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We May Soon Be Able to Clone Neanderthals. But Should We?
Discover Magazine ^ | February 10, 2010 | Andrew Moseman

Posted on 02/11/2010 12:18:13 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Last year DISCOVER asked the question, “Did We Mate With Neanderthals, or Did We Murder Them?” Now, Zach Zorich at Archaeology magazine is asking another big question about our hominid siblings: Should we bring them back?

Thanks to a slew of recent advances, the possibility is getting closer. 80beats reported a year ago that researchers had published the rough draft of the Neanderthal genome. However, that’s likely to contain many errors because it’s so difficult to reconstruct ancient DNA. Within hours of death, cells begin to break down in a process called apoptosis. The dying cells release enzymes that chop up DNA into tiny pieces. In a human cell, this means that the entire three-billion-base-pair genome is reduced to fragments about 50 base-pairs long [Archaeology].

Even if scientists succeed in figuring out the entire Neanderthal genome, they’d be faced with another problem before they could even consider the possibility of cloning one of these ancient hominids: We don’t have any living Neanderthal cells to work with. Thus, researchers will have to figure out how to put DNA into chromosomes, and how to get those chromosomes into the nucleus of a cell. What about altering the DNA inside a living human cell, and tweaking our genetic code to match the Neanderthal’s? This kind of genetic engineering can already be done, but very few changes can be made at one time. To clone a Neanderthal, thousands or possibly millions of changes would have to be made to a human cell’s DNA [Archaeology].

Even if scientists manage to put Neanderthal DNA in a cell nucleus, their problems aren’t over. The next step in creating a baby clone is to move the cell nucleus into the egg of a related species in a technique called nuclear transfer, and then implanting the altered egg in a female who can bear it to term. But in this process, which has been extensively tested on animals, cells often get sick or die, causing fetuses to die in the womb or clones to die young. That’s why the vast majority of scientists oppose using this method on people. Even if nuclear transfer cloning could be perfected in humans or Neanderthals, it would likely require a horrifying period of trial and error [Archaeology].

But Archaeology suggests that many of these obstacles will eventually be overcome, and proposes another cloning option: making Neanderthal stem cells. Last year researchers managed to turn mouse skin cells back into a pluripotent state, where they can act like stem cells, and used those to create a cloned mouse. Cloning a Neanderthal is a lot different than cloning a mouse, but if the process worked, a cloned Neanderthal would grow up with their genes expressing they way they were meant to.

That’s the “could we.” But what about the “should we?” More work has been done on this than you might think. In 1997, Stuart Newman, a biology professor at New York Medical School attempted to patent the genome of a chimpanzee-human as a means of preventing anyone from creating such a creature [Archaeology]. But he lost his case because the patent office said it would violate the 13th amendment prohibitions against slavery. And since Neanderthals would be even more human, it stands to reason that they’d receive at least some human rights protections.

Rightfully so. But as the bioethicist Bernard Rollin points out in the Archaeology piece, there’s more to worry about than the law. While Neanderthals are our close relatives on the evolutionary tree, you’d know one if you saw one. Tulane anthropologist Trenton Holliday argues that they could talk and act like us, therefore eventually they’d fit in. But that seems like wishful thinking. With no culture, no peers, and an unknown capacity to cope with the modern world mentally or physically, a Neanderthal would be adrift—caught between a zoo animal and a human being. The main point in cloning one would be for scientists to study it, but as law professor Lori Andrews says, a Neanderthal could be granted enough legal protection to make doing extensive research on it illegal, not just unethical.

That’s not to say there would be no benefits to science. But some things are best left in the past.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; History; Science; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: cloning; dna; godsgravesglyphs; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals; science
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1 posted on 02/11/2010 12:18:13 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Let’s do the mammoths first.


2 posted on 02/11/2010 12:20:47 AM PST by dr_lew
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Probably hinges on the definition of whether they are “human” human (LOL!).

I mean, if they are a separate sub-species, it is going to cause problems, a la evolution.


3 posted on 02/11/2010 12:21:44 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We already have democrats and muslims. Wouldn’t cloning Neanderthals be an expensive duplication of effort?


4 posted on 02/11/2010 12:22:45 AM PST by jonascord (Hey, we have the Constitution. What's to worry about?)
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To: James C. Bennett

They had it easy when getting dates. Just hit the girls over the head with a club.


5 posted on 02/11/2010 12:27:10 AM PST by max americana
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
“Did We Mate With Neanderthals, or Did We Murder Them?”

Did we mate with native Americans or did we murder them? Yes and yes. If we can mate with Neanderthals, then they aren't a separate species and therefore they are us. If we couldn't breed with them, then they were a separate species, but there is no way to know if we murdered them or not. Besides, what "we" are they referring to? I am confident that no FReeper has bred OR murdered a Neanderthal. And no, we shouldn't clone anything that is extinct, especially any sentient thing. It would be cruel and possibly dangerous.

