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bring back neanderthals

Give us some REAL diversity here.
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Steven Jay Gould says that there is "no way" we'll get enough DNA to bring back dinosaurs. But why can't we bring back neanderthals? There are plenty of remains, some have even been frozen. I really want to know if they could talk, or learn to read. Also I think having a few neanderthals around would get people to see just how closely all the people on earth today are related to each other. It might piss of the neanderthals though, but that can't be to bad. we already out bred them once ... we can do it again.

Of course it might turn out that they are smarter than us, but then we'd just use them to build rockets and stuff. Come on, it'd be great fun!

futurebird, Jul 19 2001

clickity-click... http://www.halfbake..._20back_20barbapapa
[mihali, Jul 19 2001]

The Ugly Little Boy: the Movie! http://www.d-reamsc.../Movies/uglyboy.htm
With Demi Moore? THE PAIN, THE PAIN! [Uncle Nutsy, Jul 19 2001]

(?) Dinosaur found alive in England http://www.annwiddecombemp.com/
[Pallex, Jul 19 2001]

(?) One theory on Neanderthal extinction http://www.uth.tmc....mar_96/neander.html
They were just lazy sods [Guy Fox, Jul 19 2001]

The latest skinny on Neanderthals. http://news.bbc.co....1468000/1468482.stm
[angel, Jul 19 2001]

Discover article http://www.discover.../archive/index.html
This is older than I thought, oh how time flies by. [EvoketheTiger, Jul 19 2001]

Neanderthal Surrogates, this link is for you http://www.foxnews....e-neanderthal-baby/
[theircompetitor, Jan 21 2013]

Scary that this may actually be possible (through DNA resequencing) http://en.wikipedia...The_Ugly_Little_Boy
[theircompetitor, Jan 21 2013]

In today's news http://www.rawstory...utm_medium=facebook
[UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013]


       But do we really know enough about prehistoric baking techniques to confidently say that we out bread them? I mean, sure, we have pumpernickel, sourdough and banana bread, but who knows what they may have had?
PotatoStew, Jul 19 2001

       Personally, I'd rather see the woolly mammoth make a comeback.   

       Then we can hunt them into extinction for their tusks and shaggy coats again.
mrkillboy, Jul 19 2001

       har har har a pun. I'd like to see mammoth's too. We can use elephants as surrogate wombs, and it'd give the neanderthals something to do.
futurebird, Jul 19 2001

       Milford Wolpoff argues that there's no need to 'bring them back' because they never went away.
angel, Jul 19 2001

       Baked in an old Isaac Asimov story (can't remember which one), where a Neanderthal is cloned from DNA (or something... been a long time since I read the story). He ends up in court standing up for his rights as a human being. It's a sort of well-meaning but rather disingenuous metaphor for the Civil Rights movement.   

       No... don't listen to me. I'm talking bollocks. Listen to sirrobin...
Guy Fox, Jul 19 2001

       The Asimov story might have been Jerry Was a Man by Heinlein. Also halfbaked in David Zindell's triffic novel Neverness where a few thousand years before the main story a group of people wanted to get back to nature and reengineered themselves some neanderthal genes and set off into the wilderness.
sirrobin, Jul 19 2001

       PotatoStew: I'm pretty sure we at least out-cheese them. France alone has more than 365 different types of cheese -- one for every day of the year. In prehistoric times, I don't think they had that many days in a year.
beauxeault, Jul 19 2001

       More seriously, I thought I'd heard from PBS about efforts that are currently underway to create mammoths using sperm from animals found frozen whole. I don't recall whether the eggs were also from frozen mammoths or elephants, but the idea was that an elephant would carry the fetus.   

