More than one in 10 men say they would clone themselves if they could, according to a new survey.
The study was conducted as part of a wider research project into the relationship between religion and science, particularly in the field of eternal life.
As part of the survey, conducted by the British religious think tank Theos and the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, and the University of Cambridge, thousands of adults were given a series of statements and asked to what extent they agreed with each.
The statements include: “I would like to live forever if scientists could build it” and “I would like to be cryogenically frozen after my death so that I can be brought back to life centuries later.”
Information about the respondents was taken into account, such as whether they agreed or disagreed, how strongly that was, their gender and how religious they considered themselves.
One of the questions in particular was, “I’d like to clone myself if I could.” Cloning, the researchers say, is a form of scientific immortality. The results showed that most people were not open to the idea, but men were significantly more open to it than women. Eleven percent of the men agreed with the statement, compared to only 4 percent of the women.
In addition, the study showed that religious factors such as religious affiliation and service attendance had no significant effect on people’s responses, nor on their level of scientific education, although people who were more confident in their knowledge of science were more likely to self-refer. clone than people who weren’t.
What about the other questions? As for eternal life, the survey showed that most people neither agreed nor strongly disagreed with that statement — 24 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Again, men were more likely to try to live forever than women — 25 percent versus 12 percent.
Religion did play a role in this. The study found that the more people participated in religious practices, the less likely they were to want to live forever through scientific means.
When it came to cryogenic freezing, the vast majority of people, 72 percent, said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed. Men again were more likely to want this than women, and people who were not religious considered this option slightly more often than those who were.
Overall, the report concluded that the idea of scientific immortality, however unrealistic, is “not particularly appealing” at this point.
Nick Spencer, a senior fellow at Theos, said in a press release: “People used to argue that religion originated in the human desire for immortality. But our study demonstrates that immortality – at least the idea of living forever on Earth as we do.” being – isn’t really attractive to most people.”
The online survey was conducted by YouGov between May and June last year and included 5,153 randomly selected UK adults from a base sample. The results were published this month.