Two Cloning Issues

Brian E Watkins (
Mon, 24 Feb 1997 11:42:28 -0800

On the ownership (copyright) to your genome:

Your parents composed your genome (unless you are one of those
newfangled clones, but then you'd be under a year old) from work
originally composed elsewhere. Thus your parens don't own your genome,
and can't charge you royalties. You don't own your own genome either.

In copyright law, it is not possible to own a fact, just the right to
copy a particular (newly created) representation of that fact.

An you can't own a person copied from you DNA, because you can't own a
person period.

Besides, you didn't create your genome, so who are you to be claiming
credit for it anyway?

ON cloning a genius, artist, &c.

It is apparently possible to clone a good-looking person from a
good-looking person. Studies indicate that physical appearance is the
prime determinant of success and happiness in human life. (Height comes
into it for males, but intelligence and creativity are way down on the
list for everyone.) This is probably the way to go.

Cloning a smart person, or a creative person will probably not work. I
am a genius (defined by consistent 1 out of 10 000 or better scores on
intelligence/aptitude tests) and I know several others. Everyone I know
in this category thinks just like everyone I know outside this category
(mostly 1 or 2 out of 100 intellects, I'll admit) . Maybe they can hold
three or four more items in short term memory, but I suspect even that
is learned through experience. The one common factor is personal
interest in and inner determination to study intellectual subjects. The
environmental factors inspiring this are very consistent from family to
family. So are the childhood stories we tell each other.

In conclusion, I think genius level intelligence and creativity are
learned behaviors. It doesn't take a great genome. And a great genome
probably doesn't help.


But it's physical attractiveness that's really important anyway!