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Monday, September 2, 2013

A Cloning Question

Uh oh. It's my week at the Bell. The week before Query Con.

But your query is done, right? Polished? Ready to submit to us? You don't need any extra time...

Well, I do, so this week I'm going to ask some open ended questions in the hopes that they might generate story ideas for you.

This one has to do with cloning. What if scientists were able to clone a human being? Would we want to?

Sure, there are people out there who will try anything just to see if it's possible. From that perspective, cloning is an interesting problem. But I want to take this out of the technical to ponder a couple things.

Let's say that we could clone anyone. We could go back through history and clone the greatest minds that ever lived. (Just for argument's sake, say we could get our hands on the DNA of any of these figures.)

Would we want to? Would it be worth the trouble?

Would creating a person with the same DNA as a figure from history really replicate that person? We can't clone a soul. Their lives would be different. Even if we could implant memories from the original person's life, would it be the same person?

9 comments:

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

If we took a noble person with the characteristics of a saint, would that person grow up the same?

Say Mother Teresa, a kind saintly person, was cloned twice. The two clones were separated and grew up in completely different households and communities. Would they be the same?

I bet not.

mshatch said...

Scientists already know that clones will never be exactly alike. What might be interesting is to consider how different some famous/genius/crazy/cool people might turn out differently. For example, what if Hitler's early life was completely different? Would he have remained a painter? Followed a different path? What about Jesus? How would he turn out as the son of a single teenage parent?

Sandra Cox said...

I think there's a very real possibility the cloning has already taken place.

Huntress, aka CD Coffelt said...

@Sandra I'd say you're right.
@Marcy IMHO, circumstances and upbringing play a role in how we grow up but possibly not everything.

Maybe some people are just simply born bad. Some are good. And nothing can change that.

Liza said...

It's the old nature vs. nurture question with a different spin...

Charity Bradford said...

I love this thought provoking question. In fact it made me think of Misty Waters book that is coming out in a few months-Archetype. I don't want to say too much and ruin it, but my answer to this question would be greatly influenced by having read it so recently.

Check it out on Goodreads.

M. D. Waters said...

I've always loved the idea of cloning and how that would work out. It hasn't ever seemed logical to me, though, that you can clone a person's "soul" or entire life. I don't believe we can clone someone like Hitler and have that same man begin where he left off. We react and become who we are based on personal experience. Unless you can find a way to clone the mind/memories... Just my two cents:)

Vercingetorix said...

As a longtime reader of science fiction, I don't see how cloning could actually create duplicates. Nurture is as important as nature. We might be able to duplicate physical characteristics and raw intelligence, but that's it. Albert Einstein, cloned now, growing up in the U.S., might end up in a six-figure job designing satellite components.

Liz A. said...

Nice discussion. Which is the whole point, after all...