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    Resurrecting the Neanderthal

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    DarkEnvy
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    Resurrecting the Neanderthal

    Post by DarkEnvy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:34 pm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...professor.html

    In a nutshell, Professor George Church from Harvard has the know how and the desire to bring a Neanderthal into the world using harvested DNA from the genetic code in fossil remains. He believes that the project could benefit mankind due to his hypothesis that Neanderthals were actually naturally smarter than Homo Sapiens. The only thing he needs now, is a willing female to carry a Neanderthal baby to term. There of course has been loads of both support and of course opposition against this. With the main concerns being ethics, human rights (A neanderthal is human, although you have to think of all the legal repercussions involving this.)

    In my opinion, this could be one of the biggest scientific breakthroughs involving genetics in history. I know it can be done: (The first extinct animal brought back to life - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...y-cloning.html )

    There are a lot of issues involving legalities, civil rights, medicinal and ethical concerns, and intelligence. There are several possibilities that the scientific and legal community would need to consider.

    Possibility #1 (Best Possible Outcome) - The Neanderthal is smarter or equally as intelligent as humans:
    This is the best possible outcome. This would mean that the Neanderthal would be able to adapt semi-well to society. (The reason I'm using semi-well is because we can't even expect humanity to be kind to itself, let alone a species of similar or greater intelligence. People would be intimidated, and it would likely cause vast discrimination issues which is completely unfair to the Neanderthal, (s)he didn't choose to be involved in this world.) You can forget the possibility of a Neanderthal getting hired by a company / anything, could you imagine a non-comical version of a Neanderthal working a desk job? No, the Neanderthal would have to be financially supported / cared for by the scientific community / Professor George Church / whoever is funding his research. Would the Neanderthal be able to vote? What if the Neanderthal wants a mate? The most important question is though, if the Neanderthal was as smart or smarter than us, would the global community take him or her seriously. Would the Neanderthal be viewed as human or as creature? Based on fossil records it would look visibly different than a human, so the option of having him try to assimilate into society from the age of a child isn't an option.

    Possibility #2 (What I Expect) - The Neanderthal is either equal or less intelligent than humans.

    This is a very real possibility and it raises a lot of ethical concerns. If the Neanderthal is to be treated as human, what if it doesn't understand morality or ethics? Imagine if the Neanderthal were to say / do things that are illegal or something similar. Would it be tried in the court of law? Is it exempt from this due to being a different species? Who would take care of him?

    Possibility #3 (Worst Possible Outcome) - The Neanderthal is incapable of full human activity / or is naturally a predator.

    There have been multiple scientific studies that suggest that Neanderthals may have hunted modern humans during its time frame. If this was the case, we would technically be bringing back something that hunted us. Things would get even more complicated due to the fact that there has also been research indicated that Humans and Neanderthals had offspring and that we all have a small percentage of Neanderthal DNA in our genetic code (maybe this would explain a lot of things, such as how over time our bones and muscles were able to develop more and grow stronger. If the Neanderthal has to be taken care of like an animal, how would that sit ethically. If it killed a caretaker would it be put down?

    The overlying thing here is that we are bringing back a prehistoric human being. Sure it's from a different species, but it's still human. If this is to go through, then it can't be done haphazardly. All possible precautions must be taken to ensure the safety and rights of the Neanderthal, as well as the people taking care of him / her. We must also understand that a Neanderthal's brain is not adapted for technology as ours have slowly become accustomed to over the years.

    What do you guys think about this? Is it ethical to bring back a Neanderthal? Is this the next step we need to take to advance our scientific community above and beyond what it is at this very moment? Or will this just be another tragedy similar to the Ibex that I linked above (for those who didn't read, it died seven minutes after birth due to a lung defect that seems to be common in cloned / resurrected animals.) In the same way however, it could be a success such as Dolly the sheep, but on a much larger scale. We live in some pretty crazy scientific times don't we?


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    Crimson-Dust

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    Re: Resurrecting the Neanderthal

    Post by Crimson-Dust on Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:52 pm

    Oh this is quite interesting, I didn't know that there were such plans.

    Well as a Biology Student who is aspiring to become a genetician himself i have to admit that it would indeed be a breakthrough, however personally I wouldn't recommend resurrecting a Neanderthal. Ressurecting extinct flora and fauna has almost always risks to it but can be quite beneficial, regarding the approximate level of intelligence of the Neanderthal however, I don't feel like mankind is ready to nurse another species with the same level of intelligence as ourselves.

    I'm not saying that it's entirely wrong; and yes the Neanderthal might be smarter and thus be able to expand our knowledge(longtermwise after adapting to technology and so on), but if you consider that there are already humans with Neanderthal DNA in their Genome (and most of the time only the best traits of a parent are inherited by the child) then this would mean that in a sense the "Intelligence of the Neanderthals" is already at our disposal.
    Finally resurrecting a sentient Being, that can reflect upon itself only out of curiosity might not be such a great idea ((s)he would also have to deal with being the only one of his/her kind).

    I think Genetics should concentrate on the future (artificial evolution,transgene crops, gene therapies etc.) rather than the past.
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    Re: Resurrecting the Neanderthal

    Post by Thomas on Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:54 pm

    This is just so interesting and almost otherworldly; I don't feel like I could form an opinion on this, let alone share it. Lots of learning to do.


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