[P. J.] [RU] [FR]


The agitation around cloning (and especially cloning humans) that has recently blown over the press is mainly due to sheer misunderstanding. Cloning is nothing but yet another way of biological reproduction, which is not too different from the traditional method. It does not matter how the complete set of chromosomes has been put into the egg cell, as long as further development of that cell proceeds in the usual way. Sexual reproduction, artificial impregnation, gemmation or cloning can equally serve as a possible starting point.

It is often said that the reproduction of the same genome can be destructive for the species. Yes, it can, provided that organic development cannot be consciously controlled and directed, and there is no efficient mechanism of eliminating defective genes. Advanced gene engineering and active growth control could produce the opposite effect, making the species genetically richer, healthier and stronger. Anyway, nobody will drive the humanity to reproducing a single genome by cloning, as there are billions of acceptable genomes and practically infinity of their combinations.

The media spread fears that using cloned organisms for alimentation can be harmful. Why? The process of digestion does not depend on the reproduction scheme, it is the final result that matters, and hence foodstuffs produced by cloning have exactly the same alimentary value; all the possible harm comes from various degenerate tissues, which are much less likely to appears in cloned animals.

Here comes the sinister picture of the army of absolutely identical people cloned for some malignant purpose. But human subjectivity has nothing to do with biology, being entirely determined by the economic and social factors. Biologically equal people may become quite different personalities, when brought up in different social environments; mass poverty and mass culture are much more dangerous in that respect. The body is neutral to the mind as long as there are no physical disabilities or impairments that can cripple the soul under certain social conditions; but this is exactly the physical imperfection that is to be overcome by cloning and genetic control.

Well, there are a few real "dangers". Cloning may come disastrous to those who try to keep their grip on the leverage of social control. Thus, with the agricultural products getting cheaper and more accessible, it will no longer be possible to stifle people with hunger. This will also damp the prices in the other fields of economy, which would threaten the very economic organization of today; capitalists would rather provoke yet another global crisis and condemn millions to death, than admit better living conditions for everybody.

Women will become more economically and socially independent, since they will not need men for reproduction, and the whole male population will become biologically superfluous, which might lead to its complete extermination. The practice of using only female genetic material would stimulate lesbian love, which is, in general, much safer than sex in mixed or male homosexual pairs.

The myth about the lawfulness of inheritance will be knocked down once again. When sexual intercourse bears no reproductive significance, the tales of the "blue blood" will have to confront the new reality, and it will be hard to adapt them to the world, where physical reproduction is no more mysterious than buying a new car.

These are the "dangerous" aspects of cloning and genetic engineering; but, sincerely, all that does not drastically change the way of human reproduction. A true revolution in this field needs eliminating the very necessity of a female organism to give birth to a child; the whole process of organic development will thus be taken under control. Individuals that are produced artificially in the special incubators will be free to adapt their bodies to any specific needs, changing or even entirely redesigning their physiology. This will bring forth yet inconceivable changes in economy and social organization, incomparable to those resulting from the practice of cloning.

[Assorted Notes] [Unism]