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Stem cells and doppelgangers


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Awlrighty. I did a search to see if this had been done before, but nothing really came up. Now ordinarily I would hesitate to post a topic like this, but with Navaros and Emprworm thankfully silent at the moment, and Gunwounds not having bothered me with his very existence recently, I figure that perhaps it's safe enough. Those of you who watch me in a frighteningly stalkerish fashion (you know who you are) will have noticed that I have been almost avoiding PRP recently. This is because this is because I am actually highly allergic to idiocy and decided to step out for a bit into order to restock my bile supplies.

Anyway, headlines in the newspaper today (at least the one I read), all about stem cells and the successful cloning of several human embryos in South Korea. Apparantly people are quite eager to see the stem cells from these embryos be used to regrow organs, repair or replace damaged tissue, etc. Now this is all very well, but lurking behind this were "critics." These weird, boring people criticised the procedure because with a bit more work it could lead to cloned humans being born.

Well.

What a travesty! What an affront to decent human beings everywhere! Dear dear, oh me oh my, whatevah shall we do?

Morons! It's not that I object to their stance per se, I mean everyone is entitled to their opinions. But the reasons for it are just pathetic. "Oh boo hoo, having two genetically identical people is morally wrong." Since frickin' when? And, for that matter, how? Tell me, does the Koran mention cloning, anywhere? Is the secret eleventh commandment in the Bible (unlocked by completing the bonus level) "Thou shalt not clone humans, but sheep are alright" ? Is it? Even if it were, would it matter?

The 'Playing God' argument. Number one; He gave us the materials, what do you expect? Number two; the bugger doesn't exist, go cry in a corner somewhere. Number three; if he did, we would be smote by now.

And then there are people, many of them, who resist cloning on moral grounds, without reference to a religious text. I'm not sure if these people are better or worse than the others. What do you have, proof? You think it's wrong, therefore it's wrong for everyone at every time? How on earth can you justify your objection? I mean at least the wackos had some old books to wave at me, you've got nothing.

See this is why I get so annoyed at morality. "That's wrong!" "How so?" "Uh..."

Cloning in this way would not even produce an identical human. Sure, it would produce one with the same hair colour, same eye colour, same facial structure, blah blah blah... But enviromental factors play a big role in development. How big?

Let's find out! Cloning a human would give an unprecedented oppertunity to look into the 'nature vs nurture' arguments. It would allow us to study how much of what we do is instinct, and how much in learned. It would push the boundaries of science, allow even further experimentation and development. Science for science's sake? Hell yes.

And furthermore, the arguments about abortion that get pulled into the fray. Poor abortion. As if the issue didn't get enough mud slung at it, now it gets dragged into this as well...

"Ooo, precious babies! Every clump of inanimate cells has the potential to become a human being!"

Well we're making more! Be happy! If you're concerned about the stem cells, well don't come crying to me when you get Parkinson's. Idiot. What's so bleeding special about human beings anyway? How many die every single day, does anyone keep track? No. Because deep down, nobody really cares. Not even the misogynistic 'pro life' nutcases; all they really want is to force their moral viewpoint onto the rest of us. Anyone who wants to accuse me of forcing my own moral viewpoint onto others, please feel free to do so. I will reply that I am not forcing you to believe me, I am just expressing my opinions. I'm not forcing you to clone babies, so you just let me clone them. Also, I try very hard not to have a 'moral' viewpoint at all, and if not that then a very subjective one.

So anyway, now that I've vented my wrath for a bit, which actually felt quite good, I'll come slowly to the point of all this, which was to invite others to express their own opinions. This will of course lead to disagreement and confrontation, hopefully verbal violence, and much anger and resentment. All through the free expression of opinions. Oh yes, and I'm sparking debate here, hopefully. Can't forget the euphemism.

I mean, what are people worried about? Armies of clones? Please. An army of clones would be no more dangerous than a regular army (unless they were genetically modified clones. Which I also support, but that's another kettle of blue eyes). Plus the prohibitive cost of even producing one clone. Besides which, these clones have to mature over a number of years. How could anyone fund that kind of thing over time? Regular armies are much cheaper.

Hmm. I had originally meant this to be much less... enthusiastic. Must be the influence of Dylan Moran. That's right, blame the cool guy...

Stem cells. Cloning. Insults. Abortion. Come on people, this should be like catnip to you.

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74.58060.jpg

Found it today in another thread. Enjoy.

Cloning a human is not really that great sounding. Maybe clone a couple to see if it is possible and what the effects are, but I am not sure about the whole "clone yourself so you can use their body parts" Think that was in a outer limits epiosode.

