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Old December 16 2011, 03:50 AM   #104
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Re: Some science fiction "firsts"

For one thing, I never claimed it's not possible, I merely pointed out that it's extremely difficult and far from a sure thing. I didn't want people reading your post to get the false impression that the mammoth project was likely to succeed, so I elaborated on the difficulties that still remain. Don't confuse "difficult" with "impossible."

For another, you're getting the burden of proof backwards. The empirical evidence to date shows consistently that, with current technology, clones of extinct species are very unlikely to survive. Therefore, the premise that cloning is feasible is the one that has to be proven, because so far there's no evidence to support it. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" -- Carl Sagan.
There was never a judgement call on my part claiming that cloning of mammoths would succeed, only that it was going to be a progression of the technology over the years, from "Dolly" in 1997, to cloning an Ibex only 12 years later.

There is very little evidence to go on as of yet, and if you were to ask the question: "is it possible", the answer is a resounding "yes" as to whether the subject will last the next quarter hour...who knows.

It's true, it's up to those conducting the experiment(did I say otherwise??--I was referring to the article you posted as to those who claim it is not possible or unlikely...without seeing if it is first proven by those conducting the experiment)--those who say it is possible to prove it--and that's just what they are doing and I want to see..every time I see these elaborate articles claiming its impossible or unlikely, I would rather see them try...within reason of course.

Christopher wrote: View Post
RAMA wrote: View Post
I think Roddenberry was generally conservative with tampering with human biology itself (genetics/cloning)...and while Riker did have a right to control the use of his cells, the look of disgust on his face over the existence of a clone was enough to demonstrate ST's stance.
No, it wasn't, because again, I'd argue that his disgust wasn't at cloning per se, but at the fact that he was cloned WITHOUT HIS CONSENT. Remember, the episode was an allegory on reproductive rights. It wasn't actually about the ethics of cloning, since that was a very distant possibility at the time it was written. The cloning issue was just a disguise for a statement about abortion rights, an issue that was far more current at the time the episode was written and produced. If a female character showed disgust at the prospect of being impregnated by rape, and expressed a willingness to get an abortion in those circumstances, that wouldn't mean she was disgusted at the idea of pregnancy itself, but at the idea of having it forced on her against her will. And the same goes for Riker's reaction here.

And even if you were right that Riker showed disgust at cloning, you'd be wrong to say it showed ST's overall stance, because as I've already shown, there are numerous other examples of clones in Trek being treated as equal beings with a perfectly valid right to exist. It would be the exception, not the rule. A single example doesn't prove a pattern, especially when it's contradicted by every other example.

Clones don't fare well in Roddenberry's universe, technology unchained is fine, but improving human beings...well that just dangerous!

The largest sample of clones in ST are the Jem Hadar and Vorta, both of whom do not share admirable traits, and are at the mercy of their flaws...the Jem Hadar must be on white, and Vorta are basically whimpering, servile drones to the only non-clones in the triad of the Dominion.

Picard/Shinzon: Shinzon comes into power but in generally ineffectual and again at the mercy of his genetic flaws.

The Riker example is not the only one from the Mariposans: they suffer bio-technological flaws, they are thought of as not being imaginative, and are stiff...only combining their DNA with a more viable non-clone people make them worthwhile to carry on as a civilization.

The Ibudan clones were the result of a murderer and criminal who only wanted to use the technology to survive.

Ultimately genetic creations in ST are humanity playing "God", with the UFP forced to stay out of it by law, and this is pretty much in tune with Roddenberry's views.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities".
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