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Friday, June 19, 2015

THE STATE OF HUMAN CLONING

A decade ago the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a declaration prohibiting human cloning.  However, showing how trivial the UN has become, the agreement is NON-BINDING.  You check all other countries, and there are loopholes permitting private human cloning activities.  THERE IS NO LAW AGAINST HUMAN CLONING IN THE UNITED STATES.  The Federal Government will not fund this research, but the reason has to do with morality and religion.

Five years ago I published The Science and Future of Cloning in The Huffington Post, and here are  two paragraphs:

Singapore, a former British colony of 4.5 million people, has entered the competition. For all intents and purposes, while a democracy, it is about as close to a benevolent dictatorship as there exists today. The government decides what is best and gets the job done. Biotechnology is a priority area. They created Biopolis, a $300 million, 2 million square foot research center focused on biomedical development, recruiting world class scientists, some who were fed up with the national politics in their own country. Singapore is trying to establish a world sanctuary for stem cell research. While first inaugurated in 2003, Biopolis is already home to scientists from 50 nations.  (While human cloning is being practiced at Biopolis, the present law only allows the production of stem cells for therapeutic purposes.  Based on the pace of cloning development, look for a legal adjustment...soon.)

What about China? Is China a cloning paradise? University of Connecticut animal cloning director Jerry Yang Xiangzhong told The Standard, China's business newspaper, that China can jump ahead of the U.S. in three years if their scientists were given the green light to proceed. His contention is that in much of the developed world scientific progress in this field is hindered by political and religious debates. There is also the moral problem with something called human dignity. Apparently, these difficulties would not be experienced in China. Tragically, Professor "Yang" passed away last year at the age of 49.

So what has happened in China?  Their scientists have created more than 30 cloned embryos, but, again, only for the stem cells.  Will they take the next step to produce a live baby?  All signs say YES!  

To delay the punch line, here is a third paragraph from my HuffPo on the subject:

Okay, let's say someday human reproductive cloning is attained. The concern always comes up about what good this is, as I won't know this will be the real me. Well, it has been speculated that by the time all these bioethical hurdles are cleared, computer technology will be developed to the stage where your memory can be transferred to this new body. The field now exceeds 100 trillion calculations per second (1014 cps), and should be at least ten times faster in a decade, at which capability the brain can be simulated. Such a computer should only cost about $1000 in 2020.

Billionaires will think in those terms, but a country would not.  Should China succeed in cloning humans, why not, then, produce genetically enhanced humans?  In fact, at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, researchers have already genetically engineered embryos.

I don't worry about China getting to Mars first (scroll down to the next posting) nor their conquering the world (today, this is not worthy of your concern).  If China moves ahead to produce super sapiens, and there is no reason why this cannot be accomplished, scientifically, sociologically and politically, that  monumentally changes the future equation for world dominance.  Brilliant minds?  Olympic gold medals?

What action can the United Nations take to prevent the above?  Mind you, there will be an onslaught from a number of countries, and there will be companies and cults, but regarding China, the best the UN can do is to kick them out.  But if the country is on to something, so what.  The world can threaten China with economic sanctions, or, heavens, to attack them on moral, ethical and religious grounds.  These factors are the only ones preventing the U.S., Europe and much of the world from also producing their own super people.

The weight of universal pressure will result in a period of reconsideration by China (and those other nations and entities), but, at some point in the future, human cloning will happen, first for therapeutic purposes.  In time, I would surmise that human cloning will become widespread.  It is inevitable.

Ultimately, maybe not in his century, but probably within this millennium, every human born will max out on physical and intellectual parameters.  Maybe they will be tiny to conserve energy and resources, and perhaps robots will prevail instead to trump the human race, but my prophecy is that Homo sapiens meliusculus will by the year 3000 be heading towards being microscopic and begin to step out into our Galaxy.  As soon as the year 10,000 (and remember, we only invented farming 10,000 years ago) with the discovery of wormholes and taking advantage of dark energy, we could well dominate our Universe.

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