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Human Cloning

tysonrss

Keyblade Master
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Location
OH, USA
'm a bit curious about how folks feel about the cloning of the human genome and how Scientists claim that such experiments could help cure diseases as a whole. I've been surfing the web as usual and came upon disturbing news about human cross breeding with animals and such.

Crazed scientists all over the globe are “playing god” with the very building blocks of life. Today, thanks to extraordinary advances in the field 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. Scientists justify mixing the DNA of humans and animals by claiming that it will help them “cure diseases” and “feed the world”, but the reality is that all of this genetic modification is a tremendous threat to the human race. It is only a matter of time before humans start allowing themselves to be genetically-modified in order to “fight illness” or to “enhance” their abilities. The temptation to insert the genes of animals or plants into people in order to create “super soldiers” or a “superior race” will certainly prove to be much too tempting.

Recently, a Daily Mail article discussed a new report in the UK that noted that over 150 “human-animal hybrid embryos” have been created in British labs. The following is a brief excerpt from that article….

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes just a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ‘Planet of the Apes’ scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far.
Most countries around the globe allow scientists to do pretty much whatever they want when it comes to genetic modification.

The mixing of humans and animals is even going on inside the United States.

The following is from an article posted on MSNBC a few years ago entitled “Scientists Create Animals That Are Part-Human“….

On a farm about six miles outside this gambling town, Jason Chamberlain looks over a flock of about 50 smelly sheep, many of them possessing partially human livers, hearts, brains and other organs.
Did you know that in many areas it is perfectly legal to create human clones for scientific research purposes?

Life News recently reported that in the state of Minnesota it is now perfectly legal to use taxpayer dollars to create cloned human embryos“.

Now Scientists are trying to create human gelatin. scientists are excited about the potential of putting “human-derived gelatin” into marshmallows, candy and other desserts….

Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for producing large quantities of human-derived gelatin that could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for gelatin-type desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products.
Are some of these experiments going a little too far? What are your thoughts on this topic?
 

Azure Sage

Spread Smiles!
Staff member
ZD Legend
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Magnolia City
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Snow Queen: is azure sage trans
I think humans and animals are separate for a reason. It kind of is "playing God", but while I don't necessarily accept it, I also know I don't have a say in telling them not to do it. This might end up being how humanity advances. The way things are right now, who knows where things could go.

A good example would be the Jurassic Park movies. They tried to "play God" by creating dinosaurs and it backfired on them. There was corruption that led to the theft of research materials. And there were lots of deaths, too. Of course, it's just a movie, but I think it's a good representation of how bad things could get.

On the subject of cloning humans, the novel Sword Art Online actually goes into that in Volume 10: Alicization Running. Here's an excerpt from the novel:

