This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

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This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby PeterW » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:00 am UTC

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/201 ... not_t.html

I confess that I take anti-cloning arguments personally. Not only do they insult the identical twin sons I already have; they insult a son I hope I live to meet. Yes, I wish to clone myself and raise the baby as my son. Seriously. I want to experience the sublime bond I'm sure we'd share. I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love to be raised by me. I'm not pushing others to clone themselves. I'm not asking anyone else to pay for my dream. I just want government to leave me and the cloning business alone. Is that too much to ask?


I confess this statement triggers a bit of an ick factor for me, but I have a hard time defending that reaction this is assuming that all the kinks in cloning have been worked out and it's no harder than natural childbirth. As Tyler Cowen says: "f you don't like his proposal for a cloned son, I will ask why you think your preferred degree of genetic similarity -- between you and your next kid -- is right and Bryan's is wrong."

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:11 am UTC

I'd love to see this work. there's a risk of birth defects, sure, but I think that's an acceptable risk.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby qetzal » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:22 am UTC

Mmm. Last I knew, the success rate for cloning wasn't very high, even in those mammals where it's been accomplished. I think the risk of birth defects IS too high given our current technology.

If that weren't the case, I wouldn't object to human cloning. I don't see the attraction myself though. And, I'd honestly feel bad for the first human clone - given all the attention and expectations that s/he'll have to deal with.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:27 am UTC

There's always a first. People live relatively normal lives while in the media spotlight their entire life. And if human cloning becomes common within a few years of the first, the attention should dissipate.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Le1bn1z » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:29 am UTC

Genetic control of babies, beyond control of genetic disease or debilitating defects, always makes me nervous.

Historically, the most common form of oppression has been for a governing/commercial class to claim to be materially superior to those they ruled/owned.

Ultimately, the bedrock of all defenses against this insidious thought has been that its never been even possibly true.

Until now.

Once this tech is perfected, parents can pay to have their children be demonstrably superior mentally and physically to those who cannot afford any such thing.

The perfect oligarchy.

Better to break this machine before we start down that road.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby JayAr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:53 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Genetic control of babies, beyond control of genetic disease or debilitating defects, always makes me nervous.

Historically, the most common form of oppression has been for a governing/commercial class to claim to be materially superior to those they ruled/owned.

Ultimately, the bedrock of all defenses against this insidious thought has been that its never been even possibly true.

Until now.

Once this tech is perfected, parents can pay to have their children be demonstrably superior mentally and physically to those who cannot afford any such thing.

The perfect oligarchy.

Better to break this machine before we start down that road.


Spoiled for those who want to tl;dr me
Spoiler:
funny enough I just got this issue on Nationstates, I was determined that this is inevitable so I shouldn't try to destroy the machine, I like you didn't want designer babies for the richer community (see the post-human, human war fiction post humans win). This raises issues, the two options left (there is no happy median in nationstates) were government control of people with genetic defects (see eugenics), all that is left is a Super-human army once again this raises issues...

What I decided was government control of genetic defects, screening ect. I did this to eliminate the richness factor and also eliminate abuse by the richer classes. You know this has potential for abuse by the government.


I however see this as inevitable happening (ever read a book called NEXT? It talks about stuff like this), it is odd I do agree with that. This is better than a opposite gender clone (they can exist, I am not a biologist however). How is a clone different from a younger identical twin? I know your fear, but it is irrational from my point of view. It will happen for military reasons or a plutocratic one, no matter how much we want to try to change this it will happen.
How do you know this hasn't happened already?


By the way, we already genetically modify our children, well the ones with the 'bubble boy syndrome'. I should also note that it is not always successful, but when it is it is worth it! I want to summer glau this post, but I'll wait on that.
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Josephine
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:18 am UTC

Le1bn1z, this is yet another case of unnecessary fear of technology. Every major technology ever created has potential for abuse. what's happening now is we're getting technologies capable of vastly improving lives, but equally capable of being devastating if abused. this is something we're going to have to face. There's no reason to hide from technology.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Vaniver » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:27 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Genetic control of babies, beyond control of genetic disease or debilitating defects, always makes me nervous.

