Although the advancement in cloning could hold many benefits, they may be outweighed by the disadvantages. Author Lewis Thomas analyzes the necessary elements for cloning a human being to expound on the theory. Lewis argues that cloning removes the pleasure associated with procreation without changing the eventuality of death. So, the person cloned can only observe his clone enjoy the experience of growing up while he continues to age. Also, it would not be the same as the feeling for a son or daughter.
Thomas indicates the person cloned could not view the clone “as anything but an absolute, desolate orphan” (52). There is also the risk that the procedure will not follow the agenda. Thomas describes it as “raising one’s self from infancy” and wonders whether the clone might turn out to be “an incorrigible juvenile delinquent” (52). After dealing with the rather intimate issues of cloning, Thomas shifts his view to address the more social concerns: Who is to be selected, and on what qualifications?
How to handle the risks of misused technology, such as self-determined cloning by the rich and powerful but socially objectionable, or the cloning by governments of dumb docile masses for the world’s work? What will be the effect on all the uncloned rest of us of human sameness? Society tends to ignore the fact that clones will question their existence, and assumes they will accept their presence as inferior, which is not entirely true. The idea that cloning will create a world full of identical faces, which have identical minds and identical thoughts, is impractical.
However, that does not mean there is nothing to fear about the development of cloning. Thomas goes on to prove that there is a very slim chance of successfully cloning every single feature of an individual. He explains that the time required for such an experiment causes several problems, and even if the time was available, it would be impossible recreate the environment necessary to replicate someone. Thomas argues that it would require a lot of effort to clone just one person, and the factors of time and environment make it impossible to completely duplicate an individual (53).
Buxton, Jess, and Jon Turney. The Rough Guide to Genes & Cloning. London and New York: Penguin, 2007. Print. Cohen, Eric. “The Human Difference. ” Commentary 22. 5 (2006): 37(6). General Onefile. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. Marzilli, Alan. Stem Cell Research and Cloning. New York: Chelsea, 2007. Print. Palka, Joe. “Human Cloning May Be Just Around the Corner. ” All Things Considered. Nat’l. Public Radio, 22 Feb 2007. Web. 31 Oct. 2012. Thomas, Lewis. The Medusa and the Snail. New York: Viking Penguin, 1974. Print.