X-Message-Number: 16393
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 23:24:11 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Storing DNA

George Smith, #16380, lists some reasons for storing one's DNA, replying to 
Louis Epstein's comment in #16377:

"But is there any reasonable expectation
that only fragments of DNA can possibly
result in the restoration of the deceased
self,as opposed to the creation of a clone
of the body of the deceased?
"By what scientific means could more than
that possibly happen?"

Something to add is that yes, there definitely is something beyond a 
(tabula rasa) clone that could be created from DNA, that is, you would not 
simply have to start over again with a baby. Instead, it should be possible 
to make a fully formed adult, complete with memories deduced from surviving 
records. This recreation would know his/her name, be able to speak the same 
language as before, know largely the same things, be familiar with places 
the original was familiar with (deducible from photographs and other 
sources). Indeed, your reprogrammed clone should seem indistinguishable 
from the original to all others, else they must have information about the 
person that you didn't use. Arguably, the clone would be just as much the 
same person as if the latter had suffered some bad head injury or disease 
but later recovered full functionality. (Twin studies also suggest that a 
*reprogrammed* clone would indeed be similar to the original.) There are 
some other interesting arguments, based on the idea of multiple universes, 
that we could in fact recover an authentic individual--but I'll skip these 
for now.

But in regard to cloning, in addition to storing a cell sample it would be 
advisable to store tapes, letters, diaries, and so on to further assist in 
the reconstruction. All this could serve as a backup to cryonics 
arrangements, or as a better-than-nothing alternative (quite a bit better, 
in my view) if such arrangements could not be put in place.

Mike Perry 

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