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To clone a Neanderthal?





miacps
http://www.slate.com/id/2205310/?GT1=38001

I'm all for this with the exception that the resulting being(s) is treated humanely and possibly given human rights if he/she is capable of exercising and understanding them.

What do you guys & gals think?

Should it be done?
ocalhoun
Sure, it would help humans' outlook a lot if they were not the only intelligent species, even if the other one isn't as intelligent.

Now geico really will have to worry about offending people with their caveman commercials!
truespeed
If it can be done i think it will be done,its human nature to want to know "what if" its what separated us from the neanderthals in the first place and made us the dominant primate.
Gagnar The Unruly
I'm against it. I don't think it's a good idea to clone sentient organisms and raise them as test dummies.
deanhills
Gagnar The Unruly wrote:
I'm against it. I don't think it's a good idea to clone sentient organisms and raise them as test dummies.


That is my spontaneous feeling too. Feels as though we would be messing with something. Play God. Think we have enough human beings and a larger and larger number in critical need of help.
dallae
well i don't think it is a good idea. We human beings are not being able to save the existing ones in fact we are the main factor for the decline in wild animal species. I think it is morally wrong.
miacps
dallae wrote:
We human beings are not being able to save the existing ones


Neanderthals? Eh?

Or various animal species?
bonestorm74
Hmm I think I've already seen a few Neanderthals around here from time to time. :p

Interesting proposition anyway, somehow I doubt this creature could be treated 'humanely' as the sole reason to bring it into existence is to conduct experiments on it. They're not going to just let it go and live it's life. It will always be alone among it's kind. You have to take these sorts of things into account before jumping into experiments like this.
ocalhoun
bonestorm74 wrote:
Interesting proposition anyway, somehow I doubt this creature could be treated 'humanely' as the sole reason to bring it into existence is to conduct experiments on it. They're not going to just let it go and live it's life. It will always be alone among it's kind. You have to take these sorts of things into account before jumping into experiments like this.


Perhaps a whole group of them could be cloned, and put in a secluded place to live... The first generation would still have to be raised by human 'parents' though. It would be likely that we couldn't learn much from them, because they would inevitably be imprinted with modern human society.

Where were they going to get the DNA from anyway?
driftingfe3s
ocalhoun wrote:
bonestorm74 wrote:
Interesting proposition anyway, somehow I doubt this creature could be treated 'humanely' as the sole reason to bring it into existence is to conduct experiments on it. They're not going to just let it go and live it's life. It will always be alone among it's kind. You have to take these sorts of things into account before jumping into experiments like this.


Perhaps a whole group of them could be cloned, and put in a secluded place to live... The first generation would still have to be raised by human 'parents' though. It would be likely that we couldn't learn much from them, because they would inevitably be imprinted with modern human society.

Where were they going to get the DNA from anyway?


I remeber there was a neanderthal found frozen in a block of ice. I would assume they could get DNA from such sources.
ocalhoun
driftingfe3s wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
bonestorm74 wrote:
Interesting proposition anyway, somehow I doubt this creature could be treated 'humanely' as the sole reason to bring it into existence is to conduct experiments on it. They're not going to just let it go and live it's life. It will always be alone among it's kind. You have to take these sorts of things into account before jumping into experiments like this.


Perhaps a whole group of them could be cloned, and put in a secluded place to live... The first generation would still have to be raised by human 'parents' though. It would be likely that we couldn't learn much from them, because they would inevitably be imprinted with modern human society.

Where were they going to get the DNA from anyway?


I remeber there was a neanderthal found frozen in a block of ice. I would assume they could get DNA from such sources.

