Monday, 15 February 2010

Cloning Neanderthals

Heather Pringle has three posts about cloning Neanderthals:
Heather Pringle writes:
First of all, I should point out that this is not a pie-in-the-sky question. Zorich interviewed an impressive A-list of researchers–including geneticists who are sequencing the Neanderthal genome and leading paleoanthropologists who study ancient hominins–and some clearly believe that a cloned Neanderthal awaits us somewhere down the line.

So it’s not too early to begin thinking and debating about the ethics of cloning one of our hominin kin. While some researchers champion the idea out of pure scientific curiosity and the desire to learn more about an extinct hominin, I think it’s a terrible idea. I simply don’t trust my fellow Homo sapiens sapiens to treat another hominin with kindness and respect. Our track record with other primates, for example, is appalling–using chimpanzees for circus shows and laboratory experimentation, hunting gorillas for meat, and killing orangutan mothers in order to sell their babies as pets.
I can just imagine cloned Neanderthals being used as hosts for replacement organs, or for medical experiments, or other unpleasant scenarios.
What's your opinion?

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