Ok here is some background: A long time ago an alien race declared war on humanity. The aliens were masters of biotechnology. Because their numbers were few they cloned humans to create an army of billions to fight against us. The war was long and hard and at one point it looked like the human race would be wiped out. But humans managed to capture some of aliens biotechnology. They used this create a biological weapon that wiped-out their alien enemies. The aliens are dead but the army of clones remain. A ceasefire is declared and the humans agree not to enter the clones territory and vice versa.

Without their alien masters the clones begin building their own civilization. My question is this: Would a culture where everyone is a clone of three people (two male one female) be different from our own?

Note: The clones have the technology to share memories with their copies, if they want to at least.

Also Note: the clones are sterile, the aliens were trying to destroy humanity not create more humans.

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    $\begingroup$ It's a major plot point of the book "the forever war". I won't say more because spoilers. $\endgroup$
    – MakorDal
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:15
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    $\begingroup$ They wouldn't have a society for long, they'd all be dead in fifty years. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:38
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderTheZenon you assume they can't create more clones. Or that the clones have the same lifetime that we do. Besides not really important to the question. They still have a society if only short lived one. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ "KHANNNNNNNNNNNN..." $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Is this the plot of the movie Oblivion? $\endgroup$
    – Yuriy S
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 12:22

3 Answers 3


I feel strongly that the clones would either have to reintegrate with the rest of society or die out.

Even during the struggle with the aliens, copies of humans still have all of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, genetics, and maybe even memories based on how the clones are produced. Or at the very least, they're humans that have known behavioural patterns and needs.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs describe what a human needs for survival.

  • Physiological - Even if the aliens kept them well fed or well taken care of (which I doubt) they're not trained to harvest grain or animals, as the answer Иво Недев provided expands more on. Nor do they have homebuilding experience.
  • Safety - The clones wouldn't have the same infrastructure in place that we do to alleviate the definite post-traumatic stress disorder that they would suffer, and the lack of resources/trained people afterwards would be an unsuitable society for them to live in.
  • Love and belonging - How can the clones have healthy interpersonal relationships with each other when they were literally bred for combat from birth? They can't create families and they can't set up roots due to the other problems.
  • Esteem - In such a broken state, no one will know anything except for combat. There wouldn't be such thing as a sense of self-fulfillment or independence.
  • Self-actualization - With all of these problems, their society would be like that of a desolate, dystopian raiding society. No one could ever reach their potential as the focus would be on base survival with no hope of recovery - especially since they're sterile.

Those that have any copied memories or developed skills would also be in danger since those that don't still have needs, and if that need is strong enough, they'll kill for it.

Since they can't have children, they wouldn't have the opportunity to learn and grow together to overcome these obstacles. They'd need to integrate with regular, learned society in order to recover from the alien ownership and war, and develop as a human should.


I believe such scenario is impossible. If the clones were perfect copies with exact replica of our thoughts and no alteration, then they would quickly realize they are fighting their brothers and will turn against the aliens. If the aliens were to mod the clones, they wouldn't stop at will bending but will also make sure the clones are good soldiers, and they wouldn't clone a dentist and a car mechanic, but only army fighters. So after their masters are dead, what is left is selfless army of skill-less soldiers that need someone to lead them, but there isn't anyone to do so. They will likely die of old age with very little on their names, as it is likely they will be unable to reverse engineer the cloning facilities and/or supply energy for them/maintain them.

All this aside, if it were possible, and such civilization happens, again the clones will be limited to the limits of their father. They would hardly learn any new skills and would collapse as a society soon after the war is over due to lack of food and other resources.

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    $\begingroup$ Most likely they would turn to raiding and piracy, as they cannot possibly learn to feed themselves, etc. $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think you misunderstand me. I said the clones can share memories with another clone if they are of the same copy. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ They don't have human memories they were built and raised by the aliens and taught not to think of themselves as humans. They still have human emotions of course and are not selfless. But having human emotions doesn't mean you won't kill other humans. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 15:27

It would be extremely different. If for no other reason than if you want 'children' you need to clone them, and at this point, you have 3 choices. There won't be any genetic differentiation and there will be relatively little diversity in culture either. They would also be extremely susceptible to diseases, since any that could kill 1 could conceivably kill 1/3 of the population.

Unless they 'fix' the sterile problem OR steal gene samples from 'regular' humans to clone to add to the mix, and likely they need to do BOTH, they will be doomed.

Most likely clones will either slowly die out or become an ultra static society that doesn't change much, which would make it brittle and could easily crumble to nothing.


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