Frankenstein Revisited

Embryologists are forging ahead in ethically murky territory with nothing to guide them but their own curiosity.
From the July 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

A new surge of human embryo research has humanists and ethicists at odds.

Two U.S.-based laboratories recently published work they have been undertaking since last November that has resulted in the cloning of the first “human” embryos. A leading U.S. biotechnology company, American Cell Technology, claimed that they had cloned the first “human” embryo using a cell from a man’s leg and a cow’s egg. The embryo was destroyed after 12 days, during which scientists monitored its development. It is now believed that many more such “human” embryos have been created, developed and destroyed since November.

Opponents to these experiments say that the ongoing development of human embryo cloning techniques make the eventual birth of a human clone inevitable. Such a situation would have profound implications for traditional views on the nature of human life, the institutions of marriage and family, law and the medico-hospital industry.

Claiming as their goal the advancement of medical science, in the interests of treating certain chronic ailments, researchers have become irresistibly attracted to what they call “stem cell” research. The business sector is seeking to rapidly position itself to capitalize on this new and potentially lucrative field. By publicizing the fact of this human embryo research, the American companies involved hope to allay public suspicion as to their motives and help governments overcome the remaining technical hurdles to cloning human beings. Researchers state that they want to clone their patients, to grow genetically identical embryos whose stem cells could be used for transplantation.

Over 4,000 years ago, the Creator of all human life decided to confound the language of man and disperse the early post-flood tribes for a very specific reason. “And the Lord said, behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do” (Gen. 11:6).

The earth, in recent times, has become a “global village.” Technology and globalization of business have pushed aside the barriers of time, distance, language and culture and made the sharing of scientific information far less inhibiting.

Once again, mankind has reached the point where “nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.” Only timely intervention by that same Designer and Creator of all life will now stop the prospect of humankind creating its own Frankenstein monsters.