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Claim Clone - Human Clone before 2005

Category: Science & Technology:Medicine, Biochemistry JUDGED at 0
Owner:79, jbs
Judge:14, Markybot
created:1997/02/24
due date:2006/01/01

The Claim

This claim will be judged YES if a clone of an adult (16 years or older) human is created and lives to one year of age. Information necessary to judge this claim YES must be reported as fact in New York Times.

The clone must live to one year of age prior to January 1, 2005, but the report may be published as late as December 31, 2005.

Background: Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland have created the first clone of an adult mammal, a sheep.

Definition: The definition of clone, as used in this claim, is "asexually produced progeny." That is, a new human is created using nuclear genetic material from only one parent.

Judge's Statement

In case of unexpected ambiguity I plan to judge the claim by its intent, in so far as I can discern the intent. The intent itself, of course, may be ambiguous.

Here's one point of ambiguity. In common usage, a clone is expected to be genetically identical to the genetic parent. But the claim wording does not explicitly require an identical clone, and it's possible that the first human clone will be genetically engineered--for example, to correct a genetic disease. Genetic engineering will probably still be primitive by then; it will probably be obvious that the baby should be considered a slightly-altered clone rather than a designed person. And in any case, a designed person would be at least as technically difficult, at least as legally complex, and at least as controversial as an ordinary clone, so it would seem to satisfy the intent of the claim as long as the original nuclear genetic material came from one person. So in such a case, I expect to rule YES.

On the other hand, a clone engineered to be less than human (for example a headless clone to grow new organs) would present smaller legal and ethical problems than an exact clone. I expect to rule that such a clone would not satisfy the claim.

I will consider that factual reports in the New York Times of conclusive, objective test results or of consensus of scientific opinion will be adequate to conclude that a baby is a clone. For weaker reports, such as 95%-conclusive test results or some scientific controversy, I will have to rely on my own judgment. I am fairly hard-nosed and skeptical, and believe in facts. Facts reported only in editorials do not count, because editorials are not subject to the same journalistic integrity standards.

The Market

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