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Animal-Human Hybrids: Is there a limit to how far bioscientists are willing to go?

Wesley J. Smith

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BIOTECHNOLOGY is becoming dangerously close to raging out of control. Scientists are engaging in ever increasingly macabre experiments that threaten to mutate nature and the human condition at the molecular level. Worse, many scientists have made it clear that society has no right to apply the brakes.

According to this view, scientists have a constitutional right under the First Amendment to conduct research. This means that only the most compelling state interest--such as preventing the release of a plague--justifies society placing any constraints on scientific inquiry. Moreover, only scientists have the right to judge whether a proposed area of scientific inquiry is moral. As for the rest of us, our job is to support research with our taxes, applaud when benefits are derived, and otherwise mind our own business. Indeed, many scientists literally believes that in science, virtually "anything goes."

The latest evidence of this phenomenon can be found in an article headlined "Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy," published in the current National Geographic News, which reports that scientists are creating creatures that are mostly animal but part human. Actually, this isn't really news. Such experiments have been going on for some time. Indeed, the primary reason that Ian Wilmut made Dolly, the first cloned sheep, was to learn how to use cloning to create a herd of genetically altered "transgenic" sheep bioengineered to possess a human gene. Their purpose was laudable. Wilmut intended to "pharm" the sheep, that is, obtain substances from ewes' milk that could be used in the creation of human medicine.

Read the entire article on the Weekly Standard website (new window will open).

Posted: 20-Jul-05



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