Ethical/philosophical question of the day - trans-monkeyism


(Christy Hemphill) #1

Some of my relatives post cute animal videos on Facebook. Others post articles like this, so you can see how Christmas dinner conversation is always a mixed bag.

It is interesting in itself that this kind of research is now possible.

And we talk a lot about the ethical implications of transhumanism, but this experiment raises some interesting questions as well. How much can you mess with a monkey’s DNA before it is entitled to some human rights? Would it be different if they were inserting human DNA into chimps or bonobos?


(Razumov) #2

The Soviet union conducted experiments in crossbreeding humans and apes during the 1920s.

No evidence of the success of these experiments has ever surfaced, although rumors of a Soviet ape-human interbreeding program persisted into the post war period.


(Mitchell W McKain) #3

Holy ape! It is the beginning of the planet of the apes story.


(Razumov) #4

Darwinists had a great deal of interest in interbreeding Apes and humans around the turn of the century. There were a variety of projects to do so, the Soviet one being the only one that was well known at the time. Supposedly American atheists provided the Pasteur institute with $100,000 (over a million in modern dollars) to set up an experimental station in Africa to conduct such experiments.

According to Gordon Gallup:

“One of the most interesting cases involved an attempt which was made back in the 1920s in what was the first primate research centre established in the US in Orange Park, Florida.

“They inseminated a female chimpanzee with human semen from an undisclosed donor and claimed not only that pregnancy occurred but the pregnancy went full term and resulted in a live birth.

“But in the matter of days, or a few weeks, they began to consider the moral and ethical considerations and the infant was euthanised.”


(Phil) #5

What a ethical problem it is. We see no problem putting a gene for human insulin in a bacteria to produce pharmaceutical insulin, but what about human genes in a monkey to produce a kidney for harvest and transplant? Why is that any different?


(Christy Hemphill) closed #6

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