Cloning and to a lesser extent, genetic research, represents either the pinnacle of human achievement or a force of evil, depending on your point of view. One group wholly in favor of human cloning and genetic perfection are the transhumanists. This term was first used by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy to describe a non human condition or perception. Transhumanists believe that through genetic modification, the human being can be freed from all medical and psychological problems with the ultimate goal of becoming ageless, indeed immortal. Of course an immortal being would also be free of the need, if not the ability to procreate. If the need for sexual specificity disappears, does sexual differentiation disappear along with it?

The vast majority of government and scientific bodies, as well as the public are opposed to human cloning. The technology is far from being perfected, leaving any clones vulnerable to a slate of debilitating diseases and deformities. Further, the process by which the individuals and characteristics for cloning are chosen is rife with fundamental ethical issues. Choosing who is suitable for cloning smacks a bit too much of eugenics which was the foundation for such woeful tragedies as the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.

Additional divisiveness over cloning arises as the human genome is parsed more finely. For example, the search is now on for a gene tied to homosexuality. If such a discovery is made, its use could lead either to breeding the trait "out"of the human population through fetal testing or cloning. Those seeking an end to research in this area, however, may benefit from closely related gene research which may provide a means to alleviate or eliminate specific diseases such as Parkinson's. Perhaps the ultimate transhumanist vision would even go as far as identifying and completely removing the "sexual preference" gene altogether. After all, why should an immortal being be preoccupied with matters that are best left to the science lab?

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