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> Successful Human Embryo Clone
rainbowbrat
post Jan 18 2008, 04:28 PM
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/1675602.stm

QUOTE
"Our intention is not to create cloned human beings but rather to make lifesaving therapies for a wide range of human disease conditions, including diabetes, strokes, cancer, Aids, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease."


For this purpose I am glad they have done it. A cure for cancer, and many other dieseases would be awesome. But in the same sense...even though they are clones, aren't they still alive? Wouldn't that be cruel?

I like the idea of clones, but my only concern would be if they did start making it so they cloned them to grow up to be humans (intentional or not). I would think that if the clones grew up, wouldn't that in a sense make us Gods? We created the life and not of the womb, and also, would they be exactly like us, or would they be missing something? (does that make sense?)

I was reading some place else that they said that this could be the beginning of human egg farm, but I doubt that. Then again, I could see it for those who can not get pregnant, and for those who are willing to do anything to their body for a quick buck (ok, a few thousand, but still) I would hope they would not use it as a human egg farm, this world is already overpopulated...just adopt a child ffs!

On top of that, they are saying that the government (US) may just outlaw cloning all together. I don't think they should...in the name of science, they should reconsider that...if it is going to help cure diseases, then why stop?

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JudasOne
post Jan 18 2008, 04:32 PM
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I'm all for clones. I want at least one or two for the healthy organs (ala the Island). Also I could actually be in two places at the same time and that means I could stay out west while my clone kept working. You do remember that is why I'm Judas0ne right? So my clone can be #two and then #3....
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rainbowbrat
post Jan 18 2008, 04:39 PM
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You didn't answer anything about the diseases or the egg farm...put some serious thought into it!

I wanna know what people really think...although, your post was funny...but still...do you think there would be fall backs using the clones? Would it REALLY be an advantage? Would it be cruel to use them as lab animals?

Explain Mr.!


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JudasOne
post Jan 18 2008, 05:04 PM
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SOrry I didn't respond to everything. Some opints I will take time to think about before replying. But seriously I'm all for it, I don't know aboutusing them as lab rats but they'd make good soldiers that noone would miss.
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Fox
post Jan 18 2008, 05:08 PM
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US is thinking of outlawing it is it? No doubt under pressure from religious fundamentalists. And I mean "no doubt" in the "that IS the problem" terms. Secular society? bah!

Hopefully they'll get their act together though because this is great research and opens up huge new opportunites. It's been a good week medically - there's a study which has highlighted the cause for childhood luekemia.


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rainbowbrat
post Jan 18 2008, 06:01 PM
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It's ridiculous they wanna outlaw it.
Hopefully it will do the same thing the brits did, and the vote won't pass allowing them to continue research.


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Resurrection
post Jan 18 2008, 06:27 PM
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Whether you want to outlaw it or not, you've got to admit this raises some serious philosophical and ethical questions. I mean, are they real people? Should they be treated the same? Do they have souls? (Do normal people even have souls?) Should we be acting as God (as RB put it)? Remember Frankenstein?

Also, how exactly are they going to find cures for diseases from theses clones? Are they going to test drugs on them?


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rainbowbrat
post Jan 18 2008, 06:29 PM
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QUOTE(Resurrection @ Jan 18 2008, 10:27 AM) *



Also, how exactly are they going to find cures for diseases from theses clones? Are they going to test drugs on them?


I would assume so. That's the only way they can test things.

And keep in mind, they are not humans...they are embryos...and what i was wondering was since they are just embryos, wouldn't that make a difference in outcomes for grown/real humans?


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Resurrection
post Jan 18 2008, 06:32 PM
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^Not exactly sure what you mean by that...


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Fox
post Jan 18 2008, 06:37 PM
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Testing drugs is one thing but the ability to clone human cells is a technique to research on its own. Theoretically it opens possibilities of growing back limbs that have been lost or repariing brain damage. It also gives a more readilly available source of stem cells.

And no, humans (most likely) dont have souls - it is a scientific no-no. We have the illusion of a "sense of self" but the dualist idea of a soul - whilst quite a nice one - is not backed up by any evidence.

Edit: parentheses added


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rainbowbrat
post Jan 18 2008, 06:40 PM
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QUOTE(Resurrection @ Jan 18 2008, 10:32 AM) *

^Not exactly sure what you mean by that...


I mean...wouldn't the results be different because they are not humans...it's an embryo...with human charcteristics still developing.

QUOTE
Testing drugs is one thing but the ability to clone human cells is a technique to research on its own. Theoretically it opens possibilities of growing back limbs that have been lost or repariing brain damage. It also gives a more readilly available source of stem cells.


The stem cells is one of ther main purposes for doing so. It would be awesome if they could grow back limbs and repair brain damage.

As for the brain: They have brought a rat brain back to life, but they haven't tried it on humans yet.


