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It's 100 years in the future, and we've decided to end all war and crime. How do we plan to accomplish this? Through rigorous study of personality theory and human interaction, we've identified 50 unique people who have above-average intelligence, empathy, and physique, and who all seem to get along with each other. Instead of leaving our human propensity for violence and greed to fate, we've decided to phase out natural, random birth. All humans born from this point forward must be genetic clones of one of the chosen 50.

Assuming we could actually enforce this, how would society evolve? What unforeseen problems might we encounter as society slowly approaches (and after it reaches) a state of only 50 unique human genotypes in existence?

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    $\begingroup$ clones don't have the same personality.... so one clone could be a pacifist while the other a psychopathic murderer who kills everyone. $\endgroup$ – Charon Aug 31 '16 at 15:24
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    $\begingroup$ Well sure, they could be, but it's less likely. You'd want to control for people with a genetic predisposition for psychopathy, of course. $\endgroup$ – codebreaker Aug 31 '16 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Check out this question and similar ones about minimum populations. Your scenario is an even worse case because you are not allowing the 50 genotypes to combine. $\endgroup$ – Kys Aug 31 '16 at 16:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Kys Well, remember, we don't care about genetic diversity, because you're just producing more clones! $\endgroup$ – codebreaker Aug 31 '16 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ If I'm not chosen then I won't allow it! Worst come to worst I'll start a clone war... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Aug 31 '16 at 17:03
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Genetics are just one part of who we are. Nature vs nurture so to speak.

I think the issue is with the 'non clone' folk and how the clones and naturals interact. How would you stop natural born humans from breeding, and what would be the consequences? How would you deal with clone/clone attraction and clone/human attraction?

In the interim period, your clones are likely to be an upper class. You'd have disgruntled naturals trying to take them out. You'd have class warfare - and some of your clones would likely have to engage in the very sort of violence you wish to escape to survive.

If they survive, then what?

You'd have similar looking folk. You'd have an utter lack of genetic diversity which would be bad for natural births. Lets assume natural births are not a thing.

You have an entire culture reliant on a small group of people to grow new clones. If you can't have natural births, you'd need a culture of creches or fostering children, so your relationships would be on that basis. At this point we need to consider deeper issues - single, paired or group parents? What basis is their relationships on - romance, mutual self or financial interest? Are children brought up in large community creches instead? What sort of social identity would these folk have... and so on.

It sounds like a terrible idea simply cause it wipes out diversity.

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One issue you would begin to encounter in the breakdown of DNA over time. DNA is fragile, and random cosmic radiation and other factors will cause it to mutate over time. Having two different copies merge (as occurs in breeding between two creatures with different copies) allows for the one with missing parts to potentially be repaired by the complete copy.

This would probably still be an issue over time even if you stored the original DNA and used that instead of cloning the clones, since certain particles are known for being able to pass through even dense objects. One solution to this might be if the DNA could be stored digitally in a format capable of error checking, and then synthesized from that copy. This would get around the degradation issue.

While not directly a social issue, it is relevant because genetic degradation over time would certainly lead to a need to interbreed again, which in turn would lead to tension as a forbidden act.

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Your clone society will probably form a caste system based on natural talent/inclination and most likely a fair amount of arbitrary discrimination.

Even if 50 INDIVIDUALS can all get along, thousands of clones from 50 different genotypes certainly won't. Clones will inevitably cluster with each other and will likely demonstrate affinity for some clone lines over others.

Since there will quickly be no greater society in which to dilute these clones, I suspect that some clone lines will gravitate towards positions of power and influence while others are more introverted or passive. Since there will always be 'grunt work' that needs to be done, the clones in positions of influence will likely not assign this type of work to other clones like themselves, but rather to the clone lines they like the least. Over time this will evolve into institutionalized 'racial' castes.

Even if the clone lines are randomly assigned to breeding pairs of normal people during the 'Great Transition', since these clones will be all there is in primary school they will start to self segregate there.

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First off a genetics would inadmissible in court because so many people would have the same genetic code.

Identify theft could all be a problem because so many people look and sound the same. I thing that they would start requiring a figure print scan before bank withdraws.

Not all the clones would the same. Certainty many would similar but your environment and training effect you as much as your genetic code. Just look at identical twins true many turn out similar especially if raised by the same parents, but there are those that became completely the opposite of one another. Some even have different sexual orientations from each other.

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Maybe you're looking at this question backwards.

What if, instead, breeding was restricted to individuals who passed the right metrics?

The default state of humanity would be one of mandatory birth control, such as in Kurt Vonnegut's "Welcome to the Monkey House." People would have to prove themselves worthy as parents to be allowed to have children.

Ethical implications aside, you would likely achieve the results desired without requiring clones, cloning technology, or the inevitable inbreeding problems that come with it.

Some scientists speculate that the low tens of thousands of humans that survived the Toba Catastrophe created a "Genetic bottleneck," which severely limited the gene pool of every human being. If you believe in this theory, then you have to accept that you, me, and every other human you have ever encountered is the result of a desperate burst of inbreeding which saved humanity from extinction.

Either way, you will need far more than 50 individuals to base the future of humanity on. 500,000 might be a healthy minimum.

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