomy and physiology of the fetus.

Quote
Dolly, as the first published "success" suffered from premature aging.
another problem to be solved. But until it has been, I can't see why anyone would want to make a defective human by cloning. Note my ethical requirement that the intended outcome should be beneficial to the child - nothing new in that.  Thus

Quote
Creating a baby who would have a severely shortened lifespan
is excluded

Quote
Taking hundreds of [indeed any] donated eggs to be used in cloning experiments without explicit permission from the donors
is automatically excluded by the normal rules of ethics: all tissue must be donated under informed consent.

Quote
I have heard that many women making use of superovulation for assisted fertility are unwilling to donate unwanted eggs for use by those in need of donated eggs.
true but irrelevant - see above
Quote
Potentially creating many deformed babies
a practical problem, but since it is not a desired outcome, the "ethicality" of a procedure will depend on the probable risk of such failure. We already face a routine problem in genetic counselling of those who are at high risk of producing abnormal offspring by the usual process, but have a statutory right to reproduce without limit.
 
Quote
Providing informed consent by the women carrying the cloned child that it would not be genetically their child, that there was a low risk that it would survive to term, and there was a increased risk that the child would be deformed.
see above.
Quote
Despite its problems, if someone genuinely wanted a child, the traditional approach is still highly reliable when compared to the initially unreliable technique of cloning. (Or, at least the traditional risks are widely known and generally accepted.)
except that you don't know what you are going to get. The reason we clone plants, and would like to clone animals, is to remove the uncertainty of natural genetic variability.
 
Quote
In many Western countries, there are laws against reproductive cloning (perhaps for reasons like those mentioned above, or for religious reasons)
religion should never be the basis for determining or restricting the behaviour of others. That is contrary to the most basic principles of ethics.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #33 on: 28/10/2013 23:46:11 »
Somehow things have gotten side-tracked. 
Let's keep to a discussion of cloning & twinning & ramifications of the process.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #34 on: 29/10/2013 17:30:07 »
I see no reason , no need  , utility or justification whatsoever for  any eventual human cloning , especially when one would take into consideration the ethical part of the issue , and the multiple health and other risks that go hand in hand with any attempts to clone  animals, let alone  humans ...despite that relative "success story " regarding the cloning of Dolly the sheep , after way too many failed attempts to do just that ...
Life is not a game to play with ...
« Last Edit: 29/10/2013 17:35:30 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #35 on: 29/10/2013 18:31:30 »
One of the reasons for forced twinning or cloning of animals is controlled clinical trials.  If your subjects can be identical, then at least initial testing might be able to be done with smaller sample groups.

In farming, there is also a temptation to have a "prize bull", for example.  Always have the top quality breeding stock.  To some extent this can be achieved through artificial insemination.  But, there would be benefits of actually having the animal.

And, even with humans, would there be the temptation to have a "baby Einstein".  Or, perhaps a "baby Wilt Chamberlain" ?

But, at this point, I agree that we are better just letting nature run its course.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #36 on: 29/10/2013 18:48:54 »
Every medical intervention is "playing" with life. It just happens that in some cases we know the rules better than in others, but only through experience. For a real lottery with a guaranteed uncertain outcome, try sexual reproduction.

Whilst there are certainly practical problems with mammalian cloning at present, it is wrong to confuse these with the fundamental concepts of right and wrong that underpin ethics. We have plenty of spectacular failures of drug trials (and even licensed pharmaceuticals) and a fair number of undesirable outcomes of surgical research programs, but  since the 1960's all such failures have had prior approval from ethics committees.

The ethical question is, if we could produce clones with at least the success rate of sexual reproduction, why not? "Why" is a valid question but actually irrelevant: a woman is free to choose any sperm donor from those willing and able, so why not choose the genetics of her offspring  with even greater certainty? 

Late edit (following CK's posting)

You have indeed posed a valid "why". If the intention of human cloning is to provide subjects for controlled trials, that would be unethical because every sibling would know that his intended fate is not of his choosing. Twin trials are powerful but rare, and (since Nuremberg) they depend on the voluntary informed consent of both twins. Someone knowingly created for the purpose would be considered to be under some degree of coercion to participate and therefore a priori ineligible, even if he actually wanted to!