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Resurrection
post Jan 18 2008, 08:08 PM
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QUOTE(Fox @ Jan 18 2008, 01:37 PM) *

Testing drugs is one thing but the ability to clone human cells is a technique to research on its own. Theoretically it opens possibilities of growing back limbs that have been lost or repariing brain damage. It also gives a more readilly available source of stem cells.

But like I said, it is ethically questionable. Creating fellow humans for the purpose of testing drugs on them, and if they die...oh well?

QUOTE(Fox @ Jan 18 2008, 01:37 PM) *

And no, humans (most likely) dont have souls - it is a scientific no-no. We have the illusion of a "sense of self" but the dualist idea of a soul - whilst quite a nice one - is not backed up by any evidence.

Ah, but that is precisely the nature of the philosophical idea of a soul--immaterial, and therefore intangible. Doesn't science concern itself with physical processes? I understand where you are coming from, but I find it unreasonable to conclude that something doesn't exist even though it can't be proven in the first place.

QUOTE(rainbowbrat @ Jan 18 2008, 01:40 PM) *

I mean...wouldn't the results be different because they are not humans...it's an embryo...with human charcteristics still developing.

I suppose they could wait until they are older and developed, couldn't they? It might take years, though.


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Fox
post Jan 18 2008, 08:22 PM
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It's a little like the deabte I'm having on another forum about the death penalty. Funnily enough I'm forced to have a big think about my views. I'm against the death penalty - killing the guilty to protect the innocent, but strongly advocate medical research like this - which, it could be argued, kills the innocent to protect the innocent.

The big question here is this: "Where do you draw the line of what is sentient and what is not?" It's exactly the same as the abortion debate. If we decided that for the first 12 weeks it was not deeloped enough to be technically alive and those whobelieved in a soul agreed it didn't have one until 12 weeks, abortion before that and research like this would be a much lesser problem.

Scientifically the classification is something like 20 weeks? I'm not sure exactly. So anything before that it is ethical to do what you like. The problem comes with the belief that something is sentient before that. Or even not sentient, alot think that just because it is "alive" it is worth saving - and not just the religious I admit.

Personally I don't think an embryo counts as "alive". It is of our species but it hasn't developed yet. If we can't kill an embryo, why stop there? Why not outlaw masturbation - think of all that wasted sperm, all that potential life! Some people draw the line at conception - I think it is later than that. I don't think we can hold back life-saving research because of this question. If we can all agree that the means are inherently evil, THEN we can get onto the "do the ends justify the means" debate. But as we're not sure on that, why put at risk those who might benefit?

I think if you do hold cloned embryos in the "truly alive" esteem then you have to put them on par, not with full grown and fully developed humans, but of rats (for example). Maybe even lower than rats. Rats can feel pain, embryos cannot. They have not the hint of a developed brain, ergo they have no pain centre. Personally I believe it more ethical to experiment on these embryos then on lab rats.

Also:
QUOTE
but I find it unreasonable to conclude that something doesn't exist even though it can't be proven in the first place.


That's why i added "highly likely" that we dont have souls. It IS unreasonable to conclude for certain that something liek a soul doesn't exist because of its supernatural nature. But prove to me that unicorns do not exist. Prove to me that our universe is not just a dream of a child in another universe. These are exactly the same principles of the soul.

QUOTE
Doesn't science concern itself with physical processes?


Science concerns itself by what is here, what is tangible. I believe, if there IS a soul, it is tangible in someway. We can discover the nature of it. If something exists it is not supernatural, it is natural, and abides by some natural law - even it it is one we don't know of yet. There are scientific theories about a 4th, 5tm all the way up to an 11th dimension. Maybe the "soul" if there is one, exists in one of these. Either way, I don't buy the idea that questions about the supernatural are beyond science. They are merely still in the "unsolved" pile.


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Resurrection
post Jan 18 2008, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE(Fox @ Jan 18 2008, 03:22 PM) *

If we can't kill an embryo, why stop there? Why not outlaw masturbation - think of all that wasted sperm, all that potential life!

I'd say that we have no obligation to procreate, but once we do, we can't just change our minds and decide to rid the world of an embryo. And what exactly is the scientific basis for considering something "alive" only after twenty weeks? Doesn't it start to develop immediately following conception?

QUOTE(Fox @ Jan 18 2008, 03:22 PM) *

If something exists it is not supernatural, it is natural, and abides by some natural law - even it it is one we don't know of yet.

How do you come to this conclusion? If God exists, which I would consider an issue comparable to that of the soul, isn't he supernatural? "And by natural" do you mean "physical"?

QUOTE(Fox @ Jan 18 2008, 03:22 PM) *

I think if you do hold cloned embryos in the "truly alive" esteem then you have to put them on par, not with full grown and fully developed humans, but of rats (for example). Maybe even lower than rats. Rats can feel pain, embryos cannot. They have not the hint of a developed brain, ergo they have no pain centre. Personally I believe it more ethical to experiment on these embryos then on lab rats.

