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How deep is individuality?

  1. Dec 10, 2007 #1
    I had this really odd thought. If you cloned yourself and you have identical memory with the clone, the clone is not you and he/she is not you, that makes the clone unique. What identifies or separates the two?

    What I'm getting at is this. What is it that makes you and the clone separate, say for example you could switch off and become the clone or vice versa. Is there a unique 'signature' somewhere ? Obviously the thought of 2 people 'connected', would create some sort of problem, you can't see with four eyes sort of thing?

    Where would you start looking and what for?

    I know this sounds weird but have a go!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2007 #2


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    The clone and yourself would start having different experiences from the moment it was created, and this would be what makes the two of you different even if you both had the same memories from the point of creation.

    There is a lot of research of identical twins that in part tries to answer this question. Is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are? At this point it would seem that both contribute.
  4. Dec 10, 2007 #3


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    I think a common misunderstanding of clones is that they are full grown and/or have memories from the original.
  5. Dec 10, 2007 #4
    What you propose is purely fiction so without sufficient parameters for us to follow supplied by you then we have no way to hypothetically answer your question. And since those parameters only exist in your mind, only your mind can come up with something that would be acceptable to you.

    The only thing we have in the real world would be identical twins, and they are their own person with their own memory from the day they are born.
  6. Dec 13, 2007 #5
    It's not fiction. It's not known. Let me explain what I mean.


    Fig 1 - You are the line

    Fig 2 - You are cloned - essentially a copy nothing else

    Fig 3 - You and the clone are joined by together by something and are able to see feel what they other person does.

    Imagine also, if your line ran out and that you could 'jump' in to the clones line and still be the same.

    What would it be that could connect them? What is this unknown item that makes them individual.
  7. Dec 13, 2007 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    The answer is 42. Just in case you were wondering.

    Another answer is this - read up on twin studies. Environment does affect behaviors in different ways when two "clones" (aka monozygotic twins) grow up living apart and unaware of each other. Others behaviors and wonts appear to be largely genetic. That was Evo's point.

    And what the heck is figure #3 - a detour? A new reality? I'm confused.
  8. Dec 15, 2007 #7
    I can't believe how difficult it is to explain. Try this -
    In a reality where there is human cloning etc. The clones are frozen until the person that needs it dies. His/Her mind can be transferred and he would wake up as him. At the moment we are skirting around the idea of physical copying and identity. I mean the above where the person is the same as before. So what would you need to do? Re-program the brain? I am trying to find out what it is that seperates you from a clone in our understanding then apply a new idea (theory) to it and make the clones Identical so that he/she can be copied to a clone and wake up the same. Is this any clearer?

    Watch the "6th Day" film and it might help.
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