cover image CLONING AFTER DOLLY: Who's Still Afraid?

CLONING AFTER DOLLY: Who's Still Afraid?

Gregory E. Pence, . . Rowman & Littlefield, $22.95 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-7425-3408-7

Bioethicist Pence may make some readers' eyebrows shoot right off of their foreheads with his outright endorsement of reproductive as well as medical cloning. In his second book on the subject (after Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? ), Pence argues for the legalization even of artificial wombs and transspecies hybrids. The author's arguments against some critiques of cloning hold some sway; he notes that most people's perception of cloning is based more on science fiction than science. He argues that anti-cloners like Leon Kass, who chaired the president's Council on Bioethics, draw false or irrelevant distinctions based on questions of human dignity and a religious view of the embryo as a human life. But Pence can be annoyingly glib before making his serious argument—for instance, noting that no one will eat embryos or wear them as earrings, so what's the dignity question about? He argues that cloning is actually a biological imperative: we must develop cloning technology in order to survive the next plague. Cloning is the political powder keg of biotechnology today, and those in the pro-cloning camp will welcome this case against those they see, in Pence's words, as "the new Puritans of biotech." (Jan.)