Last I heard, they were thinking of trying to clone a mammoth that way, but couldn't find any samples with the DNA intact enough to use.
airh3ad
I suppose those days must be behind us, because now we read Neandertals were such committed big game hunters that they needed their females and kids to hunt along with them, which fatally compromised their ability to find and exploit small animals and plant foods, i did not vote for this kind of experementals .
crazygriffin
of course it should be done, theres no exception in a humans case now, we should also be able to clone ourselves to (but i personally wouldnt do that), they've already started processing the last past time creatures dna (the mammoth), the mammoth was the last to go extinct after the ice age and that gives us a reason of why we have so little dna of the creature today, besides the mammoth found places that got preserved over the years and was found the earliest among others.
jabce85
... planet of the apes anyone?
Moshkin_Khan
Think of the problems it would cause. Plus what if it cant speak but technically its human, and if its being treated badly etc it wouldn't be able to communicate. And unless they clone more than one, it will have a pretty empty existence. I vote no.
foxx36
I`m not for cloning people I think that schould be left alone.
yagnyavalkya
Soon there will be aclone and also the mammoth with be cloned inrecent times
supernova1987a
Do we have their DNA?
Wow, it would be fun living with another species that look almost like us! What's wrong in doing experiments? People have no fear doing many other morally wrong things. And to something like this, they ask if its moral or not. Well, if we ever do it, it won't be wrong at all, if we are doing it for the right reasons. Maybe, there should be proper laws regarding cloning, etc so that any wrong ways can be checked.
Solon_Poledourus
I'm all for it. I found this in my search about it.
Slate.com wrote:
The full genome of the Neanderthal, an ancient human species probably driven to extinction by the first modern humans that entered Europe some 45,000 years ago, is expected to be recovered shortly. If the mammoth can be resurrected, the same would be technically possible for Neanderthals.

In the article, a Catholic Bishop by the name of Richard Doerflinger, of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, says "Catholic teaching opposes all human cloning, and all production of human beings in the laboratory, so I do not see how any of this could be ethically acceptable in humans."
I think we could learn alot from doing this. But then, I'm all for cloning existing people too. I think if there is reason to believe that it will benefit the Human race, then why not do it?
Also, isn't it about time we stop letting religion meddle in science? All they do is hold science back, as they see most major scientific endeavors as "ethically wrong". If they don't want to be a part of it, fine, but why should they hold the rest of the scientific community hostage with their imposed ethical beliefs?
Clone the mammoths too, I think Canada would be an even better place to visit if you could go on an arctic safari and see herds of them grazing in the valleys. Clone a big enough gene pool of Neanderthals so they can multiply, and give them a decent sized island that's not inhabited. Study them from a distance, as well as over long periods of time. See if they would evolve or create religions or political systems. Alot can be learned here.
It's as Carl Sagan once said:
"My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, our curiosity and intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts (as well as unable to take such a course of action) if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist, our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival. In either case, the enterprise of knowledge is consistent with both science and religion, and is essential for the welfare of the human species."
Kopernikus
In my opinion there isnīt much difference between homo sapiens sapiens and homo sapiens neanderthalensis...

If they went extinct, it could have been the just the luck of the draw. Myself, Iīm a believer in the theory that their genome just entered the gene pool of the modern sapiens.

So every position morally or ethically concerning human beings would apply to neanderthals, too.

If, and only if we could decipher the genetic code of the neanderthals, we could obviously find out, if we *are* the same species, meaning that we are able to have non-sterile offspring.

I think the question posed is the same as always, and one of the very fundamental ones: What *is* a human being?

How do you decide, who is human and who isnīt? Are all members of the now mostly extinct family of hominids human? Is Lucy? Or only later hominids? The species Homo? Earlier ones?
Or, if you would put it in a more theological context: Do australopithecines have souls? Iīd like to get the position of the roman catholic church on that one Smile

Is "humanness" a category available only to our species? or is there a possibility, that, for instance a extraterrestrial species could be "human" too? ist a theologically defined humand different from a scientifically one? only if we can decide who is human and what not, then we can decide where our doīs an donīts concerning tampering with their genome are.
Dennise
Don't do it.

