GP Comprehension Paper – Cloning & Society

General Paper Comprehension Sample Question Paper & Answers (Paper 2)

GP Comprehension Question Paper – Cloning & Society


(Note that 15 marks out of 50 will be awarded for your language, namely, for the quality and accuracy of your use of English.)

Note: When a question asks for an answer IN YOUR OWN WORDS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE (IYOWAFAP) and you select the appropriate material, you still must use your own words to express it. Little credit (out of the remaining 15 marks) can be given to answers, which only copy words or phrases from the GP text.


From Passage A

1 (From Paragraph 1) Explain, in your own words as far as possible, why America was initially unsuccessful in banning the practice of human cloning (1)


Healthcare practitioners expressed vehement disapproval as they thought it could pose a needless obstacle to the advancement of science, which has the potential to improve health/eradicate diseases.

Lifted:Hail of criticism from medical groups who argued that it would be an unnecessary impediment to scientific research, (1.6-7)

which would bring medical benefits (1.7-8)


2. (From Paragraph 2) What is Kontorovich’s basic objection to the arguments made for cloning? AIYWAFAP. [2]

(Inferred) His basic objection is that the ethical / moral issues which the technology inevitably raises have been totally disregarded / ignored / neglected  OR merely taken as unproblematic on the premise that the end necessarily justifies the means.


The talk of concrete material benefits from cloning assumes that if it is possible to reproduce certain cells for certain purposes it is permissible to reproduce human beings in a Petri dish 09-12)


3. (From paragraph 3) The author gives several counter-arguments in response to those who advocate cloning. State TWO of these counter arguments IYOWAFAP. (2 marks)

Decay, disease and death are part and parcel of life and they are ultimately inevitable.

The desire to prolong life also cannot be a good reason to make cloning acceptable.

Childlessness is not considered an incapacitating disease that people feel compelled to cure. It is just an imperfection / inadequacy / constraint comparable to inequalities of physique or social status which we take for granted or accept.

Any 2 of the ideas


Death and bodily infirmity are concomitant with human existence and in the long run unavoidable (l.24-25)

Longevity cannot justify a practice that is basically wrong (l. 26-27).

Infertility is not even a disabling sickness that, on humanitarian grounds, we should feel obliged to alleviate It is simply a limitation, similar to not being tall or wealthy (l.27-9)


4. (From paragraph 5) Why does the author claim that cloning’s “most wondrous manufactures would be murdered” (l.32-33)

A human life is killed after the needed body parts have grown.

The miracle of creating life occurs in the cloning process.

Hence, intentionally creating these live by take them away, can be considered murder.


Foetus (gets) aborted when the organs are ready (l39-40)

… wondrous manufactures (l.32)


From Passages A & B

5. According to the biblical story of creation, Eve was the first woman created by God. She tempted by the devil to act against God’s commands, a sin for which the whole of mankind was punished.

From Paragraph 6 of Passage A
5a. Using your own words, explain the author’s purpose in making relation to Eve. [1]

The author uses the reference to suggest that cloning research will lead o attaining knowledge,  which will bring detriment to mankind. OR

We are transgressing God’s will by engaging in such research. OR

Human nature cannot resist temptation and man is only capable of learning knowledge from his mistakes. 


From Paragraph 1 of Passage B
5b. Explain why you think that it the baby referred to in this paragraph has been named Eve. [1]

Eve, the first female human created by God is an appropriate name for the Raelians claim that their baby is the first of her kind.


From Passage B

6 (From Paragraph 8) The author describes the desire of infertile or bereaved couples to have offspring as desperation (l.56). What is this “desperation compared to? Explain why this comparison appropriate. Explain IYOWAFAP. (2 m)

It is compared to the drug addict’s thirst for drugs.

These couples’ longings to have children can also become a blind obsession, hindering them from making irrational / illogical decisions. A drug addict may likewise be so fixated on acquiring drugs to feed his craving that he will do anything to get his hands on them.


 The desperation of infertile or bereaved couples is us all consuming as any craving for drugs (l.56-57)


7. (From Paragraphs 7 and 8) The author is concerned that as a result of a ban on cloning research, such research may be conducted by the wrong people. Which two words does he use to describe these two types of people and why would each group be considered undesirable as researchers? Give your explanation in your own words as far as possible. [3]

They are the “amateurs” and the “renegades”. (1 mark)

“Amateurs” are scientists who do not have the right expertise, training or technology to carry out cloning research professionally.
“Renegades” are scientists who flout the rules and regulations that govern cloning research. These mavericks would probably clone for the sake of making profits or media attention.



