Ethics of cloning a Neanderthal

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Larry Johnson, Feb 3, 2013.

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Should we clone a Neanderthal?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Larry Johnson Banned Banned

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    Scientists speculate that that it may be possible to clone a Neanderthal in the future. This poses many ethical questions, most importantly 'should we do it'?

    The Neanderthal would be born via a surrogate mother. Although different from 21st century humans it would be able to function in our society, possibly attending a school for the mentally disabled. Provided no-one (including the Neanderthal itself) knew it was a cloned cave man it should have no problems, after all kids with down syndrome are accepted in society.
     
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  3. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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  5. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    No.

    Why? Even if we could what would we learn from doing such a thing?
     
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    If we could clone a Neanderthal, he would not be modern us, with superficial Neanderthal features. He would be more like a pre-human, with the instincts of an advanced animal, but without many of the mental features of a modern man.

    If he was full grown and got spooked he could rip your arm off, since he would be able to tap into an inner source of animal vitality, that modern humans have lost due to civilization. His instincts would not be for modern language, but for a more primitive sign and sound language. He would nevertheless have many of our human feelings, but with a wild animal edge. It would be like taming a wild wolf, where some people may be able to develop a trust. However, because he is wild, there is always a risk of the wrong button being pushed by the handler or nature so he periodically revert back to a dangerously strong intelligent human animal. He would need to breed a few generation to take off the wild edge but the offspring may retain their powerful strength; animal vitality.
     
  8. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    I am not a Neanderthal! I am not an animal! I am a human being! I am a man!
     
  9. typical animal Registered Member

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    What do you mean, "provided no-one including the Neanderthal itself knew it was a cloned cave man"...

    You're actually suggesting that the people who do it won't even tell the Neanderthal that they are different or why they are different? First we're talking about the ethics of bringing an organism like this into the world as an "experiment", and then you somehow come up with the idea that we should tell noone about it?

    He would be unlikely to attend a school for mentally disabled since Neanderthals were at least about the same level of intelligence as us as we have already established in the other thread, but some people seem to forget the facts and go back to their "default" presumptions. He's also not "a cloned cave man", there is indeed doubt over whether any hominids ever lived in caves for extended periods.

    wellwisher seems intent on creating a false dichotomy between humans and other animals, fabricating all sorts of far-fetched allegories and similaes to suit himself and they are all nonsense. "animal vitality that modern humans have lost due to civilization" my ass.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    19,312
    An awful lot of assumptions there. We don't know neanderthal's level of intelligence; they could be as intelligent as we are. Nor do we know their strength; we could be stronger than them.

    Also, we ourselves have the instincts of an advanced animal, since we are advanced animals. Deaf humans use a perfectly modern sign language, and people with normal hearing have no problem learning it and communicating in it. We also have an "inner source of animal vitality" - it's called epinephrine.
     
  11. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    3,479

    Do they even have the genome for male neanderthals? I've heard then the 6 specimen used by svanto paabo where all female.
     
  12. kwhilborn Banned Banned

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    I would suggest that based on some of the topics and answers here on Sciforums, this has already been done.
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    It's wrong to clone anybody, from any era, until we are prepared to extend to clones all the fair and reasonable recognitions enjoyed by autonomous humans - and sufficient good manners to treat them with respect. So.... not for a few centuries yet.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    A clone of a human is an autonomous human being, just as an identical twin is an autonomous human being and a test tube baby is an autonomous human being. If they are unintelligent, we'll treat them like we treat people with mental deficiencies now.
     
  15. orcot Valued Senior Member

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  16. Nobeliefs Registered Member

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    27
    Yes! why not?... that would be like going back thousands of years to the past, would be incredible... forget about ridiculous and cheap morality...
     
  17. Nobeliefs Registered Member

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    obviously you are not scientifically minded.... there would be a lot of things to investigate, mainly about the brain!
     
  18. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    So, if she's an autonomous human being, who says she can be investigated? And who raises her, in what conditions? Still No.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    She does. She might be perfectly happy to let someone pay her $30K a year just to do a bunch of tests on her once a month. Or she might not, which is fine. They can ask the next one.

    Her parents, under whatever conditions they choose.
     
  20. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word. Valued Senior Member

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    You might won't to merge this this with my post on the same subject?
     
  21. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    1,998
    What purpose would it serve?
    I got nothing against the science of it.
    Just seems pointless.
    Would we learn about the species more than we could without cloning?
    How could we know that their behaviour would be anything like it was?
    That our treatment of it is biasing any meaningful results?

    Bringing back lost species is not unethical per se.
    If it was a butterfly then no one would complain.
    Ethics would be more about how we treat it?

    My issue is that the endeavour is pointless.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Until the next Repug government shears off the budget. Then she's homeless, along with the scientists testing her. Where does "the next one" come from. At medical research prices, nobody's going to wait 18 years to ask for legal consent. All the clones will be treated as property and studied (some of them to death) from Day 1 of germination.



    Neanderthal parents? They would choose 400,000BC south of France, but i'm pretty sure that option is not open.

    Still No
     
  23. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    It wouldn't be pointless in the least,
    In fairness you should make a split in the technique (synthetic biology) and the End result (Neanderthals)

    1 Synthethic biology, this one is going to be importend no matter what from the creation to cheap medecines, to biofuel all the way of creating lifeforms that could terraform Mars I believe this technology will be used.
    2 What could Neanderthals teach us? Apart from how life started the biggest question in biology would probably be how consciousness (on a human level) works. Neanderthals weren't the brutes most people think they where the where in some ways artistic, seamen and otherstood rather complex chemical processes but they where not human their where most definitely neurological diferences meaning their brain was shaped differently and evolved differently, in simple terms Neanderthals where intiligent but tought differently and developed at another pace then modern human (homo sapiens) do.
    the technique of synthetic biology will have a major impact
     

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