"Remember how they were planning on cloning a woolly mammoth?" Big Kid asked.
"Yep. Haven't heard much else about it, though," I said.
"What if they could do that with people? Take DNA from people long ago and make new ones?"
"They probably could, but ethically it would be a nightmare. It would be hard to pull it off publicly. Ethics is like the difference between right and wrong, people would feel this was wrong."
"Yeah, because then everyone would want you to clone someone they lost and it would be crazy!" little kid chimed in.
"People would be like, 'Obama, I miss my dad and I demand you bring him back!' and it would mess everything up and they'd be mad at Obama even though it was their idea. But it would be nice for people."
"Yeah, but if someone replicated you exactly and made a baby that was identical to your DNA, but that baby grew up with entirely different experiences and memories--would that be you? In any way?" I asked.
"Hmmm. Good point. But what if you could somehow recreate the same life?"
"How could you? Even little social interactions could throw something off. Even if you put them in the same scene, it would be a different time and different people--there would be no way to recreate the old life exactly. Maybe if you could download memories and experiences but we can't. So you would just raise a baby that looked exactly like your dad, which would be pretty weird."
"True. What if you brought Elvis back and he had no interest in music?"
"That would be pretty crazy. He'd have a lot to live up to," I said.
"What if we brought Adolf Hitler back?" little kid tuned back in. (Have I mentioned little kid's obsession with World War II? It's a little creepy. He also thinks China's government is pretty bad ass and can't be convinced otherwise. little kid loves dictators. I have no idea how or why this happened.)
"What if we brought Hitler back and he wasn't a jerk? What if he fell in love with a Jewish woman?" Big Kid asked.
"He wanted to be an artist. What if he was a successful artist instead? What if his life just took a different path? It's weird to think that at some point all evil people were just innocent little kids." I said.
"That is weird. That the Fuhrer himself was just an innocent little boy who wanted to be an artist one day. It's kind of sad. Everyone was just a little baby at some point."
"Maybe Hitler just wanted to make the Jewish people feel some of the pain that he felt inside about art school," little kid offered.
"Eh, I don't know, I don't think so. He was, no doubt about it, a horrible guy--maybe at some point he wasn't, but what he did was really inexcusable, we can't afford to have a lot of sympathy for someone like that."
"But maybe if we can clone him and raise him to not hate Jews, maybe it would help balance everything out. But if we did that, I don't think we should tell the new Adolf Hitler about the old Adolf Hitler and that could be tricky. It would just make him feel bad, though." little kid speculated.
"Yeah. Hopefully. Don't think we'll clone him, though."
"But what if we did?"
And right then we arrived at the birthday party they were attending...and I was glad. Although these conversations are amusing and enlightening, they can go on FOREVER. FOOOOOOREVER. And I just don't freaking know. Just like I don't know what would happen if you dropped someone wearing a suit of armor into a tornado from an airplane, I simply don't know how the life of a new and improved Adolf Hitler would go. Also, don't care.
Parenthood comes with a ton (A TON) of unanswered questions. Thank God for drop off parties.