Abortion is great! Probably one reason as to why the population is not increasing as much.

You don't want a baby? You don't need to have one.

Of course there is the "what if your mother aborted you? How would you feel?". I wouldn't feel anything, although it does make one think.

Oh and Bush is gonna veto the stem cell research thingy.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/05/19/stem.cells/index.html

If it were not for science, the world would still be flat. We must test the limits and explore everything possible. For if not what is there for humanity to do? Become sheep?

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simpletons discussing science and coming to bonehead conclusions..... whats new.

It is apparent that none of you even understand what a clone actually is or what the medical consequences are or what happened afterwards to the sheep.

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If you ask me, humans have already been "playing God". We have sent thousands of people into unecessary wars and sufferings. We have made laws and regulations without any real aprovement by the people, we have established huge corporate chains to enslave another millions of people.

When, in our history, have we not played God?

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also we dont need to kill embryos to acquire stems cells as scientists have discovered a new type of stem cell alternative that can be pulled from fatty tissue.

Really?  Could you say a bit more about this, stem cell research interests me.  I see no reason why we can't compromise on this issue in America, allow scientists to use embryos leftover at fertility clinics for research purposes which would otherwise be thrown out as medical waste; cloned embryos don't bother me, but I can accept their banning as a compromise.

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Those of you who watch me in a frighteningly stalkerish fashion (you know who you are) will have noticed that I have been almost avoiding PRP recently.

I find the topic of Stem Cell research interesting somewhat, but that has got to be the most

Paranoid Schizophrenic sentence I've come across. The topic alone is fine, so why all the personal attacks?

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Sorry Dante, but Gunwounds is right.

I would also like to make a few extra comments:

Abortion is great! Probably one reason as to why the population is not increasing as much.

You don't want a baby? You don't need to have one.

Uh, that's what contraception is for. With better and better contraceptive methods, the reasonable justifications for abortion are dissapearing rapidly, at least in the developed world.

If it were not for science, the world would still be flat. We must test the limits and explore everything possible. For if not what is there for humanity to do? Become sheep?

I'm a huge fan of scientific research of every kind, but, at the same time, I must point out that there are certain things better left untested and unexplored - like new and improved weapons of mass destruction, or anything with the potential to cause untold suffering and death. Also, not every kind of experimentation can be justified "in the name of science". Can you say "Josef Mengele"?

Of course, that doesn't really have anything to do with what we're discussing here, but it's an important point anyway.

Let's find out! Cloning a human would give an unprecedented oppertunity to look into the 'nature vs nurture' arguments. It would allow us to study how much of what we do is instinct, and how much in learned. It would push the boundaries of science, allow even further experimentation and development. Science for science's sake? Hell yes.

Actually, no it wouldn't, because a man and his clone would have LESS in common than twin brothers do. Twins grow up at the same time (and in the same family), whereas a clone would grow up much later than the "original", and obviously not in the same family.

IMO, there are no real ethical problems with cloning people. There are, however, practical ones:

1. Cloning is still an extremely inefficient procedure, and you need to try hundreds (thousands?) of times before you get a viable embryo.

2. Our knowledge of cloning is still imperfect, and clones often face serious biological problems that lead to disability or early death.

3. Why do we need to clone people anyway? We already have an overpopulation problem - the last thing we need is an increased birth rate due to clones. It only makes sense to clone embryos for stem cell research, but, as Hasimir pointed out, using leftover embryos at fertility clinics (who would be thrown out anyway) is far more efficient. We simply don't have any practical use for cloning right now.

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Knowledge is important, but question stays: does science provide enough of it? We are not playing God, as we are bound by time and consequences of our actions are sometimes more important than its motives. Perhaps not for the actor, but with knowledge rises also extreme responsibility. Mengele was not a good argument. Einstein's communication with Roosevelt would be better. Either this research should be condemned and stopped before we lead it to a catastrophe or hidden from mass media. Manipulation with principles of life is a play with a too hot stuff to leave it in hands of purely objective science. Do they know what are they doing?

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Ah, almost exactly what I expected. Almost.

I find the topic of Stem Cell research interesting somewhat, but that has got to be the most

Paranoid Schizophrenic sentence I've come across. The topic alone is fine, so why all the personal attacks?

Paranoid maybe, but schizophrenic?

Why personal? Well until recently I actually tried to leave them out of my posts. Maybe not always successfully, but I tried. Then this thread came along, and something snapped. Too bad.

simpletons discussing science and coming to bonehead conclusions..... whats new.

