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Should We Clone a Neanderthal?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the they-are-among-us dept.

Biotech 990

SpaceAdmiral writes "Forget cloning a woolly mammothshould scientists clone a Neanderthal? Such a feat should be possible soon, although it raises a number of bioethics concerns, including where to draw the line between humans and other animals."

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Yes, because they would make (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882095)

great hockey players!

Yes (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882105)

Cause then it would no longer be socially acceptable for women to call us that anymore.

Yes. Yes. Yes. (-1, Flamebait)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882147)

Q: Should We Clone a Neanderthal?

A: God Yes.

For no other reason than to provoke the religious crazies. Hahahaha - the bunfight will be spectacular (yes, this is inevitable, eventually).

Re:Yes. Yes. Yes. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882335)

Hahahaha - the bunfight will be spectacular (yes, this is inevitable, eventually).

We're gonna throw dinner rolls at one another? :-P

Cheers

Re:Yes. Yes. Yes. (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882497)

We're gonna throw dinner rolls at one another?

Amazingly enough, the term bunfight [thefreedictionary.com] has nothing to do with fighting or buns (or indeed food of any sort).

Oh well, it's not exactly like it's the first time a Briticism has been used incorrectly on /.

Re:Yes (5, Funny)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882165)

What if it turns out they are just like us?

Re:Yes (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882199)

The jokes are funnier if I don't have to explain them.

Re:Yes (0, Redundant)

magarity (164372) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882229)

What if it turns out they are just like us?
 
That's the thing; Neanderthals aren't just like us. If they were, they'd be Homo Sapiens, not Homo Neanderthalensis. There IS a small, but definite, genetic difference by definition.

Re:Yes (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882557)

The next issue is, are they similar enough to reproduce with us, and give fertile offspring. That's a huge issue nobody would want to touch.

Re:Yes (5, Interesting)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882469)

What if its worse? What if they're smarter?

Re:Yes (4, Funny)

Cow Jones (615566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882517)

What if it turns out they are just like us?

I wouldn't worry about that too much. At this very moment, there are several millions of Neanderthals among us, both male and female [somethingawful.com] .

CJ

Re:Yes (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882253)

Cause then it would no longer be socially acceptable for women to call us that anymore.

That wouldn't matter. The Neanderthals being the new "hot" in town would steal everyone's girlfriends. They would even be making movies out of it, probably calling it something like "dusk."

I have an ethical problem with that.

Re:Yes (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882417)

I'm fine with that as long as I get something out of it too, namely hardcore neanderthal girl-on-girl action.

Re:Yes (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882449)

Why one would voluntarily submit to Death By Snu-Snu is ... ... oh, wait, I get it now. Nevermind.

Re:Yes (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882461)

Surely "Dawn" ?

call a nigger a nigger (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882585)

I think it's always ok to refer to a darkie as a "nigger"

Those lazy animals got no room to complain anyways.

fucking niggers.

Dibs! (1, Funny)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882107)

Dibs on the TV franchise rights! Neander-thon! Saturdays at 8!

Re:Dibs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882393)

I believe it was called Cavemen, and only 6 episodes of that ever made it to air.

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882109)

I think it would be nice to finally give the Woz someone to play with

Advertising! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882115)

1)Clone Neanderthals

2)Make Geico commercials

3)Profit!

Who needs to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882123)

I'm already surrounded by neanderthals!

queue... (1)

EEthan (1353209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882137)

...copyright infringement lawsuits from Geico Insurance

Re:queue... (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882567)

Geico would make an Obscene CLone Fall

Please, no (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882141)

As a half black-half white male, I often like to (in jest, of course) play the "race card". If we actually clone a bipedal humanoid creature, how am I supposed to make my friends feel guilty by making these corrections when my friends speak:

black hat hacker -> african american hacker
black friday -> african american friday
black plague -> african american plague

Come on people! Are you trying to take all of my material?

Geico (4, Funny)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882143)

Geico would pay good money for the authenticity.

Re:Geico (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882319)

Tag line:

Why cloning is so easy, even a caveman can do it!

Well, arguably not... (5, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882153)

since they had bigger brains. Maybe not the same parts of their brains though.

Could be (quite the role-reversal?) that they were the thoughtful ones, and we were just meaner.

Who knows? We don't.

