Of Mice and Men and Christine O’Donnell

A recent exchange between Christine O’Donnell and Bill O’Reilly, with a lack of scientific information on both sides.

O’REILLY: Everybody knows that scientists have enough knowledge to clone a human being if they wanted to.


O’REILLY: But they’re not, at least not that we know of. And now they’re in the monkey realm. And I don’t understand, if that’s the possibility that people might be cured, why the objection. Because I never buy the slippery slope….

O’DONNELL: By their own admission these groups admitted that the report that said, “Hey, yay, we cloned a monkey. Now we’re using this to start cloning humans.” We have to…

O’REILLY: Let them admit anything they want. But they won’t do that here in the United States unless all craziness is going on.

O’DONNELL: They are – they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they’re already into this experiment.

Fact check:

Presumably O’Donnell was misremembering a 2005 report about growing human brain cells within mice. Not the same as an actual functioning human brain. Yes, it has been demonstrated that some mice are more intelligent than members of Congress but no genetic manipulation was required.

Regarding O’Reilly, as per usual when you see the term “everyone knows” it’s a hint of something untrue. It is possible that scientists now have the capability of cloning a human being.

But cloning mice proved fairly easy, sheep much harder, and monkeys much harder yet. Until somebody actually does clone a human being, we won’t know whether scientists have enough knowledge. But of course at some point they will have the knowledge and the will clone humans. And it won’t be the end of the world. We already have human clones. They’re called identical twins.