Re: Hawking on cloning

Anders Sandberg (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 00:32:56 +0100 (MET)

On Sun, 23 Mar 1997, Ben Jackson wrote:

> >On Sun, 23 Mar 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >It's too bad I don't believe genius is genetic, otherwise it might be
> >interesting to clone him... (raises some fun ethical problems too).
> What arguements do you have to support the view that genius is not genetic?
> My immediate reaction would be to agree but/and I'm interested in hearing
> your reasons.

First, I have noted that most geniuses are not usually born with genius
parents or relatives, it often appears quite suddenly in a family (look at
Gauss for an example). Note that intelligence on the other hand often runs
in families; research has shown that there are genetic correlations
between the intelligence of siblings, even when raised apart, and an
intelligent family of course provides a more stimulating environment to
grow up in. But genius seems to pop up on its own (of course, I suspect
that there is no firm division between genius and high intelligence;
genius is mostly an acknowledgment of excellent achievements).

Second, according to what I have read and heard, geniuses doesn't seem to
develop without plenty of motivation. This motivation can be both
internal and external, but genius doesn't seem to develop if there isn't
a receptive medium for it. Without training/experimentation they don't
become geniuses.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y