Re:Well, arguably not... (5, Informative)

ya really (1257084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882321)

since they had bigger brains. Maybe not the same parts of their brains though.

If having a bigger brain was the ultimate measure of intelligence, then elephants would be geniuses [natureinstitute.org]

In fact, brain size does not matter in humans [netcom.com] either. It's just an old wise tale carried over from the 19th century that still haunts us today (as seen here).

Not so. (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882451)

In fact, people of high IQ do in fact tend to have larger brains. This is a statistic that has been demonstrated repeatedly over many years.

Many people like to use Einstein as anecdotal evidence, as he did in have have a larger brain than the average. But all anecdotal evidence aside, there is a positive correlation that cannot be responsibly denied.

BUT... having said that, here is a subspecies that had a demonstrably different brain. How different was it? Which parts large, which parts smaller? Those are very significant facts about which we are mostly ignorant.

Re:Well, arguably not... (4, Informative)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882455)

It's just an old wise tale

Old wive's tale.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882501)

It's just an old wise tale

Old wive's tale.

Wives old tale.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882515)

It's just an old wise tale

Old wive's tale.

Wives old tale.

Wive's old tail.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882511)

It's just an old wise tale

Old wive's tale.

My wife always tells me I'm a wise guy.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882563)

It's funny now, but wait until she starts telling people you're a good fella.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882595)

It's just an old wise tale carried over from the 19th century that still haunts us today (as seen here).

I think you are thinking of an Old Wives Tale.

Re:Well, arguably not... (1, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882343)

The electoral success of the Republican party in the US and the Conservatives in the UK show that it is better to be mean than smart.

So easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882155)

A cave man could do it

Not animals (2, Insightful)

anville (795714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882169)

Neanderthals are considered to be part of the Homo Sapiens species. Wouldn't the concerns (and legalities) be the same as any human cloning project?

Re:Not animals (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882447)

They are not Homo Sapiens.

They are Homo neandertalinis.

Look it up!

And furthermore, humans are animals. So "not animals" only applies to plant life.

Re:Not animals (5, Informative)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882565)

Neanderthals are considered to be part of the Homo Sapiens species. Wouldn't the concerns (and legalities) be the same as any human cloning project?

We both belong to the Homo genus [wikipedia.org] , but Neanderthals are H. neanderthalensis, while we are H. sapiens.

Though here's an interesting paragraph on the Neanderthal page [wikipedia.org] that I didn't know before I browsed around on Wikipedia:

For some time, professionals debated whether Neanderthals should be classified as Homo neanderthalensis or as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, the latter placing Neanderthals as a subspecies of Homo sapiens. Genetic statistical calculation (2006 results) suggests at least 5% of the modern human gene pool can be attributed to ancient admixture, with the European contribution being from the Neanderthal.[10] Some morphological studies support that Homo neanderthalensis is a separate species and not a subspecies. [11] Some suggest inherited admixture. Others, for example University of Cambridge Professor Paul Mellars, say "no evidence has been found of cultural interaction"[12] and evidence from mitochondrial DNA studies have been interpreted as evidence Neanderthals were not a subspecies of H. sapiens.[13] Homo sapiens mtDNA from Australia (Mungo Man 40ky ) is also not found in recent human genomic pool and mtDNA sequences for temporally comparative African specimens are not yet available.

Re:Not animals (0, Troll)

WingedEarth (958581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882587)

Why do we need to clone neanderthals? If they continue to make Seth Rogan and/or Will Ferrell movies, a majority of humans will devolve into neanderthals already. Cloning a wooly mammoth, on the other hand, would be great, especially for stews and barbeques. We'd just have to clone them with tender meat. And their wool would really help our textile industries resurge. And we can make tools out of their bones.

Legal Rights NOW! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882177)

Since it's pretty clear that it's only a matter of time. we need a constitutional amendment that grants person-hood and citizenship to any and all future Neanderthal clones. Just get that crap out of the way.

To low-scored comment (jeez, modders, lighten up!) (2, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882239)

No, we definitely do not. FIRST we would need to determine that they were "people", and believe me there would be a great deal of pressure to decide not. And there is a very good chance that they would not be.

We have been very charitable in the West in determining who, mentally and in body, is a "person" and who is not. Perhaps out of guilt from deciding that wrongly in the past? I don't know. Nevertheless we have granted "rights" to "people" who fit the definition only by stretching that definition. Worldwide in recent decades (if we can ignore certain parts of the Middle East and Persia), there has been more tolerance of who is a "person" and who is not, by local society's definition.