6 posted on 02/11/2010 12:29:04 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

That is all we need More Democrats!


7 posted on 02/11/2010 12:30:46 AM PST by tallyhoe
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To: HospiceNurse

Lions and tigers can mate with each other, too.


8 posted on 02/11/2010 12:33:48 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This article provides us with some good, solid arguments that will be of great practical value once we get rid of the liberals, and somebody proposes bringing them back.


9 posted on 02/11/2010 12:35:18 AM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Can’t all cats mate, just as all dogs can?


10 posted on 02/11/2010 12:36:36 AM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There are living Neanderthals, I will just leave it at that.


11 posted on 02/11/2010 12:39:28 AM PST by decisis
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To: Arthur McGowan

Lions and tigers are separate species, however.

The offspring are sterile because of chromosome incompatibility. This is not the case with cats mating with cats.


12 posted on 02/11/2010 12:39:35 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett
Lions and tigers can mate with each other, too.

Their offspring are hybrids that cannot reproduce to sustain a population.

13 posted on 02/11/2010 12:52:03 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Left calls us Neanderthals, we could use some company, I say go for it!

The left is bringing in voters from 3rd world, it is high time we clone ourselves up a fresh batch of Neanderthal-Americans.


14 posted on 02/11/2010 12:55:23 AM PST by GraceG
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To: HospiceNurse
“And no, we shouldn't clone anything that is extinct, especially any sentient thing. It would be cruel and possibly dangerous.”

Oh, I don't know about this. How “sentient” would an organism have to be before it would be cruel or dangerous? As to bringing an extinct species back, lots of folks wouldn't mind if the Dodo came back, or the Carrier Pigeon, or the Tasmanian Tiger. I mean, if they're back, then they aren't extinct. The Geico Neanderthals get their feelings hurt all the time, but I think they'll get over it eventually.

I like the idea of bringing the Mammoths back. They would keep the bear and mountain lion population down out here where I live. Wouldn't help my landscaping much though. :-(

15 posted on 02/11/2010 12:57:37 AM PST by Habibi ("It is vain to do with more what can be done with less." - William of Occam)
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To: Habibi

Neanderthals were sentient. How would you like to be the only member of your species brought back just to be prodded and studied. What would his/her immune system be like in relation to today’s diseases? Where would they fit in? Besides, the 0bama EPA would never allow cloning mammoths because of their carbon footprints.


16 posted on 02/11/2010 1:02:56 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: HospiceNurse
And no, we shouldn't clone anything that is extinct, especially any sentient thing. It would be cruel and possibly dangerous.

Would it have to be either? Say we did clone a Neanderthal, and we accorded him or her every legal protection and every legal right that any human being gets. Why would this be cruel or dangerous? Of course the Neanderthal would have no say in his creation, but that's true of all of us. He might have limited social skills and no chance at reproduction, but that's true of millions of World of Warcraft players too. I think it'd be perfectly possible to accord a Neanderthal every respect due a human being and still learn an enormous amount about this close relative of ours.
17 posted on 02/11/2010 1:04:05 AM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Sure. So we can pay them reparations for our antecedents for knocking them off.
18 posted on 02/11/2010 1:11:26 AM PST by dersepp (I am an Angry, Brooks Bros. Mob of One)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
I think it'd be perfectly possible to accord a Neanderthal every respect due a human being and still learn an enormous amount about this close relative of ours.

Do you think we should do the same for the great apes and dolphins too?

19 posted on 02/11/2010 1:13:02 AM PST by HospiceNurse
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

NEANDERTHALIAN COMBAT CLONES BY A SPREE....
ThinK ABOUT IT!!
;-)


20 posted on 02/11/2010 1:15:20 AM PST by Traianus (YES I GOT HIM! BASHAR IS 666....)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Scientists keep saying how close chimp DNA is to human DNA so why not just replace the damaged Neanderthal DNA with a chimps?

Makes as much sense as trying to clone a Neanderthal.

21 posted on 02/11/2010 1:16:19 AM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Mammoths yes, neanderthals very definitely not.

The neanderthal represents a very advanced, extinct ape, basically the most advanced member of the same family as gorillas and chimpanzees. We are simply not a part of that family and are not related to it other than via similar design in the same way that Ford and Chevy models might be called "related".

Neanderthal DNA is typically described as about halfway between ours and that of a chimpanzee and it's highly likely that, like the great apes, the neanderthal might never have had voluntary control over breathing, which is the only reason that chimps and gorillas cannot be taught to speak English.