Historically, the most common form of oppression has been for a governing/commercial class to claim to be materially superior to those they ruled/owned.

Ultimately, the bedrock of all defenses against this insidious thought has been that its never been even possibly true.

Until now.

Once this tech is perfected, parents can pay to have their children be demonstrably superior mentally and physically to those who cannot afford any such thing.

The perfect oligarchy.

Better to break this machine before we start down that road.
Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?

Genetic modification is beyond good and evil: it does not matter whether you like it or not, at some point in the next century you will be replaced by people that use it. The question is whether they will be 'your' children, or someone else's. If we care about equality of access, it seems that it will be highest in a place where it is legal- particularly if it's someplace where research into it was primarily government-supported (and thus owned by the public).

It also seems like, the more parents that are involved, the better our chances are that, on the whole, the new generation will be well-adjusted. I can see many benefits to having this research and engineering in the public eye; I can see few benefits to having it occur behind closed doors.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:40 am UTC

Genetic modification is beyond good and evil


Absoulutely, but so is everything :)

nbonaparte wrote:Le1bn1z, this is yet another case of unnecessary fear of technology. Every major technology ever created has potential for abuse. what's happening now is we're getting technologies capable of vastly improving lives, but equally capable of being devastating if abused. this is something we're going to have to face. There's no reason to hide from technology.


I don't think Le1bn1z fears the technology, he fears the way that humans will use it once it is perfected. I, for one, agree with him - it will be a technology abused by the rich and unavailable to the poor creating an irreconcilable class gap.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby JayAr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:56 am UTC

SnakesNDMartyrs wrote:
I don't think Le1bn1z fears the technology, he fears the way that humans will use it once it is perfected. I, for one, agree with him - it will be a technology abused by the rich and unavailable to the poor creating an irreconcilable class gap.


This is similar to the backstory in 'The Time Machine'. Come on, do you think that the upper classes would last long from the anger of the proles? Once again as sated before, this will happen unless a incident which wipes out all of modern technology and the books on the subject; Which is highly unlikely. drink bleach and live forever.

You also forget about technology always get cheaper in time, it will eventually become available to the masses unless a oppressive totalitarian state controlled by the upper classes is put into place. In which case a war would break out and who knows who wins.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby PeterW » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:01 am UTC

SnakesNDMartyrs wrote:[I don't think Le1bn1z fears the technology, he fears the way that humans will use it once it is perfected. I, for one, agree with him - it will be a technology abused by the rich and unavailable to the poor creating an irreconcilable class gap.
That is one argument I can't agree with. Remember not long ago folks were talking about how a "digital divide" would propel the rich permanently ahead of the poor. Instead the internet, when it's political at all, has turned out to be a great democratizing force, letting those without power, whether that's wealth or political/media connections, get their stories heard.

Whether reproductive cloning is good or bad, it's something that will be used and abused by both rich and poor.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby iop » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:23 pm UTC

PeterW wrote:I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love to be raised by me.

This is my main concern with human cloning - the clone may not be considered as much a person as a child created from fusing egg and sperm.

Sure, identical twins are natural clones, but there, the genetic similarity is between individuals of the same level, and it came about by accident. Reproductive clones, in contrast, are created with the goal to copy an older person - possibly to harvest organs, or to create a mini-me. One attacks the physical integrity of the child, the other the psychological integrity. Neither is a good thing.

For me, reproductive cloning carries similar dangers as sexual relations between parents and children. It is conceivable that it works out just fine, but most likely it won't.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby JayAr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:26 pm UTC

iop wrote:
PeterW wrote:I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love to be raised by me.

This is my main concern with human cloning - the clone may not be considered as much a person as a child created from fusing egg and sperm.

