I found an interesting article in today’s online edition of the New York Times. It’s about scientists trying to unravel Neanderthal DNA. Toward the end it gets to talking about fertilizing eggs and bringing back a Neanderthal. Here are the last two paragraphs:
The most serious technical problem would be creating functional chromosomes from Neanderthal DNA. But ethical questions may be less surmountable. “My first consideration would be for a child born alone in the world with no relatives,” said Ronald M. Green, an ethicist at Dartmouth College. The risk would be greater if, following the plot line of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” a mate were created as a companion for the lonely Neanderthal. “This was a species we competed with,” Dr. Green said. “We would not want to recreate a situation of two competing advanced hominid species.”
But Dr. Green said there could be arguments in the future for resurrecting the Neanderthals. “If we learn this is a species that was wrongly pushed off the stage of history, there is something of a moral argument for bringing it back,” he said. “But the status quo is not without merit. Curiosity alone could not justify what could be a disaster for both species.”
The underlining there is mine.
Now, I don’t care if you believe in God, believe in a creation story, intelligent design, or evolution. However, it’s pretty obvious these scientists are firmly on the evolution side of the fence. And that brings up a question I find quite puzzling.
Isn’t the whole premise of evolution based on natural selection? The most fit species survive, right?
So … that being the case, how can a scientist even suggest the possibility the Neanderthals were “wrongly pushed off the stage of history?”
Is there a code of morality to natural selection? I don’t think so.
I think this is another case of a liberal bashing white Europeans for what, according to the edicts of natural selection, comes naturally to every species. (And let’s keep in mind the idea that modern man entered Europe from Africa, so technically all of us today are supposed to be descended from Africans.) The modern white male is responsible for all the ills of the world, at least according to the liberal dogma.
I’m certainly not going to claim white Europeans (and their colonists and descendants) have never done anything wrong. But then, I have religious beliefs that emphasize morality and a code of conduct and that tells me things like slavery and genocide are bad.
If you base your entire belief system on the premise of natural selection and evolution, how can you possibly propose that an extinct species was “wrongly pushed off the stage of history?” Does the lion ponder the plight of the jackal he pushes out of his hunting ground? No. Does the wolf care if he’s eating the last deer on the face of the earth? No. They are doing what they are genetically predisposed to do … right?
For those who adhere to natural selection, how is it wrong for a species to do whatever it takes to become and remain dominant? To survive? Isn’t that how every species is genetically programmed? If it is wrong – if we did wrongly push Neanderthal man off the stage – tell me on what you base that judgment.
Seriously. If there is morality to natural selection, I want to learn about it.
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