In recent years, scientists have mixed the DNA of a jellyfish with that of a monkey, creating a "transgenic" animal that glows in the dark. ("Transgenic" means possessing the genes of more than one type of organism.) Scientists have also inserted spider DNA into the genes of goats, creating ewes that produce milk containing spider-web silk. The goal of the project is to extract sufficient web silk -- one of the strongest and lightest substances known -- to create an industry in spider-silk products.
But what about human transgenic research? Are any biotech companies or researchers putting animal DNA into human embryos? Nobody knows. But, unbelievable as it may sound, some bioethicists and philosophers explicitly endorse engineering animal DNA into human embryos as one method of producing the "post-human" race.
Welcome to the surreal world of "transhumanism," a nascent and explicitly eugenic philosophy that advocates taking control of human evolution through gene modification...The founder of the movement, Nick Bostrom, is a professor of philosophy at Yale University who recently received a three-year fellowship at Oxford. Other pioneer transhumanists include Professor James Hughes of Trinity College, Hartford, and Gregory Stock, director of the Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society at the School of Medicine, UCLA, and author of the recent book Redesigning Humans.
This article was originally published on the National Review Online website.
Read the entire article on the Discovery Institute website.