Cloning

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Cloning

Postby andrewxc » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:36 pm UTC

Before we actually have a public reveal of a clone, let's get one thing straight: clones are humans with just as much of a soul or right to live as an identical twin. We don't distinguish between identical twins as the "original" and "copy", so clones should get the same treatment and rights as any other human.
Granted, twins are "naturally" cloned, and clones are artificially copied, but the point still remains.
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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:11 pm UTC


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Re: Cloning

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:20 pm UTC

Is there an actual point for discussion here?
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Re: Cloning

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Is there an actual point for discussion here?


Yes there is. Now. ... whether or not there is something to discuss.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Mr_Rose » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:58 pm UTC

andrewxc wrote:Before we actually have a public reveal of a clone, let's get one thing straight: clones are humans with just as much of a soul or right to live as an identical twin. We don't distinguish between identical twins as the "original" and "copy", so clones should get the same treatment and rights as any other human.
Granted, twins are "naturally" cloned, and clones are artificially copied, but the point still remains.

Wait, real clones, or Hollywood Clones? 8)
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Re: Cloning

Postby lemmings » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:05 pm UTC

Before we actually have a public reveal of a clone,

I'm guessing that modern science is just waiting for the kid to grow up that way he doesn't have a rough childhood. We all know how cruel children can be when picking on little Photo's name.

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Re: Cloning

Postby andrewxc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:20 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Is there an actual point for discussion here?

Some people might have issues with the whole "clones don't have souls" comments that some people have made in the recent past.
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Re: Cloning

Postby UmbrageOfSnow » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:11 am UTC

Who claims clones don't have souls? And who (on these fora) would listen to that sort of person anyway?
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Re: Cloning

Postby Interactive Civilian » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:24 am UTC

UmbrageOfSnow wrote:Who claims clones don't have souls? And who (on these fora) would listen to that sort of person anyway?

Depending on how one might define "soul", I might claim this. Because I don't have any particular belief in the "soul" as it is commonly defined, i.e. some "entity" which exists apart from the body, is immortal, etc.

However, that would probably be a discussion for "Serious Business" rather than the Science forum. ;)

Of course, I wouldn't ever claim that the lack of a "soul" should mean that someone or something should be denied rights. For me, any argument based on "XXXXX don't have souls" as its premise would be a complete non sequitur.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Woofsie » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:18 am UTC

Interactive Civilian wrote:*prepares to be flamed*

Heh, I don't think doubting the existence of souls is very likely to get you flamed on the xkcd Science forum. :P

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Re: Cloning

Postby UmbrageOfSnow » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:05 am UTC

Actually, that is sort of what I meant, I don't believe in souls either, but if they existed, they logically couldn't be exclusive to non-clones and I can't imagine arguing that clones somehow are exempt of human rights.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Waylah » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:42 pm UTC

Cloning ain't new either, take a plant cutting and strike a new plant and there you go, you have a clone. Mostly in scientific research we're cloning all the time, but it's just cloning a single gene, whacking it into some bacteria to make lots o protein that we can play with, or other related activities.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer for therapeutic cloning is getting some research but somatic cell nuclear transfer for reproductive cloning is a fair way down the pipeline cos at this stage, it would just be downright cruel, the amount of medical problems the baby quite likely would be riddled with, if s'he were viable.
Knowing humans though, it'll happen eventually.

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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

UmbrageOfSnow wrote:if they existed, they logically couldn't be exclusive to non-clones
why?

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Re: Cloning

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:48 pm UTC

What about encephacally challenged clones? Did you see Moon?
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Re: Cloning

Postby Kow » Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:20 pm UTC

Assuming a soul exists (yea...), who's to say that under the same conditions, a womb is any different from a test tube? A clone would either have a soul or no one has a soul.

Unless you can argue that somethings special about the womb that is soul yeilding.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Mr_Rose » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:27 pm UTC

Kow wrote:Unless you can argue that somethings special about the womb that is soul yeilding.

