Chinese scientists announced on Wednesday that they have successfully cloned two monkeys, using techniques similar to those first used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996. This marks the first time scientists have successfully applied the technique to primates and raises the potential of its use on humans.
Public Opinion Context
Slightly less than a third of Americans (32%) say they found cloning animals morally acceptable in Gallup's most recent Values and Beliefs survey, conducted in May 2017. Opinions on the issue have changed little over time, with 31% saying cloning animals was morally acceptable the first time Gallup asked the question in 2001.
Fewer than two in 10 Americans (14%) say they found human cloning morally acceptable in the same survey. Unlike cloning animals, which has seen little change in moral acceptability over time, acceptance of cloning humans has doubled since the question was first asked in 2001.
Americans with at least some college education are more than twice as likely to say animal cloning was morally acceptable than those with a high school education or less -- 42% vs. 18%.
However, Americans' views on the moral acceptability of human cloning vary little by education level. Those with at least some college education are more likely to find human cloning morally acceptable than those with a high school education or less, but by a much smaller margin -- 16% vs. 11%.
Cloning animals remains a thorny moral issue for many in the U.S., though not to the same degree as the topic of cloning humans. Americans have been growing more liberal in their attitudes on many moral issues over time, but views on the moral acceptability of cloning animals have been steady across Gallup's 17-year trend. The percentage of Americans who say they find human cloning morally acceptable has increased, but the overwhelming majority still find it morally unacceptable.