[LINK] Cloning of Humans

James Pearce james.pearce@zdnet.com.au
Mon, 3 Feb 2003 13:26:42 +1100

> Take a Powerpoint presentation, as an example. This consists of a set
> of slides each containing images, text, and potentially video and
> audio (for embedded movies, etc), timing behaviours, etc. But they
> can also have associated behaviour (we have all read the ongoing
> discussion of whether PP is a good presentation/argument tool). So if
> we need to archive the PP file, do we want to just preserve the
> slides as static objects or do we also want to preserve their
> behaviour.

Ideally, since the PP file is meant to support the speech of the the
demonstrator, shouldn't you record the presentation (in the sense of in
front of an audience) as well?

> The cloning analogy is interesting here, because, as someone already
> mentioned, cloning does (may?) not preserve behavior of the
> individual but only their DNA in a particular configuration. Tony,
> that is why, I think, merely preserving the DNA is not good enough
> although it may be cheaper. Cloning preserves the active structure as
> well. However, we lose some or all of the intelligence and other
> attributes of the individual. So, what are the minimum set of
> attributes that would enables us to say, 'Oh look, there is an
> identical individual' - the biological equivalent of a duplicate PP
> file.

Well, since identical twins are not considered 'identical individuals', I'd
say you're onto a lost cause, so to speak. The Raelian's final goal is to be
able to clone a person at an accelerated rate and download the brainwaves
onto that person, in effect creating an identical individual, but probably
younger. In this situation you could get identical copies. However, this is
not possible, and I don't think it will ever be possible.

> Does this matter? Human reproduction
> also loses some attributes and gains new ones (if we believe
> evolution theory). Cloning would (could?) not introduce new ones but
> might lose existing ones.

This is true, but unless the entire population moved to reproduction through
cloning it wouldn't make a difference. Remember you're talking about
archiving in this post, which is different to actively creating and using
the material that is being archived.

You are facing some interesting philosophical questions that aren't
generally considered by the rest of society.

> So, in the context of cloning, is cloning preserving the essence of
> the individual or only structure? If the former, then can we consider
> cloning as a viable preservation strategy?

It depends on what you consider life to be. I would say it is only
preserving the structure, believing the essence of a person is how they
behave and act, and the thoughts and beliefs that underlie that behaviour.
Some people, who think our goal in life is to pass on our genes, would say
it was preserving the essence of a person. However, in this case it would be
far simpler to keep the DNA rather than the clone. If the archived material
has to be studied at some point in the future, it can be cloned then.

So, are you planning on cloning our political leaders for future prosperity?