       And wouldn't it be interesting if we revived neanderthals and they de-volved into apes?
beauxeault, Jul 19 2001

       i'd rather see barbapapa.
mihali, Jul 19 2001

       [mihali]: Don't start that again!
angel, Jul 19 2001

       [PeterSealy]: I'm sure I've even heard one theory that Homo Erectus was not a distinct species. These distinctions might turn out to be as spurious, at the end of the day, as the hoary old dolichocephalic / brachycephalic division.
Guy Fox, Jul 19 2001

       Guy Fox: You're probably thinking of the classic story "The Ugly Little Boy" (Asimov's own third-favorite among his stories), later unnecessarily turned into a novel by Robert Silverberg. A movie version is threatened; see link.
Uncle Nutsy, Jul 19 2001

       Didn't any of you see that "great" pauly shore movie Encino man. I mean come on, that is probably exactly how it would be.
Vavon, Jul 19 2001

       Actually, the bus driver in 'Speed' looked remarkably like a Neanderthal, too...big brow ridge and protruding jaw. Can't figure out who he is from IMDB's list, though...
StarChaser, Jul 21 2001

       Hm... I always thought Sandra Bullock was kind of cute...
PotatoStew, Jul 21 2001

       <pats PotatoStew gently on the head.> There, there...I know you're confused, but Sandra Bullock doesn't look anything like a six foot black gentleman. Trust me on this.
StarChaser, Jul 21 2001

       There are certainly no neanderthals left. We killed them all, we are the only species that get rid of another.
BALIKEKMEK, Jul 22 2001

       Awww, that's just not true. Species are out competing each other all the time. Extinction is a part of history. Of course we seem to have a knack for getting rid of other species more quickly and in greater numbers ... but we aren't the only creatures that do/have done that.
futurebird, Jul 22 2001

       The Stewart Island Wren was nudged into extinction by the light-house-keeper's cat.
angel, Jul 23 2001

       The domestic cat is actually being quite effective in nudging a number of wild animals towards extinction all around the British countryside, I understand.
And re the Cro-Magnon-exterminated-Neanderthal argument - this idea has fallen out of favour amongst archaeologists due to a lack of evidence whereas, to the best of my knowledge, there is some evidence of *peaceful* cohabitation.
Guy Fox, Jul 23 2001

I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread and water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a new Armenia. -William Saroyan
Inbreeding has its adherents, as its as close to Neanderthal as I've ever seen.
thumbwax, Jul 23 2001

       Today as much as i know we have enough knowlegde to say that there has been a war between neanderthals and us. But this war was totally unfair since we were much smarter than they were so you know the result. We first get rid of them in africa, then swept them from the europe , starting from east to west. the age of the oldest remainders from neanderthals grows as we follow this route and the oldest tracks from neanderthals are in spain, in underground tunnels where they were hiding from us. but it didn't last long to find them.   

       there was a complete war with all the meanings. An extinction of species can2t be considered as such unless there is a conscious act of killing. don2t forget that we dind2t have to kill them in order to survive, we were superior to them.
BALIKEKMEK, Jul 23 2001

       [Rod's] (way, way back in the annotations) We already have Neanderthal music, we call it Garage.
CoolerKing, Aug 02 2001

       Referring back to Guy Fox's comments about Asimov's disingenuous metaphor for the Civil Rights movement: Has anyone ever seen Planet of the Apes 4 when the Apes, enslaved by humans in the year 1992, revolt in a plot that has constant references to the American Civil Rights movement?   

       In addition, I did just watch a long documentary on early humans on PBS the other day and the theory they set forth was that Cro-Magnan man was just more successful at survival and drove Neanderthal off to the fringes. However, I remember reading an article in Discover last year that speculated Cro-Magnan/Neanderthal cross breeding. So who knows?
EvoketheTiger, Aug 02 2001

       The problem is that, in all probability, only certain bits of Neanderthal DNA have made their way into the human genome. My reasons for assuming this are:   

       (a) if interbreeding was rare, then many large segments of Neanderthal chromosomes will have been lost by random shuffling amongst the descendents of the offspring.   

       (b) some Neanderthal genes may have been disadvantageous, leading to preferential loss of those genes and (given the large scale on which chromosomes shuffle), large chunks of surrounding genome.   

