permanent clones??

Jim McKenney
Mon, 05 Jul 2004 16:01:44 PDT
John Lonsdale wrote:
>In the scientific sense a clone is two or more individuals that are
>genetically identical.

John, I beg to differ most enthusiastically about this. 

The word clone has been used for about a century to refer to the group
which arises when something is propagated asexually. The word clone refers
to the group, not to the elements which make up the group. 

Although horticulture provided plenty of evidence to the contrary from the
beginning, early on, such was the state of genetics as a science that it
was assumed that the elements which make up a clone were genetically
identical.  The "genetically identical" aspect of clones captured the
public imagination - and evidently the imagination of some in the community
of scientists, too. 

The meaning that you cite is in fact a metonym of the true meaning - and
it's one which leads to chaos. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm trying hard not to
clone my earlier postings on this topic. 

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