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← How would you feel about a half-human half-chimp hybrid?

How would you feel about a half-human half-chimp hybrid? - Comments

posiedon's Avatar Comment 1 by posiedon

I'm not sure what I think about the creation of a hybrid human/chimp.
But I do think it will probably (that word again!) happen.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 10:39:00 UTC | #301504

PERSON's Avatar Comment 2 by PERSON

There is another possibility: that computer simulations of gene expression become possible to the extent that one could assess whether a given genome is viable or not, based on the population of viable genomes and actual constructed genomes for lesser animals. I'd think this would allow a sophisticated simulated reconstruction of the phenotype.

Perhaps this would be too difficult to achieve before any of the others have happened, though.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 10:44:00 UTC | #301507

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 3 by Dhamma

poseidon,

I really doubt it will happen. It may very well be possible, but the ethical dilemma will be too hard to overcome.

I'd be more than thrilled to see it alive, and I also think it would change "everything", but considering the ethical dilemma I'm not even sure I'd like them to do it.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 10:55:00 UTC | #301509

Apeseed's Avatar Comment 4 by Apeseed

One of the aspects of Judaism that separated it from the other pagan religions is the psychological schism between man and the rest of the natural world.
Whereas pagans saw themselves as one kind of animal among others and tribes could even consider themselves as descended from particular animals, the followers of Jehovah saw themselves as a special creation.
This is likely at the root of the Old Testament horror of the mixing of two different categories of thing.
To the extent of cloth of two fibres and fields of two types of seed being abominations.
Somewhere deep down there was a perception that we were of a piece with the world and not something other.
All the otherwise bizarre taboos then make sense as a kind of cordon sanitaire to keep this threatening realisation at bay.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:08:00 UTC | #301513

zecat's Avatar Comment 5 by zecat

I'm pretty sure men and/or women already had sex with all sorts of animals, including chimps. I think if we could interbreed, it would have happened already, multiple times. I think we would have already heard of some weird creature known to be the offspring of a human and a chimp.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:19:00 UTC | #301519

Stephan's Avatar Comment 6 by Stephan

If there is no other way to make a vast number of people realize and understand the obvious, then please, go on and make it happen! Very frequently the only way to get people to start reflecting upon the pointlessness of a taboo is to break it. I can't wait to hear all the religious folks whinig about how we cannot "play God". The same will, of course, happen, once we start bringing extinct animals, like dinosaurs, back to life. Those will be exciting times!

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:35:00 UTC | #301522

Fujikoma's Avatar Comment 7 by Fujikoma

I'm thinking that humans aren't currently responsible enough to tackle the repurcussions. We can't treat each other well enough even though we're of the same race (or species, since I always screw up which term is correct). One might be able to drive with their feet, but it doesn't make it a good idea (thank you C.Rock). It doesn't mean that it shouldn't be done, just that someone better think it through before rushing to the finish line of 'look what I can do'.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:38:00 UTC | #301524

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 8 by Styrer-

How would you feel about a half-human half-chimp hybrid?


It would be fascinating, and I'd welcome it. My only proviso would be that at least two each time be created to ward of any sense of being lonely or unusual - as Frankenstein's monster uttered: 'it's bad to be alone'!

Best,
Styrer

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:42:00 UTC | #301526

Hellene's Avatar Comment 9 by Hellene

Well there have been unsuccessful attempts at this in the past. But think of it. A genetically developed underclass. The possibilities boggle the mind.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:44:00 UTC | #301528

HappyPrimate's Avatar Comment 10 by HappyPrimate

Stephan - I agree with you totally. Some taboos are meant to be broken. I hope I live to see our species realize that we are truly just part of the evolved life on this planet.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:48:00 UTC | #301531

Apeseed's Avatar Comment 11 by Apeseed

I remember years ago there were rumours of the Soviet bloc attempting to create a sub-human worker drone by cross-breeding chimps with humans. While in all likelihood it was purely fantasy I think it does express a fear of how some might use genetic engineering.
While there is danger of succumbing to the Slippery Slope fallacy it isn't such an imaginative leap to see how disturbing the idea could be even for those who don't hold to humanity as being somehow sacred and inviolate.
As someone with an instinctive respect for other lifeforms I wouldn't want to see the development of semi-human monkey butlers ;)

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:55:00 UTC | #301534

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 12 by the great teapot

Sounds delicious,

when can we start exploiting them.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:57:00 UTC | #301536

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 13 by Dhamma

Hellene,

Sounds intriguing, do you happen to have any links?

Stephan,

I certainly agree it would be important to show the ones that simply won't get it. It is life though, created with the expressed purpose of being an experiment. Sounds pretty harsh in my ears. On the other hand, if it IS possible to give it a good life, maybe it's not that bad? It would undoubtedly be extremely beneficial for us and science.

I wonder if anyone still could deny evolution if it happened?

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:58:00 UTC | #301537

Hywel's Avatar Comment 14 by Hywel

There are a number of interesting things about this. Are we close enough to chimps that we could breed with them (even if the offspring were infertile) ?

For a natural birth, I would guess that a human mother would be needed, with the potentially large brain. Good luck finding a voluneer! Of course, a chimp mother would be more acceptable, and delivery can be by Caesarian. Hmmm. Talking chimp. Caesar. Where have I heard that before ? … http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0003449/

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:00:00 UTC | #301541

youmemeyou's Avatar Comment 15 by youmemeyou

Then again, a genetically half human half chimp could be simply a human or simply a chimp.

We do share 98% or so of our genes, don't we?

