I don’t mean to be picking on poor Alex Knapp today. Really I don’t. (A clear preface to doing just that.) However, in a post riffing on an interview in Der Spiegel with Harvard geneticist George Church who proposes enlisting an “extremely adventurous human female” in the program of cloning a Neanderthal, Alex writes:
Setting aside the ethical issues behind creating the lone survivor of an extinct human species, doomed to be a freak under the microscope of celebrity his or her entire life, I have to question Dr. Church’s contention that it would really be that easy to clone a Neanderthal.
Why set the the ethical issues aside? If we’re going to set them aside, why not just draft a suitable “human female”? Ethical issues aside, why not remove Dr. Church’s brain and put it on display?
Let’s make a list of all the atrocities we can think of and preface each of them with “setting aside ethical issues”.
It’s unethical. Full stop. Don’t do it. Don’t write any farther.