And even if you do that you're still left with the in-vivo option for gestation of your clone. In fact that's rather more likely given that research into in-vitro gestation is either non-existent or is slowly working backwards from parturition rather than forwards from fertilisation.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Waylah » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

Yes, the best progress they've made on that front is keeping baby goats alive in tanks hooking their umbilical cords up to whatever machinery they need, and they could keep them alive for a couple o weeks before 'birth' which sometimes worked. so yeah, going backwards as it were. They also are doing some things from the fertilisation end o things too, I believe they got fertilised eggs to implant into a uterine wall in vitro. Sounds like digging a tunnel, starting at either end, eventually meet up in the middle? Who knows. But yeah, there's no more reason for a clone to develop in vitro than there is for anyone else to. Remember, IVF babies start life in vitro too.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:40 am UTC

Waylah wrote:Yes, the best progress they've made on that front is keeping baby goats alive in tanks hooking their umbilical cords up to whatever machinery they need, and they could keep them alive for a couple o weeks before 'birth' which sometimes worked


Citation needed? I've never heard of what you're outlining, and would LOVE to see if it's been done.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:31 am UTC

If IVF babies have souls, I don't see why clones wouldn't. Except that I'm personally of the opinion that none of us has souls. Let me put it this way: Clones, being biologically human, would be sentient and intelligent, and that settles it for me.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Waylah » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:49 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Waylah wrote:Yes, the best progress they've made on that front is keeping baby goats alive in tanks hooking their umbilical cords up to whatever machinery they need, and they could keep them alive for a couple o weeks before 'birth' which sometimes worked


Citation needed? I've never heard of what you're outlining, and would LOVE to see if it's been done.


here's the citation:
Artif Organs. (1993) Development of an artificial placenta: survival of isolated goat fetuses for three weeks with umbilical arteriovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Dec;17(12):996-1003. Unno N, Kuwabara Y, Okai T, Kido K, Nakayama H, Kikuchi A, Narumiya Y, Kozuma S, Taketani Y, Tamura M.

and
here's the link to it on pubmed.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8110 ... inalpos=16

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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:10 am UTC

ok, so basically Sir_Elderberry, Mr_Rose, UmbrageOfSnow et al arguent for why clones must have soul (given that souls exist) is because they do not see why would they not have it. is it just me, or this is something very far from being logical argument? basically, you just want clones to have it.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Waylah » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:34 am UTC

I think that all they're saying is that there is no difference between clones and non-clones that would make one have a soul and the other not have a soul. I don't think any of them actually believe in a 'soul' separate to the body anyway, they're just saying, there's no evidence of any difference between clones and non-clones defining soul-having ability.

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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:41 am UTC

that's pretty much like with everything else, we do not find the difference until we study things deep enough - and we clearly don't if there is a soul (accepted premise in this part of discussion) and yet we can't find any trace of it.

a man having a soul is the same as a terrorist with a gun trying to board a plane - until he's somewhere out there in a crowd, we see no difference between people, they all look the same - and only after we run them through metal detector, we find that he has a gun under his clothes and others don't.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Waylah » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:52 am UTC

wait... people have been smuggling souls onto planes?! :O we should build some soul-detectors and make sure this never happens again.

You know there is an understanding of the word 'soul' that just means 'person'.

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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:01 am UTC

You know you are just trying to get away from argument :) If you can't even detect souls (as in "i.e. some entity which exists apart from the body, is immortal, etc") how can you possibly make logical conclusions about wether clones can have it or not? This is simply beyond your expertise, and both options are equally possible, if you accept the existance of souls.

Same way, I could claim women do not have this imaginary thing, and there's nothing you could use as an argument against me. God told me this is how it works, so it's his word against your ignorance. How about that?

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Re: Cloning

Postby Mr_Rose » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:07 am UTC

makc wrote:You know you are just trying to get away from argument :) If you can't even detect souls (as in "i.e. some entity which exists apart from the body, is immortal, etc") how can you possibly make logical conclusions about wether clones can have it or not? This is simply beyond your expertise, and both options are equally possible, if you accept the existance of souls.