Not your attitude, that's for sure.
It is apparent that none of you even understand what a clone actually is or what the medical consequences are or what happened afterwards to the sheep. You dont even know about the genetic alignment problems or how the cloning is actually done or what the clone actually is in relation to the person the genetic material was pulled from....yet you try to discuss it on a philosophical level.
Who said anything about philosophy? As for how it's done? I know the basics. Cell nucleus into unfertilised egg, blah blah blah... You make assumptions in everything you do. Still, if you want to educate the rest of us poor simpltons then please, go right on ahead.
Try learning what the hell you are talking about first before looking like a fool.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but you're a moron.
No need for all the Koran or Bible bashing or smart ass chattering...
Perhaps not, but it makes me feel better.
Of course God isnt against cloning since thats exactly what identical twins are...
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Point One; I agree with Edric's points more or less to the letter. And since I hate to just simply add assent to another's post, I would like to add that, like all idealistic causes, the cause, "the need to test more and improve our knowledge," can be ruthlessly abused. Especially unintentionally. It would be arrogant to assume that we can be as careful as Dante assures us we could be as we explore the scientific possibilities of cloning.

Allow me to illustrate. We cannot predict all the paths that DNA alignment will take when cloning another human being, so we must therefore assume that there will be unintended errors. Let's assume for a moment that one such random misalignment of genetic material results in an incurable and undetectable physical, or, dare I say, mental condition that results in either the horrible death, sudden death, miserable life, or whatnot of the cloned human. Let's further assume that we are as liberal as can be and award clones all the rights and privileges of any other member of society. So, the clone marries, and has children, and his children marry and have children -- all of them carrying this new genome. Now, let us assume that, for varying reasons, the codon doesn't operate properly, and only kills when the right conditions are met. You could have an incurable genetic ailment released into the population at large and not even know it until generations after the damage has been done. Worse, what if the natural genetic anamolies we see intermingle with the unintended anamolies we see from cloning? Or, what if multiple clones generate multiple branches of genetic anamolies? Cloning should not be barred from research simply because it is science fiction, and it should not be immediately researched simply because it is a "brave new world of science." It is not as dramatic as all think and will not result in the sudden destruction of our world. But, waiting in the wings of cloning is a severe problem generations down the line that we would most likely not immediately see in the pioneering days of cloning science.

Point Two; more related to Point One. This is not to say that we should avoid exploration altogether simply because it is dangerous. Not at all. Just as there are less radical, more viable options to birth control than abortion -- thereby reducing the justification for abortion -- there are less radical, more viable options to the exploration of the human genome and medical science than going straight to cloning. There are certain things which must be done before the risk is acceptable and before our control over the human genome is firm enough that we can truly be responsible with it, which, currently, it and we most assuredly are not. Dante, I agree that we must explore and advance our knowledge of the universe and ourselves, but I disagree with any assertion that we must "do this" or "do that" or that we are compelled to make our discoveries in any specific way. Cloning is possible, and just because we can do a thing it does not necessarilly follow that we must do that thing to know the consequences. The effects of radiation and the atomic bomb were more or less predicted before the first bomb was ignited. Trial-by-error is not absolutely necessary, and I feel that it is just as irresponsible to hastily and recklessly push for the advancement of knowledge as it is to not push for the advancement of knowledge at all.

Point Three; I like how Dante said "Ah, almost exactly what I expected. Almost." I can see him now, sitting in his chair, Fed2k on the screen and a knowing look in his eye, for he knows us so well and his brilliant mind is so advanced that he can predict our very responses! Listen, Dante, I agree completely with you that sometimes the stupid things people say on this forum is a turnoff. It is exactly one of the reasons I've stopped posting as regularly as I used to. But if there's one thing I can stand less than idiocy, it's melodrama. I know this really doesn't have anything to do with the issue at hand [cloning], and I apologize.

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2. Our knowledge of cloning is still imperfect, and clones often face serious biological problems that lead to disability or early death.

Trying to decipher the human genome, (is it 100,000?) genes encoded by 3 billion chemical pairs, with absolute certainty of it's outcome, short term, long term will be one hell of a combination to decode and master.

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Interesting discussion. I didn't feel strongly either way before I saw this thread, but as I typed I started to organise my thoughts and concluded that I'm against both cloning and related technologies.

Some months ago I read a newspaper article about a debate in Brittain about parents who need artificial means to conceive children. The point of debate was wether or not they should be able to pick the gender of their new child- a simple enough procedure. If the answer is yes, it sets a precedent and in the future more parent couples might decide they only want a boy (or a girl). Natural conception is completely random in chosing genders, but leaving it to the whim of the parenting class is not.

