Academic journal article et Cetera

The Clone Chronicles: Chapter 3: The Non-Aristotelian Clone

Academic journal article et Cetera

The Clone Chronicles: Chapter 3: The Non-Aristotelian Clone

Article excerpt

PAUL DENNTTHORNE JOHNSTON*

TODAY, many historians say the clone controversy began long ago on planet Earth when scientists cloned a sheep named "Lambchop." Evidence cited includes laws to prevent human cloning passed in 1999 by the congress of the then USA. These laws, propelled into existence by anticloning hysteria, did not stop cloning. Pro-cloner lawyers crept into the fray with delaying skirmishes, one after another. The battle over the clone question had begun.

Powerful business interests advocated cloning: those who could profit by manufacturing human spare parts, and many others who wanted cheap labor. Anti-cloners formed a motley group of status-quo seekers from left to right who generally despised one another but had united for the cause.

In an early non-landmark case, high-profile attorney Shari Shep argued, "Clones, a manufactured product, are not humans. Therefore the 'cloning of humans' is an oxymoron. The correct term for the cloning process is the 'cloning of clones.' Therefore, laws relating to the 'cloning of humans' bear no relation to the cloning of artificially created human-like entities and the 'cloning of clones' violates no legal prohibitions."

That day cynical Washington columnist Ambrose Pierce wrote, "Politicians urge the prevention of human cloning, not for moral reasons, but to get on the fear-of-cloning bandwagon. We have nothing to gain but fear itself, and a good fear always gets votes."

The courts have debated the clone question for some two centuries. While nations have come and gone, while planets have undergone colonization, de-colonization, occasional creation or de-creation, while scientists have seen quantum theory vindicated and then superseded, the courts have continued to hand down complicated decisions. These edicts invariably required further interpretation by the courts.

Meanwhile, big business practiced the cloning of clones. The development of successful cloning did not occur without pain and suffering. Particularly on the part of the clones. Slowly, scientists conquered such problems as:

Early deaths. Many early clones died for no apparent reason. Later, certain causes became apparent, but no one knew what to do about them. Philosophers said that clones lacked the human essence, the will to survive, while technicians attributed the deaths to software bugs.

Defective clones. Countless clones developed physical or mental defects and had to be terminated and recycled. These deaths severely distressed clone hosts, although pro-cloners pooh-poohed their grief as "sentimental eyewash." Bad Nature, a pro-cloner tabloid, adopted the slogan, "Clones don't hurt like humans do." To them, that fact that clone hosts were humans didn't seem to matter.

Dying hosts. Many clone hosts died. (Political correctness had phased out the term "mother" because of its gender bias.)

Hosts' health destroyed. Other hosts suffered irreversible health damage during gestation or birth.

Scientists eliminated the need for human hosts with introduction of the synthetic womb or "uterine capsule." Like many technological advances, this brought objections from those with vested interest in the status quo. Workers went on strike, including members of the Worthy Order of Mothering Brotherhood Sisters and the union of Post Nasal Clone Caretakers (so-called because of a typo in their constitution, the typesetter should have written "Natal"). Such strikes caused many deaths through lack of maintenance of life support systems, but they did not curb the new technology.

Many questions about clone life and living remain legally unresolved to this day, although virtual evangelists now have the answer, and philosophers, as usual, have at least two.

The individual who would eventually become accidental leader of the clones, Pang Lawws, summed up these conundrums in his address to the unforgettable Million-clone March 15th Symposium. …

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