I believe superior beings (Cro Magnum?) successfully drove competing beings into extinction tens of thousands of years ago. In some ways, stupid attempts to do this today can be seen in the troubled Middle East.

Why risk the possibility of a Neanderthal 'experiment' going bad and then having to cage them all up until they die off naturally (most 'humane') or worse, exterminate them.

This is one Pandora box that needs to remain closed.
Kopernikus
Dennise wrote:
Don't do it.

I believe superior beings (Cro Magnum?) successfully drove competing beings into extinction tens of thousands of years ago. In some ways, stupid attempts to do this today can be seen in the troubled Middle East.

Why risk the possibility of a Neanderthal 'experiment' going bad and then having to cage them all up until they die off naturally (most 'humane') or worse, exterminate them.

This is one Pandora box that needs to remain closed.


I have to agree with the sentiment, if not with the facts Smile
But I would be rather careful with statements like "superior beings". The Neanderthals were a group of human beings (!) very well adapted to the cold climate of ice age europe. They flourished for thousands of years, before the modern homo sapiens entered the picture. I repeat, the question if they are extinct or were sopped up by the sapiens populations gene pool ist still under review. And if they are extinct, it could really just be the luck of the draw, nature isnīt "just" or strives to find the perfect solution for the circumstances. Workable is enough.
SonLight
Humanity is far from being able to deal with the issues raised by having another intelligent species on Earth. If we could remove hatred and violence against members of our own species, and produce material conditions providing every human on Earth with a decent living, then maybe we would be ready to think about such a thing.

I am all for explorig the issue of intelligence. One ethical way of doing that is by teaching animals. I am in favor of continuing the language research with chimpanzees and gorillas. I do believe that as we expand their world, we have a greater ethical responsibility to treat them will though.

While I strongly believe no animal will qualify to be considered a "person" by any reasonable definition, I have no problem with letting them advance as far as we can teach them.
A culture of gorillas with enough intelligence to negotiate with us would be an impressive result of such research.
Kopernikus
SonLight wrote:
Humanity is far from being able to deal with the issues raised by having another intelligent species on Earth. If we could remove hatred and violence against members of our own species, and produce material conditions providing every human on Earth with a decent living, then maybe we would be ready to think about such a thing.

I am all for explorig the issue of intelligence. One ethical way of doing that is by teaching animals. I am in favor of continuing the language research with chimpanzees and gorillas. I do believe that as we expand their world, we have a greater ethical responsibility to treat them will though.

While I strongly believe no animal will qualify to be considered a "person" by any reasonable definition, I have no problem with letting them advance as far as we can teach them.
A culture of gorillas with enough intelligence to negotiate with us would be an impressive result of such research.


Have you ever read the "Uplift"-novels by David Brin?

Maybe it would benefit us, to have another intelligent species on our planet. At least it would make our differences today among us humans look petty and insignificant. OTOH we definitely have made some species like dogs and did breed them for intelligence and obedience in some cases. (well not your average chihuahua, but you know what I mean...)

But I especially dislike the point of view, that we should solve all the problems of society before doing something new!
SonLight
Kopernikus wrote:


Maybe it would benefit us, to have another intelligent species on our planet. At least it would make our differences today among us humans look petty and insignificant. OTOH we definitely have made some species like dogs and did breed them for intelligence and obedience in some cases. (well not your average chihuahua, but you know what I mean...)

But I especially dislike the point of view, that we should solve all the problems of society before doing something new!


I agree we can try "something new" in spite of not having solved all our existing problems. In this case, we are talking about maniputing the very fundamentals of life, and our moral responsibility for doing so in a compassionate way would be huge. I mention some problems we have not solved for humans to suggest we are incapable of dealing with the problems such genetic manipulation would produce.

