Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. This is GAMINGbible with the whenever o'clock news, and our top story is... Russia plans to create a clone army from the skeletons of ancient Scythians. Like something out of Star Wars. Ok.
Sergey Shoygu, who has held the role of Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation for eight years, announced his intentions in an online session of the Russian Geographical Society in April. "Of course, we would like very much to find the organic matter and I believe you understand what would follow that," he said of the remains of Scythian soldiers found in the Tuva region of Siberia in the 1990s. "It would be possible to make something of it, if not Dolly the Sheep. In general, it will be very interesting."
Couldn't he have opted for lightsabers instead? Disney's already ahead of the curve on that one, with this real prototype that looks rather snazzy if we do say so ourselves. Take a look below.
Because the permafrost in the ground in this corner of the world protects soft tissues from decay, these bodies are in exceptional condition for being thousands and thousands of years old. Composed of a nomadic people who originally came from Iran, Scythia was at its zenith in the seventh century BCE, with control over what is now modern day Ukraine and southern Russia, across the Middle East, and all the way to the edge of Egypt. Furthermore, the Scythians' expansion was a vital part of the development of the Silk Road which was an enormous trade network connecting Greece, Persia, India and China. So, if you were going to be grave robbing for your nascent clone army, they'd be a solid choice.
Of course, clone armies are well-represented in Star Wars, a fictional sci-fi franchise penned by the screenwriter George Lucas. Created on Kamino, these clones were derived from the genetic material of bounty hunter Jango Fett and then fought in the Battle of Geonosis, thereby sparking the Clone Wars. Notice how none of these events are real. I don't know how Shoygu thinks that the scientists are going to take the DNA from the bodies and bring back Scythian warriors. If it was successful, the soldier would share the same genetic material as their predecessor from thousands of years ago but they would not be the same person.
That person was born, lived and died in a completely different world to ours. You simply could not hand that child a spear and say, "knock yourself out." They wouldn't intrinsically know what to do with it, which would be the same as any other child, Scythian ancestors notwithstanding. Furthermore, cloning is a very risky process and comes with a whole lot of ethical quandaries. Dolly the sheep was the 277th attempt at cloning the original animal. She also didn't live as long as a sheep would normally and died of a progressive lung disease before her years. In short: I wouldn't back Shoygu's campaign for clones.
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