Even so, I am sure there would be an outrageous amount of resistance to this. I am not sure that even we Westerners are ready for this quite yet.

Re:To low-scored comment (jeez, modders, lighten u (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882323)

> We have been very charitable in the West in
> determining who, mentally and in body,
> is a "person" and who is not.

Well, except for the very young ones, whom we chemically burn to death at the rate of millions per year...

Re:To low-scored comment (jeez, modders, lighten u (1, Insightful)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882353)

Only worse, imagine the pro-life movement. Now imagine how they'd go on the crusade against cloning. The battle cry right now is to 'protect life'. Do you think for an instant that they won't try to get away with declaring "life starts at conception" along side of "anyone born in a tube isn't actually a person". Do you deny them? kill them? turn em into slaves? Does that ring a bell?

Which was a motivation (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882521)

for my comment.

But, in reality, accepting the "life starts at conception" argument makes hypocrites (at best) and murderers (at worst) out of almost everybody. Which is why I reject the concept.

If life starts at conception, then every fertilized egg that does not implant in the uterus, if done purposely, is murder. So the Catholic concept of "rhythm method" is out the door. In fact, the ONLY reasonable means of birth control they could accept (if they were not hypocrites) would be the condom (male or female), since it prevents sperm -> egg contact in the first place. But they have other reasons for rejecting that... so, they are left with nothing. No birth control methods whatever. Since EVERY other form of birth control is accomplished by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall.

Not only is abortion murder, but many menses would be as well. What is the percentage of fertilized eggs that get implanted? From what I understand, the percentage is rather low. So even normal married adults having unprotected sex would likely be mass murderers before they every achieve a pregnancy.

The whole concept is so clearly ridiculous that I have a hard time imagining any intelligent people actually entertaining it as a viable idea! My only answer is that they absorbed it from upbringing and accepted it as fact, without logically examining it at all.

And that kind of person is dangerous.

Charitable my Aunt Fanny (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882453)

We have been very charitable in the West in determining who, mentally and in body, is a "person" and who is not. Perhaps out of guilt from deciding that wrongly in the past?

Women were not 'persons' under the law until as late as the 1960s in some parts of Canada and the US. They only got universal suffrage at the federal level in the 20th Century.

That's not guilt. That's making right what was patently wrong before.

P.S. Mods, get a grip. Parent is not a troll, it's just plain old garden variety ignorance, which deserves to see the light of day - and then get smacked down by reality.

Re:Legal Rights NOW! (2, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882387)

+1 uncomfortable truth. "that can't happen" is looking less and less appealing as an excuse: the science fiction of yesterday is becoming today's reality. The chances of human-like behaviour emerging from something we have never need to look at as human increases by the year. If its not AI, it will be geneticaly manipulated dogs. Or neanderthals. Or a head in a vat. Or someone who was once cryonically frozen.

The law moves slowly and now is the time to define personhood. Now, before a computer asks for its rights, or a GM monkey gives a speech. As a society we must look deep into a mirror and decide whether and why each of us should have special rights.

locked up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882187)

So if they suceed, will they keep him neck shackled to the wall, or will he be able to enjoy the same rights as other people?

Cloning (1)

lordshipmayhem (1063660) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882191)

Do we really need to clone MORE politicians?

What line? (2, Interesting)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882197)

As far as I'm concerned, there really is no point in drawing a line between human and animal. If we decide it's to be treated as a human, then it would obviously be deemed too destructive and unable to cope in society - as many people with mental issues are. At that point, we would segregate it from society in a humane habitat (as we do with mental patients, or at least the ones that can afford it :P). Now, obviously, no scientist would recieve funding for it's creation if it couldn't be studied (remember, it's not unethical to study human beings, if they aren't harmed and if it's consented to by someone with the mental capacity and authority to decide). If we decided it was an ANIMAL, obviously we would treat it like a zoo creature or pet (I'm sure no-one intends to eat this thing, even if that were legal). We would skip the mental evaluation and simply put it in a humane habitat, as we do with animals at the zoo or pets, and study it humanely (it's unethical and probably illegal to cut animals up for study). Either way, the end result is the same - the being is kept somewhere where it's not dangerous to itself or regular homo sapien sapiens, and studied. I don't understand why someone would wish to draw a line between animal and human for ethical reasons, when it would be treated the same due to it being mentally incapable of anything else.

