Debate and Discussion

Cloning Only
freefall_drift at 3:47PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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Here's either a discussion topic, or a sci fi plot.
Here's the scenario: Humanity figures out a low cost way to easily clone people. A nurse, a few cells as a DNA source, an egg and womb, and 9 months later, a copy of the person. The wrinkle is that humanity caught a virus that makes it impossible to have kids the traditional way. It's either clones or no kids. No more mixing.

If you extrapolated this out a couple of hundred years, what kind of changes would that do to society?

Would there be people who tried to make clans of themselves? Would society let them?

Maybe it would put to bed, much of the nature/nurture argument. After 6 generations of person X that turned out to be an artist or gay or republican, people would get the hint that it was hereditary.

Disease would threaten to wipe out humanity since it wasn't evolving any more.

I bet tattooing would become a popular as a way to tell clones apart.

Do you think that mistaken identity plots in shows would become too common and they would be dropped?

Do you think hereditary and genetic castes would become common. Once a plumber, always a plumber, like his dad and granddad and great grand dad before him.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
StaceyMontgomery at 4:25PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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freefall_drift
Would there be people who tried to make clans of themselves? Would society let them?
Society tends to be conservative. Perhaps for the first few generations people would be limited to cloning themselves and raising the children in traditional family structures. That might change over time, of course. It's not clear that anyone would “make clans of themselves” since clones are not “themselves” but seperate people. I mean, there are always crazy cults, cloning will spawn those just like anything else.

freefall_drift
Maybe it would put to bed, much of the nature/nurture argument. After 6 generations of person X that turned out to be an artist or gay or republican, people would get the hint that it was hereditary.
Probably not. A lot of these things are powerfully influenced by genetics, and in a clone-society would get a chance to really find out which. But all the clones of an artist being artists? That might be the way it works, but i doubt it. I mean, gayness is clearly influenced a lot by genetics, but will all 6 generations of person X have exactly the same sexuality?

freefall_drift
Disease would threaten to wipe out humanity since it wasn't evolving any more.
Well, the “not evolving anymore” point doesnt really mean anything, our modern medicine already jumbles those dice pretty well. There would only be an added danger if most children were clones of the same people, that would make us subject to their genetic weaknesses, like a cuntry with one farm crop… If everyone raises their own clone children, then genetic diversity will stay about where it is today.


freefall_drift
I bet tattooing would become a popular as a way to tell clones apart.
I've known several sets of identical twins, and none of them felt any great need to tatoo themselves for this purpose - though they often used varying hairstyles.

freefall_drift
Do you think that mistaken identity plots in shows would become too common and they would be dropped?
It has been a staple of literature since classical times - it could hardly be more common than it is now!

freefall_drift
Do you think hereditary and genetic castes would become common. Once a plumber, always a plumber, like his dad and granddad and great grand dad before him.
No. Why would this be any more or less true than it is now?

All in all, i think you kind of exoticize clones. As i said in the other thread - clones don't even have the same fingerprints. They're just like twin brothers and sisters. They DO have an awful lot on common, but it's easy to overstate it.

Of course, if you base a society on cloning a small number of people - say, humans are wiped out except for 5 people. They can be cloned but they cannot breed otherwise. They clone themselves, and eventually repopulate the Earth, so that everyone is a clone of one of those 5 people. That might lead to the kind of ideas you are thinking about.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
freefall_drift at 4:57PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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I know that cloning is not little xerox copies, cloning creates twin siblings, but of different ages.
I do like the idea of a much smaller pool to start with, maybe 20 men and women, filling up the distant planet. Have to play with that.

Back to the bigger scale.
I wonder if you would end up with situations where the father and mother of jr and jr-ette would assume/pressure their kids to marry, because they did?

I can imagine a clan of George Foreman twins being created.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
StaceyMontgomery at 5:49PM, Sept. 3, 2008
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freefall_drift
Back to the bigger scale.
I wonder if you would end up with situations where the father and mother of jr and jr-ette would assume/pressure their kids to marry, because they did?

I can imagine a clan of George Foreman twins being created.

Well, if Jr and Jr-ette grow up as brother and sister, then you would have to change the culture a lot before that seemed like a good idea to people.


Of course, if everyone was a clone of the “original 20” then there would be lots and lots of chances to try out successful marriage combinations. “Sorry Levi-98, I'm a Gisele, and Giseles and Levis never work out. I'm going to marry a nice Ivo like my Mom did…”

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
freefall_drift at 8:52AM, Sept. 5, 2008
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joined: 6-19-2007
StaceyMontgomery
Of course, if everyone was a clone of the “original 20” then there would be lots and lots of chances to try out successful marriage combinations. “Sorry Levi-98, I'm a Gisele, and Giseles and Levis never work out. I'm going to marry a nice Ivo like my Mom did…”
Wahoo. That is wonderfully f'ed up dialogue. Thank you (grin!)

StaceyMontgomery
Well, if Jr and Jr-ette grow up as brother and sister, then you would have to change the culture a lot before that seemed like a good idea to people.

It wouldn't happen over night, but I was wondering how it might change over a couple of hundred years. Look at the last hundred or so. Women and blacks got the right to vote and in some places gays can marry and adopt kids. That's just in the last 100 years or so. I think my scenario could happen. Maybe like in the Wal-mart heirs so the inheritance never left the family?

Do you think cultures would blend more or pull apart? There are studies that conservative brains work different than liberal brains. Assuming the brain function differences are really genetic and hard coded and not environmentally caused, would the conservatives and/or liberals would likely band together over generations, since the churn of kids thinking differently than their parents would be reduced.
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/09/20/liberal-conservative-brain-differences/
Someone
The work grew out of decades of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new experiences.
or depending on how you describe it
Someone
You could say that conservatives are more steadfast, less impacted by outside influences, demanding of clarity, and more cherishing of past experiences.
Either way, I bet like minded people would gravitate to each other. And once there, they wouldn't change as a culture since they tend to think alike and don't change over the generations.
Freefall Drift - A sci fi space opera of a starship's mission of stopping the Endless Kings.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM

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