Better Think Twice About Cloning the Neanderthal

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Referred Article: "Better think twice about cloning the Neanderthal", The Straits' Times 23 February 2013

I find this article interesting and intriguing as it questions human cloning and the complications that come with it.

The Neanderthals died out 28 000 years ago. They were spread out around Ice Age Europe, western Asia, southern Siberia and the Middle East. It is presumed that they had their own language.

While human cloning is banned in most parts of the world, many are nevertheless thinking of cloning the Neanderthals, which is, as of now, a tall order. Although their genome is 99.7% similar to that of humans, there are still many problems that can arise. Harvard Professor George Church has proposed to assemble a Neanderthal inside a human stem cell. As mentioned, we face technological limitations.

This brings to mind the endless possibilities and ideas technology initiates in us humans. However, is there limit we should be aware of?

Personally, I feel that the world is not ready to accept a cloned human, let alone a Neanderthal. Therefore cloned humans will face the lack of human rights. They are most likely to be deemed as "weird" and might behave unnaturally. Furthermore, while they may look like a human, it is hard to foretell if they are able to think like one as well. That being said, aren't we forcing these new creations to think in a certain way which we want them to?

Cloning certain species of past humans may be a way to bring back and preserve an ancient culture, but there must be some reason that their species must have died out or evolved in the first place. The most pressing would be the environment. Even if we bring them back to humanity, will they be able to cope with our style of living? Given the case of the Neanderthal, they certainly did not have hand phones, iPads, or even a lighter to start a fire during their time. And I feel that their culture could lie behind not possessing these amenities in their daily lives,...
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