|MadSci Network: General Biology|
That is an interesting analogy. Now with computers vs genetic engineering there are some very important differences. With a computer, each computer from a manufacturer is made by the same process in that all the wiring, processing chips, basic hardware is made to be identical. That is why two computers (PC's) can run the same software the same way. It's quality control, otherwise you're out of business. Genetic engineering is not as precise in that the inner working of a human body (and let's look at the human computer...the brain) is an extremely intricate system of nerve connections that is based on random events. We all have the basic pattern and type of cells, pathways to make sure we can use our senses, move, react, etc. This is a basic lesson of anatomy. But the exact way in which individual neural connections are formed occurs more or less randomly. Now I will give you that experiences help develop this, but in one case a nerve cell will form a synapse with a cell on the left vs the right. And of course that next cell makes a connection with another, and so on until a neural pathway is formed. If this process could be controlled, and that would require actual physical manipulation of these forming synapses, then your hypothesis could be tested. However, there are way too many variables that you could not account for to test this with any validity. I think that even a clone, who is put through a set of experiences like it's progenitor, would come out still different enough in personality and perception. I kind of like the thought that we still have that degree of randomness at such a small level to give even a clone an individual personality. I think this is about the best medical/scientific answer I can give. Hope it gives you something to think about.
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