Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Perfect Clone Theory: Fate vs Free Will

I though of this today so this is an original theory, this is a theory attempting to find the truth in the free will vs. fate arguments.
So I don't really have a clue about the current cloning situation, but we can maybe clone a goat? OK, so the following situation will be completely hypothetical. Much like allegory in the cave one has to go with the scenario and please don't say, this could never happen because... just go with it from where I leave off. I will leave off questions and will respond to comments appropriately. The whole scenario will not be fully explained in the initial post and more will be added, depending on the comments.

So there is a man the subject of "Perfect Cloning". Perfect Cloning is cloning to the exact molecule, where normal cloning emphasizes only gene replication, perfect cloning is everything, the amount of hair, the exact mass down to the last atom, the piece of food stuck to the teeth, the bacteria living on the skin, every single detail of this man, and the organisms present within or on this man down to the last atom. The man gains consciousness within a room, where the clone will gain consciousness in a "perfect clone room" where the room is replicated in exactly the same detail as the originals, down to the last atom. Emphasis is on every single freaking detail, the exact temperature , humidity, air pressure... and time. The location is on the same latitude and longitude of the earth to equalize the time due to to rotation of the earth. The clone's room is on top of the originals, so modifications of air pressure and stuff may be needed. The rooms are exactly the same, down to the last atom! The man regains consciousness at the same time as the clone. The man says, "where am I?"

The question is, would the clone also say the same thing at exactly the same time, as well as with the exact same movements? ie. air released, temperature change, same volume?

Lets use some math.
Say the two rooms, on a molecular level are exactly the same.
R1 and R2 are set equal to each other, so we have:
R1 represents the original room, and R2 the exact replica of the room.
Let M1 represent the original man and M2 represent the clone
R1+M1=R2+M2, assume this is true in terms of whatever, lets use mass as an example. (feel free to substitute mass with anything else)
So original room and the original man combined makes



The question becomes, is this equation true for if X becomes something abstract like the brain frequencies of a human and clone, or the thoughts generated by the human and clone? What about concrete stuff like mass and pressure and movements?


Mr. Pseudonym said...

The biggest problem I foresee is the (somewhat) random firing of nerve synapses in the brain. I'd think that they'd act slightly different, just do to the random nature of energy paths, but as this is hypothetical we could say that since every atom is in the same spot, then it would travel the same way.

I go fifty-fifty on this.

tsizzinc said...

please assume that these nerve synapes are not random, because i doubt that they are, and in this case they would be the same. its ok to be unsure but what would you say if this info is added? will you pick a side or still be unsure?

Mr. Pseudonym said...

Then hypothetically one atom of C14 degrades into N14 in a particular enzyme that was needed for the reaction to occur. It might be an impossible difference to measure, but I still think the inherent randomness, especially on the atomic level, would prevent them from doing the exact same thing.
To an outside observer it may even appear that they are still acting the same, but they just get further and further off as millennia pass. And that is a highly improbable time scale to base it on, so as far as anyone could tell they would both spend their remaining box-lives identically.

tsizzinc said...

"Much like allegory in the cave one has to go with the scenario and please don't say, this could never happen because... just go with it from where I leave off."

The whole purpose of this situation is for the purpose of free will and fate, so since when are atoms known for their free will? so assume that all atoms are duplicated, if the original were to do wtvr, the cloned will do the same, understand that atoms also have little interest of the theories of knowledge.

Whats interesting is that you say that the man will "To an outside observer it may even appear that they are still acting the same, but they just get further and further off as millennia pass" and that suggests that you believe that fate seems to be more influential than free will of man.

Mr. Pseudonym said...

I don't believe in free will. Imagine a rock on a hill. It trolls down the hill, does it have a choice? No. The forces of the world pull upon it. Now imagine you take several rocks, and arrange them so the first will hit the others on the way down. The interactions follow a set, due to physics. No imagine you have two hills that are exactly the same, with the exact same arrangement of rocks. When you push the first rock on both hills the same way again. Both sets of rocks would fall the same way. The human brain works along the same principle, just on higher degrees of complexity. If you have to systems set up identically science dictates they act the same. The only thing uncontrolled in this scenario is the decay of the atoms themselves, and that is on such a minuscule scale that there would be no noticeable differences.

Rebecca said...

I'm curious. Are we assuming that the man and clone are being influenced by the exact same environment. It's the whole nature vs. nurture thing. You've already established that the nature of these two are exactly the same, but what about the nurture? When these clones leave the house in the morning, will they go out and do the exact same thing? I don't know loads about the human brain like you guys seem to do, but I'd like to think that the below situations are justified by logic.

