Monday, March 31, 2008

Will It Never Stop!?

Baird, Stephen L. "Designer Babies: Eugenics Repackaged or Consumer Options?" Technology Teacher 66.7 (2007): 12-16. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 Mar. 2008

The article discusses the pros and cons of the genetic engineering of human beings and reproductive cloning. The author talks about the history of manipulation of the reproduction process. He also talks about Louise Brown who was the first test-tube baby. The fairly scary and disturbing idea of humans creating "designer babies” in the future was also brought up. The genes of children would be manipulated in order to control their character and physiology. The Arguments both for and against "designer babies" are also presented in this article.

Hayry, Matti. "Philosophical Arguments for and Against Human Reproductive Cloning." Bioethics 17.5/6 (2003): 447. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 Mar. 2008

In this paper the main arguments that are presented by philosophers are analyzed. The paper goes over what human reproductive cloning is, what moral values will come up, and what outcome based arguments can be presented. It also talks about what types of “deontological” and “teleological” arguments can also be presented against human reproductive cloning. The author of this paper also talks about what he sees as the limitations of philosophical arguments involving the cloning debate.

Morgan, S. Philip, Suzanne Shanahan, and Whitney Welsh. "Brave New Worlds: Philosophy, Politics, and Science in Human Biotechnology." Population & Development Review 31.1 (2005): 127-144. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 Mar. 2008

The article focuses on the advancements in biotechnology, which have important applications to the concerns of human reproduction and longevity. The article also raises a number of difficult ethical issues that are discussed. However, what I found to be really interesting were the references to Huxley’s novel Brave New World. I was excited that I found an article that talked about that book in reference to cloning and the future of human beings.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Return of the Clones!!!!

“South Korean Researchers Successfully Clone Human Embryos.” Asia Pacific Biotech News 8.5 (2004): 256. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 March. 2008.

This article presents the brief research findings of a team of South Korean Scientists. The scientists claim to have managed to successfully retrieve stem cells from a cloned embryo. It talks a little about what stem cells do and how they can possibly be used in the future for therapeutic uses. The article goes a little into detail about the therapeutic cloning treatment that could be used for degenerative diseases and also briefly discusses arguments against human cloning for the stem cells.

Fiester, Autumn. "Creating Fido's Twin." Hastings Center Report 35.4 (2005): 34-39. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 Mar. 2008.

This article dealt with the issues surrounding companion pet cloning. It discussed the different sides of pet cloning and talked about the ups and downs of it. The article hit on the arguments surrounding the animal suffering, but mentioned that it is progressing so that the animals suffer less than before. It also talked about how the companies that are cloning companion pets for profit are really just exploiting their customer’s feelings and emotions. The clients may not realize that the clone is not a resurrection of the original pet, and that it would basically be like a twin and could have a totally different personality. This article also talks about the good aspects involved with pet cloning and goes into detail about how it is raising the common views of the “moral status” of animals. I found this to be an interesting and worthwhile article since it talks about both sides of cloning companion pets.

Strong, Carson. "The ethics of human reproductive cloning." Reproductive BioMedicine Online 10 (2005): 45-49. Academic Search Premier. EBSCOhost. Helmke Lib., Ft. Wayne, IN. 24 Mar. 2008.

This article goes over the question of whether human reproductive cloning could possibly be ethically justifiable in some cases which would involve infertile couples who wanted to use cloning in order to have a genetically related child. The article also points out that the high risk of problems is a forceful argument against reproductive cloning, it also talks about whether cloning would be justifiable in the future if the elevated risk of cloning went down. In this article the argument about the freedom to use cloning is a form of procreative freedom and deserves to be recognized as such. Objections that appeal to the cloned child's interests are also talked about.

Hate, Hate and More Hate

I found these essays to be thought provoking and definitely worthwhile to read. I have always thought that the arguments and dissension surrounding the First Amendment interesting. The decision of where to draw the line on free speech has always been a touchy subject.

I agree with the views of keeping free speech actually “free.” One idea cannot be banned or forbidden without others also being banned. Everyone would still have to be treated equal, which would mean that pretty much everything could eventually cause dissension and therefore would have the grounds to be banned.

I have never really run into this problem before since I am from a dinky little town. The closest I have come to banned topics would most likely be the Pledge of Allegiance. At least at my school, we could still say it in the mornings, but we were not forced to.

