Cloning for Colonization?

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Smirky-Spock, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Cloning for Colonization?
    In the three seasons of TOS, we see many extras and guest stars reappear in different roles, but, one obvious in-universe explanation is cloning. Maybe humanity could not meet the high demand for people to support the massive human colonization suggested in the series. We see many colonies and even whole planets populated with billions of humans. I think it unlikely that this could occur only over ~200 years of warp flight. Assuming natural births could not fully meet the demand for people, human culture started making test tube babies. If you are going to make a human for colonization, you may as well select human genes from quality individuals that give preferred characteristics. Cloning became perfectly acceptable with no prejudicial treatment of these individuals evident in the show. Several clones have attained high status such as:
    • Admiral Fitzgerald and Commodore Barstow
    • Commodore Robert Wesley and Cmd. Giotto
    • Capt. Ronald Tracey and Dr. Simon Van Gelder
    • Lt. Cmd. Ann Mulhall and Dr. Miranda Jones (cloned and genetically altered for telepathy but also resulted in blindness side effect)
    • Number One and Nurse Christine Chapel
    even​
    • Capt. James T. Kirk and George Samuel “Sam” Kirk
    Not to mention several crew members (the Leslie’s, Galloway’s, Martine’s, and a number of Red Shirts that were killed to reappear later.) The fact that the cloning topic was never commented on in any episodes is because it was just normal to see clones. In a later TNG episode, cloning was then out of vogue, but it showed that the technology was available in the TOS timeframe.

    What are your thoughts on the possibility that cloning is common in TOS?
     
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  2. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    It certainly is an interesting hypothesis. I wonder what the natural population growth rate would be for humanity from 2060 to 2260. Didn't Kirk say they were on a thousand worlds and spreading out?
     
  3. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I wish I could do the math, but looking at the recent population growth of our earth over the last one hundred years, I think we have added about 6 or so billion people. For colonization of the Federation controlled space (how many worlds?), I see several times this growth rate is needed.

    This may also explain the role of women during this period and the man-centralist society norms we see. It was important for women to get married :luvlove: and raise families. Only now during the TOS era are we seeing women returning to the work place and serving on starships. A new women's lib movement is coming...:techman:
     
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  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is doable, but for some reason extremely objectionable in the 24th century. Would it have been objectionable in the 23rd already?

    "Admiral Fitzgerald and Commodore Barstow": I gather Barstow just got married and (perhaps not wholly coincidentally) promoted. :devil:

    "Commodore Robert Wesley and Cmd. Giotto": a simple promotion again? We never learn Robert Wesley's surname, after all. ;)

    "Capt. Ronald Tracey and Dr. Simon Van Gelder": no contest there.

    "Lt. Cmd. Ann Mulhall and Dr. Miranda Jones et al.": some women just get their looks from a magazine cover, and might look completely unrelated without the makeup. :devil:

    Never mind my thoughts: Kirk's seem to throw a gear when confronted with, say, the Alice and Barbara Series. Identical looks always seem to surprise, unless the character is implicitly familiar with the specific background (as Kirk would be with the ubiquitous Leslie Brothers, say). Which wouldn't work if cloning were common as a thing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Does he throw a gear? Kirk seemed more surprised at finding Mudd on the planet. Then Spock says:

    SPOCK: Five hundred of the same model? That seems rather redundant.

    Just a quick scan of the transcript seems to indicate the crew were surprised by their attributes as androids, rather than as being identical.
     
  6. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm surprised that the topic of cloning never came up on TOS (was it even a technology during the 1960's?) and only one episode on TNG. Android duplication and Genetic engineering seemed to get the attention in many episodes and in all cases, it was scripted as "bad". Just an observation.

