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The Science of Cloning

I just finished Star Split by Kathryn Lasky, another post-Dolly cloning book. It describes a future dystopia in which, although there are strict regulations regarding genetic engineering and cloning, there is no appreciation of the individual. It never ceases to amaze me how authors do not bother to check scientific facts in this day and age. Lasky's dystopia allows the cloning of gifted people, including the head of state, out of the notion that the clones will be 'copies' of the original and gifted in the same way. She has obviously never encountered identical twins. Her heroines, although growing miles apart, are both mountain climbers. At least Lasky doesn't claim that memory is transferable, as does Chris Farnell in Mark II. It is rather irritating.

Comments

I have to ask...

"It never ceases to amaze me how authors do not bother to check scientific facts in this day and age."

Why? I mean, it's fiction.

It is science fiction, so indeed as long as it makes some sort of sense, it should be ok. However, cloning is no longer science fiction, so I think it looks foolish to ignore the science and just invent facts. Of course one can add to a current scientific fact, so on second thought (and reading), Chris Farnell's book is not that bad - he does frame the memory transfer within a new invention he calls 'Kwik-Learn' so it does create a kind of logic within the world of the book. However, to claim that if you cloned, say Hitler, you will get another tyrant is ridiculous. Even the Boys from Brazil, written before Dolly, arrived at that conclusion.

cloning is no longer science fiction, so I think it looks foolish to ignore the science and just invent facts.

But the book is still fiction, no?

There is the whole issue of scientific facts being rather fluid things in any context, but I suspect we differ in our approach to philosophy of science and that area's probably left ignored for now.