This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Ban These Sick Ape-Man Frankensteins

According to a new report, urgent action is required to stop scientists creating a monstrous race of apes with fully functional human brains (just as Christine O'Donnell warned us about those mice), thus causing Planet Of The Apes to come true.

OK, that's not quite what the Academy of Medical Sciences said. But judging from most of the media coverage, you might think it was.

The report is actually about "Animals containing human material" and it notes that under British law, experiments of this kind are covered by generic animal research rules, but there are no special animal-human regulations.

Should there be?

I think there should be. We as a society allow experiments on animals or animal embryos that we don't allow on humans, even on human embyros. Clearly, we need to decide what we're going to do about organisms that have both human and animal DNA, or whatever. This doesn't mean restricting it - to clear up the rules could also facilitate such research, by making it explicit what is allowed.

However, we should tread carefully here. This is an area where our intuitions can lead us astray.

Although we have absolutely no idea how to make an animal-human "hybrid", or even whether it's possible at all, the very idea of it has many people worried. It's probably a case of the uncanny valley and lots of cultural baggage (Planet of the Apes et al).
Read more

TAGGED: COMMENTARY, GENETICS, MEDIA


RELATED CONTENT

Spanish artist faces prison over 'how...

Ben Child - Guardian 37 Comments

Javier Krahe prosecuted for 'offending religious feelings' after 1978 short film was broadcast on Spanish TV

No blood on the carpet. How...

Richard Dawkins - RichardDawkins.net 174 Comments

[Journalists] seem to feel let down when they discover that the real people aren't anything like the way they so relentlessly portray us; as if, since they've gone to the trouble of inventing extravagant caricatures of us, we should at least have the decency to live up to them in real life.
Also in Polish

Q&A: Pell vs Dawkins - April 9, Easter...

David Knox - TV tonight - Australia 141 Comments

On Easter Monday night Q & A will host a two-man debate between Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell and outspoken, British atheist Richard Dawkins.

'Gay cure' group's London bus adverts...

- - BBC Comments

An advertising campaign backed by a Christian group which has been described as anti-gay has been pulled from London buses.

Why Richard Dawkins is still an atheist

Paula Kirby - Washington Post On Faith 108 Comments

[The God Delusion is] absolutely chock-full of things Richard Dawkins really does believe. Which is handy, because it saves everyone the trouble of making them up.

A brutal price still paid for daring to...

Amol Rajan - The Independent 39 Comments

Their assault illustrates the extent to which defenders of religion still dominate our press, the brutal retaliation exacted on clever opponents of faith and the incorrigible stupidity of Sayeeda Warsi's claim about "militant secularism" last week.

MORE

MORE BY -

Viewpoints: Why is faith falling in the...

- - BBC News Comments

A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.

Missionaries of Hate

- - Top Documentary Films Comments

Documentary about ongoing events in Uganda, where many question whether the growing influence of American religious groups has led to a movement to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death.

Scientists Discover Previously Unknown...

- - URMC Comments

Newer Imaging Technique Brings ‘Glymphatic System’ to Light

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The...

- - human rights first Comments

Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”

Atheists On Religion, Science, And...

- - YouTube - townsquare Comments

Cara Santa Maria (Senior Science Correspondent, Huffingtonpost.com) leads this week's panel on 'The Point' to discuss these issues and more with Michael Shermer (Publisher - Skeptic Magazine), Sean Carroll (Theoretical Physicist - Caltech), and Edward Falzon (author of 'Being Gay Is Disgusting').

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 25 - 26...

- - Ancestors Trail Walk Comments

WALK DARWIN’S TREE OF LIFE ~ 26 AUGUST 2012 - event begins on Saturday 25 August

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment