Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Identical Twin Model and The Adoption Model in Clone Being: Exploring the Psychological and Social Dimensions

The first three quarters of the book Clone Being: Exploring the Psychological and Social Dimensions by Stephen E. Levick contain were different models that allowed several thought experiments surrounding the possible outcomes of cloning another human being. The remaining last three chapter involve more specific controversies that could result from the utilization of cloning to produce genetically identical individuals, such as social cultural implications, sex and sexuality, and ethics and policies surrounding human cloning. Of the models discussed within the book, the two that offer the most unique parallels, in my opinion, was the Identical Twin Model and the Adoption Models respectively. Both models take unique approaches to the psychological and sociological impacts of cloning on the population at large.

The Identical Twin Model is the first chapter in the book, and takes the approach of comparing and drawing parallels between clones and identical twins. This chapter stuck out to me for two reasons. The first reason was because it was the first chapter in the book, it had the most direct parallel between clones and identical twins, and the easiest concepts to understand, since both identical twins and clones share the same genome, the twin model can draw a realistic psychological interpretation as to what it might be like living with a clone that is the same age as yourself. The second reason this chapter stuck out to me was the psychological theories surrounding twins, which being a fraternal twin myself, was astounded to delve into. Some of the psychological theories and concepts that this chapter brought to light included dominant and submissive twin, the unique tragedy of dealing with the death of a twin, the nature versus nurture debate, and more. Unfortunately, one of the pit falls of the twin model with regards to cloning is the fact that if you clone yourself, unless the clone was cloned the day you were born, then there would be a considerable difference in age. This problem, along with others, is addressed within the Adoption Model, which is the next chapter to be discussed.

                While at first glance, most people would find it difficult to compare adoption, which is the raising of an individual who you share no genetic make-up with, to raising a clone, who is essentially you on the genetic level. However, there are several parallels that can be drawn from cloning and adoption, most notably the concept of individuals being chosen instead of born. This concept stresses the idea that just like in adoption, you are essentially choosing your offspring, instead of having your offspring be born with a mixture of qualities from both partners involved in the birthing process. This ideal of being chosen brings to light several psychological concepts that plays a role involved in adoption, and possible cloning as well. Some of these include attachment, genealogical bewilderment, clones as the new adoption alternative, the Oedipal Complex, and many more psychological and sociological considerations that can be considered with both adoption and cloning.

                In conclusion, these are only two of the models discussed within the book. As the book progresses, more models are discussed, and eventually converge in a chapter where all the models from within the book are combined for an overall model for human cloning. Once there is an overall model for cloning that encompasses all the elements of cloning, the book looks more into the societal concepts that cloning challenges, and concludes with the overall challenges involved in the bioethics and legislation involved in human cloning.    

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  1. The idea of "clones as a new adoption alternative" doesn't really sit right with me. As I understand it, many people who choose to adopt do so because they would rather provide opportunity for a child already in the world as opposed to making a new one. I guess the problem I have is looking at adoption (which I consider a loving gesture) as something requiring an alternative.
    You could make the argument that it's an alternative for couples that want their own genetic children, but isn't there current technology that can accomplish that without delving into the potentially narcissistic and otherwise problematic pursuit of creating a genetic copy?

  2. Fascinating and disturbing, to contemplate a world of clones. I come back to my Emerson quote, and wish every overbearing parent (whether biological, adoptive, or cloned) would heed it: "You're trying to make another you. One's enough." Possibly more than enough.