Liz S (ixwin) wrote,
Liz S

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Okay, the following will make no sense, unless you've read mirabehn's post here. Actually, even if you have read it, this will make no sense, but at least you'll understand why it's making no sense.

Cloning is impossible. At least, the sort of cloning that most people think of when they hear that word. I know this, because I had to prepare a position paper on it for President Bartlet a few weeks ago.

First off you have to get hold of a cell of the person you want to clone. In fact, you'd have to get hold of a lot of cells, because the success rate for cloning is absolutely abysmal. You know how many failed attempts the researchers had before they got Dolly the sheep? Two hundred and seventy six, that's how many.

Then you need an egg to put the DNA in, and believe me, the course of injections a woman has to go through to generate enough eggs to be worth harvesting is no joke. And then you need a woman willing to have that egg implanted in her and carry the pregnancy to term. The chances of IVF giving rise to a healthy baby using a normal uncloned embryo is only around 12% - and since clones often have genetic defects, that rate would probably be even lower. Growing babies in a vat? Not going to happen - leastways not any time soon.

And assuming you manage to successfully get past all those obstacles, all you've got is a baby who's going to grow up to look uncannily like the person whose DNA you used. They won't even be as similar as an identical twin, because they'll have had a different environment in the womb. And they certainly won't have the donor's memories or anything like that.

So yeah, cloning is more or less impossible.

Which means that one of the following must be true:

a) I'm dreaming. And the thing about pinching yourself not hurting when you're dreaming isn't true, 'cause when I pinch myself it hurts.
b) I'm hallucinating. And my brain has some really weird stuff inside it.
c) The laws of probability have been redefined so that 'impossible' now means 'incredibly likely'

I'm going to go with a) or possibly b).

There's a woman looking very much like a young Queen Elizabeth I, sitting in a kiwi tree, and eating chickpeas out of a can. Okay, so far, so vaguely plausible.

There are two women, grinning and each one is holding a fairy wand, in her And they have tails. And they're...sort of furry. Okay, I'm going to look at something else now.

There are three people who look very like me, only somehow I know that they're actually called takahe. And they seem to be doing some sort of voodoo. And eating Chinese food. Haitian takahes eating Asian takeaway. Oh God. That's terrible. My brain is evil.

There are four quite shy looking girls with glasses, only as I watch, they get down on all fours and begin to chase each other rapidly in a circle, faster and faster until I start to get dizzy, and close my eyes...

...and when I open them I see five identical bronze statues of a man, with some inscription on the plinth about winning the Pulitzer prize, only as I watch the statues melt until there's just one large bronze lake. It's kind of pretty, actually.

As are the six women who now approach me, grinning. Oh yeah. Gorgeous women. Gorgeous women who all seem to want to sit on my lap. This I can cope with.

And now another seven women approach. These ones have red butterfly wings and they fly above me in a circles, and then start doing loop the loops and mid-air pirouettes. Okay, for some reason my brain has clearly decided that a spinning motif will bring some kind of artistic integrity to this whole weirdness. Sure. That'll work. Though I have no problem with the continuing pretty women motif that seems to be running through this. I wonder who'll turn up next?

Oh God. Eight of me in skintight magenta lycra. Only again, I know these apparitions aren't actually me, but some other woman who is just looking like me for reasons of her own. Which doesn't help me deal with the fact that I'm watching them dance to a funky disco beat. I notice the beat is coming from a bodhran being played by a dark-haired woman, who's wearing a suit, and has a drawn on moustache, and she's looking at me in a way that makes me feel, well, rather good really. Arrghh! The eight me's are now doing simultaneous pelvic thrusts and...erm...rubbing themselves. There are some things mankind was not meant to see, and eight me's in magenta lycra doing simultaneous pelvic thrusts and rubbing themselves is definitely one of them. Help! Make it stop someone! Please!

Oh thank God. Nine men have turned up and started tickling the woman playing the bodhran, and now she's stopped playing the dancers have lost interest. She seems to be enjoying it as well, so that's good.

There are ten invisible women simultaneously recording what's going on on old-fashioned manual typewriters.

And eleven men with long hair, who are holding bows and arrows. They're making rather odd noises, but I can cope with that. Perhaps my brain has decided to be nice to me again.

Oh yes. Definitely. Thank-you brain. Twelve highly attractive women, each one with an ice-cold beer, and I can see plenty more beers where those came from. Right. I wander over to where the beautiful women are, grab a can, open it, put it to my lips and...


That's my alarm clock.

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