Nicholas Wade of the New York Times evidently thinks it would be really cool to recreate a Neanderthal by a combination of genetic modification and cloning. He wrote about it in November, and again last week. Presumably he thinks that this process would help answer some of the questions he raised in his controversial 2006 book, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors, which was panned in Nature for "equating correlation with causation and extrapolating from individual traits to group characteristics" and being "laden with Western-oriented value judgements."
Now it seems that his Times colleague, columnist/blogger John Tierney has joined this bizarre campaign. "Why not bring a Neanderthal to life?" he asks. Pausing briefly to sideswipe bioethicists as conference-planning, book-publishing, donor-alarming careerists, he concludes that he "can't see the problem."
If he wanted to provoke comments, he certainly succeeded -- there are 14 pages of them. A few support the idea, some joke about it, and most criticize it as scientifically illiterate, disgusting, narcissistic, irresponsible and heartless. As one wrote:
I can't recall ever reading a column about humans more lacking in humanity.
Previously on Biopolitical Times:
Posted in Animal Technologies, Media Coverage, Pete Shanks's Blog Posts, Reproductive Cloning
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