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Thursday, December 23

Cloned Kitty

Cute kitty.
Nine-week-old 'Little Nicky' Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004 in Texas. 'Little Nicky' a successfully cloned cat was sold to Julie by Genetic Savings and Clone for $50,000.

Nicky's birth has sparked ethics debates across the land. Some good reasons given. Some not. Read the article here. Even though many say that the $50,000 could have been spent sheltering homeless cats, no one has a right to tell Julie the owner what to do with her money. The thing that would make me not clone my cat, assuming I had that much money to piss away and I had no ethics problems with cloning, is this:
"Scientists also warn that cloned animals suffer from more health problems than their traditionally bred peers and that cloning is still a very inexact science. It takes many gruesome failures to produce just a single clone."
Gruesome failures? No thanks. In the seminary 14 years ago, cloning was a big topic, a whole semester in moral theology. Our professor was a priest and a scientist. We went over the pros and cons. It really boils down to whether or not this technology will be used for good and for saving lives. It's amazing what people will do for money so I'm not sure I trust my fellow human beings to use this technology for good.

Of course in the Catholic Seminary we had to discuss the 'soul' part of it as well as the scientific and ethics part of it. No one knows what the real story is with souls though. It's all theory and speculation. You can argue if the soul is this, then cloning would mean that or if the soul is that then cloning would mean this till the cows come home.

Very interesting subject though. Invitro fertilizationwas another good moral topic to study as well as stem cell research. The Church had some really good points against invitro, but the main point was god awful and was riddled with holes. I'll talk about that another time. (can you tell that I was raised by a lawyer?) Thought I'd be rolling my eyes in all the moral classes, but since they were taught by scientists, MDs and lawyers who were also priests, it was quite informative and there was nothing black and white about it. No, we didn't learn that "the pope says this, so you must believe this." We were actually invited to participate in the dialogue, do research and make arguments for either side. Not bad, right?

And no, I wouldn't clone my cat. My kitty, who we had to euthanize on election day of all days like it wasn't a horrible enough day, looked like that cat above. We adopted her after the previous kitty who looked like that was hit by a car. You can usually find a cat that looks like a previous cat or has a similar personality in an animal shelter. Cloning pets is not a cause for the greater good, so I would have to argue against it if I were to prepare for a debate on this, which I'm not doing right now.

I would be interested in the cloning of organs to save lives especially if it were my child's life. We've come this far in cloning technology, there's no going back. Let the debates begin. We're in the future now.

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