A Major Misunderstanding


For a process that many scientists believe cannot yet be performed successfully, human cloning has generated a lot of controversy lately.

J.B. Lippincott, the publisher of a recently released book on cloning, said this week that it has revised the latest printings of the book to correct a misquote of Dr. Bernard D. Davis, Lehman Professor of Bacterial Physiology at the Medical School.

In the first printing of the book--entitled In His Image--The Cloning of a Man--author David Rorvik quoted Davis as advocating the cloning of "enormously talented individuals to enhance our culture."

Davis actually said at a 1970 symposium of scientists, theologians and philosophers, that if human cloning becomes possible, "it will be tempting to clone" talented individuals.

This is not the first time that Rorvik's book has sparked a controversy. In March, Jonathan R. Beckwith '57, professor of Microbiology and Modern Genetics at the Med School, petitioned the federal government to release to the public information on the laboratory cloning of human beings.


In the book, Rorvik claims that doctors have already created a human baby through cloning. Many scientists, however, believe that cloning--the re-creation of an organism from a single cell, yielding duplicates of the original organism--cannot yet be performed with human cells.