Poll: Human Cloning <i>Is</i> Possible

Human Cloning, DNA Helix, Ban
Since 1996 when a sheep named Dolly became the first mammal cloned, speculation has risen as to whether the cloning of human beings is possible; most Americans now believe it is. However, they are overwhelmingly opposed to the idea.

Three-quarters - 76% - of the American public thinks it is currently possible for scientists to clone humans, while 18% say it is not possible.

Is It Possible To Clone Human Beings?
Yes 76%
No 18

There are some age differences on this question: Older Americans are more skeptical about whether scientists are now able to clone human beings than their younger counterparts. 66% of those age 65 and over think it is currently possible for scientists to clone human beings, 23% think it is not possible. Among those under 65, nearly eight in 10 (78%) think scientists can clone humans and 18% think they cannot.

Even though Americans believe the cloning of human beings is a possibility, large majorities do not think it should be allowed. 85% think human cloning should not be permitted, while only 11% say it should be.

Should Scientists Be Allowed To Clone Humans?
Yes 11%
No 85

While polling shows that Americans are opposed to the cloning of human beings, in a Gallup Poll conducted in 2001, 54% said they approved of cloning designed to aid medical research that might find treatments for certain diseases. 41% disapproved of this type of cloning.

This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 647 adults, interviewed by telephone May 13-14, 2002. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus four percentage points for results based on the entire sample.

For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.