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Evolution, Human Cloning, and Stem Cells

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The drive toward human cloning is being powered by a selfish mythical right to ... Supposedly more ethical than reproductive cloning, the aim of which is at ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Evolution, Human Cloning, and Stem Cells


1
Evolution, Human Cloning, and Stem Cells
  • Dr. Ray Bohlin
  • Probe Ministries
  • www.probe.org
  • rbohlin_at_probe.org

2
If we can clone sheep and mice, can we, should
we, clone humans?
3
Sociobiology (Evolutionary Psychology)
  • How does an evolutionary world view put together
    the complicated puzzle of human nature? Culture,
    religion, altruism, human value, etc.

4
Evolutionary Principles
  • An organism strives to survive and reproduce.
  • The species persists through time not individuals
  • Nature selects from random variations.
    mutation/natural selection

5
Sociobiology (Evolutionary Psychology)
  • Biological Basis of All Social Behavior

6
Sociobiology (Evolutionary Psychology)
  • The chicken is simply an eggs way of making
    another egg.
  • The organism is simply DNA's way of making more
    DNA.

7
Human Social Systems Have Evolved
  • The Reproductive Imperative
  • (survival and reproduction)

8
Human Social Systems Have Evolved
  • Why do we love our children?
  • It is an effective means of producing effective
    reproducers.

9
The Individual Is Meaningless
  • Over evolutionary time, it is species survival
    that matters, not individual survival.
  • The organism is just DNAs way of making more DNA.

10
All Behavior Is Basically Selfish
  • No species, ours included, possesses a purpose
    beyond the imperatives created by its own genetic
    history. . . We have no particular place to go.
    The species lacks any goal external to its own
    biological nature.
  • E. O Wilson (1978)

11
Personal Worth and Dignity?
  • All behavior is ultimately selfish
  • Personal survival and reproduction are all that
    matter
  • The individual is meaningless
  • Species survival is the ultimate goal

12
The Search for Significance
  • hope and meaning
  • (survival and reproduction)
  • HOPE AND MEANING
  • (worth and dignity)

13
Total Truth
http//www.gnpcb.org/sites/total.truth/
14
Ovulation
15
Zona Pellucida
16
Fertilization
17
Zygote
18
2 Cell Stage
19
Blastomere
20
Blastocyst
21
Review
22
(No Transcript)
23
Cloning Dolly
starved
fusewith
Mammary gland cell
enucleated egg
potential embryo
24
Scientific Issues - Sheep
  • Inefficient - 277 fusions, 1 lamb
  • How long will Dolly live?
  • Will Dolly be fertile? Yes!
  • Other clones are large and fragile with subtle
    genetic abnormalities
  • Some questioned Dollys authenticity but this was
    answered recently.

25
Why Clone Animals?
  • Sheep are being cloned to reproduce genetically
    engineered sheep. These sheep are engineered to
    mass produce human proteins in their milk.

26
Why Clone Humans?
  • Doug Dorner, sterile because of leukemia
    treatment at age 16 The more he read the more
    excited he got. Technology saved my life when I
    was 16, he says, but at the cost of his
    fertility. I think technology should help me
    have a kid. Thats a fair trade. Time,
    2/19/2001, p. 51

27
Why Clone Humans?
  • Randolphe Wicker, 63 I can thumb my nose at
    Mr. Death and say, You might get me, but youre
    not going to get all of me, he says. The
    special formula that is me will live on into
    another lifetime. Its a partial triumph over
    death. I would leave my imprint not in sand, but
    in cement.

28
Why Clone Humans?
  • Jack Barker, Minneapolis marketing specialist,
    36, says, Ive come to the conclusion that I
    dont need a partner but can still have a child,
    he says. A clone would be the perfect child to
    have because I know exactly what Im getting.
  •  
  • Cloning, he hopes, might even let him improve on
    the original I have had bad allergies and
    asthma. It would be nice to have a kid like you
    but with those improvements. p. 55.

29
Why Clone Humans?
  • Why not? Were just another animal species?
  • Children for childless couples

30
Why Clone Humans?
  • Some have suggested that cloning could replace a
    deceased child

31
Why Clone Humans?
  • Cloning could create extra copies of desirous
    individuals

32
Biblical Principles
  • Genesis 126-28
  • Created in Gods Image
  • Therefore we are distinct from the animals
  • Stewardship
  • Exhortation to be fruitful and multiply

33
Naturalistic/Evolutionary Principles
  • An organisms sole purpose is to survive and
    reproduce
  • We are just another animal species
  • The species persists through time

34
What is Life?
  • There is no clear-cut definition for what is
    life. And this is something, I think, that
    society is going to have to think about, is going
    to have to make some definitions. And those
    definitions may not be permanent, they may change
    as new technologies are developed. There is a
    fine line, and the line, at the early stages, is
    really based on your intentions of what they are
    to be used for as opposed to necessarily what
    they are.

35
What is Life?
  • So the question of what is life seems to change,
    I think, in peoples minds based on what their
    concerns are or their own interests are in how we
    might use whatever it is we are producing.
  • James Robl, Quoted in The Cloning Revolution,
    Films for the Humanities and Sciences (1998)

36
Violation of Human Dignity
  • Distinctions between man and animals
  • Child becomes a thing to be designed, sold and
    marketed

37
Human Experimentation
  • No matter how much animal experimentation is
    done, human embryos will be sacrificed

38
Cloned Expectations
  • People cloned for certain traits will have high
    expectations
  • Clones are identical twins, not parent and child

39
Summary
  • Tremendous waste of human life at embryonic
    stages.
  • Degradation of human dignity - humans
    designed/created for purposes other than
    procreation.
  • Dangerous family situations
  • Unwise personal expectations
  • Beneficial research goals achievable by other
    means.