Hate speech is always a prickly topic. Should it be banned? But where would the line be drawn, how would we determine what would be considered hate speech? There is no way to fairly determine what hate speech would be defined as without eventually going down the “slippery slope.” Honestly, as the authors of the essays mention, the best way to get rid of hate speech is for people to ignore it and stop paying attention to it. The “hate” speakers should be talked to and rationalized with. Possibly talked to about his feelings and hopefully someone could find out why the need to put others down is present.

World of Pictures

*Image: MouseMan. Posted on July 31, 2007.

I found this picture to be incredibly disturbing. This picture started circulating in 1997 and shows a mouse with supposedly an ear growing out of its back. This picture started a huge protest of genetic engineering and would make a good picture to help illustrate the negative aspects of cloning.

*Image: Dolly. Posted on CBBC Newsround.

Yes, I realize it is a sheep. BUT it is not just any sheep. This is a picture of the famous Dolly, who in 1997, was the first mammal to ever be cloned. Dolly was a huge step in the cloning world since she was the first, and I believe that she has a right to be included in anything that is dealing with cloning since she was one of the first pioneers.

*Image: Programing Clones. Posted on Computer Science for Fun 2004-2008.

I thought that this was a really fitting picture to be included with the scares of cloning on future generations. It makes you wonder if that is just science fiction or whether we really will have "designer babies" and everyone's destinies and futures are already laid out before they are born.

An Argument You Can Only Picture

Use your imagination and picture malnourished children scrambling around in the dirt, pushing and shoving each other to get to the waterhole first. You cannot see through the water more than half an inch, looking down all you see is the scum floating on top and the worms and fish swimming around just below the surface. There is no clean purified water, there are no clean wells, and there are no bottles of water. There are only rivers, puddles and disease infested wells to be seen. Welcome to Africa. Every day the people of Africa must choose between dying of thirst and the multiple diseases lurking just below the surface of their only water.

This picture and others like it show the dreadful reality of Africa. The words that follow the pictures give sound statistics and other facts that pull on your emotions and make you willing to give to the needy. Other than informing the ignorant public of America about the needs of Africa, this article and these pictures are also prepping you to give money and donations to The Missionaries of Africa who will use the contributions to provide safe drinking water for men, women and children in Africa's neediest regions. As the article says, all donations are also tax-deductible. This applies to your emotions and also the sensible and greedy side of Americans who refuse to give without receiving something in return. This was a fairly effective argument that worked on a person’s emotions in order to hopefully receive money to give to the needy in Africa.

Tugging At Your Heartstrings...

I personally found this to be a very intense and moving picture that immediately grabs one’s attention. This picture is an incredibly emotional picture that makes a claim all on its own. The claim being that the conditions that people in Africa are living in is horrible. This picture clearly points out the terrible reality of starvation and suffering that is now common normalcy to even the smallest of the African children. The picture induces feelings of pity, disgust, horror and sadness all at once. These extreme emotions make people more likely to want to do something about helping the more unfortunate. The emotions help to persuade the audience of the atrocious and shocking conditions, and this picture shows the appalling health care and living conditions are in fact a reality.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What Do YOU Think?

I have always thought the different ways that questions can be phrased as interesting. By changing just one word, you can change the entire meaning of the question. By making the question more personal, you can touch a person’s heart and make them more likely to agree with the subject. By including money or anything negative a person is automatically more likely to disagree with the topic.

1.) Do you think that there should be limits on cloning?


2.) Do you agree with cloning pets?
Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree

3.) Would you clone yourself?


4.) Would you clone your child if he died?


5.) Do you agree with cloning embryos for profit?
Strongly Agree –> Strongly Disagree

6.) Do you agree with cloning endangered species?
Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree

7.) Do you agree with cloning extinct animals?
Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree

8.) Do you agree with cloning in order to grow organs for dying children?
Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree

9.) Do you agree with cloning livestock to help provide more nutritional food?
Strongly Agree -> Strongly Disagree

Attack of the Clones!!!!

“Why Cloning Is Worth It.” Gogoi, Pallavi. Business Week Online; 3/7/2007, p8-8, 1p.
I really thought that this was an interesting article. Other than being about cloning it also caught my attention because it was about cloning cows in particular. This made me giggle a little bit to myself, especially when I showed it to my boyfriend who is a dairy farmer. This article basically talks about the benefits of cloning cows and how it would benefit the economy and world. In the article it is explained how a higher quality of steak, meat, and milk can be produced by cloning cows. Basically only the best cows would be bred (cloned) in order to produce the best meat or in the instance of dairy farmers, to make cows that produce the most and highest quality of milk. Now instead of having “Designer Babies” we have the amazing “Designer Wonder Cows.”

