The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
1 Points

Animal Cloning

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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/3/2016 Category: Science
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 261 times Debate No: 90596
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I'll be arguing against animal cloning while my opponent has to argue for animal cloning. BoP is shared.

Round 1 - Opening Statements from Con
Round 2 - Rebuttals from Pro, Defense from Con
Round 3 - Opening Statements from Pro, Rebuttals from Con
Round 4 - Defense from Pro, Con Must Waive

1) No hate speech/ slander
2) No kritkiks
3) No plagiarism
4) No new arguments in final round
5) Please use citations
6) No forfeiture
7) No trolls

Voting Rules:
1) Vote Convincing Arguments
2) Only vote conduct if plagiarism, forfeiture, and/or slander is present
3) Only vote spelling and grammar if it's so poor it detracts from the arguments at hand

Thank you


I accept this debate challenge and look forward to my opponents arguments. I am addressing this topic as a scientist in the UK.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting my debate! Here are my opening statements.

In all the attempts made, only .01% to 3% were successful in producing a clone. [1]

"...for every 1000 tries, only one to 30 clones are made. Or you can look at it as 970 to 999 failures in 1000 tries." [1]

This proves to be incredibly insufficient and cruel to the animals involved. Even if the clone does, by chance, survive, it's health is in danger.

"Cloned animals also experience many health complications, such as abnormally large organs, and so they often die early. For example, scientists euthanized Dolly when she was six years old (half her expected lifetime) because she suffered from progressive lung disease and severe arthritis." [2]

Another example:
"The only other member of an endangered species ever cloned - a cattle-like Asian gaur, born in January 2001 - died of an infection less than two days after birth." [3]

In other words, the clones often don't live, and if they do, they don't last very long. But let's look at the risks of the surrogate usually used to carry the clone. They can be harmed too.

"Mid- and late-term spontaneous abortions may be hazardous to surrogates if they are unable to expel the fetus and its associated membranes, possibly resulting in metritis (uterine infection), retained fetal membranes (in which the placenta is not expelled), or a mummified (dead, desiccated) fetus. Other complications can occur during pregnancy and labor that may pose a risk to both the pregnant female and the fetus. Developmental Node 1 examines the causes and frequency of pregnancy complications, and the relative risks to both the female and fetus..." [4]

"It is important to note that external factors unrelated to breeding method such as animal management and environment that can influence pregnancy outcomes. In evaluating any ART, including cloning, the potential impact of these external influences should be considered before assigning the cause of pregnancy loss to the technology itself. For example, stress is an important risk factor in the loss of any pregnancy, particularly in the preimplantation phase (before the embryo attaches to the uterine lining). Disease, under-nutrition, and severe environmental conditions (e.g., high ambient temperature) are stressors known to interfere with animal fertility and embryo survival (Lucy 2001, Merck Veterinary Manual Online 2005). In these cases, the risk to the pregnancy is directly related to those stress factors, not the technology used, and must be mitigated in order for normal reproduction to resume." [4]

There are multiple other ways the fetus can be harmed.

1) An incompatibility between enucleated egg and donor DNA
2) Failure of cloned embryo to implant successfully into the womb
3) The egg with the donor DNA may divide incorrectly
4) Skeletal abnormalities
5) Lung and heart problems
6) Higher rates of infections and tumors [5]

"Researchers have observed some adverse health effects in sheep and other mammals that have been cloned. These include an increase in birth size and a variety of defects in vital organs, such as the liver, brain and heart. Other consequences include premature aging and problems with the immune system. Another potential problem centers on the relative age of the cloned cell's chromosomes. As cells go through their normal rounds of division, the tips of the chromosomes, called telomeres, shrink. Over time, the telomeres become so short that the cell can no longer divide and, consequently, the cell dies. This is part of the natural aging process that seems to happen in all cell types. As a consequence, clones created from a cell taken from an adult might have chromosomes that are already shorter than normal, which may condemn the clones' cells to a shorter life span." [6]

In conclusion, animal cloning is insufficient and cruel to the animals involved, as they have many health risks whether they survive or not. Thank you. I look forward to your opening statements.



This is entirely the argument I predicted I would encounter when accepting this debate. The specific type of cloning being referred to is Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT). For anyone unfamiliar with the process I suggest you research the topic prior to engaging with this debate.

Nothing my opponent has stated is fallacious and all of those quotes for the intents and purposes of this argument are sound. However, I will demonstrate why it is wrong to use these arguments to support her point.

Animal cloning, as a science, is in it's infancy. A science which many researchers are dedicating their lives to endeavour due to the inherent benefits perfecting such a biological technique may have (a point which I will return to later).

