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Are Genes Fate?
Latest news on cloning confirms that we are much more than the sum of our genes.
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Texas cloned cat differs from original in both appearance and character:

Researchers at Texas A&M University have been the first to clone a household pet. Genetic Savings & Clone, a company that hopes to make money from people's desires to duplicate their favorite pets, funded the research.

Carbon Copycat… or the variations of a Rainbow!

Extracts from the report from CNN - CNN report [report no longer on web]

Copied cat hardly resembles original

CNN (from the API COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP)) Jan 21 2003-- Sure, you can clone your favorite cat. But the copy will not necessarily act or even look like the original. Rainbow the cat is a typical calico with splotches of brown, tan and gold on white. CC, her clone, has a striped gray coat over white. Rainbow is reserved. CC is curious and playful. Rainbow is chunky. CC is sleek. …..

"This vindicates the opposition we espoused from the beginning, that cloning does not lead to duplication," said Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States. Not only does cloning not produce a physical duplicate, but it can never reproduce the behavior or personality of a cat that you want to keep around."

[I am not sure how the results of one case can define the limits of future cloning. RC]

Some geneticists have asserted more domain over fate than modern astrologers ever dared to claim.

Argue the case for astrology and a geneticist will respond, "I cannot possibly accept fate, I am a scientist." Well, in recent years genetics has become the most fated discipline that deals with human beings. James Watson who helped solve the riddle of the molecular structure of DNA once said," We used to think that our fate was in our stars. Now we know that, in large measure, our fate is in our genes."

How did Geneticists become so fatalistic?

Boys from Brazil Film It's not merely a natural conclusion from recent advances in the understanding of the mechanics of genetics and techniques like gene therapy. Movies like The Sixth Day [with Arnold Schwarzenegger] and the Boys from Brazil [Gregory Peck] have reinforced the impression that clones are identical to the genuine article - not just in appearance but also in character.

Nature v. Nurture and the 'Twin Studies'

If identical DNA equalled an identical disposition, the implications for astrologers or environmental determinists are huge. Environmental determinists argue that environment and experience are decisive influences in determining human nature. This 'nurture' camp has been unsettled in recent years with studies showing that twins separated at birth and growing up in different environments live parallel lives - even from choice of clothes to partners to the timing of key events. Extraordinarily, studies suggested that the lives of separated twins tended to have a closer resemblance than twins brought up together.

Distribution of genes within a family is still unaccounted for.

The fall out from the 'twin studies' have left astrology and genes as prime contenders for the predominant influence in determining an individual's character and appearance. Most astrologers have so far respectfully accepted that appearance and the biological composition of a human being is largely genetic. After all, most children look a bit like their parents and siblings. Yet, there are wide variations within a family indicating that the distribution of genes is unequal and to geneticists, still unpredictable. Many astrologers, including myself, see a correlation between appearance and the chart, primarily the ascendant. It's not as simple as Scorpio rising tends to have penetrating eyes and Libra on the ascendant tends towards a centre parting [British English] or center part [US English].

Re-Pet, merely a Sci Fi reality. [Re-Pet the pet cloning agency from The Sixth Day]

The Sixth Day Film Now comes the dramatic news that it is possible to clone without creating an identical replica. Perhaps it was harder to identify differences with Dolly, the cloned sheep. But these two cats have varied markings and their character is apparently easier to define. Now, while this experiment doesn't rule out the possibility of identical cloning in the future, it does suggest that a factor other than genes and environment is playing a major role in determining appearance and influencing character. Sceptics will argue that it is purely random… a mere roll of the dice. Some religious authorities may put it down to a mysterious act of God. But for astrologers, this gap provides strong evidence that of the three most widely accepted and tangible factors determining character and physical appearance, the least orthodox, celestial influences might play a decisive role or at least provide a map showing various influences at work.

The unquantifiable spiritual core

And there's still room for a spiritual dimension to this equation, if that is your belief framework. There's still a core factor in every being that cannot be replicated, cannot be moulded by environment and cannot be pinned down astrologically. That is the mystery of the soul.

No carbon copies when it comes to unique birth charts.

Regrettably birth data on the two cats is scarce, so we cannot work out the ascendants. CNN report that CC [Carbon Copy] was born on Dec, 22, 2001 with the Sun conjunct Chiron. [I have noticed a connection between cloning and Chiron]. What is equally intriguing is that CC's Sun is conjunct Venus in Sagittarius and Mercury opposite Jupiter. To you astrologers out there, doesn't that sound like classic significators for "playful and curious"?

Robert Currey 23 January 2003

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