40
The drive toward human cloning is being powered
by a selfish mythical right to total reproductive
freedom and further fueled by a profound lack of
moral courage on the part of science and society.
We are unwilling to say that there are some
experiments we will not perform.
41
Questions about Cloning
  • Will Clones be unique individuals?
  • Does a clone have to start as a baby?
  • Will cloning affect genetic diversity?
  • Can homosexuals use cloning to have children?
  • Will clones have a soul?

42
(No Transcript)
43
What Are Stem Cells?
  • Stem cells are specialized cells that can produce
    several different kinds of cells
  • Just like the stem of a plant will produce
    branches, leaves, and flowers, so stem cells can
    usually produce many different kinds of cells.

44
What Are Adult Stem Cells?
  • Over one trillion cells in your body. Most will
    only divide a few times.
  • Specialized stem cells continually produce new
    cells in certain tissues.
  • There are skin, bone marrow, liver, muscle, etc.
    stem cells.
  • These are adult stem cells.
  • No ethical difficulties

45
What Are Embryonic Stem Cells?
  • Blastocyst Inner Cell Mass
  • The Inner Cell Mass eventually forms all the
    cells of the body. These are embryonic stem cells
    (ESC).
  • In order to retrieve them, the embryo is
    destroyed.
  • Human ESC have been obtained from leftover
    embryos from fertility clinics potential immune
    rejection
  • Many researchers attempt to refer to these as
    simply reproductive cells.

46
What Can Stem Cells Be Used For?
  • It is hoped that stem cells can be used to treat
    and even cure diseases like diabetes,
    Parkinsons, Alzheimer's, and brain and spinal
    injuries.
  • Embryonic stem cells offer the most hope since we
    know they can become any cell in the body.

47
The Promise of Adult Stem Cells
  • You can harvest adult stem cells from the
    individual to be treated. Therefore, there are no
    rejection problems.
  • Adult stem cells can switch tissues.
  • Adult stem cells migrate throughout the body in
    the blood.
  • The discovery of the ultimate adult stem cell
    was announced 1/23/02

48
The Promise of Adult Stem Cells
  • In 2003 the National Institutes of Health spent
    190 million on adult stem cell research and 25
    million on embryonic stem cell research
  • Clinical trials are already underway using bone
    marrow (adult) stem cells for treatment of heart
    attacks, liver disease, diabetes, bone and
    cartilage disease and brain disorders.
  • Adult stem cells can even be injected
    intravenously in large quantities and they will
    migrate to where the injury is located.

49
The Problem with Embryonic Stem Cells
  • The embryo must be destroyed.
  • The proper chemical signals to direct stem cells
    to turn into the cells you want are unknown.
  • Human ESC have been coaxed to differentiate but .
    . .
  • Immune rejection
  • In China a man with Parkinson's was treated with
    human ES cells which turned into a tumor
    (teratoma) in his brain that killed him.
  • The power of ESCs is also the source of their
    peril.

50
The Ethical Dilemma
  • Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC) possess uncertain
    promise
  • The use of ESC requires the death of the embryo.
  • All therapies with any kind of stem cell are
    experimental and may not work.
  • Too much is being promised.
  • Coverage in the media has been biased and
    inaccurate.
  • The medical community is largely chaffing against
    any limits at all.

51
The Humanity of the Unborn
  • The Argument from Biology
  • It is a human life at conception
  • The fertilized egg contains 46 chromosomes in a
    new and unique configuration.
  • Fertilization begins a directional process.
  • Separate from the mother, genetically distinct

52
The Humanity of the Unborn
  • Argument from Scripture
  • Thou shalt not murder. (Exo. 2013)
  • Hebrew and Greek do not distinguish between
    pre-born and born children
  • Gods intimate involvement in the development and
    life of the pre-born infant (Ps. 139 13-16)

53
Humanity of the Unborn
  • Psalm 13913-16
  • Isaiah 491
  • Psalm 515
  • Jeremiah 15
  • Luke 139-44

54
Saving Lives!
  • Clinical trials are already testing the treatment
    of Parkinsons using gene therapy and adult stem
    cells.
  • Alzheimers is likely not treatable by stem
    cells.
  • When we think about saving lives we must count
    the cost.
  • Is relieving the symptoms of disease worth the
    cost of the lives of the weakest and most
    defenseless members of society?
  • whatever you did for one of the least of these
    brothers of mine, you did for me.'

55
The Problem with Therapeutic Cloning
  • In order to avoid the immune rejection problem
    with ESC, many want to clone the affected
    individual and use the ESC from their clone
  • Treats the human embryo as a thing, a clump of
    cells before 14 days and beyond according to the
    new law in New Jersey.
  • The basis of this ethic is strictly the end
    justifies the means.
  • Even the term therapeutic is problematic. The
    subject is destroyed.
  • Supposedly more ethical than reproductive
    cloning, the aim of which is at least to produce
    life.

56
The Future?
  • If we allow federal funding of ESC research, we
    have stated that our government supports research
    at any cost to human life deemed less than worthy
    as long as we can think of a good reason.
  • We would therefore endorse the view that the end
    justifies the means.

57
Cloning and Stem Cell Fraud
  • South Korean researcher Woo Suk Hwang and
    colleagues published two papers in Science (March
    12, 2004 and June 17, 2005) claiming to have
    cloned human embryos and harvested ES cell lines
    specific to patients with degenerative diseases.
  • January 20, 2006 Science retracted both papers
    citing significant evidence of fabricated
    evidence.
  • No stem cell lines were produced and while
    cloning was successful, the efficiency was half
    of what they reported.
  • Stem cell research dealt a crippling blow.
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