Sure, identical twins are natural clones, but there, the genetic similarity is between individuals of the same level, and it came about by accident. Reproductive clones, in contrast, are created with the goal to copy an older person - possibly to harvest organs, or to create a mini-me. One attacks the physical integrity of the child, the other the psychological integrity. Neither is a good thing.

For me, reproductive cloning carries similar dangers as sexual relations between parents and children. It is conceivable that it works out just fine, but most likely it won't.


Your points are valid. I agree with the mini-me point which is highly undesirable. The harvesting of organs is a very tricky issue, it differs on what organ you want to harvest. An organ in my opinion should be grown instead, we have the technology.

However I raise the point again, the mini-me thing is completely unavoidable. You can't stop it, just what are you going to do to try to stop it?
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby iop » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:31 pm UTC

JayAr wrote:[Your points are valid. I agree with the mini-me point which is highly undesirable. The harvesting of organs is a very tricky issue, it differs on what organ you want to harvest. An organ in my opinion should be grown instead, we have the technology.

However I raise the point again, the mini-me thing is completely unavoidable. You can't stop it, just what are you going to do to try to stop it?


Reproductive cloning may be unavoidable like other child abuse is unavoidable, but we can outlaw it nevertheless. Fortunately, reproductive cloning is very easy to detect.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Cleverbeans » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

I'm with Vanier, it's coming if it's not already here and it's backward not to promote it as much as possible. We've already seen huge gains from the genetic manipulation of countless forms of life, why would we artificially restrict our own species for receiving the same benefits? In fact, if we hadn't been embraced genetic manipulation thousands of years ago it's unlikely we'd have formed any sort of civilization at all, and removing it's benefit from the world today would be genocide on an unprecedented scale. When we've got that much evidence for it, there had better be some very compelling reasons to avoid it, and I don't see any at all.

As for the arguments against the mini-me, why exactly is this an issue? I fail to see any distinction between raising a clone of yourself and raising a "traditional" child. Can anyone give me a single justification for this position other than some vague fear?
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:41 pm UTC

PeterW wrote:Remember not long ago folks were talking about how a "digital divide" would propel the rich permanently ahead of the poor.


No I don't.

PeterW wrote:Whether reproductive cloning is good or bad, it's something that will be used and abused by both rich and poor.


It will be neither used or abused by the poor because they won't be able to afford it.

JayAr wrote:You also forget about technology always get cheaper in time, it will eventually become available to the masses unless a oppressive totalitarian state controlled by the upper classes is put into place. In which case a war would break out and who knows who wins.


I can tell you who wins the class war.. the genetically engineered humans who are smarter, stronger and richer.

Cleverbeans wrote:if we hadn't been embraced genetic manipulation thousands of years ago it's unlikely we'd have formed any sort of civilization at all, and removing it's benefit from the world today would be genocide on an unprecedented scale.


Genetic manipulation through selective breeding is not the same as genetic engineering.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:44 am UTC

Why are we discussing genetic engineering? the topic at hand is cloning, not designer babies. I understand GE is the inevitable conclusion after widespread human cloning, but they are not the same thing.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Sesmons! » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:50 am UTC

The grandeur of his idea is only outdone by the subtle hues of narcissism; it's hilarious. The broader issue, of course, is cloning humans in general, and not this particular instance of it. I remain apprehensive about its development. I think that cloning in itself is remarkable and interesting. And while I agree with nbonaparte that we should maintain a distinction between genetic engineering and cloning, I think that it's necessary to consider the issue of cloning within its possible applications, which requires that we take into consideration genetic engineering. Its misuse is somewhat of an inevitability, though; there's no amount of government regulation that can preclude its abuse.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:46 am UTC

Sesmons! wrote:The grandeur of his idea is only outdone by the subtle hues of narcissism; it's hilarious. The broader issue, of course, is cloning humans in general, and not this particular instance of it. I remain apprehensive about its development. I think that cloning in itself is remarkable and interesting. And while I agree with nbonaparte that we should maintain a distinction between genetic engineering and cloning, I think that it's necessary to consider the issue of cloning within its possible applications, which requires that we take into consideration genetic engineering. Its misuse is somewhat of an inevitability, though; there's no amount of government regulation that can preclude its abuse.


