Re: Cloning and Halacha

elisheva hannan crowell (elisheva@unm.edu)
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 14:05:39 -0600 (MDT)

Andrew (Avrom)andy@overflow.com wrote:
> With regards to human cloning, if a clone is made of a person's mother or
> sister, would it be incestuous/illegal (according to Halacha) to marry the
> clone?

Avrom--this answer is biological. I have no right to answer according to
Halachah. The relationship between a clone of one's mother and one's mother
to oneself would be identical. In both cases, you would share 1/2 of your
genes. The same is true in the case of one's sister. Such marriages would
increase the frequency of expression of genetic load (deleterious genes)
and if the practice is frequent in the population would lead to inbreeding
depression (lack of genetic diversity). Biologically, this could be
considered incest.

With respect to Jewish law, if marriage to your mother's identical twin or
your sister's identical twin is forbidden (and I believe such relationships
are forbidden) then it would be logical to extend the ban to the clones of
your sister and your mother.