Is cloning humans right?

Hello G,

Thank you for contacting BibleAsk.

The Bible says nothing directly about cloning. So, we need to search for Bible principles concerning this subject. The Bible draws a clear line between animals and humans, and gives us ethical guidelines:

•Humans were created in God’s image, unlike the animal kingdom (Genesis 1:27).

•God appointed humans to rule over ‘the fish of the sea and over the fowl [birds] of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth’ (Genesis 1:26). While God entrusted humans with dominion over the animal kingdom, humans were never told to have dominion over other humans, nor manipulate them, as would be the case if cloning humans.

•God allowed humans to kill animals (Genesis 9:2-3) but concerning other humans, He gave the commandment: “Thou shalt not kill [the Hebrew ratsach means ‘murder’]”(Exodus 20:13).

How do we view cloning humans according to the Bible? In answering, we will first give some biological background. The cloning process requires both DNA and embryo cells. The DNA is removed from the nucleus of a human cell. This coded genetic information, is then placed in the nucleus of an embryonic cell that had its own DNA removed in order to accept the new DNA. Each fertilized egg, including those from cloning, becomes a new human individual.

During this process, it is possible that the embryo may not survive having the original genetic material removed from its own nucleus. Also, if the embryo cell rejects the new DNA, it dies. Further, to perfect the cloning technique requires many experiments. So, many humans would be enabled to commence life, only to be deliberately destroyed. It took 277 trials and errors to produce “Dolly” the clone sheep. While destroying sheep embryos is not troubling to some, destroying human embryos is certainly wrong.

Therefore, human cloning, with its destruction of human embryos, would be not right. And it is not consistent with the Bible’s teaching of the sacredness of human life that starts at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 49:1-5; Luke 1:15).

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

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