Considering the reality of the matter, genetic engineering is much more useful than cloning. I agree with you in that genetic engineering must be taken into account any time cloning is. Unfortunately, government agencies always seem to attempt to regulate activities which simply cannot be regulated, and cloning/GE is among those.

now, you must take into account the pace and direction of technology when you talk about the implications of technologies which will reach maturity in the next several decades. I do not believe class differences will even be possible in the next few decades. Therefore, it can be assumed that there is little abuse possible with genetic engineering.

Even more off topic, biological manipulation is unlikely to be the primary force of change to the human condition for long. Nonbiological enhancement is on its way, and it will have far greater applications than biological enhancement. Importantly, it can be applied at any point in life, instead of being restricted to embryos.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:55 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:now, you must take into account the pace and direction of technology when you talk about the implications of technologies which will reach maturity in the next several decades. I do not believe class differences will even be possible in the next few decades. Therefore, it can be assumed that there is little abuse possible with genetic engineering.


What do you base your claim that 'class differences will not even be possible in the next few decades' on?
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Josephine » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:09 am UTC

Post-scarcity conditions should become very possible soon. Whether fueled by nanotechnology assembly or virtual worlds, economics itself could very well be unhinged.

Although, as I don't want to turn this into a post-scarcity debate, I offer the following modification to my argument in the case that it does not arise: I see potential for abuse, sure. And GE must be done without consent. But, as I already said, it isn't likely to be the primary form of human augmentation for long. So I'm not all that concerned about that.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:57 am UTC

What do you base your claim on that the differences will create such a divide? I see little reason to be so convinced that class differences will be that irreconcilable. This will hardly be the first time there was something tangible separated people by class, in all odds literacy gave your parents an absolute advantage over most of the world. Doubt the digital divide claims if you will, but a quick Wiki'ing will show you that it was a fear that showed up; also note that Al Gore brought it up, one of the bigger champions of modern technology from the world of politics. The solution wasn't to run in fear though, it was to face the future rationally and see to it that we keep moving forward without letting any group be unfairly marginalized.

More broadly, thinking that this would create some great divide in America is just kinda silly and completely out of context of how any technology has practically been implemented. Some clandestine group of rich people aren't going to master the human genome tomorrow, keep it to themselves then announce thirty years down the road that they've built a race of atomic supermen to take over the world. Rather, most technological advancements seek wide distribution as that is what's profitable, small customer bases when the primary cost in this case is a research barrier (fully understanding the human genome) is simply not a winning model. Also, near as I know there are very few genes a geneticist can point to and with confidence say "change these, and you have a better human." Really, we're just scratching the surface of such research, and the first changes if we manage to discover a reliable way of modifying human DNA are probably going to be fairly mundane disease resistance things. If the techniques to modify are too expensive to be widely distributed, then in all likelihood genetic research will just lapse. The bio companies are kind of at a disadvantage here; potential customers are only looking to buy once, maybe twice. If the prices are such that your base is only a few million of the wealthiest around and they expect dozens of improvements at once and any given improvement costs tens if not hundreds of millions to research, it's just not a viable market.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Soralin » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:48 am UTC

Not to mention any genetic engineering would be limited by our understanding of what exactly to change. I mean, say you want to make a person more intelligent.. Ok, so, how exactly do you do that? Even assuming that we had the technology to change any bit of DNA to anything else perfectly, you still need to know what to change, and what to change it to. We currently don't understand how things work well enough to figure out what to change to produce such large scale effects.

Right now, about the best we could do would be to do something like a genetic survey, try to evaluate the intelligence, or other characteristics, of a large number of people, and sequence their genomes, looking for differences. Once you've found sections that make a statistical difference, you could alter genes to match. But that wouldn't be creating a larger gap, those variations we would find are the ones that already exist, so in fact it would be making a smaller gap, it would be moving people closer to the high end of human variation. Instead of improving the intelligence of the most intelligent, it would be moving the lower half of the bell curve up. Without a deeper understanding of how it works exactly, you'd have a hard time improving beyond the variation that already exists.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Griffin » Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

I say he should go ahead and doing. Like most advances of the sort (inherently skeeve people out), there won't be acceptance at all until it actually happens a few times.

