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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Professor Says “Discuss” Cloning Neanderthal



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I posted the other day about a story reporting that a Harvard professor would like to clone a Neanderthal. He now says he has “no plans” to do so, but thinks it should be “discussed.” From the AP story:

Is he advocating for creating a Neanderthal? No. Does he plan to pursue such a project? “We have no projects, no plans, we have no papers, no grants,” to do that, he said in a telephone interview Tuesday…

Although he’s not saying that a Neanderthal project is necessarily a good idea, “I think it is up for discussion, and hopefully for several years we can have a calm discussion about it,” Church said. “It’s way better to think of these things in advance.”

Of course he has “no plans” or funding to do it. We can’t even clone humans yet.  We don’t have the technological skill to clone a Neanderthal embryo, much less gestate it to birth.

But I agree it should be discussed–briefly, not over a period of “years”–to reject it as immoral out of hand. Indeed, that’s why I wrote my original post. 



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