Cloning After Dolly: Whos Still Afraid? by Gregory E. Pence (Rowman &
Littlefield Publishers, Inc.) As the topic in bioethics, cloning has made big
news since Dollys announced birth in . In a new book building on his classic
Whos Afraid of Human Cloning?, pioneering bioethicist Gregory Pence continues to
advocate a reasoned view of cloning. Beginning with his surreal experiences as
an expert witness before Congressional and California legislative committees,
Pence analyzes the astounding recent progress in animal cloning the coming
surprises about human cloning the links between animal, stem cell, and human
cloning embryo politics and other hot topics like artificial wombs and
transgenic animals. He uses cloning as a lens and as a tool to examine people's
attitudes toward everything from genetically engineered foods and artificial
wombs to animal rights and the treatment of transgenic animals including a
chimpanzee believed to be half-human (Oliver, the humanzee).
Pence extrapolates the inconsistencies of moralists more obsessed with human cloning while ignoring real social problems like alcohol consumption and drug use by pregnant women and/or collaboration between anti-abortion counseling services and adoption agencies that charge up to $50,000 for the unaborted child.
This book may be a mixture of fact, opinion and prediction. However, no one can deny that Pence has a great gift for asking questions and framing old issues in a new context.
The reader is unlikely to agree with many of Pence's opinions and projections. However, the nearly twenty pages of numbered resources, indexed in each chapter via numbers, provide a rich resource for anyone to further research ideas attacked or embraced by Pence.
For that reason , this is certainly an irreplaceable resource for academics and students who are seriously researching cloning and the social/political/ethical debates surrounding it.
From Publishers Weekly: Bioethicist Pence may make some readers' eyebrows shoot right off of their foreheads with his outright endorsement of reproductive as well as medical cloning. In his second book on the subject (after Who's Afraid of Human Cloning?), Pence argues for the legalization even of artificial wombs and transspecies hybrids. The author's arguments against some critiques of cloning hold some sway; he notes that most people's perception of cloning is based more on science fiction than science. He argues that anti-cloners like Leon Kass, who chaired the president's Council on Bioethics, draw false or irrelevant distinctions based on questions of human dignity and a religious view of the embryo as a human life. But Pence can be annoyingly glib before making his serious argument—for instance, noting that no one will eat embryos or wear them as earrings, so what's the dignity question about? He argues that cloning is actually a biological imperative: we must develop cloning technology in order to survive the next plague. Cloning is the political powder keg of biotechnology today, and those in the pro-cloning camp will welcome this case against those they see, in Pence's words, as "the new Puritans of biotech." Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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