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Animal-Human Embryos Deserve Human Rights

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posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 01:14 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
Are you kidding me? No! We are not God, we should not play God, or anything of the sort!


Anything of the sort? Im curious, how far is science allowed to go, in your eyes, before it crosses into this God's territory?


What does it mean to be human if you start making human-whatever hybrids?


Heh, alright you have me entertained. What does it mean to you to be human?

To me, my whole conception of what it means to be human is my consciousness and my sentience. If it was just genetic then how could I say Chimps are not human?? Since they share like 98% of the same DNA as "human DNA". That said, what if these animal-human hybrids are still conscious and sentient in the same fashion as "humans"?

So seeing a half-lion half human serving you your vanilla latte in the morning is going to threaten your conception of what it means to be human? I agree.... but no more then experiencing the presence of any other human


[edit on 3-7-2007 by Cloak and Dagger]




posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 01:20 AM
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Originally posted by MidnightDStroyer


Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger

We cannot take care of the species that are on our planet presently

Things are bad, I admit, but we are still alive and we still have our society.

Only until we've overpopulated to the point where planetary resources will no longer sustain such vast numbers...


Certainly! I agree. In fact I feel most of the worlds societal problems can be traced back to our population issue. I just thought the previous poster had a little too pessimistic outlook on the world. Things are bad sure, but if we don't see any good then what is our drive to improve things at all?

[edit on 3-7-2007 by Cloak and Dagger]



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger

Originally posted by Uplifted
I'm with you. But not "sentient rights", there are lots of sentient creatures on the planet right now. "Sapient rights" is what it should be. Though I do believe humans aren't any better or worse than any other animal.


Well I still stick to the 'sentient rights'. Dolphins, certain primates, and I believe elephants are all sentient/self-aware, and so I strongly feel they should get all the rights that are applicable to their well-being. Our laws should support their rights with the same force and respect of our own. imho.

Let's say hypothetically we create a bipedal animal that is self aware and intelligent, but has no human DNA. This being would not qualify for your 'sapient rights' then. What if this being was moral, capable, and willing to contribute to society... does it not deserve rights to protect its well-being?

**edit to ask: are you actually a falconer? That has always caught my interest


[edit on 1-7-2007 by Cloak and Dagger]

I agree that sentient animals deserve rights. Sapiency just gives us humans the responsibility to keep our world stable. Human rights should be called "sapient rights" because we are sapient (one level up on sentiency). There should be sentient rights as well, sapient rights would include the rights to other things besides life. What says you have to be human to be sapient? Sounds like this "creature" would be sapient.

As for the question, yup, falconer right here.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 12:01 PM
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It seems like most people feel that there are only a few sentient species. From my own experiences, I believe that most mammals and birds are aware of themselves and do feel emotions. I'd say birds of prey (most, if not all of them) are more intelligent than dogs and cats. Raptors also have incredibly strong personalties that differ greatly between individuals. I've seen them sad, happy, pissed off, annoyed, and just about every other emotion. I'm just adding this to remind everyone that sentience is everywhere.



posted on Jul, 3 2007 @ 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger
Anything of the sort? Im curious, how far is science allowed to go, in your eyes, before it crosses into this God's territory?

Well there's politically and morally. Morally, myself, I don't believe in any sort of cloning, abortion, anything like that. Politically... I don't know, to be honest. If I had to decide right now, I'd disallow anything using the nuclei of any sort of human cell. But really, it's difficult, and I might change my mind in the future. I base most of my political beliefs on what will objectively happen, but this is more out of fear and disgust.


Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger
Heh, alright you have me entertained. What does it mean to you to be human?

To me, my whole conception of what it means to be human is my consciousness and my sentience. If it was just genetic then how could I say Chimps are not human?? Since they share like 98% of the same DNA as "human DNA". That said, what if these animal-human hybrids are still conscious and sentient in the same fashion as "humans"?

So seeing a half-lion half human serving you your vanilla latte in the morning is going to threaten your conception of what it means to be human? I agree.... but no more then experiencing the presence of any other human


If I really knew the answer to that, it wouldn't bother me. This is a question that's been asked for ages and ages, and the closest we've come to an "answer" is through religion. How do you measure consciousness without observing your own?

It's just that, when I see the future of this stuff... They talk about designer babies, clones for organ harvesting, genetic "improvement"... I fear for the human race and what it may become by playing with this. We're playing with fire here.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
It's just that, when I see the future of this stuff... They talk about designer babies, clones for organ harvesting, genetic "improvement"... I fear for the human race and what it may become by playing with this. We're playing with fire here.

This is the prime place where the issue can get (politically) sticky: All species on this planet evolved to fill a certain niche in the biosphere of Earth...For example, humans have developed a gene that allows us to get fat because we would need that kind of "advantage" in times of famine. But if a "designer baby" had that gene modified to either remove that gene or merely reduced to an unusable level, then how would that person survive in a world so overpopulated as to cause famine?

