Science Fiction is Not-So Fictional Anymore

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Did you ever see the movie The 6th Day, with Arnold Schwarzenegger? It’s an action movie, in which he comes home one day to find a clone of himself living with his family, is then chased by a bunch of cloned assassins and finally traces the attacks to the creator of the clones, who is himself a clone. Well the movie starts out highlighting the popular practice of commercial animal cloning for those who have lost their pets. Here is the commercial for “Re-pet”

While scientists have been cloning animals for several years now, the idea of commercial pet cloning still sounds pretty ridiculous — but it’s actually being done today. In January, TLC aired what essentially was a one hour infomercial for the dog cloning industry called “I Cloned My Pet.” It followed three dog owners through the process of having their recently deceased pets cloned by scientists in Korea. Both Nightline and Anderson Cooper featured one of the pet owners on their programs in the run-up to the TLC show.

Here is the Nightline piece that, unlike the TLC show, actually mentioned some of the “highly controversial” issues about the dog cloning industry, including accusations of animal cruelty and the slippery slope toward human reproductive cloning.
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What about human cloning? I finally got around to watching a movie that came to my attention nearly two years ago. Never Let Me Go is based on a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro about a group of friends from an English “boarding school” who find out that they are actually clones who were born and raised to provide organ transplants. The trailer:

Once again, the premise sounds outrageous, but, scientists are already cloning human embryos with the hope of being able to use their stem cells to treat all kinds of illnesses and disabilities. There’s no way scientists are not at all interested in progressing this research beyond the petri-dish and into the womb, as they have with animal cloning. We have very clearly entered an “anything goes” era, in which there are no permanent boundaries, especially in the name of science and medicine.

I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen, but, that’s definitely the direction we’re headed as this research becomes more efficient. President George W. Bush was absolutely correct when he said in 2002:

“Anything other than a total ban on human cloning would be virtually impossible to enforce. Cloned human embryos created for research would be widely available in laboratories and embryo farms. Once cloned embryos were available, implantation would take place. Even the tightest regulations and strict policing would not prevent or detect the birth of cloned babies.”

Unfortunately there is no such ban here in the United States.

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