“To clone or not to clone.” Christian Century; 6/5/2002, Vol. 119 Issue 12, p5, 1p.
In this article the moral and ethic issues regarding cloning are touched on. The cloning of human embryos for therapeutic purposes is basically the main subject of this article. It also talks about replicating living and deceased people. Most of the public seems to be against the idea of people cloning themselves or their dead relatives, but more receptive to the idea of cloning for therapeutic purposes.

“Here, Kitty, Kitty!” Time; 2/25/2002, Vol. 159 Issue 8, p58, 2p, 3 diagrams, 4c.
This article discusses the production of the first house pet. A calico cat was cloned and named Cc, which stands for Copy Cat (cute I know!). It talked about the difficulties of cloning the cat and how it was done. The article also hit on how entrepreneurs are picking up on the cloning of house pets. Already you can freeze your pets DNA for future cloning for a onetime fee of $895 and another $100 for every year it is frozen. It was also mentioned that the cloned pet will be a duplicate and NOT a reconstruction. Basically it will be like a twin. It will not necessarily have the same personality; it will just be genetically the same.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


After I had most of this post already typed, I went to upload the graph that I used and realized that it would not let me copy or even save it. I found it at USA Today under the snapshots. The graph was called “The Perfect Age for Women.” It is under the Life link and it should be the sixth picture or graph you see if you scroll through.

To start off I am going to make a few general comments about how the aging of women is usually viewed. The general consensus is that you are automatically “Old” once you hit the doddering age of forty. However, with all of the technology of today’s world such as vitamins and surgery, women are less likely to see their lives as “over” once they hit the Big Four “O.” According to this graph a whole 23% say that the best age for a woman is forty years or over.

On the other hand, this graph could also be interpreted to say that 29% of the women polled said that the ages of 31-40 are the best ages for a woman to be. This graph also shows that a whole 35% of women say the best age is 21-30. All together a total of 70% of the women polled said that the best age for a woman to be was 40 or under. This shows that most women still view their lives as over once they hit 40 years of age. This graph also shows that the main ages women wish to be are 21-30.

I always find it interesting how numbers can be manipulated to fit any purpose. Depending on how a person looks at it, 23% of the women in the United States would seem like a lot. However, when compared to the 70% of women who think that having fewer than 40 years is better, the 23% seems incredibly trivial.

Once again, I am sorry about the lack of the graph.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Joys of the New World

O’ technology, how we curse it, and yet how we love it. Every now and then I think back to the good old days, before all of the Gameboys, cell phones, IMing over the internet, and all of the other little conveniences that distance us from our fellow human beings. Since I technically was not alive during the periods of no internet, telephones, running water, or electricity I wonder what the dark days without technology were like. Children and teenagers would be outside running around in the town centers playing ball, wives would be gossiping over tea, men would be gambling in the gentlemen halls, and people would KNOW each other. Now a days the teens are constantly texting on their cell phones (myself included of course), the wives are bitterly whining about their cheating husbands and wondering which friend he is sleeping with, and the men are bragging about all of their sexual conquests.

Technology has changed the way everyone in our world lives. It has changed our communication, our transportation, our medical knowledge and procedures, what we eat and drink, how we keep track of one another, and every other minuscule aspect of our lives. There are negative sides to technology of course. Negative aspects such as the loss of face-to-face communication between people, less exercise, unhealthy fatty foods, and the loss of privacy to only mention a few. However, technology has given our world so much. We now have lights, miracle medicine, cars, and a vase array of information that is available at the average person’s very fingertips and but a click away.

Technology is used every second of every day. It is being used to keep people alive. It is being used to kill people. It is being used to free people. It is also being used to help capture, convict and sentence criminals. For example, in every court trial technology is being used. The technology being used can be as simple as the electricity used to see, or as complex and intricate as the DNA testing used to convict rapists and murderers. The evidence presented can be in the form of DNA, a video tape, a picture snapped from a cell phone, voice recordings, or even deleted email messages.

The technology of today is often being abused and twisted for people’s own uses. However, it is also saving innocent people and curing diseases. Every person benefits from technology, even if there are those people who use it for their own nefarious ends. Without the wonders of technology we would not have the evidence that is provided in court, the medicine used to treat diseases, the machines and instruments used to perform invasive and lifesaving surgeries, or even the stoves used to make our food. The good parts of technology unquestionably outweigh the more negative aspects.

