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Daniel Waxman

How many morphologically identical people can there be?

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Freeze time, and consider two people who are clones. Exact clones, not just in their gross bodily dimensions, but down to the position of every last subatomic particle that constitutes their body. Every molecule, cell, neurotransmitter, ribosome, platelet, etc. is in the exact same relative position in both of these clones. We can say that they are morphologically identical. Now these two clones cannot occupy the same position in space, so when we "press play" and allow time to proceed they will cease to be morphologically identical. Since they occupy different positions in space their bodies interact differently with the surrounding environment, and at the very least their neurotransmitters will be in different relative positions almost instantly. Over time their bodies, and especially their brains will diverge in their structure as they interact with their environments differently. On a side note this allows us to assume that morphological differences in the brain account for differences in behavior between people, without conceding that those differences are genetic in origin.

But my main question is related to a thought experiment where we place morphologically identical people into a symmetrical space, so that they continue to be identical in real time. A symmetrical space is one in which there exist at least two positions where we could place morphologically identical people so that their interaction with the surrounding environment would be identical, so that they would continue to be identical.

It seems trivial to imagine a void space, and to then place two morphologically identical people face to face with one another. Of course they would suffocate in the vacuum, but they would do so in an identical way. But could we place three morphologically identical people in the void and expect them to remain identical after we "press play"? It seems like we can just have them stand in a ring of three people, and each of them would perceive the same thing; themselves standing in a ring of 3 clones with their two clones on their left and right. In fact it seems like we could make a clone ring of arbitrary size, just put n morphologically identical people in the void and they would all perceive the same thing and continue to be identical.

Now if we try to introduce complexity into the environment it becomes difficult or even impossible to maintain morphological equality. The clones will instantly interact with their environments differently since complexity eliminates the possibility of a symmetrical space, and the clones will instantly become distinct. So it seems to be that achieving equality between humans is impossible, even if they are genetically identical?

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If all humans were absolutely equal,  we'd all say the exactly the same things, so we couldn't have discussions on this forum, or any other forum, as they'd all be the same.

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39 minutes ago, Charles 3781 said:

If all humans were absolutely equal,  we'd all say the exactly the same things, so we couldn't have discussions on this forum, or any other forum, as they'd all be the same.

If all humans were absolutely equal,  we'd all say the exactly the same things, so we couldn't have discussions on this forum, or any other forum, as they'd all be the same.

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If you had two or more clones that were absolutely identical in that there was no way to practically (not theoretically) identify one from another, how do you know you have two or more clones to begin with?

The identification of multiple clones confirms they were not identical.  The absence of identification of multiple clones, suggests you only had one clone to begin with.

You either have only one clone until you identify another, or you have many clones that are not identical.  And anything that you do not know only exists as a probability, subjectively.

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But no one said "absolutely identical".  The question about "morpholgically identical" clones.  They will be standing at different positions so I can identify one as "the one on my left" and "the one on my right".

 

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48 minutes ago, HallsofIvy said:

But no one said "absolutely identical".

Excuse my ignorance (I'm a detective not a scientist after all), but doesn't this come close to being a pretty good definition of absolutely identical...

On 10/14/2020 at 7:32 PM, Daniel Waxman said:

Exact clones, not just in their gross bodily dimensions, but down to the position of every last subatomic particle that constitutes their body. Every molecule, cell, neurotransmitter, ribosome, platelet, etc. is in the exact same relative position in both of these clones.

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 1:32 PM, Daniel Waxman said:

So it seems to be that achieving equality between humans is impossible, even if they are genetically identical?

The scenario you described is impossible. All that follows is therefore impossible.

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