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In 1996, while two tourists were visiting Kennewick, on the Columbia River in Washington, they stumbled across a human skull. After the police collected the skull and an almost completely intact skeleton, they determined that the bones came from a Caucasian man. But strangely, there was no murder investigation. This is because, in a very strange twist, Carbon-dating tests showed that the bones were more than 9,000 years old - much older than the earliest recorded Caucasian visits to North America in the 14th century.
Anthropologists, paleontologists, biologists and archaeologists all whipped themselves into a fury of excitement over these bones, which were soon given the name "Kennewick Man." Everyone, it seemed, wanted to study these remarkably well-preserved remains. At the same time, the local Umatilla Indians, whose ancestors have lived on the Columbia River for thousands of years, claimed the rights to rebury the remains, under the North American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). To this ancient tribe, the bones are sacred remnants of their ancestors, and as such, they should be returned to the ground.
read Edward Rothstein's article, "Antiquities, The World Is Your Homeland", and think carefully about the complicated ownership issues in this case.
you should take a side in this controversy. You should make a post that very clearly outlines your opinion on the case: Who you think deserves ownership of the remains and why, what should be done with these remains, and what sacrifices will be made when your own solution is implemented.
What other science vs. culture disputes does this conflict remind you of, and why?