Same way, I could claim women do not have this imaginary thing, and there's nothing you could use as an argument against me. God told me this is how it works, so it's his word against your ignorance. How about that?

Prove God.
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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:23 am UTC

axioms are not to be proved

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Re: Cloning

Postby Mr_Rose » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:44 am UTC

makc wrote:axioms are not to be proved

Oh no! Really? So I can just declare it axiomatic that ignoring you is a good thing then?
But that's kind of a cop out so:
Try this; if we assume souls and god (which one [or group] of the thousands available, by the way?) as a sentient external entity, prove that it a) talks to you specifically and b) is not also lying to you because it finds your antics adorably hilarious.
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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:58 am UTC

why do you have to change the subject and turn it on me? the argument made in this thread is "if naturally born people have souls, their clones receive a copy too". prove that, then we're talking.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Diadem » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:04 pm UTC

andrewxc wrote:Before we actually have a public reveal of a clone, let's get one thing straight: clones are humans with just as much of a soul or right to live as an identical twin.

I agree if 'just as much' equals 'none'. Clones don't have a soul. Neither do other humans.

But your post is strange. Are you seriously worried that we'll end up using clones as organ farms, or similar sinister purposes? I think you've been reading too many hollywood movies.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Mr_Rose » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:32 pm UTC

makc wrote:why do you have to change the subject and turn it on me? the argument made in this thread is "if naturally born people have souls, their clones receive a copy too". prove that, then we're talking.

You're the one that made the positive claim that "ensoulment" could well be arbitrary, based on no property of a clone other than its status as a clone, then proposed an arbitrator with a set of rules. Show that the arbitrator and/or their rules exist.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:35 pm UTC

makc wrote:ok, so basically Sir_Elderberry, Mr_Rose, UmbrageOfSnow et al arguent for why clones must have soul (given that souls exist) is because they do not see why would they not have it. is it just me, or this is something very far from being logical argument? basically, you just want clones to have it.

Um, alright. Where do souls come from, then, in your cosmology?

If a god is passing them out to every human that develops far enough to, uh, get a soul then a clone would be biologically the same as a regular individual and would qualify.

If the universe hands them out to every sufficiently advanced intelligence (which would imply that AI could have souls, so that'd be cool) then again, a cloned human would qualify.

If someone's handing them out at conception, then a clone would receive theirs presumably the same way an IVF baby does.

This is far from being a logical argument because it starts with the axiom "souls exist", without defining what a soul is, and then presenting the discussion to a group of people who not only by and large don't accept the axiom, but have no clue what form a "soul" would take, what it does, how you detect it, what it's made of, what sort of actual effect it has on someone, how it makes sense for a fully complete human to not be able to use its brain's functions if it is soulless....
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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

one might argue (or "postulate", if you want) that human receives a soul in the process of baptising, for example. thus, not only the clones but also large part of normal people (including gingers :~) have no soul. Of course, you can baptise a clone, but you can as well not, as long as you keep it in your secret undeground lab and have complete control over it.
how it makes sense for a fully complete human to not be able to use its brain's functions if it is soulless
this is besides the point, you might have seen latest TED presentation on brain modelling - so if they succeed, will you declare that IBM supercomputer now pocess a soul and should be given human-specific rights? but let's not discuss asimov here and stick to clones.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

Look, this is why it's necessary to rigorously define a concept. To me, a soul would be the thing that makes a person conscious and thinking. I'm not aware of any Christian sects that say that a soul is only received upon baptism, but if you can inform me of them, so much the better. What, exactly, do you think a soul is? What do you think it does? Why would I want one? Give me some of these answers and I'll indulge this argument, otherwise this is going nowhere.

makc wrote:
how it makes sense for a fully complete human to not be able to use its brain's functions if it is soulless
this is besides the point, you might have seen latest TED presentation on brain modelling - so if they succeed, will you declare that IBM supercomputer now pocess a soul and should be given human-specific rights? but let's not discuss asimov here and stick to clones.

