In exploring a fringe science group "Raë lians", Talbot explores the rationale behind cloning “ replacement children. ” The Raë lians believe that humans are genetically altered clones of extraterrestrials, and they have over 55,000 members worldwide. They also have enormous resources and brilliant scientists, which lends them credibility. The statement of this group is if someone wants a clone, why shouldn’ t they have one? Although the raw logic of the Raë lians is not really flawed, the thinking of the many hopeful customers is. Talbot points out that a cloned child would raised by its parents with unprecedented expectations, whether conscious or not, and the child would have no memories of previous experience with the family.
Talbot wonders if people really realize the brevity of that. Still, grieving does alter one’ s sense of reason, and cloning seems to be offering hope to many who have lost children in unfortunate and sudden circumstances such as accidents. The research was done by Talbot lead her to a 77-year-old woman who wishes to clone her son Matthew, who at age 37 died after out of a tree.
The woman acknowledged that someone else would raise Matthew because of her age (she calls the hypothetical clone Matthew), an idea she doesn’ t really like. So what, Talbot asks, will she be getting if she could have Matthew successfully cloned? The answer is, “ his mind. ” He had an I. Q. of 165 and the world needs a mind like that. Again, here is a flawed pattern of thinking: even if the original could be cloned, there is no guarantee that the clone would have the same Raised in a different environment, under completely different circumstances and with even a different set of neurological pathways and as yet undiscovered differences in neurological construction, it does not seem likely that the same mind could be replicated.
At this point, it might be wise to consider the philosophers of old such as Descartes, who delved into the ability of the mind alone to perceive truth.
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