July 31, 2014
Ötzi The Iceman Carried Heart Disease Gene
The 5300 year old frozen ice man recovered from the Ötztal Alps had several genetic variants for heart disease. If we ever clone Ötzi we should first fix his genes.
But wait: What if these genetic variants also confer some sort of benefits? We need to be sure we would not rob some future Ötzi clone of benefits of genes that increase heart disease risks.
I think cells recovered from frozen ancient human remains found in the Alps or northern Scandinavia should not be used for cloning until we have a much clearer picture of all genetic variants that affect behavior. It would be a really bad idea to clone a long dead psychopath or very violent personality. Also, we should have a clear picture of what their IQ is likely to be.
Randall Parker, 2014 July 31 03:48 PM
No need for cloning if you want to see what Otzi's genes would look like if expressed in a modern society. He was a fully modern human so all you have to do is find someone, or some people, whose genes significantly match Otzi's. Technically it shouldn't be too hard to find the closest match among people who kindly have their genomes "on file" for scientific research. In practice I don't know how difficult that would be.
Given the dysgenic nature of civilization it seems ethics dictates that in the process of exiting the biosphere, civilization rewild as many cloned genotypes (humans and nonhuman) as feasible that human group selection drove to extinction. In conjunction with this suppress eusocial organization (group selection) among the rewilded humans.
James, I'm guessing you would enjoy reading Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake if you haven't already done so. (But be warned, it's not a happy book.)