Scientists Have Cloned Monkeys—Are We Next?

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In a world first, scientists in China have cloned primates using the same method that created Dolly the sheep in the 1990s. These two long-tailed macaques are genetically identical.

The researchers have a very specialized objective for these monkeys:

More immediately, the technique will allow researchers to create whole labs full of genetically identical monkeys. That could prove tremendously useful in scientific and medical research—allowing doctors to watch how specific treatments affect the genetic makeup of animals that are otherwise exactly the same, for instance.

This has tremendous potential to help us fight the sicknesses and diseases that are part of our world because of the Curse (Genesis 3). Of course, the fact that this process is very wasteful, with a very low success rate (over 100 embryos were initially formed!), needs to be taken into consideration when doing this research. God cares for the life of animals, though they're on a completely different plane from human life (Matthew 10:29).

Now the scientists reassure us that humans aren’t next. They point out that it’s a costly process and most of the embryos die before they mature into baby monkeys. Even some that did survive to be implanted were miscarried by their surrogate mothers. They also note the host of legal and ethical implications surrounding attempts to clone humans. One researcher summed it up this way: “We do need to think about not only is it not acceptable, but it is a bit pointless anyway. . . . What are people trying to achieve if they attempted to do that?”

These assurances are of little value in a worldview that constantly and consistently devalues human life. But remember, in an evolutionary view, humans are primates, just more highly evolved than their monkey kin. So what’s the difference between cloning humans and cloning monkeys? And if many human embryos die in the process, what does it matter? Many scientists reject the idea that human life (personhood) begins at the moment of fertilization. Indeed, unsuccessful attempts at human cloning have already happened, taking the lives of many babies in the embryonic stage of development.

What would it mean if scientists were someday successful in producing a human clone?

What would it mean if scientists were someday successful in producing a human clone? Well, that clone would be 100% human, made in the image God, just as you and I are. Think about it this way: identical twins are literally clones of one another, yet both are fully human and made in God’s image. It would be no different from a clone produced another way (such as identical twins).

Of course, this does not mean we condone the risky and wasteful process of human cloning—we don’t. Such research results in the death of tiny, vulnerable human beings made in God’s image and that is a massively high cost.

You can learn more about the pivotal question to this topic of cloning—as well as embryonic stem cells and abortion—in this video by medical doctor Dr. Tommy Mitchell:

You can also learn more in this article from The New Answers Book 3 by geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom and Dr. Tommy Mitchell of AiG, “What About Cloning and Stem Cells?

Learn More on Answers News

We discussed this popular news item during today’s episode of Answers News, our twice-weekly Facebook Live show. This show is filmed before a live studio audience here at the Creation Museum and broadcast live over my Facebook page every Monday and Thursday at 2 p.m Eastern Time. Be sure to tune-in each week and join us live, or watch the full episode below (episodes are also archived on our YouTube channel).

In addition to the cloned-monkey story, Dr. Georgia Purdom, Bodie Hodge, and I also discussed

  • Will serving a plastic straw be a crime?

  • Britain appoints a Minister of Loneliness

  • An ancient jaw that changes human evolution . . . again

  • Is swearing good for you?

  • And more!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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