A lot of people claim that if we somehow managed to clone da Vinci he (most likely) wouldn't be as unique and special today. They argue that such a genius personality is a sum of infinite conditions that somehow made a guy brilliant.

Why would that be the case?

It makes more sense to me that being a genius is a successful attempt at fulfilling exceptional potential. Why should we immediately disband the hypothesis that da Vinci could have been an even greater mind if raised in an environment that would allow him to develop faster and easier? It doesn't mean he would necessarily accomplish as much as the original had of course.

All under the assumption that humans have individual potential but that seems obvious to me looking at Usain Bolt.

Question is: What's the reason not to clone da Vinci, or Einstein, or Newton?

closed as too broad by user2953 Jul 2 '18 at 20:51

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Curiousity, creativity, intelligence, neuronal peculiarities (e.g. ADHD): While genetics explain part of it (mostly between 30-60%), their development is highly dependent on the environment. Arguably, the guys so arguing say that da Vinci had exceptional possibilities to develop these abilities - something much more common these days, hence he would be "nothing special anymore". But the closing question strikes me as odd...why cloning at all? How can we justify breeding clones of famous historical persons? What will that mean for their psychological and social development? – Philip Klöcking Jul 2 '18 at 18:26
  • I made an edit which you may roll back or continue editing. – Frank Hubeny Jul 2 '18 at 18:49
  • "What's the reason not to clone X?" — that it is not possible. This question seems too broad. Please have a look at How to Ask and the help center to see what kind of questions we can answer here. If you edit your question to make it fit we can reopen it. – user2953 Jul 2 '18 at 20:51
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    Why do you assume there is a reason not to clone them? If people even trying to imagine producing dinosaurs, cloning da Vinci or Einstein, or Newton does not seem unreasonable. – rus9384 Jul 2 '18 at 23:23
  • There is a question that could be sieved out of this. You are really asking about biological determinism, and it's role in humans being exceptional especially on intelligence or insight. This could be answered with reference to twin studies, genetics & neuroscience studies, and information from the current infancy of cloning science. But you have jumbled things up. – CriglCragl Jul 4 '18 at 12:20

Much of the results from cloning any genius from the past will be based on his new upbringing. He may still develop the mental capacities he had achieved in the past given the method of his cloning: If you are talking about some sci-fi method where he is created as an adult, or raised brought to term and born then raised as a normal child. The results would be very different.

Lastly, a genius isn't really measured by his accomplishments or for being famously known; or, at least it isn't now-a-days. Today it is very difficult to become recognized on the academic level, being a global competition. As an example, a brilliant friend of mine happens to be a math professor in Brazil and he has had a couple of his papers published. However, for still being young in his field, he finds it hard to publish in more reputable journals for not being well-known.

I'm not going to say we should or shouldn't clone geniuses from the past and I'm sure that they would be able to contribute to research, but probably not more than anyone else just as dedicated to their fields. Unless, of course, everyone knew he was da Vinci, then every journal would probably fight to publish his papers just for the fame.

  • I made an edit to hopefully clarify the answer. You may roll this back or continue editing. I removed the part about not having enough reputation points since it is not part of the answer. I think you can get reputation points by editing other people's posts, but perhaps you need reputation to even do that. Anyway, welcome to this SE. – Frank Hubeny Jul 2 '18 at 21:28
  • Well, I'm not sure it's correct: there is something that made them being greater contributors to science and engineering (and arts in the case of da Vinci) than others, who even had access to education. And that can't merely be reduced to dedication - people are genetically different in their mental capacities, as well as physical. Another thing, would such cloning be possible, since there is no more original. – rus9384 Jul 3 '18 at 1:20
  • True, any type of cloning wouldn't be possible without a sample of DNA, and I wont throw out the idea that there are genes associated with being a genius(there is strong evidence to prove this case). However, in many cases, pure dedication can produce indistinguishable results from genius or can even be sufficient to define a type of genius. – n0grip Jul 3 '18 at 13:53

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