More than one in ten men say they would like to clone themselves if they could, according to a new survey.
The survey was conducted as part of a wider research project into the relationship between religion and science, particularly on the subject of living forever.
As part of the research, undertaken by U.K. religion 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 how much they agreed with each one.
The statements included: “I would like to live forever if scientists were able to engineer it” and “I would like to be cryogenically frozen after my death so I can be revived centuries later.”
Information about the respondents, such as whether they agreed or disagreed, how strongly so, their sex, and how religious they considered themselves to be, was taken into consideration.
One of the questions, in particular, read: “I would like to clone myself if I could.” Cloning, the researchers said, presents 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 were. Eleven percent of men agreed with the statement compared to only 4 percent of women.
In addition, the survey showed that religious factors such as religious affiliation and service attendance did not have any significant effect on people’s answers, nor did their level of scientific education—though people who were more confident in their knowledge of science were more likely to want to clone themselves than people who weren’t.
What about the other questions? In terms of living forever, the study showed that most people either disagreed or strongly disagreed with that statement—24 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Again, men were more likely to want to try living forever than women—25 percent versus 12 percent.
Religion did play a role in this, with the survey showing that the more people participated in religious practices, the less likely they were to want to live forever via scientific means.
As far as cryogenic freezing, the vast majority of people, 72 percent, said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed with this. Men once again were more likely to want to do this than women, and people who were not religious were slightly more likely to consider this option than people who were.
All in all, the report concluded that the idea of scientific immortality, however unrealistic, “is not especially appealing” at this time.
Nick Spencer, a senior fellow at Theos, said in a press release: “People used to claim that religion had its origins in the human desire for immortality. But our study shows that immortality—at least the idea of living forever on earth as we are—is not really that appealing to most people.”
The online survey was undertaken by YouGov between May and June last year and involved 5,153 randomly-selected U.K. adults from a base sample. The results were published this month.