Neanderthal Cloning Through Genetic Engineering and the Ethical Dilemmas that Ensue

  • Tyler Austin Dow Lady Eaton College
Keywords: cloning, genetic engineering, Neandertal


The following paper is a reaction to an article published by National Geographic titled, “Return of the Neandertals” and written by author Virginia Hughes. I argue that at this point in our understanding of molecular technologies, the procedure of bringing into existence a living Neandertal should not be attempted. While the science behind this procedure as well as the potential advances it could bring towards the betterment of modern society are truly fascinating, the resurrection of an extinct species so close in relation to our own brings with it many ethical concerns. These ethical concerns, which stem from the possible harm of surrogates, harm of society, as well as harm of the Neanderthal need to be considered and properly thought through before a momentous progressive step of science such as this is taken. This opinion was ultimately formed from the analysis of our current molecular technology and its past track record regarding cloning, contrasting the anatomy of Homo Sapiens with Neandertals, as well as the opinions of experts within the field of genetics and law.