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-   General Conversation Archives (11/2000 - 01/2005) (http://www.ironworksforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=28)
-   -   Stirring the evolutionary pot... with a blender! (http://www.ironworksforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=92819)

VulcanRider 01-27-2005 10:04 PM

Quote:

Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy

Maryann Mott
National Geographic News

January 25, 2005
Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing
chimeras-a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal.

Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003
successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the
first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop
for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the
embryos to harvest their stem cells.

In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human
blood flowing through their bodies.

And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this
year to create mice with human brains.

<more at the URL>
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n..._chimeras.html
Now I've got this image of Vincent Price's head on the body of a fly screaming Help meeeeee!! Help meeeee!! (from the original movie "The Fly", for you youngsters). On the plus side, the phrase hung like a horse takes on a whole new meaning...

Seriously, I can understand religious objections to this type of research -- that's a given. What about scientific/legal reasons? Like it or not, it is happening, and will continue. Opinions? Is this a great way to grow crops of donor organs for transplants? Would the human species be improved if some people had the strength of a gorilla, or the agility of a cat, or wings?

spydar 01-27-2005 11:12 PM

While I can see the value of cloning and gene splicing and stuff like that when it comes to curing disease, making nutrient rich food products (though franken-food is still borderline scary), and stuff, this kind of thing scares the crap outta me. Yes it's inevitable, and in all likelihood happening at this very moment, I think it is wholey and utterly wrong. I'm not religious, but where do we get off with screwing with nature like this? I think people who want to clone themselves are both horrendously ignorant and arrogant, and those who want to clone deceased loved ones and pets are just insanely stupid. it is NOT going to be the same person/pet! yes some of what makes you look/behave/think/feel they way you do is genetically encoded but a hell of a lot of it is also a matter of environment and life experience. what makes you think the world needs more of you around? and what about the clone? what rights do they have to living a normal life, the life that everyone is entitled to?

sorry about the rant, but this sorta thing scares, annoys, and infuriates me. but then again, you did ask for opinions ;)

Dace De'Briago 01-27-2005 11:49 PM

If I wanted to experience the taste of human flesh without committing murder, could I order up a human heart that has been propagated by an animal host and consume it with no moral consequence?

After all, it would just be meat from an animal and therefore no different from any other meat.

Would anyone object to this? After all, I have as much right to pay for this genetic product as anyone else.

spydar 01-27-2005 11:53 PM

a) ew
b) why would you want to eat a heart of any critter?
c) ew
d) apparently humans taste like ham, num num [img]tongue.gif[/img]

The Hierophant 01-28-2005 12:10 AM

Excellent. Very good news. I find nothing abnormal about this. Humans are part of nature, not separate from it: anything our species does is part of natural life-sculpting processes. A life form is a life form is a life form, regardless of whether its characteristics have been defined by natural or laboratory selection.

Any abhorrence felt toward 'new' lifeforms created by these procedures would merely be a result of ignorance and skewed-minded prejudice. There is no set, static blueprint for life. I think it's important for contemporary moral prejudices regarding the 'sanctity' of the bodily form to be changed to accomodate the amazing possibilities that this research brings. We need to stop thinking of the bipedal, ten-fingers, ten-toes human as a 'sacred' construct. Anything goes. Any bodily shape and design is fair and valid game.

[ 01-27-2005, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: The Hierophant ]

Kakero 01-28-2005 12:12 AM

I can imagine the creature break out of it's cage or whatever. Start attacking and killing every scientist and guards in the facility. Meanwhile some high ranking officials sent in some special squad to eliminate the problem.

uhh...I think I watch too much movies. :rolleyes:

The Hierophant 01-28-2005 12:17 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by spydar:

b) why would you want to eat a heart of any critter?

Um... because you are hungry?

Heart is very rich and tasty meat (well, at least cow's heart is). The heart is just a muscle, like any other. Eating heart is not much different to eating a cut of rather tough, chewy steak.

[ 01-27-2005, 11:19 PM: Message edited by: The Hierophant ]

SomeGuy 01-28-2005 12:36 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by The Hierophant:
We need to stop thinking of the bipedal, ten-fingers, ten-toes human as a 'sacred' construct. Anything goes. Any bodily shape and design is fair and valid game.
But it IS a sacred construct, but that's a whole 'nother topic which I'm not allowed to bring up. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

Anyway, you know, I think it's wrong and all, the cloning thing, because well, say we clone another human, they'll have the capability to think like us etc etc, what would prohibit them from realizing they're just another experiment, another shell? I know I wouldn't want to live knowing I was just a genetic experiment, no real family members, knowing there's a possibility that they'll clone something better than me and I'll just be obsilite. Etc etc.

javan 01-28-2005 12:43 AM

Quote
"And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this
year to create mice with human brains."

Note from ACME labs:

Pinky,

I think they are on to us...


Sincerely,


The Brain


[img]graemlins/hehe.gif[/img]

[ 01-27-2005, 11:45 PM: Message edited by: javan ]

The Hierophant 01-28-2005 12:47 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by SomeGuy:
But it IS a sacred construct, but that's a whole 'nother topic which I'm not allowed to bring up. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

*sigh*
Yeah, ok, whatever man.

Quote:


Anyway, you know, I think it's wrong and all, the cloning thing, because well, say we clone another human, they'll have the capability to think like us etc etc, what would prohibit them from realizing they're just another experiment, another shell? I know I wouldn't want to live knowing I was just a genetic experiment, no real family members, knowing there's a possibility that they'll clone something better than me and I'll just be obsilite. Etc etc.