I would probably feel the same way if I were an atheist, but I'm not. The Bible says that God gave man authority over all other organisms, so from this perspective it would be more ethical to experiment on rats. Not much to debate here. Nice random Latin btw biggrin.gif


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steiner
post Jan 18 2008, 10:28 PM
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This is great news!

Hopefully we will soon be able to use it to save many lives. The thing to remember here is that these embryo's cant feel pain. Essentially, they're just a ball of cells, but a very useful, potentially life saving ball of cells.

QUOTE
And what exactly is the scientific basis for considering something "alive" only after twenty weeks? Doesn't it start to develop immediately following conception?

Pretty much yes. Twenty weeks is the point at which a foetus can survive outside the body. Personally, I think it should be brought forward by about 10 weeks since after that all the organs have formed and I consider it to be almost human.


But I see no problem using embryos to help others. Firstly, they cannot feel pain at all, and there is obviously no consciousness. If you feel you are somehow denying something the right to live, you could say exactly the same for every single sperm and egg in the world. I have no sympathy for the death of my own sperm because they cannot sense anything. Likewise, I feel no sympathy for these embryos.


At that point in time, embryos are essentially insensitive objects that have the ability become conscious people at a later time. But so is every sperm and so is every egg.


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Resurrection
post Jan 18 2008, 10:37 PM
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But sperm and egg are not truly alive, are they?

I don't believe in masturbation or artificial birth control anyway.


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steiner
post Jan 18 2008, 11:12 PM
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QUOTE(Resurrection @ Jan 18 2008, 10:37 PM) *

But sperm and egg are not truly alive, are they?

I don't believe in masturbation or artificial birth control anyway.

But even if you dont masturbate, your body automatically destroys sperm cells and replaces them frequently anyway. Also, do you believe that women having periods is wrong? If periods occur, then eggs are wasted - it can be seen as prevention of life.

And yes, technically, by scientific definitions sperm and eggs are not alive. Whether an embryo is alive is debatable. But the sensitivity of an embryo is comparable to the sensitivity of an amoeba. In other words, its non existant. So I'd also say that the embryo is definitely not truly alive.

I dont see what makes an embryo any more alive than a sperm or an egg.


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Marblefist
post Jan 19 2008, 09:41 AM
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QUOTE
But even if you dont masturbate, your body automatically destroys sperm cells and replaces them frequently anyway. Also, do you believe that women having periods is wrong? If periods occur, then eggs are wasted - it can be seen as prevention of life.

That is a good arguement, but i believe that as soon as the embryo is formed that there may not be life as we know it but there is the potential of life. If left alone the embryo will grow into a child with what we consider as feelings. IMO its unethical, as was previously mentioned, to experiment or kill the innocent for other innocents. If they really want to hold tests on people use murderers instead of killing them.

As Steiner pointed out, not doing the above things doesn't mean life isn't being prevented as it were. As a Christian, artificial birth control being forbidden is just plain silly, especially in places such as Africa where families, as a result, end up having more children than they can actually handle.


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Resurrection
post Jan 19 2008, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE(steiner @ Jan 18 2008, 06:12 PM) *

I dont see what makes an embryo any more alive than a sperm or an egg.

When a sperm and egg join together to form the zygote, doesn't it now have a full set of genes and doesn't it start developing? Even if it can't feel anything, experimenting on them for this reason would be like numbing a fully grown human and cutting off their arm in order to perform some experiment. Whether or not something has a nervous system is irrelevant, it is still alive. Are you willing to say that an amoeba is not alive?


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Fox
post Jan 19 2008, 01:50 PM
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Are you saying we should not experiment on an amoeba?

As for the "potential life" argument, I don't buy it at all. If you use that thinking then every time you resist the urge to have sex you are denying potential life. I assume you are both against IVF as well for those who cannot concieve? It's lose lose here, becuawe if you deny IVF treatment you are explicitly "denying future life", but if you agree with it you are saying it's OK to kill other embryo's in order to do it, as IVF involvs planting up to 6 eggs in the womb - of which only one or two will usually survive.

And Resurrection: If something exists, I don't consider it supernatural. If it is real in any sense greater than an idea then it has properties and attributes. Therefore it is a part of what is natural. When you say "physical" you imply something you can feel or touch - I use the terms physical and natural to describe laws of nature as well. Gravity, laws of motion, natural selection. Even morals can be looked at rationally and be considered "natural".

QUOTE
I would probably feel the same way if I were an atheist, but I'm not. The Bible says that God gave man authority over all other organisms, so from this perspective it would be more ethical to experiment on rats.


This is something that bugs me. It is more ethical to experiemnt on something that can feel pain then something that cannot. The argument is an embryo is "human". Well...it isn't. It hasn't even developed survival instincts yet because it doesn't have a brain. It cant feel, it cant sense, if it wasn't for the fact it was growing it would be classified "dead".

Until an embryo has developed human it does not have any of the charecteristics of sentient life. Until it has developed a brain and nervous system it is, for all intents and purposes, a plant.

Do you take the Bible literally at whatever it says or metaphorically?


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