« The Truth is too easy an answer | Gene Expression Front Page | Stand up and be counted »
January 15, 2003

Family values & Cloning

The always provocative Stanley Kurtz addresses the negative effects of cloning on the two-parent family structure. First, I think Kurtz is overestimating the number of reproductive clones that will be produced in the near future-the first human clones will probably be very sick and die quickly in misery, discouraging the vast majority of narcissists from investing so much $$$ into a project so likely to produce an imperfect version of themselves.

But what if clones are healthy? Kurtz makes some good points-and I'm not going to address them right now, but there is one thing I thought of: who better to raise you than yourself? After all, if 50% of behavior and personality is genetic, a cloned parent will have already won half the battle in anticipating the mischief and needs of their clone-child. Evolutionary psychologists will often assert that one reason step-parents are much more likely to abuse is because they have no genetic relationship to the child. By this logic, clone-parents should be especially doting and attentive (something they are likely to be already, as the only thing a narcissist could love besides themselves, is a reflection of themselves at a more youthful and beautiful stage). It should be especially easy to have empathy with someone who is, though autonomous and differentiated from you, made of the same raw materials. Of course, this sort of thing can lead to problems as well. I just bring these issues up because cloning can be more complicated after the repugnance wears off.

Posted by razib at 01:37 AM




"After all, if 50% of behavior and personality is genetic, a cloned parent will have already won half the battle in anticipating the mischief and needs of their clone-child."

No way Razib; most people are amazingly blind to their faults and behaviors. Even in these days of therapy and know-thyself navel-gazing.

You know, I should go back to bloggin'. I'm becoming quite the comment-whore.

Posted by: Diana at January 15, 2003 07:59 AM


Raising your genetic identikit? Can you imagine the teenage tantrums, i.e. "I'm my own person and you don't know me at all." This would be the adolescence from hell!

Posted by: duende at January 15, 2003 09:48 AM


If I could raise clones of myself that might change my mind about not having children. It would be fun to see how a bunch of me's turned out with different upbringing and events in their lives.

Posted by: Jacqueline at January 17, 2003 09:44 PM