H1 JC GP Passages – Article Sources for Cloning & Society:

JC H1 GP Tuition (Syllabus Code: 8807)
Source of GP Passage Texts:
E V. Kontorovich, Asexual Revolution, 1998
The Economist, 2003


Q8. Vocabulary Question (5 marks)

Word1 Mark 1/2 Mark
Repugnant (A 1.3)Offensive; repulsive; abhorrent; revolting

No mark: terrible


Callous (A, I.24)Insensitive; uncaring, unfeeling

No mark: heartless


Speculative (A, 1.43)

Based on guesswork, hypothetical


Spoof (B, 11)



Debut (B, 1.9)

First appearance / entrance





Q9. Summary Question (SQ) (8 marks)

The author of Passage B presents arguments both for and against banning human reproductive cloning. In no more than 130 words, not counting the opening words which are printed below, summarise these arguments, using the material in paragraphs 3 to 5 only Answer in your own words as far as possible. [8]

One argument for banning human reproductive cloning is that…



Lifted from the GP Text


-Until scientists know what accounts for all these animal casualties, it would be foolhardy to pursue experiments in humans (1.25-6)
There is a powerful case on safety grounds for a moratorium on human experiments (1.35-6)


Some objectors dislike the idea of taking “creation” out of God’s hands (1.27-8)
Some think that creating humans should be left entirely to the Almighty (L33-4)


Others feel that people will clone for bizarre reasons like desiring to restore to life a dead child (1.29-30)

Or for selfish reasons like wanting to have a handy tissue donor (1.30-1)

Others balk at the idea of creating a human being who is biologically a carbon copy of another (1.31-2)


Attempts at human cloning should be temporarily halted because of the spirits of cloning
It is foolish hot patent to attempt human cloning when we cannot even explain why there are these failed attempts in animal cloning.

Opponents of cloning also cringe at the thought that man is playing God
Making human beings is a task that only the Divine can be responsible for.


Besides, some may resort to cloning because to they have strange / morbid longings like wanting an exact replica of a deceased son or daughter,

while others, in their self interest, may want a clone so as to gain vital cells / cellular material for treatment.

People also recoil at the thought of creating exact replicas of a human being as they would not be unique.




-A cloned child is likely to be a wanted child (1.36-7)

-(Cloning) offers hope to couples where one partner carries a deadly genetic mutation (1.37-8)

-[Offers hope to couples where existing fertility treatment is useless (138)

-To make a genetic copy of one parent I5 not very different from what nature already does with identical twins 40)

-Countless generations have offspring as a workforce pension plan or heir (1.41-2)


However, advocates of cloning claim that a cloned child will never suffer from neglect / is likely to be loved.

Cloning allows couples who cannot have healthy offspring to become parents.

Infertile couples also have a possibility of having their own children.

Furthermore, advocates of cloning argue that making a clone of a parent is quite similar to nature creating twins, who are practically indistinguishable.

Besides, since time immemorial, people have had children for no reason other than selfish gain as well.







Q10 Application Question (8 marks)

The writers of Passages A and B differ in their attitudes toward cloning research-and practice.
What policies, if any, do you think the government of your country should implement with regard to cloning and practice. Explain why, justifying your answer with relevant ideas from both passages as well as your own knowledge and opinions.



The question invites students to offer and evaluate several policy options. Students should argue for their proposed policies using the various arguments detailed below. In the process they may also suggest the relative weaknesses of alternative policies.


Possible Policies and why they were chosen (Explanation and Evaluation)

Option 1:
An absolute ban on all forms of cloning research and technology


Arguments against reproductive cloning

a. Moral arguments
Reproductive cloning dehumanises reproduction (Passage A lines 13-14). This has far-reaching consequences. An intimate and emotional experience is replaced with a purely mechanical and functional process.

People will be products (A 14). Holding on to the values of humanity will be even more difficult. As it is, men have already shown tendency to treat their fellows very poorly. If individuals are seen as products, matters may get worse.

The pragmatic applications, such as infertility treatments, have moral implications that destroy the order of nature (A 48-49). Furthermore, less morally controversial alternatives (such as adoption) may be more cost effective.



b. Medical arguments
Potential medical benefits have yet to be proven (A 16-17), It is presently a very dangerous technique, fraught with medical complications. In fact, even if there are medical benefits, the risks involved in attaining them may not be justified (A 35-37).



Arguments against therapeutic cloning

c. Arguments pertaining to research
Even if cloning can, like other experimental science procedures, can be easily subjected to regulation (B 45-47), the lure of potential rewards may cause researchers to take risks. Advances made in the course of therapeutic cloning (B 60-61) may tempt researchers to attempt reproductive cloning, which is unacceptable on moral grounds. Worse, there are irresponsible scientists who clone for the sake of publicity (B 5-6). Given the high profile that cloning receives in the media, lax cloning policies may attract the wrong types of researchers to Singapore and inadvertently mar the country’s reputation.

Singapore may not have the right medical ethics policies in place This was made painfully obvious in the case of Dr Simon Shorvon. The Health Ministry has admitted to weak links in system that has to be reformed before ethically controversial research is allowed.


d. Social, Political and Economic arguments
While a ban may not work perfectly (B. 56), it is it the government’s prerogative and responsibility to set the moral tone for the country. For example, S’pore’s drug laws may be considered harsh yet they are effective and have made the drug problem manageable.

Perhaps it is futile to try to cobble together a policy that will govern so many conflicting interests (B 12-13). An outright ban may be the clearest option/ Any form of cloning is a potentially divisive issue, especially with religious groups who may already feel marginalised in the increasingly secular environment that is Singaporean society. Accommodating religious opinion may give the government leverage on other pressing issues (such as inter-faith tolerance, much needed in multi-religious Singapore).