The notion of creating a twin for spare parts is even easier to dismiss: the nominated donor would in effect be the possession of the receptor, and therefore legally a slave. The essence of antislavery law is that nobody can own another human - no ethical judgement required.     
« Last Edit: 29/10/2013 18:59:40 by alancalverd »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #37 on: 29/10/2013 20:49:02 »
Quote from: alancalvard
the most basic principles of ethics

Ethics are applied differently in various parts of the world. The job of ethics committees and governments is not an easy one, as they need to consider many factors.
  • Hopefully, their decisions should be a bit more consistent than "it seemed like a good idea at the time"
  • And it should not just be the position of the individual political lobbyist who gets closest to the relevant member of government at the right time
  • Ethics committees and governments certainly need to take public opinion into account
  • Public opinion and practices differ in different countries; my work trades in many countries, and they insist on all employees taking a common ethics course so there is some consistency in practices across different countries.
  • Sources of public opinion are varied and include:
    • Committees formed to review and establish policy
    • Established legislative frameworks (where those work)
    • Perhaps modified by legal precedents established through the courts
    • Religious views (including the opinion of influential religious figures)
    • Political views (including the opinion of influential political figures)
    • Scientific views (including the opinion of influential scientific figures)
    • Practices successfully demonstrated in other countries
    • Increasingly, discussion on Social Media (including discussion forums like this one)
  • Views and Policy are quite distinct from the "scientific facts" (but Policy is hopefully informed by the facts!)
  • ...but Public Opinion can be fickle; if a newspaper editor can get an exclusive story, that individual case can be treated differently, regardless of any prior Policy or Precedents; it may even set a new precedent in that country.
Perhaps one day, we may have an objective way to determine what is the most ethical decision to take in a particular situation.
We currently lack the prerequisite omniscient view; for now we must rely on ethics committees and government policies.
Given the risks of early Human Cloning experiments, these are likely to occur in countries where such oversight is the weakest.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #38 on: 29/10/2013 21:19:16 »
Quote from: alancalvard
the most basic principles of ethics

Ethics are applied differently in various parts of the world. The job of ethics committees and governments is not an easy one, as they need to consider many factors.
  • Hopefully, their decisions should be a bit more consistent than "it seemed like a good idea at the time"
  • And it should not just be the position of the individual political lobbyist who gets closest to the relevant member of government at the right time
  • Ethics committees and governments certainly need to take public opinion into account
  • Public opinion and practices differ in different countries; my work trades in many countries, and they insist on all employees taking a common ethics course so there is some consistency in practices across different countries.
  • Sources of public opinion are varied and include:
    • Committees formed to review and establish policy
    • Established legislative frameworks (where those work)
    • Perhaps modified by legal precedents established through the courts
    • Religious views (including the opinion of influential religious figures)
    • Political views (including the opinion of influential political figures)
    • Scientific views (including the opinion of influential scientific figures)
    • Practices successfully demonstrated in other countries
    • Increasingly, discussion on Social Media (including discussion forums like this one)
  • Views and Policy are quite distinct from the "scientific facts" (but Policy is hopefully informed by the facts!)
  • ...but Public Opinion can be fickle; if a newspaper editor can get an exclusive story, that individual case can be treated differently, regardless of any prior Policy or Precedents; it may even set a new precedent in that country.
Perhaps one day, we may have an objective way to determine what is the most ethical decision to take in a particular situation.
We currently lack the prerequisite omniscient view; for now we must rely on ethics committees and government policies.
Given the risks of early Human Cloning experiments, these are likely to occur in countries where such oversight is the weakest.

Well put , bravo .
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #39 on: 29/10/2013 21:23:59 »
The notion of creating a twin for spare parts is even easier to dismiss: the nominated donor would in effect be the possession of the receptor, and therefore legally a slave. The essence of antislavery law is that nobody can own another human - no ethical judgement required.     
I agree, it is likely a bad idea.

Although, a person can be perfectly healthy with a single kidney, or half of their liver. 
They could even do quite well with a single lung (although I don't think I'd choose to give up half my lung capacity, but I might if it meant the life or death of my father).  Taking some skin off the back?

One could engineer a donor with no self awareness, sentience, whatever, less intelligence than the average garden slug.  Certainly far less intelligent than what was your average meal before it became a meal.  Is it still "slavery"?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #40 on: 30/10/2013 00:31:31 »
Such a donor would not be a clone. We do culture some organs in vitro for autoregrafting - skin works fairly well - but the donor is also the recipient, so no question of coercion arises. There's always a suspicion around live donor allografts and even some supposed cadaver organs. Slavery is about ownership of a person (regardless of he presumed intelligence, sentience or whatever of that person) , not ownership of a gift. So you can donate a bit of yourself, but not a bit of somebody else.   

I'm always very suspicious of religious arguments in ethics committees. Fortunately those of my colleagues who are religious professionals don't raise them as such, since faith is indefensible,  but often bring forward useful examples and lessons from their pastoral work.

Should ethics reflect political views or public opinion? Josef Mengele's experiments certainly did, so I think the answer is no.  The simplest ethical test is "would you do it to your wife?" That usually closes the debate.
« Last Edit: 30/10/2013 00:35:44 by alancalverd »
 

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Re: Is Human Cloning Possible, or is it just Science -Fiction ?
« Reply #40 on: 30/10/2013 00:31:31 »

 

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