I see the same problem with cloning and related technologies, such as swapping a few genes for cosmetic reasons ("I don't want a blond kid", etc)

People are susceptible for trends. Personally I cannot stand how kids today tag along with the rest and buy crap related to Pokemon or whatever other junk comes from Japan because it's "cool" and "it makes you belong to the group". The same kind of reasoning goes for adults as well, only at a subconcious level. Would I be surprised if kids of these generations will go to their doctor in 10-15 years and ask them for a kid in the shape of Pikachu? Well maybe a little, but I can see where it's coming from. (also, I realise genetic manipulation is not the subject here, but I wanted to include it in this argument) A less drastic example is that in 10-15 years the common opinion amongst adults is that raising girls is easier/takes less trouble/more fun then raising boys, and messes up the demographics of entire nations because we've been so irresponsible to give ourselves powers of choice we cannot be trusted with. Only a step ahead is cloning of babies. Me, I've been longing to raise a clone of Gwen Stefani. I mean, she's smart, beautiful, can sing well- who wouldn't want to have such a daughter? The result if we say "yes" to this sort of practices is a society that indefinitely shapes itself into its own shallow and temporal whims, and reduces its own diversity (and not only in its gene pool). Who knows, in the far future everybody will be endowed with beautiful faces, blue eyes and blonde hair- sounds familiar? I thought so. The plans of people like Adolf Hitler are not only evil because of the methods of getting there (exterminating whole nations, etc) but also because it would create a world in where everything answers to certain rigid stereotypes. When you look at someone, you see yourself. It would not only be unnatural, but also monotomous and boring.

We're all familiar with this sort of "Brave New World" arguments, and a good deal of people think they're paranoid and superstitious. Myself, I think it hits the hammer on the head. Huxley wrote his book in 1932, and look how much the world has changed towards into his vision. Nazi practices gave the world a good scare, but I think if they didn't happen we'd already have been pretty much like Huxley described.

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Allow me to illustrate. We cannot predict all the paths that DNA alignment will take when cloning another human being, so we must therefore assume that there will be unintended errors. Let's assume for a moment that one such random misalignment of genetic material results in an incurable and undetectable physical, or, dare I say, mental condition that results in either the horrible death, sudden death, miserable life, or whatnot of the cloned human. Let's further assume that we are as liberal as can be and award clones all the rights and privileges of any other member of society. So, the clone marries, and has children, and his children marry and have children -- all of them carrying this new genome. Now, let us assume that, for varying reasons, the codon doesn't operate properly, and only kills when the right conditions are met. You could have an incurable genetic ailment released into the population at large and not even know it until generations after the damage has been done. Worse, what if the natural genetic anamolies we see intermingle with the unintended anamolies we see from cloning? Or, what if multiple clones generate multiple branches of genetic anamolies?

What you 're describing can happen only if your second assumption is true as well - "Let's further assume that we are as liberal as can be and award clones all the rights and privileges of any other member of society."

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As far as I can see, Dante was only kicking on people's moral views. Not the practical problems.

And I completely agree that about 99% of the opposition for cloning consists of people with no knowledge of the practical problems, but just go around and talk about morality and what not.

Gounwounds, even though you like to think that you have a ph.d in just about every subject known to man, you don't need to call everyone with different views simpletons. This is why I don't post here too often.

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First of all, the original subject of this topic had nothing to do with genetic modification - only with cloning. Having said that, I want to reply to Anathema:

I see the same problem with cloning and related technologies, such as swapping a few genes for cosmetic reasons ("I don't want a blond kid", etc)

People are susceptible for trends. Personally I cannot stand how kids today tag along with the rest and buy crap related to Pokemon or whatever other junk comes from Japan because it's "cool" and "it makes you belong to the group". The same kind of reasoning goes for adults as well, only at a subconcious level. Would I be surprised if kids of these generations will go to their doctor in 10-15 years and ask them for a kid in the shape of Pikachu? Well maybe a little, but I can see where it's coming from. (also, I realise genetic manipulation is not the subject here, but I wanted to include it in this argument) A less drastic example is that in 10-15 years the common opinion amongst adults is that raising girls is easier/takes less trouble/more fun then raising boys, and messes up the demographics of entire nations because we've been so irresponsible to give ourselves powers of choice we cannot be trusted with. Only a step ahead is cloning of babies. Me, I've been longing to raise a clone of Gwen Stefani. I mean, she's smart, beautiful, can sing well- who wouldn't want to have such a daughter? The result if we say "yes" to this sort of practices is a society that indefinitely shapes itself into its own shallow and temporal whims, and reduces its own diversity (and not only in its gene pool). Who knows, in the far future everybody will be endowed with beautiful faces, blue eyes and blonde hair- sounds familiar? I thought so. The plans of people of the likes of Adolf Hitler are not only evil because of the methods of getting there (exterminating whole nations, etc) but also because it would create a world in where everything answers to certain rigid stereotypes. When you look at someone, you see yourself. It would not only be unnatural, but also monotomous and boring.

