I cannot be cloned

The identity of clones and what it tells us about the self

If I clone myself what relation does the clone have to me? And what does this tell me about what makes me – me? My clone is not my self. It will be different in personality, cognition, as well as its place in space-time. This difference can help us to assert, away from the materialistic picture of identity, that we are not simply our genes. This should impact our moral and social thinking about the dangers of cloning, which remain troublesome, writes Kathinka Evers.


Ever since Ian Wilmut’s team of British embryologists cloned a sheep called Dolly in 1997, there has been a heated debate amongst scientists, politicians and the general public about whether or not cloning should be allowed. One of the most frequently expressed worries, in particular to the possibility of cloning human beings, is that it would produce “xerox copies” of living organisms - identical creatures. Fearfully, one envisions an army of indistinguishable individual

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Peter_Philo 21 May 2021

The fact that a clone would not be identical - in social or even in some very minor genetic ways - does not making this technology any less radical or potentially dangerous. Sexual reproduction is a way in which species can avoid genetic disorders, create different versions of the type. We are interfering with processes which have developed over millions of years with only a tiny knowledge of what we are doing, and almost zero knowledge of the consequences.