Banning cloning in Singapore does not mean that the country will lose its edge as a biomedical hub. There are other technologies (cancer research for example) for SG to build its expertise in. Cloning is a tiny, if highly sensationalised, branch of biomedical research.



Option 2 Partial ban – on reproductive cloning but not on therapeutic cloning

Responses may mention arguments against reproductive cloning but should focus on explaining policies that will regulate therapeutic cloning research and practice.


Defending cloning for therapeutic purposes
a. Moral Arguments

Even if there are moral qualms about producing foetuses that may be killed, the moral burden of allowing debilitating diseases (such as diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease) to go untreated when there is the potential of developing cures, should justify the development of therapeutic cloning.

New techniques make therapeutic cloning even more morally acceptable. In May 2003 a group of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania reported success in converting stem cells to egg cells in the laboratory. This potentially means that embryos for stem cell research do not have to be harvested from aborted foetuses but can be manufactured. This technique removes at least one moral complication.


b. Policies pertaining to research

A clear cut off date (fourteen days is the accepted norm) by which embryonic stem cells must be destroyed must be enforced (B 21-22). As long as researchers do not allow the cells to develop beyond the fourteenth day, there should not be any more objections than those raised against certain contraceptive devices (eg IUDS).

Tight regulations which allow only small groups of scientists to be authorised to practice therapeutic cloning (8 45-46). This ensures that technology and expertise are not freely available. The high tech nature of the equipment and the required expertise makes this kind of regulation possible.

Research on new stem cell lines can only be started with approval from the government. Because embryonic stem cells are flexible and easily manipulated there may be the danger of researchers being tempted to develop more lines. An advisory body should be set up to monitor research on existing stem cell lines and only allow cloning research on new stem cell lines if there are clear medical benefits to be gained.

The government must actively fund cloning research and at the same time be highly selective in encouraging private investment in cloning research. This will ensure that scientists will not be susceptible to the lure of research funding from disreputable sources.


c Policies pertaining to social concerns
An inter-religious committee on cloning must formulate an ethical framework that defines the boundaries of therapeutic cloning. This committee should be made up of representatives each major religion in Singapore and should aim to satisfy religious opinion (B. 33-34).



Option 3 No ban on either reproductive or therapeutic cloning but tight regulations on all cloning research


a. Moral Arguments opposing a ban on any form of cloning
The belief that humans are beings where the soul and body are inextricably intertwined (A 15/ 51) is only one view of life, a vote that has been heavily influenced by Christian / neo-platonic ideas. These have mystified the nation of being with the language of religion and philosophy. Perhaps we’re merely mechanisms, shaped (rather than “begotten”) by material conditions.

The moral arguments against reproductive cloning (destruction of life / playing god) are similar to the arguments against abortion and in vitro fertilisation (aka IVF) (B 27-29). The choice to decide whether these objections are indeed valid should be given to individuals as it is in these cases.

Infertility and longevity should not be dismissed as trivial concerns (A25-27 & A 27-29). The thought of not having a child of your own or not being able to fulfill your potential because your life is cut short by an incurable disease does cause much mental torment. Also, it is sheer hypocrisy to argue for the preservation of humanity and to not apply humanitarian principles to alleviate severe life-threatening ailments.

Moral arguments against therapeutic cloning are weak (See 2a.)


b Policies pertaining to research and regulation
Transparent legislation that governs medical and research ethics must be formulated. No effort must be spared in ensuring that cloning researchers in Singapore are held to the most stringent standards in research ethics (B 46-48). If reproductive cloning is to be allowed. Singapore can ill-afford system the reputation of having a poor research ethics record as this would merely attract the wrong sorts of people.

Regulatory policies governing reproductive cloning must state clear and indisputable criteria that must be evident before reproductive cloning technology is considered safe.  These criteria must be verified as having a sound medical basis by independent experts, who do not have a vested interest in Singapore’s cloning programme.

A clearly structured system for individuals who want to volunteer as subjects in reproductive clone should be set up. AFAP, the motives of these individuals should be scrutinised and evaluated.  This will hopefully minimise the instances of individuals wanting a clone for selfish reasons. 

A concerted effort must be made to attract the best researchers in the field so that research into reproductive cloning will be carried out safely. Building a reputable research culture could also prevent incompetent scientists or frauds from trying to take advantage of cloning policies.



c. Policies governing social and economic concerns
An educational programme should be in place to explain to couples the possibilities and limitations of reproductive cloning technology (B 59-60). The demand for reproductive cloning must be based on an informed choice and not popular conceptions of what cloning promises.

A ban on exporting the technology to other countries. If cloning expertise and services can be sold to other countries where the laws may not be as liberal, cloning may prove to be extremely lucrative and thus spawn an industry that is impossible to regulate.


This is an AQ where the extra effort to organise the response should be rewarded generously The numerous arguments that may be used means that any attempt at grouping related arguments under broader categories (moral medical, social economic and political considerations) would demonstrate clarity of thought / thoughtfulness. The mark scheme has to be structured to give an indication of the kind of organisation possible.



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