I’ve always found the idea of cloning fascinating. Ever since I met my first twins. The twins in question weren’t even identical. Regardless, the idea of having a genetic copy of me walking around confusing my friends and family appeals to me. It’s not just the mischief factor, I love everything about the subject of cloning.
As a result I enjoy reading about clones, both in scientific articles and science fiction, and also reading twin studies. Twin studies are carried out to better understand human psychology and behaviour. Many of these studies feature identical twins that were separated at birth, who go on to live eerily similar lives.
The ethics of cloning yourself is dubious of course, as is the question of personhood. Does somebody that you’ve grown in a lab have the same rights as a natural born human? Should they? However that’s not the question I want to talk about today. What I want to explore today is this. If you could clone yourself, would you make any alterations to your duplicate, or would you leave it as an exact copy of yourself?
I posted this question to Facebook a little while back, with the intention of using people’s responses to this question to help me write this article. I can’t find the post now, so I’m going to have to provide you with the broad strokes from memory.
In classic Sci-Fi, including more recent movies like Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, try to make the clones subservient by reducing their intelligence. I had wondered as I posed the question, how many would want their copies to be less intelligent with the intention of making them obedient slaves.
To my surprise, almost everyone wanted the clone to be better than they are. Smarter. Stronger. An idealised version of themselves. Admittedly, a couple of them went on to say they would transfer their consciousness into the clone, discarding their own body. Most seemed content to simply create a better version of themselves.
This is interesting, and a little exciting. It might also be an expression of the biological imperative to produce children that are better able to handle what life throws at us than we are. This would essentially make us obsolete though, unless the genetically superior clone has just as much trouble adjusting to the real world as we do. More so probably, if they know they are supposed to be a better version of you, that would put an enormous amount of pressure on them to live up to it.
Would we feel better about our lives if we can watch our improved copy struggle as much as we do? Would it make us feel less lonely? What if they are actually better? We’d be making ourselves obsolete, but maybe we’d be leaving the world in better hands? This idea have been thoroughly covered by sci-fi, including the movie Gattaca. If we did replace ourselves with genetic perfect versions, would the human race lose it’s ability to adapt?
One or two wanted their clones to be exact copies. I do mean exact. Containing all the same life experiences up until the point you became two identical people. This essentially makes you an identical twin. Personally I think this is the idea that appeals most to me. To have someone around that understands me better than anyone, because he is me. If I were single at the time, I might tweak the gender, but I’m currently not, so I won’t go into that!
Think about it though. Having someone in your life that knows how you like things done, thinks the same way you do. An extra pair of hands to help you accomplish your own shared dreams. A brain on the same wavelength as your own. Imagine what you could accomplish, and what kind of shenanigans you could get up to, with your very own genetic twin!
The potential possibilities of genetic cloning are far reaching. I would happily discuss the subject all day. I will reserve the right to ignore comments such as “I’d make my penis bigger”. I don’t want to talk about your giant cloned gonads. I assume that any alterations to the physical body would no doubt include an upgrade to the pleasure organs. You want your double to have fun don’t you?
The legend of the doppelganger warns that meeting your double will lead to death and ruin, but would that be such a bad thing if the duplicates are actually better than us? Even if they’re not, if your genetic twin turns out to be just as self-destructive as you are, isn’t their some odd comfort in that?
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. If you could create an exact copy of yourself, memories included, would you make any changes or would you leave it exactly as you are? In the original post, people saying they would make changes listed their top 3. Feel free to follow that trend.
What would your clone be like?
Remember to share this so you can see what your friends say about it too!
Have a great day 🙂