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The Dartmouth
May 30, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Why to Say No to Cloning

Recently I read a news clip dealing with cloning, which with the constant advance of technology has become quite a hot topic over the years. First it was mice, then some other small animal volunteered (sure it did) to have its innards cut out and its cells reorganized, and now the powers that be are thinking humans. So, this being an editorial, I figured I'd throw my two cents in: the concept of cloning humans is ridiculous. Don't try it at home. Don't even try it in high-tech Edinburgh labs (or labORatries as the British would say) for that matter. It's a dangerous door to open -- a Pandora's Box if you will -- and is sure to have dire consequences in the long run.

I figured I'd be the one to tell you this because I present a perfect example of the danger of cloning: you wouldn't want 50 little Ivans running around. Especially when given access to typically American things like free speech, money, and lots and lots of Jolt. This would have detrimental effects on society. If you don't know me, well just take my word for it. Just look at my picture in the green book -- I'm a freak for God's sake, and what you can't see in that picture is that I have no torso due to a cloning experiment gone terribly wrong. And, although I have usually perceived the lack of a midsection as a disadvantage, at least that makes me an authority to speak about this issue.

As if the threat of a colony of Ivans doesn't scare you enough, consider the consequences if cloning powers fell into the wrong hands. I mean, really terrible people, like Rush Limbaugh, or perhaps the bastard who invented calculus. Oh wait, wasn't that Newton and also Einstein? Scratch that, they were cool I guess. Calculus must have just been one of those bad days. But you get my point.

On a more serious note, think of what some evil Eastern European country might do if they were to obtain cloning ability. They'd probably build some underground compound deep in the Rhineland -- I mean, in the middle of nowhere -- and clone their biggest, baddest, and smartest men and women and breed them for generations, resulting in the most kick-ass fighting force since the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Then other countries would have to do the same thing just to keep up -- an arms race except with humans instead of nuclear warheads. We'd have a whole new Cold War, except it would involve tons of countries and this time it would actually lead to fighting. All these countries would think they're tough, except they won't be. So, in order to solve the problem, the US would then have to disclose to the world that they have discovered something ridiculously simple that kills all clones, like country music or liver. Thus the previous few decades will have been made completely worthless. Worse than that, you'll have smart-ass five-year-olds throwing pieces of liver at good, friendly, harmless clones as some sort of sick joke (by then you can imagine the level to which our children's ethics will have slipped).

It's all so glaringly obvious that I can't understand why we haven't already created some sort of anti-human-cloning bill in congress (well, actually, that wouldn't help too much because the damn thing would be debated over for years and never pass, but you get the idea). And, the fact is that even if we did have a law against cloning, the creation of a thriving black market will be unavoidable. And we're not dealing with porn movies or Oakies -- we're talking real live humans. Problems are bound to arise.

And another point: the closest thing we have to clones now are twins. And let's be honest, they can be damn annoying when they're together. So imagine 100 twins rather than two. It's just no fun to walk down the street and see the same person eight times. It loses its luster after Joe Blough #3. The rest are kind of like, ok, I get the idea, now leave me the hell alone. Of course the personality of these clones are going to be different, but having so many people with the same appearance is reason enough to avoid it. And if any of these clones grow up together, it can lead to many smaller social problems and embarrassing moments, including mean dating tricks. Think of how hard it would be to tell them all apart. It would be mass confusion. Anarchy.

And being a fan of organized government, I therefore cannot condone human cloning. You see, every problem has a simple, scientific answer.