Katherine Allison, Professor
April 6, 2012
Cloning an Instinct Species in “Jurassic Park”
When we hear about cloning in the media, they are usually referring to reproductive cloning, human cloning in particular, and it’s scientific and ethical implications. In Jurassic Park, John Hammand, who is a rich entrepreneur, hires a group of scientists to clone dinosaurs from the Jurassic Period. The ethical dilemma presented in Jurassic Park is whether we should use our knowledge of cloning to revive an extinct species that ceased to exist through natural processes. I believe John Hammand used ethical relativism (Van Camp, Olen, and Barry page 4) because he coordinated this project based on moral truths that were true to him. However, several of the experts he hired to sponsor the park disagreed with the ethical judgments he made while developing the park. I will briefly describe two types of cloning that were combined to successfully engineer the dinosaurs in the movie, and give an example of cloning that has been successful. Then I will give reasons why it is unethical to resurrect species that became instinct through natural processes. The words recombinant DNA technology, DNA cloning, molecular cloning, and gene cloning all refer to the same process: the transfer of a DNA fragment or interest from one organism to a self-replicating genetic element such as a bacterial plasmid. The DNA of interest can then be developed in a foreign host cell. This technology has been around since the 1970’s, and it has become a common practice in molecular biology labs today. “In 1977 scientists at the Asilomar Conference proposed sweeping regulation on so-called recombinant DNA, technologies which recombine DNA from different species in the test tube” (biology.kenyon.edu). Their concerns were by combining DNA of different species disastrous monsters would result.
Reproductive cloning is a technology used to generate an animal that has the same...