He should just get going with it and clear the way for future cloners.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby ShadE » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:13 pm UTC

I say do it up! Defects can go over the cliffs... oh wait... this isn't Sparta. OK you better get it right then.

Just some other important things to consider:
--When can/should the clone be aborted?
--Is the clone granted human rights? (I would say so)
--What is the limit to cloning clones? (copies of copies of copies of copies... diminishing quality)
--What is the limit to # of clones? (we do not want millions of clones of one guy... especially if they get cool white-plastic suits and blasters)
--Do we care about evolution? (clones would not be the next iteration... they would be the exact same genetically, right?)

So many things to consider... I did not come close to touching them all... and this is all assuming you can eventually create a viable clone.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Griffin » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:53 pm UTC

ShadE wrote:--When can/should the clone be aborted?

Whenever any other baby can be aborted, I'd imagine. Why would it be any different?

ShadE wrote:--Is the clone granted human rights? (I would say so)

Its a human, why wouldn't it be?

ShadE wrote:--What is the limit to cloning clones? (copies of copies of copies of copies... diminishing quality)

I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that.

ShadE wrote:--What is the limit to # of clones? (we do not want millions of clones of one guy... especially if they get cool white-plastic suits and blasters)

What is the limitation to making babies via artificial insemination? Thats the same limit you'd get with clones. (until we can grow babies in labs, which then applies to sexually originated babies as well)

ShadE wrote:--Do we care about evolution? (clones would not be the next iteration... they would be the exact same genetically, right?)

Evolution can actually work through cloning (there are many species that only reproduce via cloning AKA agamogenesis) it is just a LOT slower and a LOT less responsive, in evolutionary terms. But since humans have nearly zero evolutionary pressure right now, and the few pressures we do have are pretty weird and arguably not in our own best interests, its not much of an argument against. Also, pretty much completely canceled out by genetic engineering, should it come into play.

So... I'm not really sure why any of these are really issues?

I have only one problem with this:
The type of people who want clones (of pets, themselves, what-the-fuck-ever) seem to be jerks who I wouldn't want to have kids at all. Luckily for the planet, its generally considered rude to make others reproductive choices for them.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby SnakesNDMartyrs » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:15 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:Although, as I don't want to turn this into a post-scarcity debate, I offer the following modification to my argument in the case that it does not arise: I see potential for abuse, sure. And GE must be done without consent. But, as I already said, it isn't likely to be the primary form of human augmentation for long. So I'm not all that concerned about that.


I guess this, while true, only serves to move the argument to bionics or even human augmentation in general. I haven't searched but maybe we should create a human augmentation thread to discuss the different forms and issues relating to each form.

Bubbles McCoy wrote:What do you base your claim on that the differences will create such a divide? I see little reason to be so convinced that class differences will be that irreconcilable. This will hardly be the first time there was something tangible separated people by class


Of course it wouldn't be the first time but the difference that I see is that this will allow the upper class to engineer their children to be superior to the children of the lower class, effectively making it impossible for lower class children to jump the class gap and upper class children to fall.

Bubbles McCoy wrote:More broadly, thinking that this would create some great divide in America is just kinda silly and completely out of context of how any technology has practically been implemented. Some clandestine group of rich people aren't going to master the human genome tomorrow, keep it to themselves then announce thirty years down the road that they've built a race of atomic supermen to take over the world. Rather, most technological advancements seek wide distribution as that is what's profitable, small customer bases when the primary cost in this case is a research barrier (fully understanding the human genome) is simply not a winning model. Also, near as I know there are very few genes a geneticist can point to and with confidence say "change these, and you have a better human." Really, we're just scratching the surface of such research, and the first changes if we manage to discover a reliable way of modifying human DNA are probably going to be fairly mundane disease resistance things. If the techniques to modify are too expensive to be widely distributed, then in all likelihood genetic research will just lapse. The bio companies are kind of at a disadvantage here; potential customers are only looking to buy once, maybe twice. If the prices are such that your base is only a few million of the wealthiest around and they expect dozens of improvements at once and any given improvement costs tens if not hundreds of millions to research, it's just not a viable market.


