“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for February 21st, 2009

Neanderthal Philosophers?

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Certainly not, but they bring up an interesting ethical issue, if you could re-create the Neanderthals, should you? And what issues follow from such an action?

Read more, at Talking Philosophy – The Philosophers’ Magazine Blog:

“Here’s something straight out of the land of philosophical thought experiments. Scientists in Germany have now mapped 65% of the Neanderthal genome, and could bring one of these hulking fellas to life. Neanderthals are a humanoid species that split off from homo sapiens about 300,000 years ago. For some reason there was little interbreeding between the two species, despite very strong genetic similarity. One of the most interesting findings is that Neanderthals had some of the genes critical for language.

Dr. George Church, at Harvard, says Neanderthals could be brought back with existing technology, at a price of about $30 million. The trouble, says Richard Klein, a paleoanthropologist at Stanford, is that you wouldn’t know whether to put Neanderthals in a zoo or at Harvard.

Klein’s question flies in the face of a very sensible sounding view called “moral individualism,” put forth by the always clear and insightful ethicist James Rachels (sadly now deceased). You ought to put Neanderthals wherever they belong, based on their own individual characteristics, he would say. If they were smart, you’d have to let them into Harvard. What would it matter what species they belonged to?”

Simulating stuff, I should read their blog more.

Written by modernityblog

21/02/2009 at 19:04

Posted in Uncategorized

Blame HP?

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I couldn’t resist this:

“Police hospitalised over HP sauce

Police officers rushed to hospital after a suspicious substance was thrown through a car window were released when it was identified as HP sauce.”

Written by modernityblog

21/02/2009 at 05:19

Posted in Uncategorized