Sword Art Online Volume 10: Alicization Running Chapter Two: Project Alicization said:
Rinko forced her hands into the pockets of her jeans to hide the chilly feeling on her fingers. Asuna, who was standing beside her, seemed to turn pale.
“...Then, the research is already successful, right? Why is there still a need to call us over.”
She fearlessly exerted strength into her stomach as she asked that. Kikuoka exchanged glances with Higa again, showed a weak smile on the left side of his face, and slowly nodded.
“...Well, we did succeed in our soul cloning, but we did not realize our own folly. There's a large divide of incomprehension between a human clone and a real Artificial Intelligence... Higa-kun, show them that thing.”
“Ehh—spare me already. It'll be really messy.”
Higa shook his head unwillingly, but sighed thereafter and started operating the console unwillingly.
Suddenly, the screen that was showing the mysterious foreign country darkened.
“Then, loading copy module HG001.”
Tan. Higa tapped the enter key -and there was a fractal light shining in the middle of the screen. The middle was nearly white, and the sharp outer boundary of the red light was flickering irregularly.
“...Is the sampling complete?”
An unexpected voice could be heard from the speakers above, shocking Rinko and Asuna. They heard Higa's own voice, but there was a rather melancholic feeling behind it, perhaps because of the thin metal.
Higa, who was sitting on the chair, took the flexible microphone on the console and answered the voice that was similar to his,
“Ahh, the sampling of the Artificial Fluctlight was completed without a hitch.”
“I see. That's good then. But...what's going on? It's completely dark here. I can't move my body. Is the STL malfunctioning? Sorry, let me out of the machine.”
“No...unfortunately, I can't do that.”
“Oi oi, what now? What are you saying? Who are you? I've never heard your voice before.”
Higa was giving off a cold sweat as he remained silent for a while, and then answered in a slow tone,
“I'm Higa. Higa Takeru.”
“...”
The red light flared, and suddenly cringed back. After a moment of silence, the sharp extremities expanded as if they were resisting something.
“Damn *******, what are you saying!? I'm Higa here! Let me out of the STL!”
“Calm down, don't get upset. This isn't like you.”
At this point, Rinko finally understood the meaning of the scene in front of her.
Higa was talking to the clone of his own soul.
“Then, think about it calmly, try and recall. Your memory should be interrupted the moment you entered the STL to extract the Artificial Fluctlight clone.”
“...So what? Of course that's the case. I was unconscious during the scan.”
“You remember what you said before you entered the STL, right? If you don't feel your body when you wake up, and if there is darkness around you, it means you're a clone of Higa Takeru.”
The light again shrank back like some sort of sea creature. The long silence continued for a while, then 2, 3 weak spikes reached out.
“...Impossible. There can't be such a thing. I'm not a clone, I'm the real Higa Takeru. I...I have my own memories. I remember everything from kindergarten, university until the time I got onto the Ocean Turtle...”
“That's true, but that's to be expected. We cloned the complete memories of the Artificial Fluctlight... as a clone, you are truly Higa Takeru. Therefore, you should have a superior intellect. Calm down and analyze the situation over and over again. Let's work hard to achieve our common aim.”
“...Our...you're saying us?”
There was a highly emotional feeling within the metallic voice of the clone, and at that moment, Rinko's hands trembled mightily. She had never seen such a cruel and grotesque 'experiment' before.
“...No...no, I can't believe it. I'm the real Higa. What kind of experiment is this? It's alright now. Just let me out of here. Kiku-san...are you there? Don't play any disgusting games now and let me out.”
On hearing that, Kikuoka showed a melancholy expression, bent down, and brought his mouth to the microphone.
“...It's me, Higa-kun. No... I should be calling you HG 001. Unfortunately, the fact is that you really are a clone. You took many instructions before the scan, talked with me and the other technicians, and you should have been mentally prepared to emerge as a clone. You entered the STL with that belief in the possibility.”
“But... but... no... NO ONE TOLD ME IT WOULD BE LIKE THIS!!!”
The shrill voice of the clone rang through the control room.
“I...I'M ME! IF I WERE CLONED, YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN ME THE REALITY OF BEING A CLONE... SUCH A THING... SUCH A THING IS TOO MUCH... NO... LET ME OUT!! LET ME OUT OF HERE!!”
“Calm down. Remain calm. The error correction function of the Light Cube is not as great as that of the brain's. You should know the dangers of losing your cool when thinking.”
“I'M PERFECT!! I'M HIGA TAKERU! IF THAT'S THE CASE, HOW ABOUT I START A PI RECITING CONTEST WITH THAT FAKE!? OI, LET'S START! 3.1415926535897932......”
The red light expanded, dissipating from the screen and disappeared from the center. A small sound resonated as the microphone went silent.
Higa Takeru sighed long and hard again, weakly pressed the key on the console, and declared,
“It collapsed. 4 minutes and 27 seconds.”
When I first read this, I was a little unnerved. I think it's a good example of how scary human cloning could be.

I personally think it's wrong, but I also think we sometimes don't have any choice but to progress.
 
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Xinnamin

Mrs. Austin
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Location
clustercereal
I find that a lot of the fright present in the articles is just an over-exaggeration of the science that is actually going on. The human-animal hybrid embryos are created as part of controlled experiments, whereby the embryo must be destroyed within 14 days. Such embryos are not allowed to develop to a point where ethical boundaries can be called into question, and are used for the study of embryonic development. While science does have a tendency to continue pushing, all science requires funding, and the moment it starts treading on true ethical violations, society will no longer give them the money they need to continue with research.

