Recently I have been asked the following two questions, and I would like to spend some time today answering them:
I was wondering what your thoughts where concerning cloning? I was also wondering what the Bible says about cloning?
The cloning issue is one that has come up in the past few years because of the “advancements” that have been made in the field of biology and genetic engineering. Cloning is the exact replication of an organism. Hypothetically, the cloned organism should not be different from the original in any way, shape, or form. We have seen in the news that mammals have been cloned, and there is even now a “religion” devoted to cloning a human being. What shall we believe concerning these things? I shall now attempt to answer these questions based on my own feelings and also on the message of the Gospel.
I believe that cloning is most unwise and improper based not only on spiritual evidence but also with biological evidence. Human beings are conceived with two sets of chromosomes from two different people for sound biological reasons. The combination of different chromosomes allows for mutations in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, the “building block” of life), that, while occasionally produce defects also produces immunities and/or resistance to bacteria and virii. Science has proven that bacteria and virii do change and are able in only a few generations to withstand antibiotics; if human DNA does not change to counter these pathogens, we will be wracked with every form of illness and we will not be able to fight it off. Cloning is thus a biological dead-end: the DNA does not have the chance to change and develop, and the unfortunate clone must deal with all kinds of strange illnesses and handicaps in his lifetime.
Further, it would be most wise for us to remember God’s words in Isaiah 55:8-9:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
This statement is no less true in the field of biology, especially in genetics. Our genes are very complicated, and they are not designed for man to figure out! Many times researchers have determined that a gene that can malfunction and produce many negative effects (i.e. psychological disorders), but one cannot manipulate that gene because it also codes for some of the critical actions of man (i.e. language)! Simply put, we do not know what we are manipulating when we manipulate DNA! There are so many things that can go wrong in genetics but do not, and imperfect humans cannot but make terrible mistakes when playing in what is essentially God’s territory. Why, then, would we want to manipulate with DNA by attempting to clone a human being?
The most weighty issue with cloning, however, is the one that the Scriptures speak of often. A scientist may be able to clone a physical person, but he cannot clone a soul. We read the following in Job 12:10, Job 38:36, Ecclesiastes 11:5, Isaiah 42:5, and Zechariah 12:1:
“In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?”
“Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who hath given understanding to the mind?”
As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all.
Thus saith the LORD God, he that created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he that spread abroad the earth and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.
The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus saith the LORD, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
These verses are in total agreement: God is the Creator of souls. He is the Creator of all living things and their constitutions. How can a scientist say that a cloned human being will have the same belief system as the original human? From what experience would the clone gain wisdom? Truly we may see that cloning is a most unwise goal for humanity because we are so much more than mere brutes. God fashioned us with a soul, so that we may be like Him (Genesis 1:27). The soul cannot be so cloned.
I will not stand here and declare that mankind cannot clone a human being, but I will declare that to do so would be most unwise and inconsiderate. Human beings are acting more and more like cats, of whom it is said that curiosity kills them. We are so curious about the workings of the world that we forget our common sense and attempt to play God. I would like to conclude with a portion of Paul’s message on the Areopagus in Athens, Acts 17:23-31:
“For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you. The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is he served by men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his offspring.’ Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man. The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
While men may no longer turn to idols of gold and silver and proclaim them gods, man certainly has accepted the instruments of biology as their god. Paul urges us as well as them to forsake such idols and recognize the supremacy of the true Creator, the Father and His Son Jesus, and repent of our sins. No matter what great advancements can be made by biology and genetic engineering, not one of them can assist us in the Judgment that is to come.
Ethan R. Longhenry