The Case of the Clone Prince:
Who Is the Next King of England?
by Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
September 5, 2001
With all the faddish talk about embryonic stem-cells, and related chatter about cloning human individuals, one might ask the following question:
If the deceased brother of England's Edward VII were ostensibly replicated by such trickery, would the outcome of the experiment be certifiable, retroactively, as a member of the royal succession?
Perhaps only quip-witted humor of that genre, would prompt today's growing abundance of medical professionals, and others, to cease contributing to the babble of plainly anti-scientific enthusiasms on the subject of human cloning and related topics. I would also point out, that those who argue against cloning on palpably religious, "single issue" grounds, usually do nothing but say silly things which make matters worse. My point is: Before anyone "takes sides" on the subject of human cloning and related matters, he or she ought to know, first, what a human being is.
There are very few people alive today, and this includes professionals, who can discuss competently, scientifically, the difference between an individual human being and an animal. Those who argue the issue of that distinction, even professionals, if they have any firm opinion at all, base the essential points of their expressed opinion on nothing but empty blind faith, either religious or anti-religious.
For me, that single issue, what is the basis for defining the distinction of the human species, in rigorous scientific, rather than blind-faith terms, is the central issue of all human knowledge. If you do not know the proper answer to that question, you can never be certain that you actually know anything of importance. This question has been the center of my intellectual life, political activity, and so forth, all of my life, since childhood. If it is not foremost in your mind, too, you have been cheated by whomever was responsible for your miseducation.
Let's try one more time to fix that problem. I summarize the relevant argument featured throughout my published writings over more than three decades. You may refer to the argument included in my just-published book, The Economics of the Noösphere (Washington, D.C.: EIR News Service, 2001).
From the standpoint of what is called, among professionals, "crucial experimental" evidence, all competently taught science today knows, that our universe is based upon three multiply-connected, but qualitatively distinct, classes of universal physical principles: abiotic, life, and the specifically human quality of cognition.
The modern crucial-experimental proof, that life is a universal physical principle not derivable from abiotic processes, is found in an area of scientific work which reaches from Louis Pasteur, through and beyond Vladimir Vernadsky: the action unique to living processes produces effects on non-living processes, effects which never occur except as the effects of the action of life. Vernadsky terms this set of processes the biosphere.
Vernadsky, proceeding in the same method of modern experimental physical science, defined the creative powers of the individual human mind, the creative powers through which experimentally valid discoveries of universal physical principles are made, as as distinct from mere living processes as life is distinct from merely abiotic processes. Vernadsky terms this set of processes, the noösphere. He chooses to employ the term noësis, where I usually prefer the term cognition. For me, the two terms signify the same process. Beyond that point, his definitions and mine diverge, as I shall explain, once again, here.
The difference between my functional definition of noësis and Vernadsky's, is crucial in many important ways. This distinction is crucial for addressing the issues posed by the currently popularized, radical-positivist misconception of human cloning.
My own approach to this experimental-physical definition of cognition, has been singularly successful, where no other known attempt has succeeded. Only when we treat the physical relationship of man to the universe as I have done, in terms of the impact of a discovery of principle by one mind, on the processes of cooperative action in society at large, can we prove the case for what Vernadsky terms "noësis" (cognition), in the same sense that Vernadsky defines life as a principle existing "outside" the range of abiotic principles. Such is the crucial importance of my unique discoveries in the field of a science of physical economy.
Look at the issue of "human cloning" and related matters from that vantage-point.
To put false issues to one side, I must emphasize now, that in addressing this issue here, there is nothing in my argument which could be construed as an objection against the therapeutic use of adult human stem cells taken from the patient. On the contrary, that is a line of work, like the biophotonics of Gurwitsch et al., which must be not only supported, but accelerated. I consider as issues, only matters subsumed by the generation and pre-adult development of the human individual.
In order to address what has become a subject of popular debate, I must engage the population on the relatively poor or even outrightly destructive effects of education, which has been provided to most among today's recent secondary and university graduates. I summarize the core of the relevant argument from the philosophical starting-point of what should be an even slightly competent level of first-year secondary-school geometry class a generation or more ago.
Don't Monkey With People!
The definition of the distinction of human beings from all lower species, including apes, centers, as I have said repeatedly over more than an half-century to date, on three points of experimental proof.
- The only source of the discovery and transmission of experimentally validated universal physical principles, is the non-deductive processes of cognition (noësis) specific to the sensorily opaquely, sovereign powers of the individual human mind. This applies to all types of universal physical principles: abiotic, life, and cognition itself.