If they do go do different activities, then they're going to start gaining uniqueness from each other becuase their personalities will be shaped by the different situations they encounter and they will grow to be slightly different from each other.

On the other hand, if they leave the house and do the exact same thing, then that would imply that they would be together. If they're together, then they'd be aware of each other and of the fact that they were identical to each other. This might provide the incentive to seek individuality and start acquiring some differences from each other.

Then there's the situation where two separate clone towns have been built for the pair of them with the exact same weather and the exact same people (Which implies that everyone else has a clone two). Is this the kind of theoretical situation that you were referring to? If it is, then I'm stumped.

katrina337 said...

I agree with Rebecca that it now depends on the nurture side of it. Assuming that they were brought up in the exact same environment for the rest of their lives now, they would remain the same, theoretically. If they were nurtured differently, they would begin to differ because they would have different experiences. They may react to the experience the same way the other would, but the point would be that the one had the expirement while the other did not.

tsizzinc said...

nature vs nurture is insignificant and off topic, talk about fate vs free will. plus i've made it clear that they are in a cloned, therefore similar environment. so if they were in different environments, there'd be nothing to discuss.

katrina337 said...

Fate vs free will? I'd say it'd be fate then, because the cloning would bind them together and there would be a lack of free will.

SamE said...

I agree most with Wolf, even if it leads to the strange conclusion that free will is dependent on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Wolf also indirectly argues that the human body, like weather, is what is known as a chaotic system, where a small change, even on the atom scale, would eventually affect the entire individual. "On what time scale would that happen?" I think should be the question. Anyway, if we talk TOK and ignore science, I'm more of a Cartesian and I'd say free will plays a larger role than fate and these two men would act differently. I think there is an absolute limit on the amount of knowledge we can obtain about the world, but we will never reach that limit, either. I'd justify that with a faith in the existence of an infinitely intelligent and powerful God as well as with the inherent randomness present in quantum mechanics and atomic physics.

Spencer L said...

While there is certainly a great deal of scientific evidence that suggests that the human brain, (and, I would assume, therefore the mind that stems from it), is nothing more than an exchange of chemicals and electrical impulses, I'd have to say that I disagree that the two men would lead the same life. This is based on several WOKs. First, rationally, my admittedly rather basic understanding of human psychology indicates to me that the human brain is far more complex than simple input-output (the behaviorist view of things), to the extent that we simply do not fully understand whether something as abstract as "thought" can be determined or even predicted by specific factors (such as location and type of neurons in the brain, and external stimuli). (This also raises the issue, then, of the extend to which the mind, and its abstractions, is linked directly to the physical brain, a rather pertinent topic in consideration of today's medication-heavy society; can you control someone's thoughts, rather than say, emotions, with a pill?) Secondly, on an emotional level, I'm not sure that, even given all the evidence in the world, I'd believe that my life is predetermined, simply because I don't want to. If my life is simply the product of some complex equation, and nothing I do can change the answer, then why bother? I'd prefer to believe that, while the meaning of it is still disputable, that my life is at least under my control (besides, it seems a little conceited to suppose that it was somehow determined that I should sit down and write this instead of finishing revising my TOK essay; am I really that important in the scheme of things?). I suppose, if not, you could still sit back and enjoy the ride, but it's always more fun to make your own adventure. And if life is predetermined, don't we have better things to work on (like seeing the future)? Alright, sorry for the long sentences, but two last question to everybody. Is this experiment ethical? And: If we accept life as predetermined (or not), what are the implications of such a belief?

A. Koss said...

If the two men continue to act in exactly the same way, then clearly each action they take is a direct and 100% predictable result of a previous action. In this scenario, the two men are living in a "clockwork universe" based on the principle that the same initial conditions always produce the same results.

This principle is false. Take, for example, radioactive decay: two otherwise identical atoms won't always decay at the same time. Radioactive decay depends on probability, as does everything else on this scale. As long as we're talking about atoms, molecules, electrons, etc, the universe is random and unpredictable.

Because it's a basic fact that on a quantum level the same conditions might not produce the same results, the two men probably won't act the same way. They would only act the same way is if, by chance, each individual event happens the same way. This is really improbable. Think about rolling two dice millions of times and getting the same number on both dice every single time. (This sounds a bit like the tossing the coin and getting all heads thing in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Is Stoppard saying something? hmm...)

So, determination is out. But is it free will or just probability? Free will and determination don't have to be the only two choices. And, in response to Spencer, I don't think that free will NOT being the answer makes life meaningless. You can't just sit back and enjoy the ride, because there isn't one. Events are determined right as they happen. The future is predictable, using probability, but ultimately unknown. That doesn't sound hopeless to me. (By the way, it's funny how people always assume that not having control over something makes it worthless. Odd, that.)