The quest for functional, intelligent, human clones has consumed several governments and corporations for decades.
There has been no legislation, nationally or locally, to cover what rights and privileges a wholly artificial clone might have. Many people see this as a loophole for the creation of functional human beings with no rights, no liberties, and no freedom. The possibilities are endless… and sinister.
Picture genetically engineered clones as modern slaves laboring at jobs too dangerous or awful for natural humans, but too tricky or delicate for machines. Picture armies of identical soldiers born and bred only for war, stripped of emotion and conscience in the labs in which they were created. Picture black operations operatives. Spies and assassins made to order, traceable to no one. Picture illegal duplicates of living people made from genetic or biological material stolen from doctors, dentists, or even dirty silverware. These would be beings without Serial Identifications Numbers, without pasts, without families. If the process was refined, they could be created and disposed of as necessary. Quickly, cheaply, efficiently.
Is this, a hysterical vision fired by paranoia and suspicion? Perhaps, but these are the theories and speculations of those who argue that fully functional human clones are dangerous abominations.
On the other hand, there are those who argue that clones could be a tremendous force for progress. Imagine clones of long-dead geniuses brought about by the salvaging of genetic material from corpses and biological samples. Think of backup copies of great leaders. Bodies and brains could be kept in storage, ready to be mated with copies of the template intellect copied into AI storage. Assassination would become useless. Imagine the scientific progress as clones of the best and brightest undertake missions too harsh for those with families, such as space and underwater exploration. Picture the medical progress as cloned bodies without intellects are used for medical experiments too unrefined for use on true humans.
Are these legitimate possibilities? Or are these the fantastic racings of starry-eyed dreamers? Either way, they are the arguments advanced by those who support clone research.
The Beginning Era of Cloning
Of course, both arguments are moot since human cloning already begun. The first human clones were generated in 2004. They were little more than cell cultures, tiny, formless blobs of barely differentiated tissue that lived in test tubes for only a few hours before dissolving into necrosis. Highly secret experiments by Francis H. Young at the Biotechnica corporation finally succeeded in producing a self-aware human clone 13 years later, in 2017. Even these were imperfect, however. The beings demonstrated latent intelligence and cognitive abilities, but they were aesthetic disasters. The processes used to accelerate cell growth, so that a full-sized body and brain would form in a matter of months rather than decades, were primitive and untested, and the clones produced were pitiful, twisted, cancer-ridden forms, with only a passing resemblance to functional human bodies. Once aware they lived for only a few months before they were killed by the drugs used to suppress the pain of their malformed bodies. The ultimate goal has been to produce a “stage seven” clone: a fully functional, viable, intelligent, responsive creature indistinguishable from a natural human being. Of course, no one succeeded in generating a stage seven clone before the 4th Corporate War, and after it, the world was too devastated to resume the experiments. Or so we think.