Cloning and Outcasts: Where Angels Fear to Tread

In Outcasts, however, we are faced with a more troubling (and more immediately relevant) problem: our relentless drive to clone. Carpathians, in stark contrast with the robotic dilemma of Battlestar Galactica's embattled survivors, are struggling to override Somebody Else's rules; they are in search of unholy results achieved by manipulating Someone Else's life-giving principles. In one of the season's most powerful moments, a young woman known as Fleur Morgan chastises Tate for his willingness to experiment on a baby clone recently captured from its parents. "It's a baby," she says. "I don't care if it's a baby human, a baby AC, or a baby chimp. It wasn't born for our benefit."

There, in a nutshell, is the profound problem with cloning. If modern scientists succeed in their efforts to truly clone a human being, we will find ourselves in the unenviable position of forcing God's hand, robbing the created being of its true dignity and producing a precious human life for no other purpose than for our own benefit. Yet every divinely fashioned being has value far beyond its use to us; we may be creating a tool (just as with the robot or the computer), but we are also creating something that is much more than just a tool.

Robotic and computerized objects have a clear purpose, one circumscribed and limited by the humans who created them, and governed by human needs and human goals. But clones have a purpose just as clear and just as limited. Only it is a Divine purpose, and God is its Limiter—something we must always keep in mind, lest we find ourselves (and our precious scientific advances) cast out of the only place that really matters.

7/7/2011 4:00:00 AM