- No one can observe, through the senses, directly, the cognitive processes of another mind. The communication of knowledge of those processes in the mind of another person occurs only through both the stimulated replication of that cognitive experience in the mind of a second person, and through the sharing of the experimental proof of that principle as the corroborating sense-experience of both.
- The increase of man's power over nature, is, as Vernadsky concludes, a product of the application of discoveries of universal physical principles with the intention of increasing mankind's power over both the abiotic universe and biosphere.
- This increase of the power of society occurs only through a social process of shared experience of cognition, a process typified by the method of discovery of assertable truth to be recognized in Plato's Socratic dialogues, which is also the method of such anti-empiricist figures as Johannes Kepler, Gottfried Leibniz, or Bernhard Riemann, and by the related method of Classical humanist modes of education. To pretend to educate a human being by methods antagonistic to Classical humanist methods, is to inflict what is, in effect, more or less permanent brain-damage on both the formal-intellectual and moral capacity for judgment of the victim.
- The memory of the cognitive act of discovering, or reenacting the discovery of a universal physical principle, lives in the human mind as if it were a genetic change in the way in which the rememberer acts to modify the universe in which he lives.
- The implications of this are made comprehensible by applying the principle of a series of Riemannian multiply-connected manifolds to the notion of a universe composed of the three classes of universal physical principles: abiotic, life, and cognition.
- The significant effect of a discovery of a universal physical principle is not that it acts directly on nature, but, rather acts on the manifold of principles pre-existing in the mind of the discoverer.
- It is through cooperation of members of society in the application of such manifolds to social practice, that increases in the potential relative population-density of societies are accomplished.
- The transmission of such manifolds from past generations to a present generation, is the determinant of the relevant, corresponding potential of that generation to act effectively according to that accumulated, transmitted knowledge of universal physical principles.
- Therefore, the human species is not composed of a mere succession of generations; a society capable of surviving is one which bases its current behavior on reenacting the discoveries of universal principle accomplished by "dead white European males," and some of all those others who have contributed to the store of transmissible such discoveries. Persons so qualified are rightly termed adult, civilized persons.
Obviously, this process of cognitive cultivation of the new individual, can be observed from birth. Doubtless, it could be shown, that related, cognition-related effects occur in the development of the foetus within the womb. These effects are to be adduced by recognizing the genetic-like quality of the act of discovering validatable notions of universal physical principle.
Thus, even without exploring my suspicions respecting pre-cognitive development of the foetus in the womb, it is clear that that development of the human individual, as human, is not a matter of genetic heritage as such, but is principally a result of the multiply-connected addition of the act of discovery of principle, as a genetic-like quality, to the genetic substrate of the biological individual.
This is the result consistently demonstrated in all that we know generally respecting both the development of societies, and of individuals within those cultures. We are able to adduce exemplary evidence of the role of the induced replication of discoveries of principle in infants and later development, as among late adolescents and adults. We can show, in a sufficient sampling of situations, that cultural determination of individual cognitive development is the crucial characteristic of the individual in a degree that has virtually nothing to do with genetic heritage as such.
We can demonstrate, that the primary determinant of human potential lies in those factors of development which either hinder or promote cognitive development of the personality.
Personally, I have accumulated remembered observations to this effect since pre-school childhood. I can compare my own exceptional development of today, to the outcome thus far of the lives of many among the peers I have known. I recall vividly, where many took the downward path, and for what expressed motives, how many others did march upward, but, how, even among the latter, many halted their upward development at a certain turning-point in their careers or simply personal life. This is what attracted my attention in the study of neurotic disruption of creative potential, by the late Dr. Lawrence Kubie; I do not concur with the psychoanalytical standpoint, which I think essentially childish, and often corrosive in its effects on the moral as well as general intellectual development of the individual. Psychoanalysis acquires this from its essentially self-destructive quality of philosophical immaturity, but Kubie was, at least, pointing in the right direction on that point.
It is only when we begin to shift emphasis from the pathological standpoint inherent in modern sociology, to emphasize the essentially cognitive quality of human nature, that we can speak intelligently of the role of society in the development of the individual.
In conclusion, the essential point is, that it is the successive transformations of a manifold of accumulated discoveries of universal physical principle, on which attention must be focussed, if we are to define the nature of the human species. If there is a process of genetic transformation which is characteristic of living species in general, the genetic quality of development of the act of discovery of valid universal physical principles, defines the nature of man, and the relative quality of both the individual person and his, or her society.