Cloning and Genetic Engineering

God has placed within humanity great power and potential—but, sometimes, our wisdom fails us when we become obsessed with our own abilities. We have made great technological advancements, including, perhaps, one day, the potential cloning of human beings. This is a tricky issue because the writers of Scripture did not have to wrestle with whether or not they should clone humans in a lab. Here, then, are a few principles to consider.

Genesis tells about people attempting to build a tower to heaven: “Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’ And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them’” (Gen. 11:4-6, ESV). We can see the level of human aspiration and ingenuity, and God’s concern over it due to humanity’s sinful nature. People are often more concerned whether they can do things rather than whether they should do things.

Genesis 1:26 tells us that we are created in God’s image. This passage describes what theologians call the Imago Dei (Latin for “image of God”) that has been stamped on all people. If humans should move forward and clone themselves, what kinds of decisions will they make? Today’s technology allows us to manipulate organisms at the genetic level. How much of a scientist’s preferences should shape our genetics? Perhaps there are some powers we simply lack the wisdom to practice, and thus we shouldn’t? In the end, with human cloning we are coming way too close to playing God, and thus we should move ahead with caution, if at all.

For a deeper understanding of the issue involved, we suggest people go to the following link: