Scientist Clarifies He's Not Seeking Mom for Neanderthal Baby
January 23, 2013
If yesterday’s want ad seeking “an adventurous woman” to birth a Neanderthal baby sent you updating your resume in a hurry, back away from your LinkedIn account--It was all a big misunderstanding.
The confusion stems from an interview Harvard University professor George Church gave with the German publication, Der Spiegel about his new book, "Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves." Apparently something got lost in translation.
In the interview, a Der Spiegel reporter asks Church, “And the surrogates would be human, right? In your book you write that an ‘extremely adventurous female human’ could serve as the surrogate mother.”
To which Church said, “Yes. However, the prerequisite would, of course, be that human cloning is acceptable to society.”
His response was widely misinterpreted to mean he was actively seeking a woman to serve as surrogate for a Neanderthal clone.
According to the Boston Herald, Church has since clarified the statement, “I’m certainly not advocating it,” Church said. “I’m saying, if it is technically possible someday, we need to start talking about it today.”
In an interview with Fox News he further said, "We have no projects, no plans, we have no papers, no grants," to clone a Neanderthal.
Of the viral confusion surrounding his statement, Church said, “I’m not going to run away… I want to use it as an educational moment to talk about journalism and technology.”