    (Then again, I was never hot on getting an android body :borg:; I wanted to keep Spock's:alienblush:. Alas, foiled again...:mad:)
     
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  7. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Three considerations:

    1. That cloning might full under the broader ban on eugenics. (Although series eps would seem to dispute this)

    2. In her recorded program proposal, Carol Marcus makes mention of Genesis being able help the Federation with the 'problems' of population and food production. The implication is that the citizens of the Federation are numerous, fruitful, and need more planets to live on. If so, you don't need clones.

    3. Cloning technically puts society much closer to longer- much longer- lifespans. If 24th Century medical tech could take stem cells and use them to grow (clone, essentially) replacement organs and tissues for the body, they could develop rejuvenation therapies akin to those described in Heinlein's 'Howard Foundation Clinics', giving humans (and maybe other species) tremendously extended lifespans. Imagine a starfleet admiral who was 300 years old, with entire decades of 'interrupted service' doing other things and gaining all that knowledge and experience!
     
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  8. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, the heroes know of at least two humanlike species with long lifespans, and both are unmitigated disasters from the societal point of view. Long-lived Vulcanoids compete for the scarce resources of their desert world (and of the supposedly much lusher Romulus, too) with such ferocity that they nuked themselves back to the stone age at least once already. And Klingons apparently seldom live past their violent first three decades, even though their bodies cater for centuries - indeed, in all likelihood because their bodies refuse to die out, meaning there's pressure to do something about it with sharp implements.

    Cloning is bad, for whatever reason. But interstellar colonies often seem to get founded for the purpose of escaping the core world definition of bad and being able to practice supposed evil at will. Genetic manipulation might be something you have to do in a separatist colony; cloning could be another such thing, and practiced exactly and exclusively because it can. We just haven't heard of that sort of a colony quite yet.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  9. Lord Other

    Lord Other Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    From my perspective, in-universe, it's highly unlikely that Earth / UESPA vis-à-vis Starfleet utilized cloning for colonization purposes. Other than guest stars repeat appearances on TOS, there are no notable instances where cloning was brought up as the "science fiction trope of the week" as was the case with mind control, eugenics, robots, intelligent computers, androids, and a host of others, when it easily could have. In-universe you also need only go so far as the TAS episode, "The Infinite Vulcan" to get an idea of how cloning is viewed in general by Federation citizens, and Starfleet personnel in particular. While cloning doesn't appear to carry the negative mental association with it that intelligent computers and androids do with Starfleet officers, I don't think it's particularly favourable either. If you take into account content from TNG as supporting evidence, then the episode, "Up the Long Ladder" also strongly entertains the notion that cloning people for colonization purposes is an ideological outlier, but still a possibility.
     
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  10. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    On the topic of long life spans and genetic manipulation. I've come to the conclusion that core-humanity developed an ideology that accepts natural lifespans. Basically it could be something like if you can't appreciate what you have in 100 years why are you going to appreciate it more in 600? Or perhaps they've come to harmony with the fact that, since death is inevitable, why push it away in fear? So there may be humans out there living for 600 years old, while there are also ones that embrace death after having lived a full life to the age of 100. And the latter just happen to be the core of humanity including most of all our heroes.
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's fun to think that "natural lifespan" on humans may be around 6,000 years in certain cases...

    ...Or that there are natural "extrasensory" traits to certified humans, including telepathy, clairvoyance and telekinetics. Or is that because humans keep on breeding with space aliens? Hercules may well have had supernatural physical strength because Queen Alcmene happened to prefer Romulans in her bed... Perhaps a key ingredient in the creation of Khan was alien sperm, too?

    We know humans have xenophobic and conservative streaks on various Trek eras. Aversion to alien influences that alter the human standard could be deep-rooted, and may result in self-limitation of somewhat excessive sort.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  12. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    Just ask Flint. Why should he have been the only "immortal" human?

