Cloning Neanderthals

Treasured Neanderthal and Original Cro-Magnon
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ryan Somma

Old joke, updated: Do you have any Neanderthal in you? Do you want one?

Ok, so you may have heard that all humans of non-African descent have a small percent of Neanderthal genes buried away in our double helix. So that’s exciting.

Now, there’s a discussion about whether it would be ok to scrape together the small amount of Neanderthal DNA we have, and create a being.

We can’t do this yet. We can’t even come close. So it’s good that we’re having the conversation now.

And the answer is:

No. We should never ever ever ever clone a complete Neanderthal person.

Mind, you, I’m ok with cloning humans, pieces of humans, sheep, pieces of sheep, etc.

But a Neanderthal is a thinking, rational being, with emotions, the ability to speak, and a fine brain who would be all alone and an object of ridicule and scientific study without giving permission.

So some people said, hey, let’s create a colony of them, so they won’t be lonely. Yeah, colonies of extreme minorities always do really well, right?

Nope. Don’t do it. I’m on record.


Should We Clone Neanderthals?

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