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Would 'you' be in control of a clone of yourself after you die?

  1. Sep 12, 2010 #1
    I've just had this wacky thought which I thought I should share...

    We humans are unique. We have different DNA, features etc... and we have total
    control of ourselves. (In other words we're not robots who are not conscious)

    Now when you die, you lose consciousness. You cease to exist and you're no longer 'you'. You were 'you' because you had 'that' DNA, and you were conscious of your self. That's what I think and what most scientists think (I think)

    And now for the wacky thought...

    If you die, and let's say scientists find a way to clone a human exactly like you (exact DNA etc..). Only difference would be that the clone wouldn't have the memories and experience you had before you died since he will be born as a baby.

    Would that baby be 'you'?

    I hope u understand what I'm trying to say here because this question is tricky.

    The baby clone wouldn't really be 'you' because you died, but he's exactly like you, so who would be the one to 'control' that clone?

    I think that it would be 'you' who controls it... of course you wouldn't have any idea that you already existed since you wouldn't possess the memories and experience of your previous life...

    If that clone wouldn't be 'you', then that would mean that 'you' were not really the brain along with the body with that specific DNA that you had, otherwise 'you' would control the 'new you'. It would mean that 'you' are some kind of 'energy' 'soul' 'spirit' whatever people call it...

    Strange thought huh?

    What do you folks think? :)


    EDIT: I kept on thinking and it got stranger... if it really would be 'you' that controls that clone, then what in the world would happen if that clone was created when you were still alive? Lol
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2010 #2

    Office_Shredder

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    By "he's exactly like you" you mean "He has the same DNA as you". Don't stretch that farther than it really goes
     
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    A clone is essentially an identical twin. (Actually, identical twins are more identical than clones, but lets not go there) If you replace "clone" with "twin" everywhere, you'll have your answer.
     
  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4
  6. Sep 13, 2010 #5
    The answer to the question is no because you will be dead.What you are or were is due to your nurture as well as your nature.
     
  7. Sep 13, 2010 #6
    Let me throw in a slightly alternative situation, inspired by the sci-fi video game Eve Online.

    Lets say you have a clone kept unconscious in suspended animation. Lets also pretend that there exists the technology to map your brain such that all your memories, personality, etc, can be saved and then transferred into that clone. When you die, this machine is rigged to automatically take a snapshot of your brain, transfer it to the clone, and wake the clone up.

    Are you still dead and this vat-grown clone is some other person? I'd still say "yes."
     
  8. Sep 13, 2010 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    And neither are clones.
     
  9. Sep 13, 2010 #8
    Surely identical twins are identical. Otherwise they would be called slightly similiar twins.
     
  10. Sep 13, 2010 #9

    cronxeh

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    'You' is an emergent property of your brain. If i operate on your brain i can remove 'you'. Extrapolate to some other clone, bottom line is, you seize to exist as your brain dies.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2010 #10
    No. An enormous part of the "self" is social in nature. Although the genetic material would be identical, the social self would not be. You and your clone would be different persons.
     
  12. Sep 13, 2010 #11
    Regarding the OP, this isn't complex. If there were no limit on post size...

    No.
     
  13. Sep 13, 2010 #12
    Interesting answers, thanks.

    BUT...

    I don't think that you really did understand my point here.

    I KNOW that the clone wouldn't be you (that person that you were when you died) even if somehow it was made exactly
    like you.

    Think about this...

    Why is it that 'I' control myself, and 'you' control yourself? Why isn't it the other way
    around.

    See what I'm pointing out here?

    Now, back to the clone story...

    My guess is that 'we' are who we are because of our unique biological structure. So when the you die, will 'you' be in a sleep like state where you will not know what's going on and you won't be in control of anything, or will 'you' be in control of a clone who's exactly like you were without even knowing it?

    Notice how I'm putting ' around the you. I'm doing it because I'm reffering to you as the controlling unit of your body.
     
  14. Sep 13, 2010 #13
    Yes, it would be another person, but what makes you so sure that 'you' wouldn't be the one controlling it after you die? It would NOT be you (the person who you were) but it would be 'you' that controls it just like you're controlling yourself now.

    See what I mean?
     
  15. Sep 13, 2010 #14

    cronxeh

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    You dont seem to understand the answers you were given. No point in replying to you further.
     
  16. Sep 13, 2010 #15
    "My guess is that 'we' are who we are because of our unique biological structure. So when the you die, will 'you' be in a sleep like state where you will not know what's going on and you won't be in control of anything, or will 'you' be in control of a clone who's exactly like you were without even knowing it?"

    Ridiculous. Who I am is primarily a function of my experiences and how I've perceived these experiences, and you've explicitly stated that this clone would not have my memories nor experiences.

    I mean, do you think that a person with my exact DNA and such, but born in China would be an exact replica of me as a person?

    And how would I control my clone from beyond the grave? I'm dead already and as far as anyone can tell, I would not be able to exert any influence upon the living.

    I don't think you've thought this through at all. And judging by the chorus of disagreement, I think your idea is poorly constructed.
     
  17. Sep 13, 2010 #16
    I do understand them.


    Yes, you do sieze to exist. If your brain dies then you will no longer function and won't be aware of anything. You will be gone.

    But do we know what it is that makes us 'us'? Why I'm this person and you're that
    person? We don't, that's why I had this crazy thought that if they cloned someone
    like you after you die, you could be the one controlling it, without being aware that
    you were the one controlling the other 'you' before he died.

    As I said this is just a thought, I don't believe in this, but I don't rule it out as an impossibility either.
     
  18. Sep 13, 2010 #17

    DaveC426913

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    This is straightforward.

    Who 'you' are is the sum total of the DNA you started with and all of your experiences since the moment you could be considred to have experiences.

    A clone shares only that initial single-cell filled with DNA. Absolutely everything that happens to it from that point on (including development in the womb, which is based on the nutrients received externally, right up through college) is utterly unique to it and was not shared by you.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2010 #18

    DaveC426913

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    We do.

    Us is defined by the chemistry in the 3lbs. of grey matter balanced at the top of our spine.
     
  20. Sep 13, 2010 #19
    I'm not referring to 'you' as the person who you are. I'm picture 'you' as your consciousness (whatever you want to call it)

    When you were 2-3 years old you hadn't experienced all the experience that you experienced till today. You were different it was still you. You were in control.



    You wouldn't, this isn't what I meant.

    You wouldn't be able to exert any influence upon the living because you're gone. But maybe 'you' (NOT you who you are now) would be in control of that clone.

    I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense, english is not my first language, and I can't really explain what I'm thinking.
     
  21. Sep 13, 2010 #20

    DaveC426913

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    If I may suppose:

    You are grasping for a definition of individual that is beyond the simple conscious (and unconscious) mind.

    Like if, somehow your entire mind were wiped of thought (say, by death) there would be be some essence of 'you'ness that remains.

    This is a common belief, and is commonly called a soul. Trouble is, there's no empirical evidence for its existence.
     
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