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Lydia Griffin

Writer - Creative and Non-Fiction and journalist,

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Should we clone and revive Homo Neanderthal?

Scientists at Max Planck Institute have sequenced the complete genome of Neanderthal. What benefits could N. bring to the Sapiens mix of Today? And should interbreeding be contemplated?


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  • Mar 25 2013: Is there not sufficient evidence that Neanderthals did interbreed with modern H. Sapiens?
    If this is true, then a number of the concerns about cloning them may not be a problem at all

    For one both, the two species are unlikely to be more than superficially different if viable interbreeding can occur and those offspring can also reproduce successfully. Modern humans and Neanderthals would have had to overcome behavioral and cultural differences in order to breed and raise children. (rape instances not included)
    IF mixing occurred, then it's probable that some social/cultural mixing took place as well. (i.e. H. Sapiens born to and raised by Neanderthals, and vice versa). Even if sometimes by force or necessity.

    It seems the two species had to have been similar enough to address their differences in culture, family, education, behavior, and ethics. So cloning them may prove to be as simple as cloning an entire population and integrating them with humans from birth so that

    In fact, if we did breed with Neanderthals, then aren't they already present in innumerable ways? Mightn't we find that what we learn from a clone is redundant and anticlimactic? and at such a high ethical price too!

    and how much would we learn about ourselves and our world from Neanderthals, that we can't learn from focusing on the real social problems before us? Problems that threaten to leave US extinct, if left unaddressed!

    One of our problems is that our discoveries are accelerating our ability to dream beyond our ability to comprehend (or care about?) long term, global consequences. We may want to slow down on the cloning, but we definitely should keep talking about controversial and groundbreaking technologies. The more we discuss these questions, however "esoteric", the more likely we are to proceed with caution, with ethical guidelines and with hopeful solidarity!

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