I'm talking about the world here, not just America. I never suggested that the technology is in any stage other than infancy. I also never implied a small customer base, let alone a clandestine one. Although I did assume that it would be commercialized in some form - whether or not it would actually be viable as a commercialized service is another question.

Soralin wrote:Not to mention any genetic engineering would be limited by our understanding of what exactly to change. I mean, say you want to make a person more intelligent.. Ok, so, how exactly do you do that? Even assuming that we had the technology to change any bit of DNA to anything else perfectly, you still need to know what to change, and what to change it to. We currently don't understand how things work well enough to figure out what to change to produce such large scale effects.


No one is doubting the infancy of the technology. I was just assuming some kind of idealized version of the technology that was commercially available and then figuring out what impact it would have on society. Whether or not the technology is commercially viable and whether or not the technology will reach the level of designer babies are two difficult questions to answer.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Buddha » Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:57 am UTC

Griffin wrote:
ShadE wrote:--What is the limit to cloning clones? (copies of copies of copies of copies... diminishing quality)

I'm pretty sure it doesn't work like that.


You're right. There is no sign of significant degradation of clone DNA. They've made clones of clones, or clone squared, a term coined by my friend Mary. They have made clones up to the sixth power with no sign of any mutation, beyond which we would expect in normal somatic cells replication. In other words, we can keep on cloning for generations without harmful mutation.

Also, we can de-differentiate human skin, and with the right hormone cocktail and the biodegradable mesh, turn those cells into a kidney, liver, heart, anything. It is likely that we will figure out the hormones before we work out the kinks in human cloning and decide clones have no rights so we can kill them for organs.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Chen » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:38 pm UTC

SnakesNDMartyrs wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:What do you base your claim on that the differences will create such a divide? I see little reason to be so convinced that class differences will be that irreconcilable. This will hardly be the first time there was something tangible separated people by class


Of course it wouldn't be the first time but the difference that I see is that this will allow the upper class to engineer their children to be superior to the children of the lower class, effectively making it impossible for lower class children to jump the class gap and upper class children to fall.


Is this really any different back when super rich families could give their child every monetary advantage? Personal tutors, computers, business contacts, personal trainers etc. I'd imagine things like these are STILL superior to good genetics when determining a child's success.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby ShadE » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:50 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:So... I'm not really sure why any of these are really issues?


Good answers... and I agree with pretty much all of them. They are not necessarily issues in my mind, but they inevitably will be when this is politicized as it becomes closer and closer to reality. If a single US President can halt/cripple Stem Cell research in the US then I would think a full blown human clone would cause even more debate and government intervention. As with Stem Cell research though there will always be a place for this research to happen despite individual countries moral objections.

Should clones only be allowed to eat genetically modified foods? If so, buy Monsanto NYSE:MON! j/k

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby superdemongob » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:03 am UTC

nbonaparte wrote:I'd love to see this work. there's a risk of birth defects, sure, but I think that's an acceptable risk.


a clone is an exact copy of someone 'grown' using the DNA of the original person yes?
how is there a "risk of birth defects" in an exact copy of lets say me, unless i myself had that birth defect to begin with...
isn't there no mixing of genes involved at all? isn't the whole point to take my DNA and 'grow' it into an exact copy of me?

like the whole mixing of familial genes causing birth defects stage is eliminated is it not?

biology is my weakest subject (i prefer physics) so flame the hell out of me if i'm wrong.

