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On February 23 1997 news traveled around the world that scientists in Scotland had successfully cloned an adult sheep What had previously seemed impossible even to many scientists was suddenly a reality The sheep named Dolly had only one biological parent and possessed a genetic code identical to that of her original parent Within days the publics amazement over this development turned to questions of whether the technology that had produced Dolly could also be used to clone human beings President Bill Clinton declared a moratorium on federal funding for human cloning research and appointed a commission to review the legal and ethical issues associated with the cloning of humans More than three years later there is still uncertainty about whether it will ever be possible to safely clone human beings The scientists who cloned Dolly succeeded only once in a project involving the creation of 278 sheep embryos The possibility of deformities and health risks in human children as well as overwhelming public opposition to unrestricted cloning research has led some US lawmakers to call for a ban on human cloning although no federal legislation has yet been passed Religious Perspectives on Cloning Medical and technical considerations are certainly not the only concerns surrounding the possibility of human cloning The most contentious and difficult questions associated with human cloning are moral and religious in nature Any discovery that touches upon the human creation is not simply a matter of scientific inquiry President Clinton said in an Oval Office ceremony It is a matter of morality and spirituality as well In a recent poll presented by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People the Press 81 of Americans were opposed to allowing unrestricted scientific research related to human cloning and respondents most often cited their religious belief as having the strongest influence on this view
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