       On the bright side, there probably is enough DNA out there to reconstruct a Neanderthal genome, though it would need better resources than we have at present. And even then you don't have a real in-the-flesh Neanderthal, just a few Gb of data.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 24 2012

       Another good fiction-bake for this one is 'N-Words' by Ted Kosmatka. Thought-provoking short prose, but it kind of falls into the metaphor trap.
Alterother, Apr 24 2012

       I'm pretty sure my neighbour's son is living proof of the continued existence of Homo neanderthalensis.
UnaBubba, Apr 24 2012

       I think that 'N-Words' was the story that [Guy Fox] was thinking of - not "The Ugly Little Boy". What struck me most from that story was that Kosmatka postulated that Neanderthals were fair-skinned redheads rather than swarthy as usually portrayed. His rationale was that they lived in the northern, low sunlight latitudes 10 times longer than our current Nordics.
AusCan531, Apr 25 2012

       I, too, thought that was pretty insightful, but it held no other surprises for me. It's one of those stories where I got more out of the little details than out of the central plot. Of course, I tend to deconstruct stories as I read them, like literary reverse engineering, and there often comes a point when I know where the author is going with things and I become far more interested in how the prose is constructed than in the story itself. In the case of 'N- Words', I really appreciated the parent-child emotional themes more than the obvious social metaphor.   

       I should probably join some kind of literary discussion forum...   

       [Guy Fox] posted his anno about the half-remembered probably-Asimov story at least 5 years before 'N-words' was first published.
Alterother, Apr 25 2012

       //[Guy Fox] posted his anno about the half-remembered probably-Asimov story at least 5 years before 'N-words' was first published.//. Spooky
AusCan531, Apr 25 2012

       It may have been the subject of a short story, or story precis that he [Guy Fox] read. That said, the HB has long surprised me at how often it is seemingly the seminal reference for many discoveries and stories.
UnaBubba, Apr 25 2012

       Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" series features exactly this idea - the Neanderthals were cloned under license of the sprawling Goliath Corporation who own the DNA rights (and by extension preside over their ability to procreate) - justifiably the Neanderthal's are suitably non-plussed.   

       All 'bakers should read this series, as, like Ubie says, it could almost be as if great swathes of the alternate reality so depicted are lifted from the HB. (In fact, for some months, I was convinced that Jasper Fforde may already be amongst us)
zen_tom, Apr 25 2012

       Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" is also very HB-like. However, it was published in 1992, so pre-dates the 'bakery by 7 years or so.
UnaBubba, Apr 25 2012

       Anyone doubting the continued existance of neanderthals merely needs to visit the North-north-west wing of Buchanan Towers, where he keeps the breeding colony of Third-class domestic and out-of-doors servants; or take a quarter-hour ride onthe light railway to the far side of the Kitchen Garden, and take a look at the staff. Remember to keep all doors and windows closed, and don't make sudden movements. They aren't aggressive, but can panic if startled.   

       Or you could ask to be introduced to his cousin Anthracite, who is rarely allowed to leave her room in the East tower (the one with the bars on the window). Terrible thing, inbreeding …
8th of 7, Apr 25 2012

       Neal Stephenson is one of the pillars of modern progressive fiction IMO. It's too bad he's such a feckin' slow writer.   

       We have our own neanderthals here in Northern Appalachia. Interestingly, they're not gengineered but simply a curious result of recursive evolution. In fact, there's one loitering in my dooryard right now. Hang on...   

       Okay, I'm back. I had to go find one of the custom-loaded 12ga shells I use to get their attention.
Alterother, Apr 25 2012

       //North-north-west wing of Buchanan Towers// I think you're confusing it with the portrait gallery. It's true that our line can be traced back a very, very long way, but we're sapiens through and through.   

