Scientists sequenced the Neanderthal genome in 2010 and discovered that modern humans ~ not originating from Africa ~ carry between 1%-4% of their DNA.
Why is that?
It is theorized that modern humans who migrated out of Africa came across groups of Neanderthals and make some little hybrid baby people. Neanderthals themselves eventually died out about 23,000 years ago, but a tiny part of them lives on in us.
In comes Harvard geneticist, George Church, this month who said that since we know the genome of the Neanderthal, we could possibly resurrect the species by using a host female chimp or human.
People went all crazy as if this geneticist was actively searching for surrogate mothers to carry and deliver neanderthal babies on Craigslist.
He was not.
He was talking of possibilities and science and that if humans made the decision to create and clone Neanderthals some time in the future, they would have to start talking about it and preparing for it now.
Humans are too homogeneous and it may benefit our species to diversify because then we would be in better shape to survive a catastrophic event, like a sudden climate change.
Okay, I get the reasoning for diversity. Honestly I do.
This brings up a few issues for me.
- Humans wielding God-like powers.
- Scientists don’t know much about the species, so they wouldn’t even know exactly what they would be creating.
- The ‘life’ of this Neanderthal would be under a constant microscope and would never leave the lab. …Some life…
- If he did leave the lab, can you imagine the horrible torturous life he/she would have? I mean, humans bully fellow humans to the point of insanity ~ imagine a Neanderthal running around.
- The psychological and social effect on the women giving birth to the babies.
- Would our laws protect this new species?
- The thought of it brings Hitler to my mind.
We can only hope that scientists remember Jurassic Park.
…and The Island of Dr. Moreau.
I mean, I’m sure Neanderthals were a great sub-species and all, but there is a reason they don’t exist anymore. Just as there is a reason that dinosaurs don’t exist and dodo birds and Saber-tooth tigers and passenger pigeons.
Would I love to see a Saber-tooth tiger with my own eyes or have my own passenger pigeon to deliver letters for me? Sure.
But, just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.
Maybe we will be extinct one day and maybe cross breeding with resurrected Neanderthals may have saved us, but ~ well, if homo sapiens ever become extinct, there will be a reason for that too.
What are your thoughts about diversifying the human species? Should Neanderthals save humans? Do you think humans will ever be ready to accept that type of thing? Where is the scientific line when society says enough is enough? Is there a line?