In short, who really has the wisdom it would take to know what the "improvements" are? Who can judge what changes would be improvements compared to what changes would merely spell eventual doom for the whole race?

In a social example, a person grows up, goes to college & specializes to perform a certain job...If society or the economy decides to "obsolete" that job, then what does that person do?

Homosapiens are not the only "primate species" that evolved...But all of the rival species that competed with us on the road to homosapiens died out! In most cases, it was due to direct competition for food & resources. In some cases, the species evolved to a particular niche & specialized for that niche...As the environment slowly changed over millions of years, those species that were "overly-specialized" couldn't adapt & they died out.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 04:21 AM
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Brave Not-So-New World

Dear MidnightDStroyer, all your fearful questions...


Humans have developed a gene that allows us to get fat because we would need that kind of "advantage" in times of famine. But if a "designer baby" had that gene modified to either remove that gene or merely reduced to an unusable level, then how would that person survive in a world so overpopulated as to cause famine?



Who really has the wisdom it would take to know what the "improvements" are? Who can judge what changes would be improvements compared to what changes would merely spell eventual doom for the whole race?



In a social example, a person grows up, goes to college & specializes to perform a certain job...If society or the economy decides to "obsolete" that job, then what does that person do?


...were faced and answered thousands of years ago. To worry about them now is to misunderstand the issue, and to underestimate the resilience, the variability and above all the adaptability of human beings.

You see, genetic engineering is nothing new. We've been at it since before human beings could properly be called human.

The genetic engineering method early humans and prehumans used was selective breeding. To practise it, they didn't even have to know what they were doing. All they had to do was know what they liked.

That, for example, is how teosinte became corn, as I explain in this post on another thread. The process is sumarized on this Web page:


Between the gathering of wild foods and the cultivating of fields was a whole lot of wildscaping. Women out gathering would see that a certain area grew teosinte very well. So they pulled up the other plants competing with it so that teosinte could better flourish. Any trees shading the area were cut down so that the teosinte could get more sunlight. Rocks and tree limbs were used to create borders that helped the teosinte patch retain water and kept out encroaching plants. This was agriculture, 4000 B.C.E. style.

Each fall, seed from the best teosinte plants were scattered and the rest harvested for food. In these deliberately scattered teosinte, the bundle got larger with more rows of seeds, the kernels better and their shells thinner, making them even easier to process and cook. Each year, the cultivated teosinte patch got larger and denser, the plants bigger and stronger.


This is genetic engineering, pure and simple. And it wasn't just corn; all the crops and livestock we consume today have had this done to them, first by unconscious selective breeding (as explained above), later by conscious selective breeding (which we call farming). For a very thorough and readable account of it, read Guns, Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond.

Ah yes, you'll say, but I'm talking about the genetic engineering of people.

Well actually, we as a species were genetically modifying and manipulating each other long, long before we started doing it to plants and animals.

The mechanism by which human beings genetically manipulate each other is called sexual selection. It was first identified by Darwin, who wrote extensively about it in The Descent of Man. Put crudely, sexual selection means that species automatically breed into themselves the characteristics they find desirable. They can't help doing it.

Sexual selection accounts for peacocks' tails and bowerbirds' bowers. It also accounts for the unusually prominent buttocks of Khoisan women, square male jaws and the fact that women's breasts are, by and large, bigger than they need be. Some biologists think it's why we have big brains and language, the things that make us human in the first place. If you'd like to know more about this, I suggest reading The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller.

Now, let's look at your questions again.


If a "designer baby" had [its fat-storing] gene modified... how would that person survive... famine?

Genetic tinkering that compromises survivability probably won't have an effect in the immediate succeeding generation; if it does, it will be because of some ecological upheaval that will threaten the survival of all humans. Those with the 'thin gene' will probably do less well than others. If the famine is extreme enough they will all die, but so will lots of 'normal' individuals. And the cumulative effect will be that the deleterious genetic modification is eliminated -- by natural selection. The skinny ones starving to death may curse their parents or forebears with their last, dying breaths; but the rest of us will have learnt our lesson, and won't be clamouring for that particular modification any more. All will once again be well with the human race; in fact, it will be more famine-resistant than ever.


Who really has the wisdom [to]... judge what changes would be improvements compared to what changes would merely spell eventual doom for the whole race?

Nobody has the wisdom. Wisdom is not the point. Evolution proceeds onward anyhow, whether humans decide to take a part in it or no. All we're doing is offering more grist to selection's mill. There's nothing inherently wrong, or foolish, about that.

