If you could bring one species back from extinction, which would it be?

Plenty of room for Mammoths up in Alaska, too. We’re barely doing anything with all that space. It’s an area equal in size to everything west of the Mississippi and it’s got a population of about 750,000 people. Fuck it. Fill it with Mammoths and let 'em go nuts.

Neanderthal seconded.

Second choice is Gigantopithecus.

Hominids are cool.

While Neanderthals would be phenomenally interesting, I think we could learn more from H. erectus. I use that term to mean the common ancestor of us and Neanderthals. I’m a lumper in that respect.

Saber-toothed, or woolly? :smiley:

Bring back a permanent underclass of not-quite-human creatures?

Neanderthals were fully human. Just not anatomically-modern humans. And it’s not a foregone conclusion that they’d be an underclass. (For one speculation on how it could turn out, see Ted Kosmatka’s “N-Words.”)

Fantastic link !
Thank you !

Why would they have to be an underclass? And they were definitely human, and many modern humans (including just about everyone with some ancestry outside of sub-Saharan Africa) include them among their ancestors.

Moa? Irish elk? The freakin’ dodo?!

Megladon or bust, damage to the ecosystem and loss of human life be damned. They went extinct around 2 million years ago (which is actually surprisingly recent; the dinosaur’s mass extinction event was 65 million years ago) - God can work a little overtime on this one.

We don’t know that (emphasis added). What we do know indicates there were almost certainly some differences. Obviously not enough to prevent us form having sexy-time with each other, but probably some differences in communication and cognitive ability.

What about the threat to national security?

I don’t know why we would say probably with any confidence.

We last shared a common ancestor about 500K years ago (at least). Why would we assume that our communication and cognitive ability were the same? That would be pretty odd, especially since our brains are not the same.

I would rather like to keep the bats from going into extinction , they’re dying off
from some virus .

The elephant bird. Probably survived into historic times, could thrive if protected. And the eggs! That’s a Flintstones-sized omelet there.

Two percent of me says “Yes!”

Very nice list; it’s hard to pick one. I went for Steller’s Sea Cow partly because only one other person had voted for it and partly because I’ve always thought they were kind of neat ever since reading about them in that Jungle Book story “The White Seal”, and also seeing the skeleton in (IIRC) the National Museum of Natural History. Manatees and dugongs are cool enough, but imagine one almost the size of a whale – and completely tame! If humans had left them alone, they might be thriving now… still a lot of room out there in the ocean.

Which is why it would be my vote - to see how human they were. And, maybe, to learn more about what being human means to us. Our entire conception of intelligence comes largely just from one source - ourselves. Short of encountering aliens, this is our best opportunity to talk to someone else, someone who’s intelligent, but not us.

Barring that, the mosasaurus. Because fuck boats.

I’d say if you see “some differences in communication and cognitive ability” as sufficient to consider a Homo other than “fully human,” you’re making a serious and problematic judgment of the present sapiens population.

Of course they were different–that would be a large part of the point in bringing them back, to find out just how, and what that means. Obviously at a certain juncture in the ecological history of the Earth, their makeup, as a group, proved less suited than our ancestors’–in that context which is gone. It does not follow that they must be ‘less’ than us in any overall scheme, any objective sense.

Let me put it this way: if Neanderthals were, indeed, consistently less capable than us by some measures, that would say nothing about their humanity. Just as, should recreated Neanderthals prove greater than us (as in the linked story), it would not speak against ours.

Let’s be clear on what we mean by “human”. When used in casual conversation, it usually means “us”. In scientific discussion, it often means something else. So, to clarify:

Neanderthals were fully Neanderthals. They were a type of human (that is, a member of the genus Homo) but probably with notable differences from us, H. sapiens. They were probably a different type of human than we are. That would make them “fully human” in some contexts but not in others.

To say that they were “fully human”, in the context of what status they would have in our society today, isn’t quite accurate. We don’t know if they would be accorded the full rights of H. sapiens in our society. Maybe, and maybe not.