Posted by Michael Dickens on December 30, 2009
Earlier this year, the Neanderthal genome was sequenced. This means that, if we wanted to, we could clone Neanderthals by inserting their DNA into a human cell for the price of about 30 million dollars. A neanderthal could also be cloned by inserting DNA into a chimpanzee cell. It has been proposed that the DNA would be inserted into a chimpanzee cell instead of a human. Apparently, the purpose of this is so that people can mistreat the neanderthal without feeling bad about it. Is this justified?
First of all, it doesn’t matter in the slightest what cell the DNA was inserted into. What matters is the neanderthal after development. If the neanderthal has similar capacities to a human, it should be treated like a human. It would probably desire liberty just as much as any human; neanderthals are about as intelligent as we are. So we would have no right to cage it and study it.
That was a lot quicker than I expected. So let’s look at something else. How do we feel about creating a one-man species? The man wouldn’t be able to reproduce at all. His life would be far from natural, having no other members of his species around him. It would probably not be all that enjoyable. Can we really bring such a person into being?
Since I have been experiencing blogger’s block all week, I’ll just leave that question to the reader.