22 posted on 02/11/2010 1:16:21 AM PST by wendy1946
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To: HospiceNurse

“How would you like to be the only member of your species brought back just to be prodded and studied.”

Oh heck, let’s bring a bunch of ‘em back. I don’t care they have some company. They’ll all be bred into the population after a few generations anyway. American melting pot, dontcha’ know.

“0bama EPA would never allow cloning mammoths because of their carbon footprints.”

And I’ll warrant that I wouldn’t “allow” them to make any physical footprints across my precious landscaping either! Mammoth steaks would be yummy though, and I could use their trunks for garden hoses to regrow the grass that they tore up.

C’mon! Let’s give ‘em a chance. We could put ‘em on government assistance till they got on their feet. If they’re a subspecies we could interbreed with them and they’d be just like all the rest of us mongrelized American’s within a hundred years or so. If they’re a separate species, it would present an economic opportunity. We could bring back the plantation system! Instead of using us Irishmen for dangerous jobs, we could impress them danged Neanders. It ain’t like they’re human by definition.

I’m gonna’ go look for some good bottom land if this cloning business catches on.


23 posted on 02/11/2010 1:19:12 AM PST by Habibi ("It is vain to do with more what can be done with less." - William of Occam)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

It would be a lonely, depressed and pathetic being. Especially if it were intelligent enough to understand how it came to be here and why. Given what we know of the way they lived it probably would be smart enough to figure that out.


24 posted on 02/11/2010 1:23:47 AM PST by TigersEye (It's the Marxism, stupid! ... And they call themselves Progressives.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Fount this on another site:

The year is 1947. Some of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, a little over 60 years ago, witnesses claim that an unidentified flying object(UFO)with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and mule ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well known incident that many say has long been covered up by the U.S. Air Force and other federal agencies and organizations.

However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of April 1948, nine months after that historic day, the following people were born:

Albert A. Gore, Jr..
Hillary Rodham
John F. Kerry
William J. "Bill" Clinton
Howard Dean
Nancy Pelosi
Dianne Feinstein
Charles E. Schumer
Barbara Boxer

See what happens when aliens breed with sheep and jackasses?

I certainly hope this bit of information clears up a lot of things for you. It did for me.

No wonder they support the bill to help illegal aliens!

25 posted on 02/11/2010 1:26:28 AM PST by Texas Jack
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To: HospiceNurse
Do you think we should do the same for the great apes and dolphins too?

No, but then the great apes and dolphins don't wear clothes, use fire, make stone tools, or bury their dead like Neanderthals apparently did. Why do you ask - do you think we should treat a sentient being with such attributes like an animal?
26 posted on 02/11/2010 1:34:36 AM PST by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: wendy1946
We are simply not a part of that family and are not related to it other than via similar design in the same way that Ford and Chevy models might be called "related".

Not correct. They are the same species as we are, Homo Sapiens. We're Homo Sapiens Sapiens and they were Homo Sapiens Neanderthalis

27 posted on 02/11/2010 1:46:02 AM PST by Da_Shrimp
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To: Habibi

They wouldn’t breed back into the human population. The DNA studies in the late 90s cleared up the big mystery of there being no evidence of crossbreeding despite neanderthals and modern humans living in close proximity for prolonged periods of time. We could no more interbreed with neanderthals than we could with horses. The neanderthal was not another race, he was another species, gigantic difference.


28 posted on 02/11/2010 1:47:46 AM PST by wendy1946
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Well. The Cowboys could use an new offensive lineman or two.
29 posted on 02/11/2010 2:43:37 AM PST by BigCinBigD (')
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To: SunkenCiv

“They wouldn’t breed back into the human population. The DNA studies in the late 90s cleared up the big mystery of there being no evidence of crossbreeding despite neanderthals and modern humans living in close proximity for prolonged periods of time. We could no more interbreed with neanderthals than we could with horses. The neanderthal was not another race, he was another species, gigantic difference.”

Ping!


30 posted on 02/11/2010 2:49:12 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
With no culture, no peers, and an unknown capacity to cope with the modern world mentally or physically,
a Neanderthal would be adrift—caught between a zoo animal and a human being.



None of that stopped Ed Schultz from getting a job at msnbc.


    
31 posted on 02/11/2010 3:46:10 AM PST by greedo
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

...more lib voters?


32 posted on 02/11/2010 5:02:34 AM PST by gunnyg (Laddies, We're Behind Enemy Within Lines...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Well, what about those Gieco guys? Where did they come from?


33 posted on 02/11/2010 5:47:06 AM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: John-Irish
Well, what about those Gieco guys? Where did they come from?

SEIU central casting.

