Archive for February 19, 2008

How Much is that Clone in the Window?

A South Korean biotechnology company has received its first order to clone a dog. The company states that if the project is successful, they plan to begin regular commercial production next year.

Am I the only one who gets the creeps when I read that?

I mean I am DEEPLY, STUPIDLY in love with my dogs.  I spend countless hours of time and many thousands of dollars on their training, care and recreation.  My interest in dogs has gone well beyond eccentric and may, in fact, push the boundaries of obsession – but I can not imagine plunking down $150,000 for a replication of even my most beloved dog.


It’s just wrong.

The sleeping beast at my feet isn’t a simple expression of the genes he inherited.  To paraphrase B.F. Skinner, “he is a locus, a point at which many genetic and environmental conditions come together in a joint effect.” 

My dog is utterly unique.  The thoughts, senses and experiences of his nine months on this earth have as much to do with who and what he is as the genes that created his lovely body.  A dog is not a commodity that can be factory-produced to exacting specifications. Dogs are living beings, and even when one considers them at the scale of littermates, each is as unique as a snowflake or a fingerprint.

“The cloning of humans dogs is on most of the lists of things to worry about from science, along with behavior control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.”
Lewis Thomas

February 19, 2008 at 5:41 am 10 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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February 2008