[ExI] Ethics of cloning

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Thu Jul 2 05:04:04 UTC 2020

<spike at rainier66.com> wrote:


>  You have the DNA of some
interesting people, well so do they, and we don't know who.

In some cases we do.  Esther Dyson is on the board of 23andMe.  It
would surprise me if any of her family are missing.  Others, like GK
O'Neill and Tim Leary can probably be recovered medical samples.

BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:

 > Anything with 'ethics' involved is opening a can of worms, and human
cloning is no exception.

> You are suggesting doing human cloning post-singularity, so you don't
have to worry about the ethics until after the singularity arrives.
All the current ethical, technical and legal problems apply to
concerns about people doing human cloning *now*.

The biggest problem is simply cost.  A human clone is close enough to
the state of the art that we could probably do it at a cost of around
a billion dollars.  A clone from recovered DNA would be harder.

> After the singularity, ethics (like everything else) will be very different.

You may be right, but I don't see how the details would work out.  Any ideas?

> DNA will be manipulated and improved so that present-time DNA will be
regarded as quaint and old-fashioned, like a Ford Model T.

That's possible.  It's also possible people could abandon flesh
entirely and upload.  Or perhaps the species would split with some
remaining like Hutterites  I have written fiction about all these
options the singularity would enable.  But the chances are that I
wildly missed what will really happen.

Keith wrote:

>> Still, the idea needs thinking about.  Does a person who raises clones
>> have more responsibility than those who have children?

Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:

> No.  You should if possible have the permission of those who the DNA is
from, as the children are theirs too, but having children is generally best
done with the consent of all (which is usually just 2) of the child's DNA

These people are 100% dead.  Permission not possible.

> By what circumstance do you have the people's DNA in the first place?

Various.  One of them is from a hairbrush.  I have been collecting DNA
samples for over 20 years.

> Non-humans are traditionally property.  If some person owns that cat's DNA,
you should get that person's permission,

It is from my daughter's cat.  I had some interesting cats, but they
died long before I realized that saving DNA had potential.


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