EDIT: and also, raising a child, we're talking about purely intangible qualities imparted so that doesn't affect either does it?
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:20 pm UTC

superdemongob wrote:
nbonaparte wrote:I'd love to see this work. there's a risk of birth defects, sure, but I think that's an acceptable risk.


a clone is an exact copy of someone 'grown' using the DNA of the original person yes?
how is there a "risk of birth defects" in an exact copy of lets say me, unless i myself had that birth defect to begin with...
isn't there no mixing of genes involved at all? isn't the whole point to take my DNA and 'grow' it into an exact copy of me?

like the whole mixing of familial genes causing birth defects stage is eliminated is it not?

biology is my weakest subject (i prefer physics) so flame the hell out of me if i'm wrong.

EDIT: and also, raising a child, we're talking about purely intangible qualities imparted so that doesn't affect either does it?


Cloning DNA that has had 30 years to accumulate small bits of damage and putting it into a newborn probably raises the risk*. I also think the telomeres that hold dna together are much smaller in a clone then a newborn

*not sure how this differs from normal reproduction though.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Shivahn » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:59 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I also think the telomeres that hold dna together are much smaller in a clone then a newborn


Yes. To the best of my knowledge, at this time, we are unable to use telomerase to properly lengthen them, so people would be born with thirty year old DNA, which means that they have a shorter amount of time until the important parts of DNA start to get chewed up by replication.

The Wikipedia page also mentions this is a risk factor for heart disease.

I want to experience the sublime bond I'm sure we'd share. I'm confident that he'd be delighted, too, because I would love to be raised by me.


This part bugs me. I don't think this guy understands that a clone will be an individual. We are more than our genes. He strikes me as the worst possible person to raise a cloned child - he'll treat it as another version of himself, rather than an individual. Can you imagine if the child turns out gay? That's at least partially environmental, as it's affected by the number of older male siblings an individual has. Those two sentences, or rather, that single second one, seems to indicate that the person in question can't even comprehend that the child would be different in any minor way, let alone something major.

In other words, he wants a cloned child because he has some crazy pop culture vision of what a clone is and he thinks it will be cool, and doesn't seem to understand it in the slightest.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Buddha » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:17 pm UTC

ShadE wrote:
Griffin wrote:So... I'm not really sure why any of these are really issues?


Good answers... and I agree with pretty much all of them. They are not necessarily issues in my mind, but they inevitably will be when this is politicized as it becomes closer and closer to reality. If a single US President can halt/cripple Stem Cell research in the US then I would think a full blown human clone would cause even more debate and government intervention. As with Stem Cell research though there will always be a place for this research to happen despite individual countries moral objections.

Should clones only be allowed to eat genetically modified foods? If so, buy Monsanto NYSE:MON! j/k


Bush's bad decision (the one regarding stem cell research) didn't stop stem cell research. It just slowed it down. And only by about five years, which in science is not that much. Shinyo Yamanaka won the Nobel in Science for proving that it was not necessary to use embryonic stem cells, because we could make adult cells into stem cells. Scientist don't sit on their hands when politics take a dump on their research. They find a way.

mmmcannibalism wrote:
superdemongob wrote:
nbonaparte wrote:I'd love to see this work. there's a risk of birth defects, sure, but I think that's an acceptable risk.


a clone is an exact copy of someone 'grown' using the DNA of the original person yes?
how is there a "risk of birth defects" in an exact copy of lets say me, unless i myself had that birth defect to begin with...
isn't there no mixing of genes involved at all? isn't the whole point to take my DNA and 'grow' it into an exact copy of me?

like the whole mixing of familial genes causing birth defects stage is eliminated is it not?

biology is my weakest subject (i prefer physics) so flame the hell out of me if i'm wrong.

EDIT: and also, raising a child, we're talking about purely intangible qualities imparted so that doesn't affect either does it?


Cloning DNA that has had 30 years to accumulate small bits of damage and putting it into a newborn probably raises the risk*. I also think the telomeres that hold dna together are much smaller in a clone then a newborn

*not sure how this differs from normal reproduction though.