Re:What line? (1)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882485)

The problem is, there is a pretty high probability that a Neanderthal would be considerably more developed than what you're talking about. Judging by their lack of advances, art, and other remains - they probably wouldn't be particularly imaginative, inventive, or even just bright. However, everything we do know would suggest something human enough to either fit in the human category, or categorical limbo. They wouldn't be "mentally challenged" - they're more likely to be functional but simply "dumb". Dumb by our standards, but definitely in the human range.

If a Neanderthal were cloned and allowed to be born, it would be a lifetime commitment. At best, it would need to be supported for the rest of it's life. It probably wouldn't be a very good life... but on the bright side, it could be raised to never really understand that either.

Culturally, the modern variety just isn't ready to handle the reality of this. It's a good example of scientific capability developing far faster than moral capacity.

Cain isn't ready to meet Able yet.

Re:What line? (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882553)

> As far as I'm concerned, there really is no point in drawing a line between human and animal.

Would you rather I ate your child or your cat?

Clone 'em??? (5, Funny)

nysus (162232) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882205)

Wasn't having one of them run the country for eight years bad enough?

That would be playing God. (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882215)

God, schmod! I want my monkey man!

I don't want to go to Chelsea (3, Interesting)

Nourn (1415007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882217)

Considering that many people feel that Neanderthal DNA is integrated with human DNA, is there any point to this experiment?

Re:I don't want to go to Chelsea (1)

fucket (1256188) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882273)

...and what value should we use for the constant C?

Re:I don't want to go to Chelsea (1)

Nourn (1415007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882291)

Answered in my subject line (READ: Chelsea).

What? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882223)

Don't we have one running the biggest richest most successful software company in the world?

I swear, Steve Balmer and Bill Gates remind me of Pinky and the Brain. The difference is that before Pinky wasn't in charge of Microsoft - the Brain was, but ever since the stupid neanderthal took over as CEO there have been some royal fuck-ups. I shouldn't even have to post urls to previous slashdot stories in order to prove that.

Re:What? (1)

Nourn (1415007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882247)

"What?", indeed. Mais, non nawcom.

Well (4, Funny)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882225)

Wouldn't that be like knowingly bringing someone into the world knowing that they are going to be horrendously ugly and live their life lonely? Wouldn't having sex with them be borderline doing it with a gorilla? What would the ethical ramification of this be?

Re:Well (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882283)

Wouldn't that be like knowingly bringing someone into the world knowing that they are going to be horrendously ugly and live their life lonely?

Really? Some of the boys I see attached to some girls would fit the description "Neanderthal" quite well ;)

Re:Well (4, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882379)

What would the ethical ramification of this be?

I'm a consultant ethicist that could advise you on this.

I have a base package where I look very vaguely at the surface of things and decide most things are immoral. I also have a premium package where I look much deeper into the history of the issues and decided that what your asking is actually ethically ok.

NO (2, Interesting)

larryau (983008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882237)

Absolutely No. It is immoral and not just from a religious stand. Forget religious objections. It is simply ethically wrong. Where would it stop? It would go beyond just satisfying some intellectual curiosity to cloning species to harvest their organs.

Re:NO (2, Insightful)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882255)

So, what's wrong with that?

Re:NO (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882363)

He told us to "forget religious objections," but you can bet he didn't.

Re:NO (1)

nofx_3 (40519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882369)

And who granted you the right to decide what's ethically right and wrong? I'd don't find it objectionable at all, I think it could possibly lead to a much better understanding of humans and our history, as well as let us get a real sense of some of our closest relatives in the animal world.

Re:NO (5, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882389)

Hey, it's slippery-slope man!

Re:NO (2, Interesting)

AlanS2002 (580378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882491)

Absolutely No. It is immoral and not just from a religious stand. Forget religious objections. It is simply ethically wrong. Where would it stop? It would go beyond just satisfying some intellectual curiosity to cloning species to harvest their organs.

What is ethically wrong about cloning anything. Period. I don't think the question even touched on harvesting organs. Your objection is simply irrelevant.

Not nearly as viable an idea (2, Interesting)

rapierian (608068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882241)

Cloning a mammoth is such a likely possibility because we have so many frozen specimens throughout Siberia and Canada. As far as I know, there are no Neanderthal specimens in any reasonably comparable state.

