SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Monday, March 14, 2005

NINJA SCHOOLING WASHINGTON STATE'S CLONING SUPPORTERS. At Secondhand Smoke, Wesley J. Smith zeroes in on House Bill 1268—a bill promoting human cloning in Washington State. He ably exposes the disturbing implications of this legation.

Some national attention had recently been given to the Senate’s version of cloning legislation—Substitute Senate Bill 5594. (All of which has been blogged about--first, here, and most recently, here.)

HB 1268 is lengthier and has some slight differences from SSB 5594, but in many respects the House version is the clone of the misleading Senate version. Smith goes on to make the comparison:

...at their cores, both the House and Senate bills would permit cloned fetal farming. Like the Senate, the House bill would explicitly permit human cloning. And, like the Senate bill, it would also permit cloned fetal farming by prohibiting the "cloning of a human being," while defining the concept politically (instead of biologically) as implanting the cloned embryo in order to bring about the birth of a cloned baby. Thus, under both bills, if the purpose of cloning and implantation is the gestation of a cloned fetus for use in medical experiments or body part harvesting, no law would be broken.


This is remarkable stuff. But apparently, Old Media/Legacy Media types don’t consider it news. Why not? As Smith goes on to say:

Why are journalists ignoring such an important development in the cloning controversy; and, what do the cloners intend to do with their broad cloning and gestating state licenses?


Indeed, HB 1268 contains some very sweeping langauge. Take Section 5, Sub (4):

Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict areas of biomedical, agricultural, and scientific research not specifically prohibited by this section, including somatic cell nuclear transfer or other cloning technologies to clone molecules, DNA, cells and tissues.


Taking things a step further than the fetal farming Smith describes, what implications does this language have about cloning technologies involving the creation of chimeras--i.e., human-animal hybrid creatures? The broad language of this section appears to give the green light to the unethical engineering of such creatures. Though it shocks the conscience and even seems reminiscent of some adolescent horror/sci-fi flick, some scientists hope to use cloning techniques to produce such human-animal hybrids for further experimentation.

The U.S. Patent Office recently ruled on an application concerning this disturbing concept. (See the Washington Post story, here.) Other outlets—including National Geographic News—have chronicled efforts in this regard. (Smith has a Daily Standard piece on this ,here, and one can also find a re-print of James Bottum‘s 2000 Weekly Standard article “The pig-man cometh,” through Findarticles, here).

Recently, I received from Amazon my copy of Michael Fumento’s book Bioevolution, which highlights all of the many technological and medical breakthroughs and benefits that can come from biotech. Our elected leaders COULD promote all the best aspects of biotech by choosing to improve our state’s overall business climate, in general. THAT would be the best thing they could do for business and biotech. But some members of our legislature have become preoccupied with an ethically disconcerting practice, instead. Why are they instead proposing legislation that would created a class of human life targeted for destruction and harvesting?

At the time of this posting, both bills have yet to come up for floor votes in their respective houses. They should both be strongly opposed.

(Cross-blogged at Sound Politics.)

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

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