Dr. Zavos's transcript during a live chat on
America Online (AOL Chat)
Thursday, May 30, 2002.
Dr Zavos sitting at Dan
Rather's anchor desk at the CBS News Studio during his
recent visit at CBS,
May 28, 2002.
HOST RL Peregrin: Hello everyone... and good
evening. welcome to our special chat on cloning :)
DOCTOR ZAVOS: A very good evening to all of you
HOST RL Peregrin: Our guest tonight is Dr Zavos.
To clone or not to clone? Dr. Zavos is a true pioneer and is
recognized worldwide as a leading researcher and authority
in the areas of cloning technology. He is featured in the National
Geographic Explorer's June 2 television premiere, 'Clone!',
8PM ET on MSNBC.
Cloning technology has long captured the public
imagination, but the birth of the first cloned mammal, Dolly
the sheep, has showed us that this technology has become a
reality. What will happen if we can grow organs and regenerate
cells, and if we fundamentally change how babies are made?
Welcome with us, our special guest, Dr Zavos.
Welcome Doctor :)
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Thank you, very good to be here!
HOST RL Peregrin: Doctor, would you like to make
a statement before we begin taking questions?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Sure I do. As we informed the Congress
10 days ago, the year 2002 will be the year of the clones I
believe that this show which premieres on National Geographic
Explorer will explain the various aspects of the cloning, and
the various facets and dimensions that this extremely powerful
technology can bring to the world I urge everyone to watch
this special. MSNBC 8pm, check your listings.
Houlie718: Dr. Zavos where did you go to school?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well, I went to college at Emporia
State University in Kansas and received three of my degrees
from there, and I received my PhD from the University of Minnesota,
Kersh5000: I am 31 weeks and am losing weight.
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well Kersh it is difficult to tell
just by speaking to you.
Kersh5000: do I need to be worried, it's 10 pounds
in a month.
DOCTOR ZAVOS: It is not a normal trend and expect
that you should go and see your OB/GYN and find out why you
are losing the weight. Continue an intake of the proper amount
of food and see your OB/GYN as soon as possible.
RENDEZVOUS111: When we get to the point of cloning
whole persons, and we will, where does the soul fit in?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well the issue about a soul is
abstract. It is very diffiicult to tell but I can assure you
that clones will have souls because God gives every human being
that is born in this world a soul. And as you may know, God
also clones by creating identical twins at birth. The evidence
we have is that all clones have souls and lead a very happy
HOST RL Lamb: what do you see as the most promising
aspect of cloning? curing diseases or something else?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: This is a multiple question, and
so therefore the answer should be all of the above. I see great
potential in giving diseased people back their health and infertile
couples who cannot have biological children of their own, they
can now complete the life process along with the rest of us,
and enjoy life. This has tremendous potential and we have not
even begun harvesting the full potential of the technology.
Some of our polititians in this country wish to close the door
on this technology, and that is very sad.
Supax: Will this technology that might soon assist a few people in industrialized
countries filter down to developing countries where sanitation and vaccination
are a primary concern? Will it reduce the cost of future drugs?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: There's no doubt in my mind that
if this technology is developed and guided by the world leaders,
properly, it will benefit all peoples on this earth. Obviously,
on the basis of what I know, similar technologies such as in-vitro
fertilization (IVF) that has great similarities to the cloning
technology, has managed to reach allparts of the world and
all societies of the world. And cloning will do the same.
Houlie718: How much participation do you receive
from the U.S. government? In legislation? In finance?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Nothing, zero. The US government
not only has not given us any support financially or otherwise,
but they have made our lives miserable. We've received a great
deal more support from other governments in this world, and
that surprised us immensly. We in science would like to portay
to the world that we are morally and ethically correct, but
that is an illusion. We in America Must take the leadership
on this effort, and the world demands that from us.
RENDEZVOUS111: I say continue the progress and
maybe someday we'll be able to create the perfect human race.
DOCTOR ZAVOS: My reaction to your comment is
that we already have a perfect human race.We have NO intention
of genetically modifying people and creating "designer" babies,
but rather in assisting infertile couples in having biological
children of their own.
SFNYC2002: How does cloning effect the person
who is cloned?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: I would think that it should not
have any effect at all because that person who is cloned for
reproductive purposes, will look at that cloned person as their
own son or daughter or babies and love it as we all love our
HOST RL Hydrokat: Where does your research grant
DOCTOR ZAVOS: We have no such research grants.
Therefore they do not originate from anywhere. All we have
received so for for research have come from private sources.
Katalind: See the television premiere - CLONE!
- 8PM ET on MSNBC, Sunday June 2. Check your local listings.
