Re: cloning 201 Ethical Considerations

Posted by Natalie L. Smith on Feb 12, 2002 at 17:27

Re: cloning 201 Ethical Considerations (bobbapink)

I think the "danger" of people trying to clone to "bring back" loved ones is real. But, I don't think there will be much cloning of the people of fame or notoriety. You still have to invest a lifetime of raising the child and, in the end, nature versus nurture still has to allow for a lot of effect from nurture.
There wasn't much to distinguish a Hitler, other than megalomania and a dangerous amount of, I suppose, charisma(?) I don't see any evidence of any other particular gifts. The odds are, if you cloned a 100 Hitlers, you would have nothing more than 100 average Joes. Evil in the heart is not a genetic trait, but rather a taught thing. You want to make a Hitler? Take ANY child and raise him in hate and abuse. You will have better odds of success than from a passle of cloning.
John Lennon? ("Lenin"!?????) If artistic ability was primarily due to the genes, you would find a much greater tendency for artist parents to have artist children. There is some correlation, but rearing could explain a lot of even that. I think artistic ability has much more to do with life experience than genes.
I suppose the greatest chances would run with cloning Albert Einstein, but, even there, it would hardly be worth the effort. The child "Albert" would still have to learn things from scratch all over again and would have to contend with expectations and child-star-syndrome. Those kind of pressures always spell disaster and would probably poison the pudding. You would get a genius, but a lot of geniuses contribute nothing.
In the end, I don't think scientific progress is held up from lack of geniuses, more from waiting for the correct serendipitous sequences to strike someone.
So, yes, people will probably try to clone their little lost child (they already have), but I see no use or even likelihood of efforts to clone well-known people other than out of curiosity.

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