My opponent has stated many of the inherent problems encountered when attempting to generate a genetic clone. Point (1) refers specifically to the radical inefficiency of generating and bringing to term an animal clone to term. Point (2) points out the poor quality of life of a genetic clone, namely Dolly the sheep. Point (3) I'm afraid is irrelevant as the infection was not related to the fact that this animal was a clone and has no bearing in this argument, the animal died from common dysentery [1]. Point (4) paragraph 1 cites from the FDA guide to animal cloning in the context of veterinary care and medicine. Paragraph 1 iterates the risk to the surrogate during spontaneous abortion in mid-late stages of pregnancy. This is brought up by my opponent I assume because the number of foetuses that don't come to term in cloning, which poses the aforementioned risk. Point (4) paragraph 2 actually iterates all of the confounding factors involved in pregnancy loss, which is a very valid point against my opponent and one she should consider when evaluating the rates of cloning efficiency in SCNT.

The latter part of my opponents argument are a statement of the complications exhibited by successful clones. Or rather certain types of successful clones. While it is true, sheep clones such as Dolly the sheep often develop with genetic problems, mainly due to our lack of ability at this time to control and understand all of the specific epigenetic changes that occur in the zygote during embryogenesis, my opponent fails to mention, or perhaps realise, that goat clones by comparison exhibit little or no genetic problems (Wells et al. 1998a; Young et al. 1998; Baguisi et al. 1999; Reggio et al. 2001; Keefer et al. 2002; Ptak et al. 2002).

The problems that are associated with cloning are a consequence of a gap in our understanding of the changes that occur to the somatic nucleus when added to an enucleated ovum. With this in mind, why should we stop? When in the history of the universe has stopping when facing a gap in our knowledge or a flaw in our methods ever yielded us with progress?

Ladies and gentlemen my opponent has taken an issue with the trial and error method of problem solving. Science necessitates we try things, and where our endeavours fail or end up imperfect, we learn from those mistakes. My opponent would have you believe it is right to stop animal cloning research as it can harm it's subjects, this is know as argumentum ad misericordiam, an appeal to pity. This argument could be likened to that of stage 3 clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals. An argument of this nature would state that it is wrong to conduct such trials as a control group must go without a this potentially disease altering medicine. These types of argument seek to save the immediate cost to test subjects without considering the loss to the greater goal. To bring this back in to context, let us discuss briefly the greater goal and benefits of SCNT cloning.

SCNT, in a theoretical sense, can produce a genetically identical clone of any animal. There are a huge number of benefits to this. In agriculture, imagine having a particular dairy cattle that was an exceptional milk produce, with almost 50% higher milk production than any other cow in the herd. Now, traditional breeding would have us breed this cow with the aims of producing calfs that will mature into high milk yielding cows. This, not only does not guarantee that the calfs will be good milkers, but it is also a long an arduous process, involving having an expensive bullock in your herd. SCNT would allow a farmer to have a herd full of this particular cow, drastically improving his milk yield and drastically increasing the supply of milk he can sell. Now imagine this on a global scale. A world full of extremely high yielding cows. Imagine the ease with which farmers in third world nations could generate a herd to sustain the demand for dairy in his region. This is just one example where SCNT could be useful.

My overall point here is that to stop the progress of a technology because in its current form it is harmful to the animals it is being tested on would be wrong, because the overall goal could have an enormous benefit to humanity. I do not wish this to become a debate about animal rights and research ethics but animals subjected to these tests receive the utmost degree of care and husbandry and are not suffering expect for the complications that can arise in the research.
Debate Round No. 2


In terms of this debate, I give in. I give full concession to my opponent. Congratulations Pro.


Thanks to Con for beginning this debate and encouraging topical scientific discussion.
Debate Round No. 3


I'd like to thank Pro for participating in the debate. Good-bye.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by missbailey8 5 months ago
Posted by LuckyScientist 5 months ago
I am tempted to accept this challenge, however I would like to make an addendum. In text citations. For the sake of ease I wish that all statements be directly cited as they are made. Any claim to a result, figure, statistic must be directly cited as they are stated. It allows each of us to address each point as it is made and formulate a counterpoint.
Posted by missbailey8 5 months ago
Not necessarily hypothetical. Studies have already revealed the effects of cloning on the animals, the harms of it, etc. Animal cloning is becoming more and more widespread, though it's limited so far.
Posted by LuckyScientist 5 months ago
In a hypothetical argument? Because you're currently looking to debate a technology that is highly limited at the moment.
Posted by missbailey8 5 months ago
Outright. I'm looking for moral, scientific, whatever arguments as long as they aren't trolling.
Posted by LuckyScientist 5 months ago
Against animal cloning for what? In what context? Outright? Clarify your motion please. Ambiguous arguments are best left to the religion section.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by hellywon 5 months ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I really wanted to vote for Con, he had some excellent arguments that were more throughouly explained than Pro. Due to the concession, it appears to be that Pro would have to win this