       Also, please do not disparage the Staff. I should perhaps mention that, since the late 900s, all of them have been required to become proficient with the longbow, the mace and various types of sword (in accordance with prevailing fashion; we are considering adopting the taser - must move with the times). Many of them, I know, are just itching for an opportunity to display their proficiency.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 25 2012

       We're not casting aspersions on YOUR ancestry, [MB]. And someone (something? ) like Cousin Anthracite sometimes shows up even in the best-regulated bloodlines. We understand the term is" sport" or" throwback" (or possibly"mutant")   

       We were referring of course to the lower orders of your extensive domestic staff, and all merit to you for giving them food, shelter and a meaningful existance.
8th of 7, Apr 25 2012

       All of my "domestics" are "domesticated", I assure you. We also avoid the use of phrases such as "lower orders". Even my gardener's gardener has a gardener.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 25 2012

       That's an excessive amount of security.
rcarty, Apr 25 2012

       Or an excessive amount of insecurity.
UnaBubba, Apr 25 2012

       //"I can create a Neanderthal baby, if I can find a willing woman," George Church told German newspaper Spiegel Online. The DNA of the Neanderthal, a long extinct relative of man, has been more or less rebuilt, a process called genetic sequencing.// (From the linked article in ... ah, Fox News.)   

       First off, I know George Church (ish). He is a very smart cookie but I'll guarantee he was either misquoted or joking.   

       Second, the Neanderthal genome has not been "more or less rebuilt". The best assembled sequence at present is very, very fragmentary; and it has been assembled (in silico) using the human genome as a reference. Which is fine except that you will, by definition, miss all of the large-scale differences (rearrangements, duplications) which probably account for most of the phenotypic differences between humans and Neanderthals.   

       Even the _human_ genome has not, contrary to popular belief, been properly and fully sequenced yet. It has gaps (which are probably very interesting bits) and many deletions of [functionally very important] duplicated regions. If you gave someone the ability to create any organism from its genome, they could not (at present) create a viable human.   

       Next, even if we had a complete Neanderthal genome sequence sitting on a hard-drive, we would not yet be able to build chromosome-sized pieces of DNA. Craig Venter (pauses to spit) used some very smart people to build a 500kb genome, stick it into a cell very similar to the one the sequence came from, and create a viable unicellular organism. 500kb is 1/1000th the size of a typical human chromosome.   

       Next next, even if we could build chromosome- sized Neanderthal DNA molecules, we would not be able to package them into chromosomes, nor overlay all the chemical and structural modifications that the chromosomes of a fertilized egg start out with.   

       If we could do all of this, _then_ we could probably create a Neanderthal quite easily. Cloning a human (or Neanderthal) from a viable cell is probably very straightforward. But some of the problems in getting to that point are very hard, and it's going to be 20 years (I'd actually guess 50, but biology always outstrips expectations) before we can solve them. It's a project which will probably be worth funding in ten or fifteen years' time.   

       George Church knows all this, which is why I say he was either misquoted or joking.   

       Ah, sorry, bit of a rant there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2013

       Neanderthal Park?
UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013

       No need to apologise, [MaxwellBuchanan]; input from someone with Actual Knowledge is always welcome.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 22 2013

       The world is full of humour. The Nazis for instance, would probably not be particularly pleased to know that the African peoples are actually the purest "human", ie: homo sapiens; Neanderthals having figured most prominently in the ancestry of peoples of northern climes.
FlyingToaster, Jan 22 2013

       There are still nazis around. Why not ask some of them?
UnaBubba, Jan 22 2013

       //But I thought we were all a mix of Neanderthal, Denisovan and Homosapien DNA ? // The jury is still somewhat out on that one.   

       //I wonder if Neanderthals were particularly gassy.// That's an intriguing question. People have inferred that they had bigger brains than us, based on their skulls. They have also suggested that Neanderthals were too heavy-boned to swim well.   

       However, as far as I know there is no evidence to show that the skull was not some sort of gas chamber. It may well be that they evolved gas- filled heads as a means of preserving bouyancy and thereby avoiding drownage.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2013

       Why would big bones prevent you swimming? The pachyderms swim quite well.
UnaBubba, Jan 22 2013


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