In my view, choosing the sex of children or certain of their physical characteristics is much less radical than creating a new intelligent species, yet I oppose making such choices through genetic manipulation.
Kopernikus
SonLight wrote:
Kopernikus wrote:


Maybe it would benefit us, to have another intelligent species on our planet. At least it would make our differences today among us humans look petty and insignificant. OTOH we definitely have made some species like dogs and did breed them for intelligence and obedience in some cases. (well not your average chihuahua, but you know what I mean...)

But I especially dislike the point of view, that we should solve all the problems of society before doing something new!


I agree we can try "something new" in spite of not having solved all our existing problems. In this case, we are talking about maniputing the very fundamentals of life, and our moral responsibility for doing so in a compassionate way would be huge. I mention some problems we have not solved for humans to suggest we are incapable of dealing with the problems such genetic manipulation would produce.

In my view, choosing the sex of children or certain of their physical characteristics is much less radical than creating a new intelligent species, yet I oppose making such choices through genetic manipulation.


the latter is in my eyes even more disruptive to society than cloning an extinct cousin of our species.
Iīd like to say that we as a species or as individuals always think things through, before acting, but there are always unintended consequences of any action we take. Remember the prohibition? As much as I would like personally to see the opportunity for alcohol addiction diminished, it only resulted in an upsurge in organized crime. Genetic Manipulation per se isnīt morally irresponsible, we do it and all the time. Itīs called breeding. So whatīs the difference in breeding a new species or doing it by genetic engeneering? Is eliminating a dangerous defect in an embryo bad? Wasnīt it Paracelsus who said, that the dosage is all that makes a poison different from a healing drug?
yagnyavalkya
I think before that there will a MaMammonth cloned
Kopernikus
yagnyavalkya wrote:
I think before that there will a MaMammonth cloned


well, *that* i would like to see Smile
inoshi
dallae wrote:
well i don't think it is a good idea. We human beings are not being able to save the existing ones in fact we are the main factor for the decline in wild animal species. I think it is morally wrong.

What "moral" question / dilemma is it, or are there, to revive an extinct species of homonid?
Ankhanu
inoshi wrote:
dallae wrote:
well i don't think it is a good idea. We human beings are not being able to save the existing ones in fact we are the main factor for the decline in wild animal species. I think it is morally wrong.

What "moral" question / dilemma is it, or are there, to revive an extinct species of homonid?

Questions pertaining to personhood, questions of how we would be permitted to study it, questions of the ethics of reintroducing a species that is not adapted to the current environment (and if in high enough numbers, their influence on the environment), would they be permitted to be free beings, or held captive, questions pertaining to quality of life... et cetera. There are many, many questions we haven't really had to address before, and many that we've addressed poorly in the past with our closest extant relatives.
inoshi
Ankhanu wrote:
inoshi wrote:
dallae wrote:
well i don't think it is a good idea. We human beings are not being able to save the existing ones in fact we are the main factor for the decline in wild animal species. I think it is morally wrong.

What "moral" question / dilemma is it, or are there, to revive an extinct species of homonid?

Questions pertaining to personhood, questions of how we would be permitted to study it, questions of the ethics of reintroducing a species that is not adapted to the current environment (and if in high enough numbers, their influence on the environment), would they be permitted to be free beings, or held captive, questions pertaining to quality of life... et cetera. There are many, many questions we haven't really had to address before, and many that we've addressed poorly in the past with our closest extant relatives.

I'm specifically asking just about the first step, reviving an extinct species. Then I would ask some other questions, which would lead to those that you bring into play.

Neandering Again,

Inoshi
Ankhanu
Yes, but success in step 1 leads IMMEDIATELY to all the other questions... therefore it is pertinent to ask, or at least consider, them before succeeding.
SonLight
inoshi wrote:

I'm specifically asking just about the first step, reviving an extinct species. Then I would ask some other questions, which would lead to those that you bring into play.

Neandering Again,

Inoshi


Suppose we cloned a single individual. Now there is a creature, is it a person or a lower animal? How can we decide in a way that's not self-serving for us, persons of the human species?