The wisdom argument cuts both ways. At some point in the future, the natural environment is going to change radically and violently. It has done so time and time again over the living aeons and, if we can be sure of anything at all, we can be sure it will change again. When it does, the human race may need to modify itself radically over a couple of generations in order to survive at all. In such circumstances genetic engineering may be our only salvation. We should thereby be very unwise to try to forbid it.


A person grows up... specializes to perform a certain job... If society or the economy decides to "obsolete" that job, then what does that person do?

What did wheelwrights and harness-makers do when motor-cars came along? Ah, but you're talking about people who have been genetically specialized to do a certain job, right? Well, I don't think you need worry much about that. The kind of jobs that require physical specialization won't be done by people for much longer; they're already being replaced by machines.

As for mental specialization, can genetic engineering really make our brains more specialized than they already are? Before you say 'yes', consider what 'mental specialization' is. It's talent. Again, this is a problem people have faced time and time again in the past, and overcome. Don't worry about it!

For someone who calls him- or herself MidnightDStroyer, I must say you're being awfully timid. Buck up, for heaven's sake! Brace yourself, take a deep breath and step forward into the brave new world. It really is that, you know.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 04:31 AM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
Are you kidding me? No! We are not God, we should not play God, or anything of the sort! What does it mean to be human if you start making human-whatever hybrids? Get out of our genes, and leave the human race alone!


Wasn't this the cry of the preachers and churchfolk when a vaccine against 'God's Judgement' (smallpox) was discovered?
Thing never change, do they?


It depends. If the 'Chimeras' are 'sentient' (not gonna argue semantics here - sorry guys), I wouldn't grant them full human rights, though I would grant them some form of legal protection.

Anyway personally I believe that there are far more pressing concerns for humanity, such as environmental destruction, global warming (please don't bring the whole 'Global warming is caused by the Sun!/fake!/a Cthulhu spawned illusion!' here), rather than the elimination of a few genetic disorders/diseases.

Ah well. At least the perfected humans will have the technology to adapt to the blasted future Earth.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by Chaoticar
Wasn't this the cry of the preachers and churchfolk when a vaccine against 'God's Judgement' (smallpox) was discovered?
Thing never change, do they?


Probably, or something similar. There are some that still don't believe in medicine. But this issue is new and entirely different. What we can do now is splice genes from different species, different individuals of the same species, anywhere as long as we have a source, and put them into an organism. Genetic engineering really is an entirely new world.



posted on Jul, 4 2007 @ 02:56 PM
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Scientists don't "play god" because the vast majority of them don't believe in god.

People said that scientists were playing god with test tube babies, and now previously infertile women can have children and no one bats an eye.

An embryo should not have the same rights as a full, actually born human, whether it's 100% human or part animal. If it isn't developed enough to survive without the incubator of its mother, then it should no more have individual rights than your heart or your liver, neither of which can survive without the host.

I can see it now, someone suing to prevent someone else from having a heart transplant because the heart in question has "rights" and the plaintiff wants it buried with the husband or wife donor, instead of following the deceased's wish to be a donor to someone so that they can live. Slippery slope indeed.

Science learns things from doing procedures like this, things that save actual human lives.

I don't see anything wrong with it. In fact, I find it very interesting that life, once again, is following the fictional prophecies of science-fiction.



posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:25 AM
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Astyanax, I think you misinterpreted most of everything I posted: For one thing, there is a difference between "eugenics" & "genetic engineering." Eugenics depends upon selective breeding, while genetic engineering involves direct manipulation of the genetic structure...The difference is akin to asking yourself, "Should I sleep with him/her tonight," or asking, "I wonder if he/she would agree to having a test-tube baby instead?"


And I pointed out how eugenics has been used in the history of agriculture: I pointed out how those noble families actually created their own hereditary problems (hemophilia & mental retardation were most encountered) through eugenics. I also pointed out how the stem cell research could improve the genetic sciences, even though there have been epidemic diseases that were "created" by gengineering: After all, what else has NBC (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) Warfare been all about anyway?. Yes, I've been in the military & have been trained (to some extent) about NBC Warfare. Humanity (at least, the "national rulers") have spent a lot of time, effort & money to use genetic engineering intentionally as a weapon.

Therefore, I have not been timid on this subject: After considering how genetics have been used against people, I only advise caution in the gaining of knowledge...After all, the genetic sciences can very easily turned into a potent weapon that could actually bring us to complete genocide if not handled with caution.

[edit on 5-7-2007 by MidnightDStroyer]



posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 01:26 AM
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Sorry about a double-post. Apparently, dgTempe is not the only one to have that problem lately.


[edit on 5-7-2007 by MidnightDStroyer]



posted on Jul, 5 2007 @ 05:10 AM
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Originally posted by MidnightDStroyer
Astyanax, I think you misinterpreted most of everything I posted.

Fair enough. On with the thread!



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