neanderthal surrogate application exam
          right reading news service

homeward bound



Thank you for volunteering for the Neanderthal Surrogate Project. The first part of this document provides background to the project and an overview of ethical issues. The second part consists of ten multiple choice questions that will help us determine your suitability as a potential surrogate.

ccording to the New York Times (July 21, 2006), "Long a forlorn hope, the sequencing, or decoding, of Neanderthal DNA suddenly seems possible because of a combination of analytic work on ancient DNA by Svante Paabo, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and a new method of DNA sequencing developed by a Connecticut company, 454 Life Sciences....
It might in theory be possible to bring the species back from extinction by inserting the Neanderthal genome into a human egg and having volunteers bear Neanderthal infants. This might be the best possible way of finding out what each Neanderthal gene does, but there would be daunting ethical problems in bringing a Neanderthal child into the world again."

Ethical Concerns
Here at the Neanderthal Surrogate Project we feel that you, the potential surrogate, are the best judge of the ethical issues surrounding Neanderthal incubation in the 21st century; we simply help to locate appropriate carriers for the inevitable second coming. To assist you in making this important decision we provide these comments from leading authorities:

  • Ethical concerns “would totally preclude such an experiment.” — Dr. Svante Paabo, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Giving birth to neanderthals is "certainly possible, but futuristic.” — Dr. Bruce Lahn, geneticist, University of Chicago
  • "My first consideration would be for a child born alone in the world with no relatives.... This was a species we competed with.” But “if we learn this is a species that was wrongly pushed off the stage of history, there is something of a moral argument for bringing it back” — Dr. Ronald M. Green, ethicist, Dartmouth College

Questions for Surrogate Applicants
Choose the best answer.

  1. A good-quality butcher shop is within ___ of my home
    a. 10 miles
    b. 5 miles
    c. 1 miles
    d. I don't know, I trap and butcher my own meat.
  2. Interspecies breeding is
    a. impossible
    b. a way to strengthen the gene pool
    c. an abomination against God
    d. quite exciting to me personally
  3. My favorite actor in On the Town is
    a. Gene Kelly
    b. Ann Miller
    c. Frank Sinatra
    d. Jules Munshin
  4. To protect my neanderthal baby from global warming I would
    a. buy fans and air conditioners
    b. call for support of the Kyoto Protocal
    c. order Haagen-Dazs by the case
    d. relocate to the Arctic Circle
  5. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein
    a. shows the perils of bringing new creatures into the world
    b. demonstrates that overreaching power will be punished
    c. explores the ethics of creating life
    d. is really nonfiction
  6. My favorite vacation destination is
    a. Cancun
    b. Thailand
    c. Rome
    d. Lapland
  7. My favorite sport is
    a. golf
    b. cycling
    c. tennis
    d. spelunking
  8. I would rather
    a. eat donuts
    b. drink soda
    c. suck popsickles
    d. gnaw jerky
  9. I would describe myself as
    a. long and tall
    b. shaped like a willow tree
    c. lean and hungry
    d. wild and wooly
  10. If any Neanderthals are still alive today they are probably
    a. hiding in caves
    b. poaching livestock
    c. punk rock stars
    d. running the U.S. government

Give yourself 1 point for each A answer, 2 points for each B answer, 3 points for each C answer, and 10 points for each D answer. If you can figure our your score, don't call us, we'll call you. Otherwise, please be seated (or, if you prefer, squat) and a representative will be with you shortly.

Thank you for applying,

The Neanderthal Surrogate Project


neanderthal author
the author

apply for the
Surrogate Waiting List,
or leave a comment

thanks to bookofjoe for
linking to this page


top of page
home | apply for the Surrogate Waiting List, or leave a comment