Reports of the first successful human cloning were broadcast on several major news media services on Thursday, January 18, 2008, in the United States. Whether the report from California researcher Dr. Samuel Wood of the first successful human clone is true or not, we know, tragically, that it is not a matter of “if” but “when.”
It is said that the scientists who successfully cloned the sheep “Dolly” warned fellow scientists not to try cloning techniques for producing a human being. In the process of arriving at Dolly, there were so many bizarre and freakish aberrations of a sheep that it indicated that the effects of using similar trial-and-error techniques to clone humans would have grotesque results. But many scientists are not listening.
Human cloning represents the final rejection of God the Father. We can kill human beings without him through abortion and euthanasia, and now we can create human beings without him—or can we?
God has seen fit, in his mysterious ways, to infuse a soul into a body conceived through the perverse acts of rape and incest, and even through unnatural methods such as in vitro fertilization where human sperm and egg are united in a laboratory dish.
But what about infusing a human soul into a human cell scientifically manipulated to generate into a type of “human xerox?” In this case, there is no union of human sperm and egg at all, but rather simply the regenerating of human cells and human DNA to produce a body that looks human.
What exactly am I saying? I’m saying that no scientific process of DNA manipulation can produce a human soul. Only God can create and only God can infuse a human soul, with the powers of universal knowledge and authentic free will, as well as a true human conscience. Is God obliged to infuse a human soul into a man-made human body? I believe the answer might well be, “No.” No, God doesn’t have to infuse a unique personal, immortal soul into a human cloned body. No, God doesn’t have to cooperate with human efforts to replace him as Creator, as if humanity, on its own, has the capacity of creating beings with immortal souls. No, I think God will not tolerate this latest and greatest act of human pride, arrogance, and presumption, which we call human cloning.
The possible result of man’s effort to clone human persons may prove to be something quite inhuman. Science can reproduce the human body, but without God infusing a human soul, what might the end result be? We could have creatures that look human, that perhaps can mirror human behavior, and can even distinguish acts for which they can be rewarded from others acts for which they can be punished. But they may not be human beings.
Apes, dolphins, dogs and cats can be trained to perform these functions. Only the human person is truly free. God has given him the capacity to know on the universal, abstract level the good, the true, and the beautiful, and then to either freely choose them or to freely reject them. But no animal can perform these human functions. No animal has a human soul with the powers of abstraction and volition.
What then might a cloned human be? He might be a soulless creature, without human intellect, human will, human conscience. He might appear human on the outside, but contain no immortal human soul on the inside and the unique, transcendent faculties that can only be given by God. Can you imagine the moral, psychological, societal and spiritual dilemmas that would surround the appropriate response and care for a humanlike creature minus the one component that ultimately makes a human person a human person—a human soul?
Hypothetically, it might be difficult to tell if a cloned human-resembling creature had an eternal soul. Take for example, an unborn child or a severely mentally impaired person incapable of communicating, neither of whom appear to exhibit reason or conscience but who are fully human and possessing a rational soul. The essential moral issue remains does man have the right to generate human life in this way, if it is human life? This raises supplemental ethical dilemmas, such as if science can produce this human-type creature, can it be used for the harvesting of body parts or for menial tasks such as those farm animals perform? Perhaps in light of potential misuse and harm of human cloned creatures we should err towards assuming that God would infuse a human soul. But this does not in itself change the significant possibility that he may not.
There is simply no guarantee that God will infuse a human soul into a human copy and cooperate with man’s idolatry of himself.
The cloning of humans is an unprecedented step in contemporary man’s attempt to usurp the rights and the authority of God. God forgive us. God stop us.