Neanderthal news

While in the seminary library yesterday I browsed a couple archaeology magazines. I think I could have been an archaeologist if the opportunity had presented itself, but God didn’t give that to me (for the moment, I always tell myself). Anway, there were two articles that caught my eye.

One was about maybe the earliest example of Hebrew writing found (you can click on a link at the bottom to “Display Full Article”) , dated to the 1oth century B.C. (forget the BCE stuff, we’ll be politically incorrect on this site). It comes from a hilltop fortress on the western border (with the Philistines) of Israel from the time of David or Solomon. The fort itself was a big find because it gives more evidence of a powerful Israelite kingdom when the Bible says. But the writing is pretty cool, too. And it’s nice to read the article and here the experts say what all the rest of us would too: we can’t figure out what most of this says.

The other article was more disturbing. It’s (from Archaeology magazine) about the possibilities of cloning Neanderthals. The subheading of the article is “The scientific, legal, and ethical obstacles”. But reading it, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of “ethics”. The prevailing attitude seems to be “This is what we’re doing, this is where the study is heading, this is what’s going to happen.” There’s an astonishing “lack of humility here that staggers me” (to borrow from Ian Malcolm). The article tags on ethical concerns at the end, but it seems to me that as soon as the words “clone” and “Neanderthal” (or any other form or type of “human” the discussion should be centered on “should” rather than “can”. And yes, the article is title “Should We Clone Neanderthals?” and yes, it’s a magazine devoted to science, and yes, I realize there’s plenty of debate about this already, and, yes, I realize that animal cloning is becoming pretty standard stuff (only 14 years after Dolly the sheep)…but are we really this careless? For a “Should We” article this seemed pretty much a foregone conclusion.

Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.

(And, yes, that’s TWO Jurasic Park quotes in one post!)

One Response to “Neanderthal news”

  1. 1

    Love the Jurassic comments . . . off to read those articles!

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