Supax: If we are to clone people, there will
be many painful and dramatic failures, is this risk worth it
considering there is hardly a population shortage on this planet?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: We are very much aware of the shortfalls
of this technology at this moment based upon the animal research
which has been done so far. However, we feel that by taking
this technology to the human level, those shortfalls and mishaps
that have been published and publicized so heavily by the animal
cloners will diminish significantly. The very important aspect
about human and animal reproduction is that when we experiment
on humans, we either do it right or we do not do it. The opposite
is correct when it comes to the animal cloning efforts thus
far. One must understand that the incidence of mishaps takes
place when someone is reproduced naturally and that incidence
of mishaps is almost 5%. When you get above age 40 for the
woman, that incidence could double or triple. Similar trends
have been established when emplying in-vitro fertilization
techniques. However, neither natural reproduction nor in-vitro
fertilization have been stopped due to those mishaps. Life
Houlie718: Where do you feel cloning will stand in the future? Politically.
DOCTOR ZAVOS: I believe that cloning will take
the same route as in-vitro fertilization has taken 24 years
ago. Initially IVF was banned in the US from 1978 to 1981 And
today, probably most of our politicians have a child or grandchild
produced via IVF. The founder, Robert Edwards who produced
the first IVF baby stated recently that cloning will come to
be accepted just like IVF was and it will be a matter of time
that it becomes politically correct as well as ethically correct
to have a child via cloning. Time is on our side to have a
child via cloning.
RENDEZVOUS111: Then why all the sickness,physical
and psychologically if we are all so perfect? Darwins theory!
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well this is as perfect as we can
be and God wanted us to be this way in order to appreciate
the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will never be perfect as
long as we are on this earth, we can only aim for perfection.
Therefore we can only be very pleased with what we are today!
HOST RL Lamb: what happens to the human clones if they are not used in implantations?
Who gets to select the parents to start the process of cloning the child?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: The same thing should happen as
what we do today with IVF, they get stored in an embryo bank
for later use as dictated by their parents. There are three
choices that normally people have when they store embryos in
an IVF tissue bank. One is to reuse it. Destroy it. Or put
it up for adoption for somebody else if someone wants to adopt
that embryo. The same principles should apply to those embryos
produced via cloning.
As to who gets to select the parents .... The
parents choose the parents. They will go to an IVF program
and volunteer. They must have some degree of infertility. The
parents are the ones who dictate as to whether they choose
to reproduce via cloning. No one else does but them. If anyone
wishes to go to my web site, they may do so at www.zavos.org
HOST RL Hydrokat: What public policies have been imposed on your technology by
any world government so far?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: This is a very good question! You
get an A on this one <G>
RL Hydrokat: <laughing>
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Various governments in this world
are reacting in a number of different ways and ironically they
are doing so prematurely, and sadly, without being well informed
about the subject. There have been various laws passed in various
governments such as England, which is one of the pioneering
countries that allow therapeutic cloning only under very strict
conditions. But no reproductive cloning under any circumstances.
Other governments have tried to imitate the British stand on
cloning such as Australia, which happens to be a territory
of the British. The majority of the countries, although they
have expressed an opinion they have failed to act legislatively
to allow or permit cloning to take place. One of those countries
is the US. The is a debate, which I regard as very healthy,
but it has not prompted the US Senate as yet to take the issue
up for debate and legislation.
Katalind: See the television premiere - CLONE!
- 8PM ET on MSNBC, Sunday June 2. Check your local listings.
HOST RL Peregrin: Doctor how do you respond to
the people expressing fears of cloning for the purpose of harvesting
organs or parts?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Great follow up question This is
exactly what the enemies of cloning are trying to portray to
the people that they represent or associate with that this
technology will allow us to produce people for spare parts.
This is totally out of line and untrue, and I don't believe
any society will allow that to happen. Let alone in America.
I believe that our President, George W. Bush
during his recent statement referred to such language, which
was merely political and very far removed from what is reality.
It is time that we tell the people the truth and not gain politically
from spreading untrue statements and distorting the facts.
Where would we be manufacturing people for spare parts, if
all we do is merely doing what IVF has allowed us to do for
24 years; that is, create embryos which will be transferred
to the womb of a woman to bear a child. Where would spare parts
come into that picture? All the spare parts statements are
made for political gains and nothing else.
Katalind: National Geographic: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/explorer/index.html
Houlie718: Do you think it is possible to make
superhumans that could maybe lift boulders or run like cheetahs?
i had to ask
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well, this is a hypothetical question
and I can answer it in the same fashion. That is, we can genetically
modify any particular group of genes to do incredible things
today and much more in the future. We should never design humans
to specifications, and that is one area where I agree with
President Bush. Therefore I urge everyone to watch the special
on Clones which premieres on National Geographic Explorer on
June 2nd at 8pm Eastern time. You will be immensely benefited
from watching this show.
RENDEZVOUS111: You dance around questions when
you know damn well whats going on out there, especially with
those that have unlimited funds
Houlie718: getting things off our chest?
DOCTOR ZAVOS: My comment is that I never dance
around those questions. Those are the facts of life, reality.
HOST RL Peregrin: Thank you so much doctor for
your time with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Thank you so much for coming tonight
Houlie718: thanks doctor
HOST RL Peregrin: <<<<<APPLAUSE>>>>
DOCTOR ZAVOS: Please come to my web site, www.zavos.org
HOST RL Neon: Excellent job, Doctor!
Houlie718: clap clap clap clap
HOST RL Hydrokat: Thank you to everyone! :o)