You think that's bad? You've only scratched the surface. Genetic manipulation has the potential of hurling the human race into a dystopia of unimaginable evil. Consider the following: Like all new technologies, the ability to design your own baby will be very expensive at first. Only the rich will be able to afford it. And they won't limit themselves to merely selecting their baby's appearence. They'll want to make him/her stronger, more intelligent, better in every way. For the first few generations, the differences between the children of the rich and those of the poor will remain within normal human limits, but they'll keep growing. It will become harder and harder for poor kids to displace rich kids from their positions of wealth and power. Until one day, it will become impossible. And the world will realize that a master race of ubermenschen has developed, superior to ordinary Homo sapiens. Class differences will become biological differences. Humanity will become a slave race, forever bound to serve the ubermenschen who will be too intelligent to be overthrown. That is the ultimate capitalist nightmare.

I actually explore that scenario in the science fiction universe I'm developing, which ends with a titanic war between egalitarian, somewhat Marxist humans and Nietzchean/Ayn Rand-inspired ubermenschen. I plan to post the timeline and a lengthy description of the 1000 years of history my universe covers in the FanFic forum, eventually. :)

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(also, I realise genetic manipulation is not the subject here, but I wanted to include it in this argument)

There ya go ;)

I mainly wanted to mention the danger of cloning of existing persons, wich narrows the diversity of humanity. I deliberately didn't go further into the potential evils of GM. Everybody knows what they are anyway. I merely wanted to expand my statement cloning = bad to include GM as well. Discussion of GM on humans may seem redundant because few people would support it anyway, but there are already scientists planning on using it to eliminate hereditary diseases or susceptibility for cancer.

(Come to think of it, do you remember the suboids in KJA's and BH's prequels, and how laconicly Leto reacted to it? That was really odd, even disturbing.)

(also, that could be a very interesting story Edric O)

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Spectral Paladin; I completely disagree. The risk still exists even if we do not award clones such rights; as the clones still have the capacity to violate the law in this future just as many individuals violate marriage laws now.

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Cloning is a senseless if we were only to make replicas. And human is also pure on the birth, so if you clone a genius you have no insurance its duplicate will be a genius too. Problem is in experimenting.

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Ill have...erm...one Angalina Jolie and a side helping of Elizibeth Hurley.

How much ?...ok, there you go.

Thanks, byeee...

(come along ladies, you got work to do)  8)

I can see there is a future for cloning.

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so if you clone a genius you have no insurance its duplicate will be a genius too. Problem is in experimenting.

I agree.

Without the life experiences of a person and so forth, it would basically be just a shell of a human with the same DNA. Cloning someone like Einstein in hopes of creating another genius would be a waiste. But, cloning someones actual brain contents and memories would be interesting as hell. Maybe for another topic though?

Ill have...erm...one Angalina Jolie and a side helping of Elizibeth Hurley.

How much ?...ok, there you go.

Thanks, byeee...

(come along ladies, you got work to do) 8)

I can see there is a future for cloning.

Not only that but I could see possibly a shady black market for humans for sex trade type of thing. That would be one demand (as sad as it would be)for merely using clones without an ounce of brain contents. A kidney for sale on E-bay, a clone of someones twisted sexual desire on a black market somewhere? doesen't seem that far fetched when you think of the world we live in today.

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WEll, it would be those ladies genetically, wouldnt it ? So more or less, they would look the same. They could be conditioned as part of their "growing up" to behave as they needed to in the sex slave industry. That would be the most likely reason/use for clones, as real as the human trade is now.

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WEll, it would be those ladies genetically, wouldnt it ? So more or less, they would look the same. They could be conditioned as part of their "growing up" to behave as they needed to in the sex slave industry. That would be the most likely reason/use for clones, as real as the human trade is now.

Can you imagine the demand for such a thing? It would be staggering. Porn industry, "We intend to revolutionize the Blow-up doll market as never seen before".  ;)

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