With the birth of “Dolly,” a sheep cloned from an adult-sheep tissue cell, a seemingly fantastic technique once confined to the fertile imaginations of science fiction writers has suddenly become present reality, and a host of new ethical, social, policy, and religious dilemmas looms on the immediate horizon. What is the potential of animal cloning in the research and treatment of human disease? What are the scientific facts as opposed to the public perception of cloning? Will it be possible to clone human beings in the near future? If so, what are the moral implications? Are scientists playing God? Should the government regulate a scientific technique that might otherwise be abused?
These are a few of the profound questions addressed in this timely collection of the most significant articles on the subject of cloning. Michael Ruse and Aryne Sheppard have selected writings by leading scientists, medical ethicists, healthcare specialists, philosophers, and representatives of various religious denominations to create an overview of the many issues raised by this amazing scientific advance. Divided into ten sections, Cloning begins with the history of the technique leading up to the birth of Dolly. The next section considers the possible uses and abuses of plant and animal bioengineering, followed by several sections on human cloning: the scientific facts, arguments for and against, and the social and medical implications of human cloning. Also included are five official denominational statements on cloning, various religious perspectives, and articles on policy considerations and proposed regulation.
In breadth of coverage and quality of the contributions, there is no comparable volume to this excellent collection on one of the most important issues of the new century.