Line -- (1)

nova.alpha (1287112) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882263)

there is none.

"The Dead Will Rise" (4, Insightful)

LuYu (519260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882265)

I am not the most religious of people, but does this not sound eerily like Revelation? The dead of past ages coming to life is quite creepy.

On the ethics issue, who is going to raise this child? Real parents? Or a bunch of scientists? I would define a Neanderthal as a human, and that means the clone should have Rights like everyone else. What about people who are prejudiced? I mean, if racism is a tough thing to grow up with, what about speciism ? A bunch of kids teasing him for being an "ape" could not be fun.

Re:"The Dead Will Rise" (5, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882307)

But when the inevitable species war erupts, we can end racism.

Re:"The Dead Will Rise" (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882359)

I mean, if racism is a tough thing to grow up with, what about speciism ? A bunch of kids teasing him for being an "ape" could not be fun.

On the other hand, his lack of connection to modern society could set him up for a successful career in law [wikipedia.org] .

Re:"The Dead Will Rise" (0, Flamebait)

Nourn (1415007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882377)

I'm not the most religious of people either, and as such I do not lend credence to storybooks trying to convince me that their imagination invisible friend up in the sky is watch me pee. If we were to take a homo sapient from the same era and clone her, place her in modern society as a child and not inform anyone, we would be unable to determine the difference because of her parallel genetic makeup: to do the same with a Neanderthal would be unethical because they are not "human", and are easily identifiable as such; in consequence we MUST raise them separately, and it would be unethical to do it "normally".

planet of the niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882315)

scientists create a nigger

yay, racial slurs! (3, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882399)

go back to 4chan douchebag

Religious point of view (5, Funny)

Amiralul (1164423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882325)

If God have meant for us to clone a Neanderthal, He would provide us the tools and the knowledge to do that!!

Housing, Nursery, or a Zoo? (4, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882327)

Housing, Nursery, or a Zoo?

I think that may become the biggest obstacle.

When that is decided, should we let him/her go to school and socialize or should we let keep him locked up for study.

What? (5, Funny)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882339)

That's like asking "Should I flash linux onto the Microwave so I can use it as a file server?" or "Should I port Doom to the Credit-card reader I bought off eBay?" or "Should I build a deliberately complicated system of relays, pulleys, levers, programs and scripts so that I may control the precise movements and power output by a bog-standard toaster remotely, from 500 miles away?". I mean, really, do you have to ask? Of course we fucking should!

assuming there is a line (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882347)

Such a feat should be possible soon, although it raises a number of bioethics concerns, including where to draw the line between humans and other animals.
that's assuming there really is a line to be drawn. The existence of 'intermediates', rather than forcing us to decide where to draw the line, should really make us question whether the category is as hard and fast as we think it is.

Evolution (5, Funny)

Detritus (11846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882381)

Survival of the fittest does not mean survival of the smartest or survival of the strongest. What if Neanderthals are mentally and physically superior to Homo Sapiens? I can't wait to hear the NFL Players' Association bitching about unfair competition. These guys used to hunt mammoths with wooden spears. They don't need protective equipment and they will kick your ass.

course not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882385)

homo sapiens swiftly ensured the survival of their species by wiping the neanderthals out some 250,000 odd years ago, why bother bringing them back for a rerun?

Reality TV would love it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882395)

Screw bioethics, think of the things you could do with the whole Neanderthal concept. Neanderthals say the Darndest Things, Neanderthal in New York, Neanderthal Goes to College, Who Wants to Marry a Neanderthal, Neanderthal Life, Dancing with the Neanderthals, Behind the Music: Neanderthal...

And once your done with those, you could have America's Next Neanderthal! And no doubt Paris Hilton would date a Neanderthal at some point. Oh, wait...

Of course! (2, Funny)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882403)

Of course we should clone one...

How else am I going to get a date?

why not? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882411)

we need some advice for not going extinct ourselves

What do you do with the mistakes? (2, Insightful)

baomike (143457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882419)

You have a problem (if that is the right word) if one is cloned.
But what of the problems with a clone that is defective but viable?

Sure, why not? (2, Funny)

Star Particle (1409451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882435)

Once it learns how to speak, it can tell us what it was like to live back then!

