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A Baby Neanderthal: Outlandish But Worth Discussing

Harvard’s George Church clarifies his stance on a theoretical cloning.

As I wrote on Friday, in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel, Harvard geneticist  George Church discussed the possibility of one day cloning a Neanderthal. In a story in today’s Boston Herald, Church has clarified that he does not think it should be done.

 According to the Herald: “I’m certainly not advocating it,” Church said. “I’m saying, if it is technically possible someday, we need to start talking about it today.”

 I wholeheartedly agree. The idea of a surrogate mother for a Neanderthal baby is an interesting thought experiment. If we have the technology in hand (or close to hand), it seems better to have open discussion about what could be before we move to what should be.

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