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Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? Paperback – November 5, 1998

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

With human cloning such a hot topic, there is considerable need for clear explanations of the unresolved and complex science and social and ethical issues. Bioethicist Pence (philosophy, Univ. of Alabama) tackles the subject head on, arguing for human cloning as a reproductive option. Pence's strengths include his take on the much-hyped issue of genetic (over)determinism, useful analogies to in-vitro fertilization, and coherent reasons for preferring regulation over legislative bans. Unfortunately, the flippant and dismissive tone detracts from his arguments and trivializes difficult issues. The focus on babymaking obscures the opportunity to gain insight into basic human physiology and to advance some of the most promising and jeopardized fetal cell research for applications such as cell-based therapies, gene therapy, and organ and tissue transplantation, all now prohibited from federal funding and essentially unregulated in the private sector. Not an essential purchase, but a timely reminder to examine and update library resources on cloning; librarians could perhaps start with Cloning Human Beings (National Bioethics Advisory Board, June 1997 ) and update with journal articles and books.?Mary Chitty, Cambridge Healthtech, Newton, Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Occasionally, a new book evokes a sigh of relief. Pence, a medical ethicist and professor of philosophy, wants to know how a consensus on human cloning can be said to have been reached when only one side of the argument about it has appeared. That one side is the one represented by such ethicists as Kass, Caplan, and Meilaender and the recent report of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, all of which have thrown up their hands in horror at the mere thought of human cloning. Pence points out that many of the arguments against human cloning were used earlier against in vitro fertilization. The horrified ethicists are, Pence emphasizes, genetic fatalists who cannot entertain new ideas and scientific progress, and science fiction and misunderstandings of what cloning does have helped overwhelm logical discussion. And why, he asks, have women--presumably an interested group--been left out of the argument? The regulation of human asexual reproduction, he proposes, should be similar to the regulation of gene therapy. William Beatty
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 1 edition (November 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847687821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847687824
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,617,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gregory E. Pence is a professor in the department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). An n expert in bioethics, he has written several books and has testified before the United States Congress and the California Senate about cloning and reproductive ethics.
He graduated from Wheaton High School in Glenmont, Md and cum laude in 1970 with a B.S. from William and Mary and a Ph.D. in 1974 from New York University, writing under visiting Australian bioethicist Peter Singer.
Professor Pence also directs UAB's competitive Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) and taught ethics for thirty-four years at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In 2006, Samford University awarded him a Pellegrino Medal for achievement in medical ethics. He retired from teaching in the medical school in 2011, but he continues teaching in the UAB Department of Philosophy, which he began to Chair in the summer of 2012.
His most-known work has labeled him as a rebel in the scientific community. As displayed in his many books on the subject of cloning (Who's Afraid of Cloning, etc.), he is one of the few bioethicists who believe in human cloning. He believes that human cloning should not be banned but rather accepted in modern society as a medical marvel. His opinion is illustrated in his many papers and books about the theory and future of human cloning.
His textbook, "Medical Ethics", is one of the field's standard texts.
At UAB, Pence has won several teaching awards. In 2010, he coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl and in 2011, he coached the UAB team that won the national championship of the Bioethics Bowl at the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference at Duke University.

Watch one of Dr. Pence's talks at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO2EptRQdIY

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book saved my life! I am an arts major and had to do a term paper on human cloning. The science was explained very clearly but not in too much detail (as in Gina Kolata's CLONE). I especially liked the sections on myths and mistakes about cloning, including how cloning and twins are bashed in movies and fiction (I'm a twin!). Pence argues that a child originated by cloning is just a delayed twin, which I can buy. All in all, I got ten book out of the library on cloning, but this is the only one I had to buy because I needed to mark it up so much. On Amazon.com, it's a good buy in paperback and well worth the $8-9.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Lee D. Carlson HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
In view of the...decision made by the House of Representatives this week on banning human cloning, this book is a breath of fresh air. It is the only book I have found that addresses the issue of human cloning with a calmness of spirit and rational argumentation. The author's arguments in favor of human cloning are concise yet powerful, and everyone interested in the bioethics of human cloning will gain a lot from the reading of this book. I only wish every member of the House would have read, studied, and thought about this book before making their awful decision. One of the House members comments were to the effect that no "mad scientist" is going to be allowed to proceed with the cloning of human beings.
Such commentary by the House member is rooted in popular culture according to the author. Movies, literature, and to a large degree educational institutions have painted a picture of human cloning that has no basis in science or reality. And from my own personal confrontations with people against human cloning, his assertions are correct; most people, even highly educuated ones, have a completely distorted view about what is actually possible in today's technology.
The author refutes successfully the arguments against human cloning, but also gives positive arguments for proceeding with it. I don't think the people steadfastly against human cloning will be swayed by this book, but one must remain optimistic. At any rate, the author shows convincingly that human cloning (or nuclear somatic transfer as he likes to call it) is an option that should be pursued, although with care. After reading it, one could say that a positive decision for human cloning by the citizens of our world will not lead to a "slippery slope"....but instead to a "thoughtful ascent".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kimeve on December 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
i thought this book was amazing. it's not often that you find an argument that's actually in defense of human cloning--and much less that you see anyone who's open-minded and thoughtful enough not to just blindly dismiss a possibly very helpful technology. a very well written book, it brings up important issues to the reader, and definitely should serve as required reading material for anyone who's to deal with the important decisions that will be made about cloning in the next few decades. very highly recommended!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of human cloning, and am convinced of many of Pence's arguments. He goes far enough to add the scientific procedures, helping me for a college cellular biology class. His views are not biased at all, and his ideas/arguments are well backed up by factual information. If you want to learn the facts about cloning read this book. He does not mock religion or government, but this book may not be appropriate for people set in their ways, unwilling to open themselves to the possibilities. It's important to keep religion and science apart; Pence does this wonderfully.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Was I happy to get my hands on this book. Stanford's Green Library had it, and I needed to research on cloning for my extended essay (4000W). This book gives me everything I need to know, and I would like to thank Mr. Pence for such a good read and research 'mine'
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