That's you. You wouldn't survive well in that sort of world. Fine. You don't have to. But there will also be others who are not raised to value the same things as you (family ties, being 'wanted' by others etc) that would do quite well as laboratory-produced lifeforms. You assume that everyone is as emotionally needy and sensitive as you, when that simply isn't the case. And to hold back the possibilities that this technology brings simply because you are afraid of the unknown is quite simply a waste of potential.

Absynthe 01-28-2005 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by javan:
Quote
"And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this
year to create mice with human brains."

Note from ACME labs:

Pinky,

I think they are on to us...


Sincerely,


The Brain


[img]graemlins/hehe.gif[/img]

Sweet. It would be a nice complement to the mouse-brained humans currently in our government...


To address the issue:
Yes please, and make mine a double.
The debate over cloning/genetic manipulation reminds me of the 19th century debate over the medical use of anaesthetics: There was concern that using anaesthesia during procedures was a sin, as it deprived people of the 'transforming' experience of pain which we were 'meant' to experience.
As in anything, understanding is the key: developing potentially damaging lifeforms and releasing them into a balanced ecosystem would be quite stupid. (see the cane toad problem for an example). If this is approached with understanding and clear intent, it could be a phenomenal boon to all species.
Personally I would like to see developed an airborne virus that renders stupid people infertile.
Yes I really do mean that. I'm an awesome elitist bastard.


(edited to incorporate a brilliant, spot-on observation)

[ 01-28-2005, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Absynthe ]

The Hierophant 01-28-2005 01:16 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Absynthe:
I'm an elitist bastard.
Dude, you forgot to put 'awesome' in there too. Heh heh. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Dron_Cah 01-28-2005 02:03 AM

Just thought I would say that comparing the use of anasthesia and cloning/genetic manipulation seems rather silly. Very different things happening there, and people are against this for very different reasons. And yes, I am against cloning. The role of God is reserved for one, and that should be fairly obvious.
Also, everyone may not be as "emotionally needy" as Someguy, but their thoughts and feelings should be respected, as well. Perhaps if we're such the democratic peoples, we should vote on such things?

Dace De'Briago 01-28-2005 02:06 AM

Not everybody believes in God though.

We evolved into intelligent beings, and if we are able to understand concepts that allow us to manipulate the foundations of genetics why shouldnt we?

Aerich 01-28-2005 02:07 AM

Well, I don't like the idea of entirely unfettered research re: messing around with humans, (raises some moral issues and I've likewise watched too many movies ;) ) but it does have amazing medical potential.

What about, instead of eating that heart, it was used for a transplant? What if we could identify a gene in some animal that provides resistance to cancer or AIDS? Like I said, I'm not too comfortable with the idea, because we really aren't sure what the heck we're doing and where it might lead, but the positive possibilities are just as tremendous as the negative.

As for cross- ... um, breeding, fertilizing, gene-splicing?... whatever, between humans and animals, I think it's too early to jump up and down about it. A few human cells in an embryo is merely a minor step on the road to the type of biological disaster that will wipe out the human race for its misdeeds. :D

Note that I don't think we need any help in wiping ourselves out, be it alien, divine, or self-made biological entity. Unfettered greed and short-sighted policies are capable enough already.

Absynthe 01-28-2005 02:15 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dron_Cah:
Just thought I would say that comparing the use of anasthesia and cloning/genetic manipulation seems rather silly. Very different things happening there, and people are against this for very different reasons. And yes, I am against cloning. The role of God is reserved for one, and that should be fairly obvious.
Also, everyone may not be as "emotionally needy" as Someguy, but their thoughts and feelings should be respected, as well. Perhaps if we're such the democratic peoples, we should vote on such things?

I wasn't comparing the two subjects technologically, but rather the social attitudes about the subjects. As we learned to understand the benefits and risks associated with anaesthesia, we accepted it's use. So too I think we will eventually accept genetic manipulation and cloning, once we get beyond the fear and superstition.
By the way, there are two major deities in my belief, neither of whom has a problem with cloning... do I win by majority rule? [img]smile.gif[/img]

Absynthe 01-28-2005 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Aerich:
...As for cross- ... um, breeding, fertilizing, gene-splicing?... whatever, between humans and animals...
Hey, they've been doing this behind the barn in Montana for generations...

Dron_Cah 01-28-2005 02:30 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Dace De'Briago:
Not everybody believes in God though.
But he's still there. ;)

And, actually Absynthe, I was thinking more along the lines of a vote of all the people, lol. ;)

Harkoliar 01-28-2005 04:51 AM

gee... planet of the apes may actually seem a reality with what these scientist are doing.

Nightwing 01-28-2005 09:59 AM

This seems to be a natural step in our evolution as an intelligent life form capable of figuring this out. The important part to me is the reserch must be accurate. How exciting it would be to feel the living energy this creation would bring to the world. I'm not sure I see anything wrong with the creation of life. So it doesn't fit in our little box, so something is different I'm all for it as long as it is done in a responsible way
The medical uses alone for specific organs is well worth it in my opinion.

RevRuby 01-28-2005 10:25 AM

anthro art is taking on a whole new meaning.

Melusine 01-28-2005 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by The Hierophant:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Absynthe:
Personally I would like to see developed an airborne virus that renders stupid people infertile.
Yes I really do mean that. I'm an awesome elitist bastard.


(edited to incorporate a brilliant, spot-on observation)

Dude, you forgot to put 'awesome' in there too. Heh heh. [img]smile.gif[/img] </font>[/QUOTE][img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] :D [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]


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