    --Alex
     
  13. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Originally, I didn't consider using cloning to cannibalize body parts and organs to extend life; this application of cloning is villainous (I think there are VOY villains that have a plague or something and need to cannibalize people for their parts). Even without the potential for abuse as with eugenics, selective breeding could occur to narrow the gene pool if cloning was on a large enough scale over a long enough time. For example, they would get a disproportionate quantity of clones based a popular charactistic such as looking pretty like Farrah Faucet or smart like Albert Einstein or athletic like Bo Jackson, etc. (I think I'm showing my age with those examples. I miss the 70's and 80's.)

    In the context of population expansion, these discussions have convinced me that cloning would not be welcomed in the TOS era culture, especially on a massive or common scale. If population expansion was truly needed, then I guess society as a whole would encourage making babies the old fashion way.
     
  14. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The cloning aspect is quite funny when used to explain away the constant reuse of the same actors on TOS! :lol: But I'd have to say it must be a mass of coincidences! Look how many people do look alike today and yet they are no relation in this day and age or in any other and you'll see a constant stream of correlations! It would be a good way to explain it though I guess although Kirk doesn't seem to say anything to Simon Van Gelder about his similarity to Captain Ronald Tracey, or Miranda Jones about her looking like Dr.Ann Mulhall or Giotto as being a Bob Wesley lookalike!!! And he certainly doesn't quiz Admirals Komack or Westervliet about their ancestry or even some of his crew that have duplicates like Lt.Johnson who resembled the sadly deceased Lt.Galloway or the Mr.Leslie brothers who seem to take over when their brother is killed by the Vampiric cloud in Obsession yet he can't get Angela Martine's name right on the Shore leave planet and on the bridge where he calls her Lt.Lisa but then that wasn't really Kirk was it and or Mr.Kyle's name in Immunity Syndrome! ;) And what about Ensign Freeman who resembled one of the Villagers who raped and killed Nona, but he also looked like the Captain of the USS Defiant, an Ekosian trooper, a Roman policeman, a Cowboy illusion, a security chief on twentieth century earth and many more and don't get me started on the Exeter's Doctor Carter!!! :crazy:
    JB
     
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  15. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    JB,
    Nice roller coaster in look-alike history. That was fun to read. :hugegrin: Thanks for supporting my original post, but now, I'm convinced there is no in-universe explanation. If the plot calls for the same actor to be a different person, then they must be a different person and damn our lying eyes.

    (fortunately for me, I can take over any person's body, clone or not, and still be me inside. :whistle:-Henoch)
     
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  16. johnnybear

    johnnybear Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks, Henoch! Glad you like it! :techman:
    JB
     
  17. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    The way even current med tech is going, it appears that 'cloning' organs may be possible without having to grow a whole clone. In theory (I think this has been done in the lab with rodents, but don't quote me on that) you can take stem cells from Adam and use them to grow actual organs for Adam- since they are essentially cloned from his own stem cells, they are biologically and genetically 'his' organs and can be transplanted without any worry of rejection. So, you could theoretically grow a fresh heart, liver, and so on- nothing villainous about it, unless you have some sort of religious objection. And I'm not talking about taking stem cells from embryos or dead fetuses- Adam would be donating some of his own stem cells for the procedure.
     
  18. Smirky-Spock

    Smirky-Spock Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Did SF writers in the mid-1960's write about cloning just organs for transplants? Maybe this is how McCoy was able to resurrect some of those dead crewmen plus using some sort of medical dead-brain stimulator. Still doesn't explain the "disintegrates" unless he grows whole new bodies from the ship's DNA bank and reprograms their brains. Dr. McCoy = "HE'S ALIVE!" Dr. Frankenstein? Nah, I don't see any on-screen evidence that these medical procedures are done. Even in the TNG era, Picard has an artificial heart and not a true cloned heart.
     
  19. Spock's Barber

    Spock's Barber Commodore Commodore

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    I'm glad that Chekov didn't get cloned into hundreds of copies because I can barely endure the original version.

     
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  20. uniderth

    uniderth Commodore Commodore

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    Can you imagine Spock's surprise when he discovered the Romulan Commander looked just like his OWN FATHER?!
     
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