34 posted on 02/11/2010 5:51:52 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality. (Hi Mom.))
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To: paulycy

Oh. Ok. Then they’re not real cavemen huh? :-)


35 posted on 02/11/2010 5:58:57 AM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I recently read this short sci-fi story where this has happened already. The cloned and mix bred neanderthals are superior in many ways. So much so that they become the targets of violent discrimination. Pretty good read.

It was in Gardner Dozois' 2th volume of the years best science fiction. Ted Kosmatka’s “N-Words”

36 posted on 02/11/2010 6:18:43 AM PST by kc2theline (White global warming stuff falling from the sky......)
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To: kc2theline

“It was in Gardner Dozois’ 2th volume of the years best science fiction”

That was supposed to be “the 26th volume”


37 posted on 02/11/2010 6:23:00 AM PST by kc2theline (White global warming stuff falling from the sky......)
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To: dr_lew
"...Let’s do the mammoths first...."

Hell yeah.

With laser beams on their heads.

38 posted on 02/11/2010 6:29:31 AM PST by I Buried My Guns
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To: AnotherUnixGeek
He might have limited social skills and no chance at reproduction, but that's true of millions of World of Warcraft players too.

Now that's funny!

39 posted on 02/11/2010 6:34:56 AM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: wendy1946

“The neanderthal was not another race, he was another species, gigantic difference.”

Uh oh. If they’re genetically that removed, then it’s more likely the plantation system will be back again. Think of this, they’ll do jobs that North American’s just won’t do as well. We won’t need all those illegal aliens with all of their attendant social costs. Unskilled labor is unskilled labor. It doesn’t matter who does it. If they’re smart enough (and some say the Neanders were not complete idiots) to make it to the work floor, or the field, then they’d smart enough to do a lot of this stuff. And since they aren’t really humans (sentience aside), they’d be prime candidates for exploitation.

Yeah, if sentience is a consideration it would complicate things. Elephants and whales haven’t had it so good at times, but some folks they are sentient as well. You couldn’t prove it as I’ve never lived with a whale or an elephant (but I’ve got a 10 and 12 year old that I’m beginning to wonder about). >:-(


40 posted on 02/11/2010 8:40:04 AM PST by Habibi ("It is vain to do with more what can be done with less." - William of Occam)
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To: All

I’d think the Neanderthals would be HIGHLY INSULTED if they were cloned today....
They invented FIRE, and ART as well as PHILOSOPHY.........
They’d look at OTHUGO and say......
YOU BROUGHT US BACK FOR THIS????????????
W at LEAST have a CERTAIN LEVEL OF CIVILIZATION!!!!!!!!!
HOW CAN YOU CALL THIS DUDE CIVILIZED??????????????
ROFL


41 posted on 02/11/2010 8:48:13 AM PST by PelosiisaLOSER1
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To: James C. Bennett

Nope. The DNA studies of the 1990s did no such thing. This fiction sure comes up on FR an awful lot though, usually the “citation” is from an unsourced anonymous blurb in an English language “news” source in India.


42 posted on 02/11/2010 6:57:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks James C. Bennett for the ping, and thanks 2ndDivisionVet for posting the topic.
The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


43 posted on 02/11/2010 7:01:43 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Happy New Year! Freedom is Priceless.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Comments?

"Long time no see!"

44 posted on 02/11/2010 7:11:03 PM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (STOP the Tyrananny State.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We should never ever clone humans of any kind. That’s an abomination.


45 posted on 02/11/2010 10:07:48 PM PST by DesScorp
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To: SunkenCiv

Oh, those weren’t my words. I thought you might be interested in refuting them, here.


46 posted on 02/12/2010 2:20:49 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; SunkenCiv
We May Soon Be Able to Clone Neanderthals. But Should We?

So easy a cave man could do it.

47 posted on 02/12/2010 7:51:36 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“We May Soon Be Able to Clone Neanderthals. But Should We?”

Can we eat them? If not then I say we clone the large mammals instead. Mammoth and Giant sloth steaks for the starvin’ africans.


48 posted on 02/12/2010 7:53:09 AM PST by Grunthor (McCain; for when you really need to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!)
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To: DesScorp

You might could make an exception to that in a situation such as is described in Genesis 19:32 in which the survival of the human race on the planet appears at stake; but no way in hell should anybody be cloning neanderthals to see if it could be done.


49 posted on 02/12/2010 11:33:42 AM PST by wendy1946
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I say no. We should not clone human life and certainly not to make it an object of study. Even if done in the interests of science, in substance the subject(s) would feel like they were being exploited. We shouldn't do that to human beings, even if they are not us, just close cousins. We've gotten beyond this, I hope.


50 posted on 02/12/2010 12:46:10 PM PST by colorado tanker
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