07 December 2012

To Clone or Not to Clone

In 2007 the Iowa legislature suddenly determined that human cloning should be a felony. I'm unaware that there was much human cloning activity, but it is possible that the Department of Vital Statistics may have the information of who of our acquaintances are cloned and who actually have parents. I don't recall the impetus for the bill which would subject a cloner up to 10 years in the penitentiary, but I suspect it was religious in nature having in view that only God should be able to create man not other men. Now, of course, this view has no rational basis, but if one thinks about it, there are certain difficulties associated with cloning. For instance, how does probate work? Does a clonee inherit from the adults who raised him or her? Who inherits from a clonee? These are questions that would be what we call in the trade "cases of first impression". Another difficulty that would present itself is obtaining a credit card. I don't know how many times I have had to give as the secret word, my mother's maiden name. Since a clonee doesn't have a mother, this suggests that credit card companies need to change the secret word to something other than your mother's maiden name. This would cost money. Holiday dinners would certainly be different. Most clonees would be eating Thanksgiving dinner by themselves or at the local restaurant; but conversely, many fewer Christmas presents would be purchased saving hundreds of dollars. And since most families have at least one person who they never want to see, that problem would be solved. So there are benefits as well. Bastard, though no longer a pejorative term since half the children born in the United States today are bastards, would no longer be on the bottom rung of the social ladder. As the Indian custom of castes, clonees would be a rung below bastard since bastards have at least one identifiable parent. Bastards would be pleased with this raise in status and should, by all accounts, support cloning. I think we need to send out a state-wide questionnaire to determine how many clonees exist in the state. Once we have identified them, we can assess their intelligence and moral character to determine whether clonees are superior or inferior to the normal uncloned person within the state. It is my view that it would take a rather slipshod effort on the part of the cloner to produce inferior people, but be that as it may, we would have some statistics to work with. And if it were found that clonees on the average were of higher intelligence, more productive, better citizens than noncloned people, we should address our legislature with this knowledge and ask them to reconsider the crime of cloning.