Telomerase will completely regenerate the telomeres in a clone.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby superdemongob » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:57 am UTC

Shivahn wrote:I don't think this guy understands that a clone will be an individual. We are more than our genes.


This is so true and kind of the area i was thinking about too. we're made by our experiences. if i clone myself and then send the clone to fight in a war, he will come back a changed person. we won't be the same at all.

to use a less extreme example, if my clone gets a good job he'll be a different person.

if my clone falls in with a certain group of people, he'll be a totally different person.

If anyone has seen the movie The Island, they play on this as well by making Ewan McGreggor meet himself and showing that they're so totally different (even though the clone has the same implanted memories as the original) simply due to their backgrounds.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby janusx » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:03 am UTC

Clones are people. Plain and simple any rights a person has a clone would have. No different than a twin.

Also I see no compelling reason why people shouldn't be able to clone themselves or any other willing party. It's no different than having a child under any other conditions in my mind.

Genetic Engineering, while I think would be incredibly useful, is unlikely to get to the point of human usability beyond simple changes. However, it to is really no different than selecting an ideal mate or the use of vaccines or a good education.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Nautilus » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

Thank you, Shivahn! That was just what I was thinking. This guy is doing this for the wrong reasons.

There is nothing wrong with cloning, as long as the non-clones treat the clones as people. I think that the only thing wrong with cloning would be that clones could be badly treated.
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby iop » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:As for the arguments against the mini-me, why exactly is this an issue? I fail to see any distinction between raising a clone of yourself and raising a "traditional" child. Can anyone give me a single justification for this position other than some vague fear?

janusx wrote:Clones are people. Plain and simple any rights a person has a clone would have. No different than a twin.

Also I see no compelling reason why people shouldn't be able to clone themselves or any other willing party. It's no different than having a child under any other conditions in my mind.


Why would anyone ever want to clone anybody, as opposed to having a child by currently available means? The only reason I can think of is that they want the clone because they like the original. Granted, there may be cases where parents who are both carriers of a recessive mutation for a debilitating disease (cystic fibrosis comes to mind) have a healthy child, and instead of having a CF child which they would abort, they would like to clone their kid. In my opinion (and I may be wrong), these cases will be a minority. Rather, people may want to have a clone because they want another talented/beautiful/cheerful/whatever copy (if it's not for the organs). Thus, the clone child - even more than a 'traditional' child in such an environment - will be not be considered an independent personality in their own right, but they'll be expected to grow up as a copy of the original.

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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Buddha » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:05 pm UTC

Nautilus wrote:Thank you, Shivahn! That was just what I was thinking. This guy is doing this for the wrong reasons.

There is nothing wrong with cloning, as long as the non-clones treat the clones as people. I think that the only thing wrong with cloning would be that clones could be badly treated.



There is a whole host of wrong reasons to reproduce, traditionally or through cloning. We don't judge the former, so why should we judge the latter?
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Re: This professor would like to clone himself. Thoughts?

Postby Soralin » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:55 pm UTC

iop wrote:Why would anyone ever want to clone anybody, as opposed to having a child by currently available means? The only reason I can think of is that they want the clone because they like the original. Granted, there may be cases where parents who are both carriers of a recessive mutation for a debilitating disease (cystic fibrosis comes to mind) have a healthy child, and instead of having a CF child which they would abort, they would like to clone their kid. In my opinion (and I may be wrong), these cases will be a minority. Rather, people may want to have a clone because they want another talented/beautiful/cheerful/whatever copy (if it's not for the organs). Thus, the clone child - even more than a 'traditional' child in such an environment - will be not be considered an independent personality in their own right, but they'll be expected to grow up as a copy of the original.

Why would anyone ever want to have a child by the currently available means, as opposed to adopting? The only reason I can think of is that they want the child because they like the originals. ;) The only difference between having a traditional child or a cloned one, is that one is a copy of the genetics of 1 person, and the other is a copy of the genetics of (parts of) 2 people.


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