If we clone neanderthals, will they have legal rights?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by S.A.M., Apr 15, 2009.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Last week, a team of researchers led by Svante Paabo at the Max Planck Institute in Germany completed a draft sequence of the neanderthal genome sequence.

    George Church of Harvard University is certain that 300 million dollars would allow him to use the genome sequence to clone a neanderthal by modifying a human genome to resemble the neanderthal and then inserting it into a chimpanzee cell.

    Then what? From what we know of the neanderthals they used tools and buried their dead. Assuming that they comprehend the concept of accountability and moral responsibility, would they have rights? Would they be required to abide by the same social regulations?

    What if their intellectual capacities were different? Would they be confined in zoos?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Depends on whether or not they will be classified as humans.
    If not, then no.
    If they will be classified as humans, then maybe.

    Would they be able to learn our language ? In other words, will they be able to stand up for themselves ?

    Edit: Is this just an innocent question out of interest, or do you have some underlying point to make ?
    Please tell me that this is not an analogy about atheists..

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    72,822
    Don't worry Enmos, this is a Science and Society thread.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    That would never stop you, you'd just start another thread in Religion and rehash the results from this thread

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    I don't know how smart they were, but how would they be treated any differently than a mentally handicapped person? We don't cage people with Down's Syndrome (anymore)
     
  9. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,310
    It will never happen.
     
  10. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    so. Pretend it could. Then what?
     
  11. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,310
    No-one knows. It wouldn't be human, yet it would look so much like a human that we wouldn't naturally be able to classify it as it as some kind of ape.

    You can't underestimate the dangers of bringing a species back just for freak show purposes.
     
  12. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    Neandertals aren't human??
     
  13. orcot Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,414
    I wonder who would have believed 50 years ago that we would ever clone something despite what knowledgeble people like hercules rockefeller will tell it's probably possible

    It depends a bid what their final name will be, if ther are Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, then they are homo sapiens meaning wise man and they are human.

    My gues it will all depend on how they react, considering they had larger brains then humans they will probably get categorised as humans
     
  14. Cellar_Door Whose Worth's unknown Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,310
    Almost. Sometimes they are referred to as a sub-species of Homo Sapiens, but more usually as a related but essentially separate species altogether.

    Although, Robert Winston once conducted an experiment into their similarities. He got all done up with prosthetics and make-up so that he looked, as far as we know, just like a Neanderthal. He then took a walk down the street, and no-one paid much attention to him at all

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  15. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    They are not the same species as us (edit: depending on definition).
    So if they can't convince mentally, why would people treat them any differently then, say, a chimpanzee ? Treating them as humans simply because they physically resemble us would be kind of arbitrary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  16. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Depends on what definition you use.
    You can define human as an creature belonging to the species Homo sapiens, or you can be more specific and define them as belonging to our subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens.
    And, of course, you can define human more broadly. For example, any creature belonging to Genus Homo.

    Wikipedia: "A human being, also human or man is a member of a species of bipedal primates in the family Hominidae".
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: "A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens."
    Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary (1st entry): consisting of members of the family Hominidae : HOMINID
    Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary (2nd entry): a bipedal primate mammal of the genus Homo (H. sapiens) : MAN; broadly : any living or extinct member of the family Hominidae
    The American Heritage® Science Dictionary (1st entry): A member of the species Homo sapiens; a human being.
    The American Heritage® Science Dictionary (2nd entry): A member of any of the extinct species of the genus Homo, such as Homo erectus or Homo habilis, that are considered ancestral or closely related to modern humans.

    Wikipedia: "Neanderthals are either classified as a subspecies of humans (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) or as a separate species (Homo neanderthalensis)."
    TalkOrigins.org: "William King proposed the name Homo neanderthalensis in 1864. Since then, opinion has fluctuated as to whether they should be considered Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (a subspecies of Homo sapiens) or a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis. For the first half of the 20th century, they were usually considered a separate species. For the last few decades they have usually been considered a subspecies, but recently Homo neanderthalensis has been gaining in popularity again."

    Either way, obviously, most dictionaries would agree that Neanderthals are humans.

    Here's the classification for the human species (Homo sapiens sapiens):

    Domain: Eukaryota
    -Kingdom: Animalia
    --Subkingdom: Eumetazoa
    ---Phylum: Chordata
    ----Subphylum: Vertebrata
    -----Class: Mammalia
    ------Subclass: Theria
    -------Order: Primates
    --------Superfamily: Hominoidea
    ---------Family: Hominidae
    ----------Subfamily: Homininae
    -----------Tribe: Hominini
    ------------Subtribe: Hominina
    -------------Genus: Homo
    --------------Species: Homo sapiens
    ---------------Subspecies: Homo sapiens sapiens
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  17. orcot Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,414
    Considering their brain size, I would believe errors happenend in the preperation of the DNA if they don't measure up
     
  18. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    it seems they would have rights.
    very interesting topic sam, this entire area of bioengineering will indeed raise some delicate questions about ethics and morality.

    another possible scenario would be what if scientists figure out how to make human lifetimes unlimited? what then?

    to be honest i believe all research into the human side of bioengineering should be tightly controlled, absolutely no research for the sake of research, and the research that is conducted is to be applied to the industrial and agricultural areas of bioengineering.
     
  19. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    Why only the human side ?
     
  20. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    do we really need to know what it would be like to have a human with 10 heads or 5 arms?

    humanity also doesn't need a bunch of scientists pissing around in society's gene pool.
    the industrial and agricultural side will provide plenty of area for science to flex its muscles without compromising the human side.
     
  21. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,184
    You are answering the opposite of what I was asking..
     
  22. Xylene Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,398
    Well, they're definitely a step up from apes, so I can't see them being confined to zoos--and as you say, they buried their dead with some form of ceremony, as Ralph and Rose Solecki discovered during their research at Shanadir Cave in northern Iraq in 1951-2. So it seems they had some idea of an afterlife. Therefore, how would they react to any human ideas about God or religion? Another question is, how easy would it be for a neanderthal to blend into Human society--after all, they'd stand out physically like a sore thumb, let alone any mental-capacity problems having to deal all the time with rather more cunning and devious humans. Do we run the risk, by the end of this or next century, of having a significant population of neanderthals, only to have them confined in ghettos or reserves? Further, at a more basic level, would any Human consider hopping into bed with one? If so, where do the cross-species progeny end up?
     
  23. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    25,817
    The only thing I can think of being wrong with bioengineering animals, is if they got lose and affected the wild population.
     

Share This Page