Recent articles, including one on the CBC News site by Aleksandra Sagan, state that human cloning is possible but isn’t likely to happen yet because too many people feel it is unethical.
But it raises some questions in my mind, one of which is answered in the CBC article:
If you cloned the DNA of a dying loved one, for example, would you then be giving that particular individual a new life? Would that person be “reborn” as the same, exact individual she or he was, albeit as an infant?
Well, the CBC article answered my question — which originated, by the way, in a dream.
Says the CBC: “A clone would share the genetic material of its parent, but it wouldn’t be the same person. Grieving parents, for example, couldn’t re-create a deceased child’s looks and personality. The clone would have major differences.”
Hmm . . . Actually, the deceased person I was talking to in my dream — about this very subject before I had read the CBC article and even knew of its existence — said pretty much the same thing. He compared cloning to the spreading of his “seed” through his children.
Still, I was perplexed by his answer, and more than a little freaked out when I woke up and, while scrolling through the CBC morning news on my smartphone, discovered the above article. I mean, I had never given the idea of cloning any attention at all before. Why it popped up in my dream along with a deceased colleague was beyond me. I remembered telling him I was going to interview somebody about the subject, for an article I was writing, and I wanted to know if I was cloned, would the carbon copy really be me . . . i.e. the same person writing this post?
Well, it was a dream. What can I say?
I don’t believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason, usually if not always related to karma.
The dream and the CBC article stuck in my mind all day and well into the night, when the possible significance of it all dawned on me: Would human cloning prove the existence of the somewhat mythical and immortal spirit — which I believe animates every one of us? Has the DNA cloning and subsequent births of various animals — including Dolly the sheep — proven that although genetically identical, each creature was unique in its animating principle, the biblical “breath of life”?
Clearly, we are more than our DNA . . . yes?
We already have human clones. They are called identical twins. They have the same DNA, but they are still unique individuals. Part of that individuality can be attributed to the differences in nurture. Even when identical twins are raised together they will have different experiences. You can attribute some of that individuality to different “spirits” if you want to make things up as you go along. Plenty of folk have done that over the years, which is how we have ended up with so many religions.
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But there is a difference with twins and clones: a clone is made up of the exact DNA of the individual from which it is extracted.
I was going to make the same point as Marcus Oakland. Identical twins have exactly the same DNA. They are, in fact, “clones” created at a very, very early point in embryonic development. Despite all the stories about identical twins being “linked,” every set I’ve know have clearly been distinct individuals, with no telepathic links, and closer than any other set of siblings.
I understand that, WS. But if you were to clone me, Jillian Page, tomorrow, would not the individual be an exact copy of me in every way? I’m not talking about the development of twins in utero. I’m talking about the unnatural cloning process . . . If I was cloned by science, my question remains: what “spirit” or “breath of life” or animating principle would be active? Would it not be different than the one that animates me, the source of the cloned individual?
Yes, I am out of my depth scientifically speaking. But human cloning is out of everyone’s depth because it isn’t happening. Aside from the ethical considerations, I am curious about the spiritual implications, if any — as inspired by the dream I mentioned.
Your clone would be your identical twin, but a new born, so many years younger than if you had an actual identical twin.
There is no way to distinguish between the results of the natural identical twin cloning process and the artificial man-made cloning process as used in such as Dolly the sheep, and the puppies that have recently been produced for a British couple in South Korea.
If you had a clone it would be as distinct an individual as your identical twin would be. It could be the natural randomisation that occurs in a complex system such as the billions of nerves and synapses that constitute the human brain and nervous system that might account for the differences between genetically identical individuals, but such conjectures using natural causes will never satisfy those that want something supernatural.
Am still thinking about this, but it does kinda boggle my blonde mind (you knew that, didn’t you) . . .
OK, then. So, cloning is not an “exact” science, i.e. it doesn’t replicate the individual. So, a cloned Jillian would not be the Jillian you know.
It also means that if there is such thing as a spirit, the clone has its own.
Still thinking . . . smiles . . .
We need not look any farther than identical-twins to realize that there is something which makes each of us unique. Identical-twins are genetically, biologically and physically identical, but that is the limit of their “identicalness”. They quickly exhibit their own unique personalities, which we might call their “spirit” or “soul”. That “breathe of life” is what makes us something besides human-looking robots, and provides the continuity between this life and the next.
My problem is that many(most in this era of Tech) are not even capable of understanding Shakespeare. And imo, that “still is the question”!! On this remark, Happy New Year! And perhaps a little reading of the bard would be a good New Year’s resolution! %P