If the clone is a person, then we would be evil if we did not provide it some companions, and allow it to live in a family environment. If we did that, then decided that a large number of these persons is not a good thing, do we have the right to tell them not to breed, or to severely limit the size of their families?

Conceivably these clones might be physically able to intermarry with humans and have children. Surely we would need to have an answer, whether that is acceptable or not and under what conditions, before the first clone becomes self-aware and wonders what his or her proper relationship to human persons is.
LxGoodies
SonLight wrote:
inoshi wrote:

I'm specifically asking just about the first step, reviving an extinct species. Then I would ask some other questions, which would lead to those that you bring into play.

Neandering Again,

Inoshi


Suppose we cloned a single individual. Now there is a creature, is it a person or a lower animal? How can we decide in a way that's not self-serving for us, persons of the human species?

A neanderthal is a human being, paleontology and archeology found plenty of proof. Stone tools exist, traces of ritual were found.. like funerals.. remains of household, art.. weapons.. Neanderthalensis was very much like us !

SonLight wrote:
If the clone is a person, then we would be evil if we did not provide it some companions, and allow it to live in a family environment. If we did that, then decided that a large number of these persons is not a good thing, do we have the right to tell them not to breed, or to severely limit the size of their families?

Conceivably these clones might be physically able to intermarry with humans and have children. Surely we would need to have an answer, whether that is acceptable or not and under what conditions, before the first clone becomes self-aware and wonders what his or her proper relationship to human persons is.

Have to agree with your objections.. These would indeed be some of the grave ethical dilemma's we would face, in case the cloning would result in a perfect Neanderthal individual.

inoshi wrote:
specifically asking just about the first step

There are some pitfalls I'd like to add, that have to do with biology. The process of cloning is not trivial.. when Herman the Bull was cloned in the Netherlands in 1990, several attempts failed. And the Herman clone was based on a live and completely intact DNA sample of a healthy bovine. Now.. suppose we would succeed in extracting an intact DNA assembly from archeological Neanderthal context, we would know nothing of that particular human being: did he/she have any diseases ?

The genome would always be artificial anyway, because old DNA has gaps. Although such a reconstructed basis could be useful for statistic analyses (as shown in 2010 we are 4% Neanderthal !), nature will probably prevent successful cloning.. the result would be stillborn, non-viable or impaired.. it's a very dangerous experiment. Even if everything would succeed and a live Neanderthal would be born, it would be subject to modern micro-organisms.. We don't know the effect these will have on the Neanderthal.

Lx
inoshi
Ankhanu wrote:
Yes, but success in step 1 leads IMMEDIATELY to all the other questions... therefore it is pertinent to ask, or at least consider, them before succeeding.

Substitute word "musings" with "labor" - difficult.
inoshi
LxGoodies wrote:
inoshi wrote:
specifically asking just about the first step

There are some pitfalls I'd like to add, that have to do with biology. The process of cloning is not trivial.. when Herman the Bull was cloned in the Netherlands in 1990, several attempts failed. And the Herman clone was based on a live and completely intact DNA sample of a healthy bovine. Now.. suppose we would succeed in extracting an intact DNA assembly from archeological Neanderthal context, we would know nothing of that particular human being: did he/she have any diseases ?

The genome would always be artificial anyway, because old DNA has gaps. Although such a reconstructed basis could be useful for statistic analyses (as shown in 2010 we are 4% Neanderthal !), nature will probably prevent successful cloning.. the result would be stillborn, non-viable or impaired.. it's a very dangerous experiment. Even if everything would succeed and a live Neanderthal would be born, it would be subject to modern micro-organisms.. We don't know the effect these will have on the Neanderthal.Lx


Wasn't there an issue with lifespan, with Dolly the sheep? That the cloned DNA produced a creature with only half the life span, or something similar.

I think it's inevitable, however humanity is not ready for this yet.
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