[extropy-chat] BIO: overtorqing the luddites

Adrian Tymes wingcat at pacbell.net
Mon Feb 16 21:45:11 UTC 2004

--- "Robert J. Bradbury" <bradbury at aeiveos.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 15 Feb 2004, Adrian Tymes wrote:
> > 1. Reproductive cloning ... [snip]
> I'm reasonably certain you do not have to take an
> embryo
> to the "baby" stage to harvest germ cells capable of
> forming
> a subsequent generation.  So one just pickes off the
> cells
> required from a developing embryo and allows them to
> produce
> a clone (or a unique child if you can get both
> female and
> male germ cells).
> I think the amount of development required may be
> overestimated
> now.  Scientists are being very conservative in
> papers and what
> they tell the press and one has to consider how far
> we have
> come in the last decade.

You have a point, but...in animals taken to full
term, certain clones have had defects the parent did
not.  These defects aren't even detectable until years
after birth...but would be unacceptable for human
clones, who would be doomed to deformity unless these
defects are reversed.

*That*, not any religious line, is the main reason why
scientists have been opposing reproductive cloning *at
cloning's current stage of development*.  Now, if we
could develop cloning such that these defects went
away, and prove it in animal testing, there would be a
lot more people willing to accept reproductive
cloning.  The path to this end leads through extensive
development of theraputic cloning.

> > 2. In a case like this, the "children" are more
> like
> > the twin siblings of the "parent" (singular)
> Only if you are using cloning as the reproductive
> method
> rather than something like germ cell maturation and
> actual
> fertilization, most probably allowing the fertilized
> cells
> to produce the "child", while preserving the
> developing
> embryo that was the source of the genetic material
> to be
> developed into a "parent" at a later date.

I fail to see a relevant difference between these two
approaches.  Socially, the roles of "parent", "child",
and "sibling" go by fairly non-technical rules, and
it's a social torque, not a technical one, you're
saying the luddites will experience.  (Almost by
definition, luddites don't experience technical

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