Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Dolly's False Legacy" by Ian Wilmut

Ian Wilmut examines reasons for cloning humans and consequences of it in “Dolly’s False Legacy.”  Wilmut recognizes there is great potential for cloning to help in medicine, which appears to be the best reason for cloning after reading his essay. 
            Wilmut counters the motive of using cloning in an attempt to predispose a child towards a certain talent and interest.  Wilmut states, “Every child should be wanted for itself, as an individual” (536).  It is sweet to imagine- if more people believed that, then they would probably be more supportive of children, rather than trying to force children into useless boxes that ultimately serve to divide people from each other and pull people away from their true selves.  Beyond this, people might recognize that the respect for each unique child is applicable to adults as well- suddenly the world is more beautiful and diverse and unified.  While I would not expect every living person to hold this view, it very realistically could be more popularly held.  If many people can concern themselves with insignificant material matters, many people may reach better understanding and value something ethically and logically sound and live by such more.  I believe he refers to the child as “itself” for lack of a gender-neutral pronoun, rather than to objectify, because he shows respect for children as he values their individuality.
            While people may speculate about cloning someone to bring back a loved one, 
Wilmut points out fallacies in this logic.  The greatest fallacy is ignorance of the combination of genetics and one's environment and experiences in forming personality.  This heightens Wilmut's credibility by showing his logical sense.
            Wilmut skillfully brings people together in his examination of cloning.  An example of this may be seen in the way he reasons in a paragraph about a cloned child to homosexual or single parents.  While one of the controversies today involves some people’s idea of who family should be, Wilmut says, “My concerns are not on religious grounds or on the basis of a perceived intrinsic ethical principle” (536).  Wilmut has chosen instead to focus on the well-being of the child. 
Wilmut has a strong conclusion by continuing to communicate a rational thought process.  Rather than stating an incorrect absolute, he recognizes that much of cloning remains a mystery today.  In addition, he warns people to be cautious in using cloning, which is a logical finish to his essay that considers many of its dangers.

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