Human Exceptionalism

Ian Wilmut Actively Promoting Reproductive Cloning

The man who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep–he didn’t do the actual cloning–has come out in favor of reproductive cloning for therapeutic purposes. That is, he would like to use cloning and genetic engineering to eradicate serious inherited disease.

Wilmut has always been interested in genetic engineering. A veterinarian, he first worked on cloning to permit animals to be genetically engineered so as to provide therapeutic substances in their milk. He once said he had no interest in human cloning, but that assertion became inoperative when his animal cloning project went bust. Now he works in human cloning research at Edinburgh University.

The slippery slope is sliding away even before we know whether humans can actually be cloned. And of course, even if we could do “therapeutic” reproductive cloning, it wouldn’t be very long before the solipsistic began to demand the right to enhance their offspring to fit parental desires–backed by many bioethicists and members of the scientific establishment who only oppose reproductive cloning now because it isn’t “safe.”

I agree with the United Nations General Assembly that voted by a 3-1 margin urging member states to “prohibit all forms of human cloning inasmuch as they are compatible with human dignity and the protection of human life.”