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:10:00 UTC | #301545

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 16 by scottishgeologist

OK, its a low one, but I think it has already happened.....

http://www.bushorchimp.com/

Sorry.....

:-))
SG

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:11:00 UTC | #301547

thrutraffic's Avatar Comment 17 by thrutraffic

DO IT !

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:17:00 UTC | #301552

xmd's Avatar Comment 18 by xmd

Comment #316585 by youmemeyou
We do share 98% or so of our genes, don't we?"


That's misleading. 2% can make a huge difference, because a small difference in the beggining of development can cause huge diferences in the final result.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:19:00 UTC | #301554

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 19 by Dhamma

youmemeyou,

I have a very limited knowledge on evolution, but while I'm not even sure if it's theoretically possible, it must by all means be statistically impossible. We share 98.4%, but as you could see with your own eyes, we still differ quite a lot.

If I'm all off here, please correct me.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:28:00 UTC | #301556

Hellene's Avatar Comment 20 by Hellene

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:37:00 UTC | #301557

Apeseed's Avatar Comment 21 by Apeseed

If it were to be done though, those who are wedded to the idea of a divine creator would find some way to spin it and avoid any uncomfortable truths.

I can just see it now.

"God is the author of the alphabet of life and these servants of Satan, the scientists, use his holy works to rewrite the book of life and produce vile abominations!"

Or some such drivel.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:40:00 UTC | #301558

chaoshellas's Avatar Comment 22 by chaoshellas

In ancient Greece it was forbidden to perform anatomy on dead bodies because they were considered sacred.
We should not make the same mistake.
Science must advance.
The ones that must save the world are not religious zealots .They are the scientists.
I see no reason why we become immoral once we start manipulating DNA to produce hybrids etc.
I don't see in the Bible god forbidding such things since god never referred to DNA.He was probably "hiding" the fact.The ones that say that god doesn't like these things are religious people who apparently believe to have some sort of direct link with the god.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 12:51:00 UTC | #301559

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 23 by the great teapot

yeah
lets exploit the bastards.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:13:00 UTC | #301562

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 24 by Thomas Byrne

In reference to Stephens comment above.
When it comes to 'playing god', theists excel at this. They excel at this when the purport to know what has happened to a bad person after she's gone or have insight as to why god decided to send a tidal wave across Thailand or in having inside information as to what god meant in this or that obscure passage from whatever holy book they droll over.
As to the hybrid scenario. I mentioned at leat twice on the forum that this is something I would love to see a maverick scientist (sorry for the cliche) do because it would be a massive blow to creationism in all its forms.

EDIT: Spelling

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:14:00 UTC | #301563

bachfiend's Avatar Comment 25 by bachfiend

Michael Crichton's novel "Next" partly dealt with the question of a human-chimpanzee hybrid. I wouldn't be surprised if it were possible, because marine iguanas and land iguanas are still capable of producing viable (if not fertile) offspring, and they diverged from each other about 6 million years ago, at about the same time as the human and chimpanzee lines started to diverge, and in number of generations, that would be vastly greater. Now whether it should be done, I have very serious doubts. Not only would it upset a very large number of people (that in itself isn't necessarily a reason for not doing it), but it would also be bringing into existence a new species, possibly sentient, with all the legal and ethical problems that would bring.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:21:00 UTC | #301566

markg's Avatar Comment 26 by markg

What happens if one of these hybrids gets loose and finds religion? Then they manage to get access to a computer and somehow log onto RD.net.

Then posts the same drivel over and over again, never answer questions, refers to Prof. Dawkins as Mr. Dawkins, claims to teach students and calls us evolins, etc.

Is the world really prepared to deal with the consequences?

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:26:00 UTC | #301568

Ygern's Avatar Comment 27 by Ygern

It does require further thought, and very serious thought at that.

That said, the potential discoveries raise so many interesting, exciting and valuable questions and possibilities that I would argue that it is time for humans to seriously consider whether their squeamish gut-reactions to this subject are based in anything rational and justifiable; or whether such feelings need to be re-examined as reasonably and dispassionately as possible.

We've never witnessed any significant moral outrage at the interbreeding of horses and donkeys; so we really need to ask ourselves why we think this is so dramatically different.

This is not to say that I've convinced myself either one way of the other. But I'm trying to find a non-emotional response.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:33:00 UTC | #301572

Koreman's Avatar Comment 28 by Koreman

Personally I think simulation will change everything.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:36:00 UTC | #301573

Forti's Avatar Comment 29 by Forti

I can comfortably agree with the idea of producing one, two, or five chimpies for research purposes, assuming we keep them in humane conditions.

If they'd turn out to be more or less comparable to a human in terms of intelligence, self-consciousness and whatnot - I'd assume they should have a basic set of human rights.

Chimpy worker drones are an absolute no-no. I can't even begin to describe how wrong this is, joke or no joke.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:41:00 UTC | #301575

and7barton's Avatar Comment 30 by and7barton

To me, the idea of a "species" is pretty irrelevant. I think the term "species", when used in the context of seperating one kind of animal from another, is pretty much a man-made division. Closely related animals can and do interbreed. If we try and breed between animals that differ further, then the chances of a successful outcome get less, until the two kinds of animal are too different to enable a successful pregnancy. I view the animal kindom more as a spectrum of more or less different animal designs, their likelyhood of interbreeding dependant upon the extent of the matching of their blueprints. The idea of seperate "species" might be useful for categorising the animal (and plant) kingdom, but as a concept gets in the way of our thinking regarding hybridising, and could be a barrier to our imagination when it comes to creating new kinds of creature.

Sat, 10 Jan 2009 13:44:00 UTC | #301577