Published On: Mon, Apr 11th, 2011

Human Animal Hybrids

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In the movie Splice (2009) Two young rebellious scientists are told by their employers to halt groundbreaking work that has seen them produce new creatures with medical benefits by splicing together multiple organisms’ DNA. They decide to secretly continue their work, but this time splicing in human DNA. The movie raises a lot of interesting ideas about cloning, human relations and eventually lines that can get crossed whenever you do push the previous limits of right and wrong.

This film was marketed as some sort of horror movie like ALIEN but it’s pretty far from that. Instead, it’s probably best to compare the film to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY as this here is a thinking movie. And we need some solid thinking if we consider the implications of the work by ‘mad scientists’ in real life as illustrated by the following disturbing snippets.

“On a farm about six miles outside Reno (USA), Jason Chamberlain looks over a flock of about 50 smelly sheep, many of them possessing partially human livers, hearts, brains and other organs. The University of Nevada-Reno researcher talks matter-of-factly about his plans to euthanize one of the pregnant sheep in a nearby lab. He can’t wait to examine the effects of the human cells he had injected into the fetus’ brain about two months ago.”

I hope scientist’s like this will someday be reincarnated as a pig or a sheep with a human mind. Then, they’ll know true hell.

“In January, an informal ethics committee at Stanford University endorsed a proposal to create mice with brains nearly completely made of human brain cells. Stanford law professor Hank Greely, who chaired the ethics committee, said the board was satisfied that the size and shape of the mouse brain would prevent the human cells from creating any traits of humanity. Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice’s behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.”

Yeah..OK, no problem.

“Few human-animal hybrids are as advanced as the sheep created by another stem cell scientist, Esmail Zanjani, and his team at the University of Nevada-Reno. They want to one day turn sheep into living factories for human organs and tissues and along the way create cutting-edge lab animals to more effectively test experimental drugs.”

One day? What about the cows that are genetically modified to produce ‘human’ milk?

Source: MSNBC News

Playing around with nature like this, and creating hybrids, is not new to mankind. History is full of signs and depictions of hybrids; half human, half animal. It’s part of many myths and legends of a lot of civilizations, most notably the Greeks. Even the Sumer tablets tell of these types of experiments.

Even in Genesis Chapter 6 the fallen angels saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. Think of the creatures depicted in Egyptian heiroglyphs. Or the legends about great heros with the strength of many men, who could do great things. All the legends of centaurs and mermaids and such, well it might have been fact at one time.

Although this research will enable us some day to order a heart the same as we would order a windshield or battery — which I think is awesome — it does freak me out because this is far above the human intellectual capacity. We don’t even understand biological life completely. If we understood, we would likely have a cure for anything, instead of needing to rely on biological hacking which won’t make science progress anyway.

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- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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  1. Jason says:

    Well all the civilizations with hybrid legends and myths were destroyed at some sudden disaster.

    Perhaps the ‘real Gods’ didn’t like those ancient mad scientists experiment with mixing creatures and issued a ‘reset’. Makes one wonder if ‘They’ will tolerate our research don’t you think?

  2. Bartel Scheers says:

    Interesting thought Jason.

    Maybe you’re spot on, don’t know. Sure, archeologists have found many ‘ancient devices’ we have no glue about how they were made or what they were used for. That tells me that ancient civilizations were ‘technology advanced’ and we’re just scraping the surface.

    But let’s hope you’re wrong ;-)

  3. [...] of genetic modification, scientists are now able to do things that were once unthinkable. Part human/part animal hybrid monsters are being created by scientists all over the planet and it is all perfectly legal. Anubis – Half [...]

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