Every great technological invention has two sides to it if a person wishes to think about it. Things that are intended for the good of all can always be used for evil, and vice versa. Guns that were used for protection and the procurement of food are now being turned towards murder. The internet that is for information sharing has become a pedophiles’ playground (excuse the sick pun). Even the electricity used for our lights has been turned to the use of murdering people in the electric chair. Every Ying will have its Yang. There cannot be light without the shadows of darkness. There would be no such thing as good if evil did not exist.

Are You My Clone???

Once the topic of our argument of fact essay came up in class I tried to begin wrapping my mind around any topic that might interest me. So far I have jumped back and forth between America’s aid in third world countries and the ever popular subject of cloning. Cloning has been my top choice for the past few weeks. However, I read an interesting article about the aid provided to other countries and almost made that my top choice. I tried using the opposing viewpoints site and really could not get into any of the article about it. I switched back to cloning and did a quick search that brought up multiple interesting articles.

I found this site to be really helpful. The statistics provided about what people think of cloning, college students in particular, were quite interesting. I have always found the subject of cloning and stem cell research to be the most interesting debated subjects. For me, stem cell research and cloning go hand in hand with the sense of bettering the world and helping to cure diseases and such. Since I am going into the medical profession, I find these topics to be even more relevant and interesting to my life.

QVRC helped me realize that the debate over aid in other countries would not be the best topic to write my paper on since I really do not know that much about it. I was happy to find that there was a lot of information on there about cloning that spiked my interest and made me want to learn even more. A little on the random side, but I have always related these subjects to the book Brave New World written by Aldous Huxley. It gives and interesting view of the future and shows some scenes that describe how the people are “made” and basically programmed. A grim view of the possible future due to cloning and controlling genetics is presented. I honestly think that reading this book was what first got me interested in this subject. I am excited that I used the QVRC and realized that cloning was the subject for me!

Poor Unfortunate Souls

One of the first articles that I clicked on was called, “Why so much aid for the poor has made so little difference” which was written by Mark Lange. This article really made me start thinking. I honestly had no idea what to do my argument of fact essay on, but this article gave me a push in the direction I think that I want to take.

I have always been interested in helping other people and learning about other cultures. This article made me even more interested in the other countries that we are supposedly “helping” by giving them free food and money. I have always been somewhat curious about how all of that worked, and now I am even more interested in the ideas behind it. It has made me wonder why our help is not really helping. Our help could be keeping the developing and poorer countries in a catastrophic and never-ending circle. There farmers can never hope to compete with free food, thus this keeps their economy downtrodden.

This should be an important topic to everyone. Not only are these people suffering and sick, but our country’s money, OUR money is going to these other countries to help them. One has to wonder whether our money, food, and medical supplies are just being wasted and given away to the brutes like the guerrillas, instead of actually being used for the impoverished and sick. Even though these countries are far away and the people of America make the mistake of thinking that these countries do not concern them, we should all be aware of the plights and problems of the poor. Not only are there poor people in third world countries, there are also destitute people in our oh-so-wonderful country. The people who do not care about other’s in far away countries would probably at least take the time to care about where all of their money is being shipped to. I know that this is a much debated topic in our country and especially talked about in politics. I believe that this would be an interesting topic that would give me some relevant insight into the countries cultures and lifestyles.

(And yes for you who noticed… the title is a song from The Little Mermaid. A lame and sad joke I know.)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Are YOU Concerned?

I honestly think that all of these topics could be interesting and worthwhile to present to a college audience. However, some of the topics would probably be best if they were presented to a specific audience of college students. A specific group as in the topic pertains to the audience’s major or career, thus they would more likely be interested in the subject.

I would say that about half of the subjects would interest the general college audience. The topics concerning Cancer, Diets, Jobs, Hurricanes, Minorities, and alternative fuels would all most likely concern and interest the general population of college students. All of those topics concern the nearby future of all peoples including college students. Some of the topics concern their health while the others concern their environment.

The other topics such as, Japan in 1945, boys in school, racial problems, past presidents, and political activists would mostly concern only those college students that are involved in history majors, education or who will become future politicians. Generally people do not care to sit for 45 minutes to listen to a speech about the past, or to listen to events that have already happen and that cannot be changed. People would much rather spend their time learning about the here and now that specifically concerns their specific person.