Human evolution Intelligent Design Naturalism Philosophy

Is human cloning possible? Neurosurgeon and philosopher spar

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Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor says it doesn’t happen because it can’t happen:

Three reasons why humans won’t be cloned: … 1. Biological: Reproductive cloning of non-human animals has become relatively routine and it works quite well. Reproductive cloning of human beings has been an abject failure, despite what are undoubtedly herculean efforts by some (probably many) labs. From a biological standpoint, there appears to be something radically different about cloning non-human animals and cloning humans. …

I am prepared to subject my belief that humans cannot be cloned like Dolly the sheep to the test

Both materialist and immaterialist theories of the mind should be subject to empirical testing—neither should be exempt.

vs.

Philosopher Jay Richards says it could happen but wouldn’t have the consequences Dr. Egnor thinks:

Jay Richards: I agree with Mike Egnor that the mind is immaterial but I don’t think human cloning is impossible

“Mike is right that scientists have had a harder time producing human clones than they have had with other organisms. But I don’t see any good reason—whether biological or metaphysical—to doubt that they will eventually succeed. But if and when they do, they will not have copied a person. They will, in effect, have produced a twin of a human being using biological precursors quite similar those that naturally give rise to a human being. And that twin will be less similar to the donor than two identical twins are to each other. After all, identical twins don’t just share DNA. They share the original ovum from their mother as well.”

There are, of course, empirical implications of both the materialist and non-materialist understanding of the human mind. But the success of human cloning won’t weigh on the question one way or the other.

See also: Are lab-grown human brains the Next Big Thing? Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor thinks the hopes for humanly conscious lab-grown brains are faint indeed.

5 Replies to “Is human cloning possible? Neurosurgeon and philosopher spar

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    What does cloning mean?
    How is it done?

  2. 2
    Brother Brian says:

    We made a human clone over 30 years ago. It wasn’t difficult at all.

  3. 3
    AaronS1978 says:

    BB I don’t think it was successful, If you’re talking about the one that I’m thinking of. I highly doubt it was real either because the fact that it was very dubious, they said they used a cow egg which I know that’s not possible for any form of cloning you have to use something that’s either relatively close or exactly our it dies immediately or from deformities. Even relatively close in species generally die, It’s one of the reasons why we’ve had no real success at trying to resurrect extinct species the other being degradation of DNA

    But if it’s the one I’m thinking of it was done in June I don’t think it was 30 years ago I thought it was 20 but it was actually a big failure and I also think it might’ve been fake.

    Currently the main thing that stops us from human cloning is how small our cells are, Another which is actually kind of cool as we are chimera species. We are also highly complicated. Ethical issues is the last one

    I’ve been following this cloning article for quite some time now

    I could not disagree with Michael Egnor more.
    The first couple of articles were posted on mind-matters. I generally like some of Michael Egnor philosophical’s takes on the mind and particularly free will (which currently that field seems oddly quiet right now which worries me News has there been anything on free will recently?)

    But his take on cloning and the fact that clones would disapprove an immaterial mind, particularly reproductive cloning, I couldn’t see how he would be right

    He also lumped everybody who had his perspective into his bet that if a human clone can be produced the immaterial mind would be proven wrong as cloning is a purely materialistic process

    That in itself is wrong. The way he talked he made it seem that human cloning apparently is done with inert in organic material that’s not alive? Or that’s how we kind of explained it.

    That’s the sense that I was getting from him as he kept claiming that it was a purely materialistic process and that was the particular view of the Catholic Church

    I kept trying to message mind matters with direct quotes from Catholic answers and the actual view of the Catholic Church and of course nobody responded

    Catholics believe that the clone would have a soul it does not matter how the body is created God still creates the soul, And God continues to cooperate with his world that he created despite what we are doing.

    I was relieved Jay Richards Responded to Michael and he pretty much sums up exactly what is stated by the Catholic Church which made me very happy

    He even explains what cloning is (REALLY IMPORTANT!) Still uses human eggs and a transfer of adult DNA from the host, He even touch base on the fact that the clone would be less of a twin to the host then twins are to each other, something I pointed out in my 3 emails to them.

    But this is been a very frustrating topic at least for me

    And again I cannot thank Jay Richards more for explaining these things

  4. 4
    AaronS1978 says:

    I highly doubt it was real either because the fact that it was very dubious, they said they used a cow egg which I know that’s not possible for any form of cloning you have to use something that’s either relatively close or exactly our it dies immediately or from deformities

    Well I didn’t correct it like I want to and it saved it awesome.

    Here is what I put for the corrected statement above

    If it’s the one that I’m thinking of it was dubious because they claim to use a cow embryo which I know you cannot use because it has to be exactly the same or similar to the species you’re trying to clone, If you don’t use something similar it will die immediately or from the deformities that will show up

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    It seems to me Dr. Egnor’s article is gravely mistaken – there are major flaws in his reasoning. He has shot his foot and opened the door to rejoinders from materialists, should human cloning actually be eventually successful, which I believe.

    Unfortunately, Egnor appears not to subscribe to the filter or receiver/transmitter theory of interactive dualism. With this understanding of consciousness, it interacts with and manifests in the physical world through the physical body via the specialized organs of the brain and nervous system. Veridical NDEs, verified reincarnation memories and other empirical evidence indicate that human consciousness and therefore memory are ultimately separate from the brain and body. Thousands of cases are documented where young children of 2-3 years of age spontaneously remember being their previous personality (usually where death was traumatic by gunshot or accident) and furnish details that are later verified, memories that usually fade away by seven years old or so. One famous case is that of James Leininger. Of course, this data is not accepted by many Christians.

    In this theory of consciousness, since a cloned human being would have these specialized organs, he/she could therefore still manifest the intelligence and rational and abstract thought and spiritual nature of a normal conscious human entity, just as with normally born humans, given that a human spirit actually did take possession of it in the same way as the human spirit as a mobile center of consciousness comes into the human fetus in the womb. It does appear that in this theory of consciousness if the clone was not inhabited by a human spirit it would be a blank slate until it learned from scratch like a normal baby, but the resulting “person” would not have a soul. It would be interesting to speculate about the nature of this “person”. Whether there would be no capacity for abstract thought as Dr. Egnor believes remains to be seen.

    Human cloning will be a vast moral and ethical mistake with a lot of bad consequences outweighing by far the medical research or other benefits, but if and when it is achieved it will not invalidate spiritual metaphysical understandings of human existence.

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