Friday, September 7, 2007

Human/Animal Hybrids Have Been Created

Genetic engineering opened the possibility of transferring genes between humans and animals and creating new organisms that are part human and part animal. The term for such a creature is a “chimera.” If this term is new to you, get used to it because in the future you are going to see it frequently.

Until recently, the actual production of a human/animal chimera was not legal in most countries, and scientists refrained from engaging in this type of experimentation. It was generally seen as a moral boundary few wanted to cross. However, with the slippery slope of today’s utilitarian materialism, sooner or later, every boundary is crossed.

On March 26th of this year, mailonsunday.co.uk reported that British researchers had succeeded in producing a sheep chimera with “…15% human cells and 85% animal cells.” The human cells were mostly isolated to the liver and other internal organs. The creature looks like a sheep with no visible human traits. However, it has a human liver. The object of the experiment was to create organs to be transplanted back into humans.

On September 4, 2007, it was reported by theregister.co.uk that the British government is about to permit the creation of human-chimera embryos. These will be embryos that are about 99% human and 1% animal. These will not be allowed to live beyond 14 days and are seen as only a research tool, at least for now.

It is not difficult to see where this research is heading. In the future, there will be pressure to bring such organisms to full term and to increase the percentage of animal cells in them. Indeed, Nazi researchers already tried this in the 1940s. They unsuccessfully tried to cross humans with apes. Some unfortunate female concentration camp inmates were actually inseminated with sperm from great apes and chimps to try to produce a half human - half ape hybrid. Fortunately, the Nazis lacked the proper technology, and the experiments failed. Unfortunately, humanity no longer lacks the necessary technology, and another of Hitler’s dreams may become reality before long.

Why This Is Important

The moral and legal dilemmas that this line of research will produce are unprecedented. What will a half human – half animal hybrid be regarded as spiritually? Does it have a soul? Is it made in God’s image? Should it be baptized? These questions probably will be a source of great delight to secularists as Christians struggle to deal with such issues.

However, the secular world will also have problems with this. For example, at what percentage of human genes does a chimera gain human rights? 51%? Can a human own a human chimera, or is this slavery? Can they be eaten? Can they own property and bring actions in court? Does the 15% human sheep chimera have 15% of human rights? Can a full human marry a chimera?

These are only a few of the hundreds of questions and morally repugnant possibilities that will soon be upon us.

1 comment:

John said...

Love this blog. If there is a goodlooking chimera, who's going to stop me from marring her. I'll just go to Massachusettes! And we will have cute baby chimeras!
John