Re:Sure, why not? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882477)

hahaha, you should work for Hollywood!

Yes, but be discreet... (1)

sarysa (1089739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882465)

Honestly? If a group can pull it off, I say go for it. But I don't want to ever be aware of it. (unless I'm a part of said group) It would be the most intriguing experiment of all time, to clone a sample of neanderthals and let them live normal lives, aside from occasional tests perhaps done under the guise of routine checkups. Not only would it be completely ethical from a good number of peoples' point of view, it would tell us so much about them. First of all, would they look enough like us to fit in? Would they turn out being superior? Leaders perhaps? Or would they live relatively mundane lives? Can they understand spoken and/or written language?

I can understand why people would have objections to this, but I think it could work well if executed properly.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882481)

If we can, we should. Objections by the Catholic church should be replied with one word - Copernicus.

No need - see nearest Rugby League team (1)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882483)

I am not sure of the exact genetic markers to distinguish Neanderthal from Homo Sapien, but some members of my local Rugby team look like they have most of the documented features.

This has been on my mind for a few years ... (5, Interesting)

JoeGee (85189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882509)

It has nothing to do with the Geico commercials. As other posters have noted, the simple fact of the matter is the "resurrection" of a non-human species, be it homo neanderthalensis (homo sapiens neanderthalensis) or homo florensis, will happen some time this century.

The DNA we have extracted from mammoth hair is from two individual mammoths who died between twenty and sixty thousand years ago. The supposed limit of DNA viability is roughly sixty thousand years. H. neanderthalensis went extinct less than fifteen thousand years ago. H. florensis is thought to have been around as recently as the past thirteen thousand years. I'd say we stand a good chance of recovering genetic material from either, or both of these species.

Should we bring these species out of evolutionary retirement? It's a dilemma:

1. How badly do scientists want to cheese off the world's major religions? I am ambivalent towards this. Ya know, some of the self-righteous pious freaks we have walking around spouting nonsense today deserve a swift kick in the nads. Still, is it worth the potential backlash?

2. Is this ethically justifiable? What could we do with a living genome that we could not do with that genome in a comparative study? How will we justify the potential gain in knowledge versus the rights of the resultant being when he or she is carried to term, reared, and socialized? Will he or she have full rights? Will he or she be able to be valued within society? Is some loony with a gun going to go "big game hunting" or "abominatinon-killing"?

3. Someone else in the comments discussed dealing with this individual if he or she is significantly psychologically and mentally different from us. What can we offer such an individual besides life in a high tech zoo?

4. Some things will be forever beyond us. We'll never hear true Neanderthal language, we'll never observe untainted Neanderthal culture, and a feral child experiment with any of the homo genus we'd be capable of bring back is pretty much unconscionable [wikipedia.org] . Are we looking for answers where there are none?

I guess it comes down to what we can learn versus the risks. I think the one thing we might be able to learn from h. neanderthalensis is how we as a species look to an outside observer. Do we really want them to look us in the eyes and tell us what they see?

I'm not certain we're prepared for it.

-Joe

Space Missions (1)

somecreepyoldguy (1255320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882523)

duh anyone who disagrees with me is worse than Hitler.

Already done (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882525)

His name is Karl Pilkington [karlology.co.uk] and he had a head like a fucking orange.

Yes! (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882529)

It would certainly stir up the old nature/nurture development thing.
On the other hand, would we have to pay compensation/reparation to the Neanderthal as 'his people' settled the planet first? Where would his reservation be established?

Ohmigosh! (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882531)

Maybe the Neanderthal would turn out to be really superintelligent, like Khan! Strength, plus intelligence. We better watch out!

No. (0, Flamebait)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882539)

Keep in mind, this neanderthal won't be delivered by a stork. Creating one requires starting with something that would have been born as a modern human baby and modifying it so that it is, quite definitely, not.

Genetically modifying a human germ line because "it would be neat" is totally unethical. There is no scientific question important enough to justify this sort of massive genetic mutation of a human embryo. Case closed.

If it's good enough for Australia... (1)

Shturmovik (632314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25882581)

...It's good enough for the rest of us.

Cruel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25882593)

Suppose you clone one. How fucking lonely do you think they will be, the only member of their species? Can he/she breed with Homo Sapiens? If not, how do you think he/she will feel not being able to get offspring? If can, how do you feel about inter-species breeding?

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