At least, that is, it’s new to me. Austin Cline summarizes a report in The Philosophers’ Magazine by Michael La Bossier:
[R]ecent studies of cloned animals reveal that current cloning techniques produce animals that are as distinct in their personalities as animals produced by ÂnaturalÂ means of reproduction. Texas A&M, which has been on the forefront of animal cloning, has found that cloned pigs differ from each other in, among other things, their food preferences and degree of friendliness towards human beings.…
Given that the clones are genetically the same and are typically raised in similar environments, it seems reasonable to consider the possibility of a non-physical factor that causes the difference in personality. After all, once the physical factors are accounted for, what would seem to remain would be e non-physical. In light of the history of philosophy, the most plausible candidate would be the mind.
Ooh! Ooh! I have to test this!
I have in my hand two identical dice. I throw them at the same time, to the same place, with the same amount of force…whoa. A 5 and a 2. How can that be?
I have two quarters. They are the same, right down to the year. I flip them both and…two heads. That’s a relief. I flip them again, and get a head and a tail.
This is amazing! I have just proven that dice and coins have minds! Is there some kind of big rich philosophical prize I can win for this accomplishment? Would the Templeton Foundation hand out a million bucks for proving that there are immaterial spirits haunting objects in the world?
Please—no one mention the concept of chance until I’ve got the money. And especially don’t mention that complex dynamic systems, such as, say, cloned pigs, are highly sensitive to variations in initial conditions, and offer many opportunities for accumulation of subtle, random changes, such as occur during development.