Archaeology magazine asks whether we should clone Neanderthals and argues that such cloning is inevitable. Still, there are ethical questions (you think?) involving whether such clones would have legal rights, and (of course) whether a corporation can patent Neanderthals and make money off of them. "Studying those Neanderthals, with their consent, would have the potential to cure diseases and save lives." It will probably take some doing to figure out how a Neanderthal, or even a proposed "colony" of a few dozen can "consent" to research in the face of 6 billion humans with guns. Is that really a choice?
Though Archaeology paints this is a mostly rosy scenario of learning from our "common but separate humanity," this strikes me as one step closer to the future H.G. Wells envisioned in the Time Machine, with ethereal humans living beautiful surface lives while rougher, hairier versions toiled in the bowels of the earth. Of course, those creatures ate the pretty little ones.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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