• Tue
  • Jul 29, 2014
  • Updated: 9:40pm

Cloning - the short cut to our own extinction

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 January, 2003, 12:00am
 

What happens when people opt for cloning as a method of reproduction?


The gene pool shrinks immediately and genetic variation declines dramatically. From a species rich in genetic diversity we become a species with a limited capacity for genetic change.


Quite apart from the fact that we simply have no idea what inherent problems - including reproductive problems - a cloned person will carry, and these may be substantial over the long if not the short term, nature has a way of putting all sorts of obstacles to survival in the path of species with limited gene pools which lack the capacity to adapt.


A relatively new disease such as Aids is a good example.


Out there right now may be millions of people with an inherent genetic resistance to the next great killer disease. Sadly, by the time the disease strikes, the practice of cloning may have removed that very characteristic from the human gene pool before it was even identified.


The fact is, we have absolutely no idea what the human race as a species will have to deal with over the coming millennia. Nature itself has absolutely no idea.


By ensuring that reproduction can only occur through the combination of DNA from two genetically different individuals, nature has given the human race its very best chance of surviving what the future brings. We, in our misguided quest for that very same end, have now found the short cut to our own extinction.


Perhaps nature, in creating a species clever, yet stupid enough, to have arranged its own destruction, is having the last laugh.


SARAH COHEN


Pokfulam


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