Human Cloning: Playing God or Scientific Progress?
Lester, professor of biology at Emmanuel College (Ga.), and Hefley, author of more than 70 books, present their views on the scientific benefits and ethical questions raised by human cloning. The authors open the book with an overview of the history of cloning, from the cloning of frogs from asexual tadpole cells in 1952 to the more recent cloning of the Dolly the sheep by Scottish scientists. Lester and Hefley explain the biological method of cloning, and they make the radical prediction that the process of cloning will in the future replace conception through human sexual intercourse. The authors argue that humanity is created in God's image and that the creation of humans by God is part of God's design for humanity. Human cloning would then, argue the authors, be playing God. In addition to cloning, Lester and Hefley discuss other reproductive technologies like artificial insemination, genetic testing and scientific breeding. In a final chapter, they contend that scientists can be categorized either as mechanists, theists or agnostics. Theistic scientists, according to this taxonomy, argue that God created the world from design and teach by word and example that life is sacred and God's plan for the world has a purpose. Unfortunately, this book has such a narrow perspective that it will appeal only to those who are already convinced that human cloning is synonymous with playing God. (Aug.)