History of Cloning

What is the history of cloning?

The history of cloning animals is as follows: Cloning of non-mammals was first accomplished in 1952. However, cloning of mammals proved much more difficult, with the first successful clone being the sheep, Dolly in 1996. Dolly died a premature death, probably due to the use of aged chromosomes in her nuclear transfer. Other mammal species followed rapidly, with mice and cows being cloned in 1998, and pigs in 2000. The first cat was cloned in 2001. Rabbits were cloned in 2002 and the first male mammal (a mule) was cloned in 2003. In 2004, a bull was cloned from a previously cloned bull (serial cloning). The first human cloned embryos were not produced until 2001, when a private company Advanced Cell Technology produced 6-cell embryos. However, the first cloned human blastocyst was not produced until 2004 by a group in Korea.

Cloning is classified as research or reproductive cloning. When the embryo is not allowed to live, it is considered research cloning. Otherwise it is classified as reproductive cloning. About ten states have banned reproductive cloning with five banning research cloning. Puerto Rico proposed a worldwide ban of reproductive and research cloning in 2003 through the UN. However, objections by Great Britain and other countries resulted in the proposal being tabled until 2004.

From a Christian Theistic worldview, cloning or intentionally making changes in the human blueprint is playing God. This is something that would not be condoned. Alternatively, from the opposite humanist worldview, human engineering is no more than helping evolution along and it would be negligent not to improve our lot. Our position on this issue like so many other cultural issues is dependent upon our belief on a more fundamental worldview truth. This can be seen in the polarized conflicting views regarding government funding and support or alternatively restrictions and moratoriums.

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