15 March 2007

Confessions of an Anonymous Coward: Playing God

Playing God is a neat, long, rant about the Anonymous Coward's conversation with his religious mom about cloning ("what if they don't have souls!"). It reminds me a lot of the crazy discussions I get into with my wife's family when brains fall by the wayside in the face of convoluted religious dogma.

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2 Comments:

At March 16, 2007 9:15 AM, Anonymous Sarge said...

Decades ago I read a sci-fi story about some people who had their bodies modified with gills and otherwise adapted themselves for life in the ocean. Some religeonists regarded them as no longer human because they no longer had breath, the bible translates that the soul is the breath of god, so they had no souls since they no longer had breath. Well, it's been about forty years since I read it, but that was the jist of it.

I have never really been able to understand what such a thing as a 'soul' might be, no one seems to be able to define it. About the only thing they agree on is that amimals don't have one, and yes, I've heard that there is a set number of such things and that things like clones wouldn't have one. How do they know these things? Well...they KNOW. Must be nice.

 
At March 17, 2007 1:19 PM, Anonymous Sarge said...

What actually MAKES a clone? Is it the process, or the genetic material itself?

The person I used to train and ride horses for knew his stud books for cattle and horses, both, and he condended that things were very close in the various breeds and this could either be a very, very good thing or very, very bad. He told me that the breeds of domestic cattle and sheep of European origin had been bred "in and in" originally, then further so to get the desired traits. So, for some things the gene pool is kind of shallow. I've read that cheetahs are genitically identical.

I'm involved with a horseback riding for the disabled program, and the father of one of the kids is a biologist with the state fish and game bureau. He has a theory about the extinction of species, he says that these "fittest" who breed pass on their genetic material until pretty much only that code is about all there is. Then any stressor like a change in parasite, food, predator, climate, or what may be a simple epizootic wipes the slate. Even allergies.

 

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