Cloning human beings? The “inevitability” power play

Posted by Marcy Darnovsky February 22, 2007
Biopolitical Times
It's one thing to hear about the "inevitability" of human reproductive cloning - or of any technological application, for that matter - from kooks like Rael, the top-knotted cult leader whose posturing about creating human clones won him media headlines and Congressional appearances in 2003. But from the editors of Nature?

An editorial published in that journal today opened with a declaration that "human reproductive cloning seems inevitable" and closed by asserting that it is "an eventual certainty." In between are several tangential paragraphs, and a cursory dismissal of the social consequences and ethical considerations that lead most commentators - and more than 90% of Americans in survey after survey - to support laws against cloning human beings.

This is deeply disturbing and more than a little disappointing. Where is the thoughtful engagement with social issues and the responsible scientific leadership that this preeminent scientific journal should be demonstrating?

The assertion of technological inevitability is a discursive power play. It attempts to stifle deliberation, instill passivity, and make dissent appear futile. Fortunately, in the face of near-unanimous opposition to human reproductive cloning, it is unlikely to succeed.

Read the editorial.