Actually, this isn't besides the point. Since "soul" to me means "the thing that people have that makes them thinking, feeling beings", for a clone not to have a soul would mean it would be mindless. And the argument about brain modelling is actually most of the reason I don't believe in souls, but I would say that an intelligent AI has the same rights as a human.
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Re: Cloning

Postby Izawwlgood » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:31 pm UTC

Wayllah wrote:here's the citation...


Holy shit! The future was here in 1993! That's fucking rad.

I recall about a month ago, someone put up an article about an artificial womb for culturing some species of nurse shark, and the problem was that the embryo's don't survive solo for some reason, but also, instead of a yolk sac, just eat one another, the 'strongest' being the last one alive. It was a neat paper.

Thanks again!

seriously thought, a discussion about clones having souls is stupid.
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Re: Cloning

Postby makc » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:38 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:To me, a soul would be the thing that makes a person conscious and thinking.
I thought it was a brain.

Sir_Elderberry wrote:What, exactly, do you think a soul is? What do you think it does? Why would I want one? Give me some of these answers and I'll indulge this argument, otherwise this is going nowhere.
It is going nowhere even if I do answer all of these, we're like those kids who poke dead squirrel with a stick.

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Re: Cloning

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:13 pm UTC

I'm confused right now because I don't know what angle you're approaching this from. Do you believe in souls outside the context of this thread? I don't, but my common conception of what a soul is supposed to be is what I was talking about in that first quote. Then, you want to discuss whether clones have souls, but you refuse to actually tell us what a "soul" is to you. This thread is increasingly silly.
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Re: Cloning

Postby sikyon » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:41 pm UTC

My take on this is that I can't prove you have a soul, I only assume it. I mean I know that I might have something like a soul (I think, therefore I am) so if a clone displays the same traits as a person, I really have no rational to assume that it does not have a soul and you do, since I'm just assuming that you have a soul anyways. Mostly because you walk, talk and quack like me, who I know has a soul (maybe).

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Re: Cloning

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:29 am UTC

sikyon wrote:My take on this is that I can't prove you have a soul, I only assume it. I mean I know that I might have something like a soul (I think, therefore I am) so if a clone displays the same traits as a person, I really have no rational to assume that it does not have a soul and you do, since I'm just assuming that you have a soul anyways. Mostly because you walk, talk and quack like me, who I know has a soul (maybe).

So your conclusion is that you cannot deduce whether or not a clone has a soul when given no information about what a clone is or what a soul is.

. . . bravo.


But seriously, I think the OP is trying to say that clones are not fundamentally different from any other babies and should not be considered different. Of course, it's not entirely clear in what way he is saying they are not different (they are not "soulless," but that term is not defined), and we know that in some ways clones are different from non-clones (the main difference being . . . they are clones), so the discussion is unsurprisingly not going anywhere.

Perhaps a better way to look at this is socially rather than spiritually. Once born, a cloned human exhibits the same traits and behaviors as humans who were not cloned (and in fact, nearly the same ones as one particular individual), and so legally and socially ought to be treated equally, if we value justice. This seems evidently true, and I hope nobody disagrees with that.

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Re: Cloning

Postby polymer » Mon Nov 09, 2009 2:24 am UTC

This is an awfully silly thread. Perhaps it would be fruitful to decide what it is we're arguing, and defining the terms we're arguing over?

The issue the op introduced, from what I can tell, is whether clones should be treated as equals. His basic argument was that since clones are indistinguishable from non clones, there is no reason to suspect they don't have souls and that they should therefore be treated as equals.

If my definition of a soul is some intangible immortal seat of consciousness humans have, then it's irrelevant to discuss the point on that basis since our laws aren't based on the condition that we have a soul.

If my definition of a soul is an individual's capacity to feel and share emotions, then it would logically follow that a human clone would in fact have a soul since they're no different genetically. I believe the laws should protect these individuals, and like Eebster pointed out I don't think anybody on these forums would disagree.

Those points being made, I don't think this is an appropriate thread for the science section, this is more suited for SB (If you ignore the quality expected from SB posts).


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