Fear about genetic improvements and enhancements to humans is also extremely farfetched and often a result of lack of understanding about how genetics really work. In order for a genetic modification to have an actual large scale effect in an organism, it would have to be administered to the developing stages of am embryo, or perhaps infancy at a stretch. The reason is that each and every single cell in your body has a copy of your DNA, and in order to create any sort of major genetic change, all of those cells' DNA would have to be modified. You would have to target the stem cells, and then somehow find a way to either induce the genetic change in existing cells, or destroy them. A race of "super humans" would have to be engineered from the embryo up, and human experimentation is something that the moral and ethical systems of basically every civilization with the science to do so opposes. Again, scientific advancement is dictated by the funding provided by the rest of society, and society would sooner face a serious redefining ethical crisis than create genetic super humans.

For human cloning, it depends on the scale. Cloning of a whole human would face serious ethical considerations and is not likely to happen. I also don't see what benefits it would have that cannot be studied from other sources. If they want to study development, they can use an actual natural embryo. If they want to clone organs, they are already doing that with lab animals.

The cloning of human organs is something I see no issues with. It is both a way to study organ development through engineering as well as a way of creating organs for those in need of transplants. A tightly regulated set of restrictions go into the ethical consideration of animal experimentation. Any scientist working in the field know how much sheer paperwork and waiting is involved in trying to push through new experiments. I study biomedical engineering, I can vouch for this. Given that, I see no reason to fear, or even discourage, these courses of scientific research.
 

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
This... is incredibly horrifying. I had no idea scientists were already this advanced in the cloning process, making... hybrids. The thought is actually making me sick to my stomach. Making these monstrosities and then killing them within 14 days? Is this how low the moral standards of scientists have gotten these days? Makes me want to puke. And even if they didn't kill them, they're still messing with God's creations, one of the worst things I can think of humanity doing.

And as far as altering our own genetic code? With the way scientists seem to be carrying out their experiments I wouldn't put it past them to try it. It's a slippery slope, sure the general populace may be against it now, but give it enough time with similar experiments done to animals and people might give in to the idea.

Cloning whole humans is something we as a race should put an absolute boundary around, never to be delved into. Strangely enough, though, I don't really see a problem with cloning separate organs. Since these organs cannot live on their own, we're not really growing life now, are we? And if doing this allows us to give transplants to people who need them without requiring sacrifices on behalf of other lives, then there would be less suffering all around. As long as the cloning process does not involve killing off human embryos in any form or fashion, I see nothing wrong with it.
 

Raindrop14

Soldier for Christ!
Joined
Jan 29, 2011
Location
E-Arth
Okay, human cloning is disturbing. I don't believe in doing any scientific tests and such on human beings. Animals I'm on the brink of okay, but if I had to vote to do testing on an animal for something, I'd choose to vote against it. If they do it of their own accord without the votes and such (so long as they aren't doing it illigally) I'm fine with it. But humans are entirely different. Humans have a different mind structure and everything. I say I'm against human cloning.
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Genetic engineering is easily my favorite branch of biology; it's exciting to imagine the possibilities of what can be done. I don't understand why everyone is so vehemently against the concept of human cloning. I see it as possibilities. I don't see much use in cloning a single person. It's not like you're transferring your conscious over to the clone so you can escape death and achieve immortality. I personally am much more interested in the hybrids.

Human-animal hybrids can be nothing but helpful to the human race. Let's take a gander at the humble German Shepherd. The German Shepherd, due to breeders inbreeding the species, suffer from hip defects when they are of a pure pedigree. When mixed with any other dog, the hip defects go away. Perhaps we'd be able to avoid defects in our system if we mixed our genes with other animals.

If this is a question of ethics, then let's just think for a moment that human beings are animals too. Our value of life is regarded as more important than, say, a rat, but we're both animals. Why should rats be tested on - against its will, mind you - and humans, who consent, not be allowed to without the scientists who conduct the experiments be scrutinized? Human testing can be dangerous, and be viewed as unethical by the extremists, but if the subject is consenting, then why is it unethical?

Additionally, how is "Playing God" considered bad?
 

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
I don't understand why everyone is so vehemently against the concept of human cloning. I see it as possibilities.
Yeah, we see it as possibilities too. Possibilities for it to go incredibly, horrifyingly wrong.

Human-animal hybrids can be nothing but helpful to the human race. Let's take a gander at the humble German Shepherd. The German Shepherd, due to breeders inbreeding the species, suffer from hip defects when they are of a pure pedigree. When mixed with any other dog, the hip defects go away. Perhaps we'd be able to avoid defects in our system if we mixed our genes with other animals.

If this is a question of ethics, then let's just think for a moment that human beings are animals too. Our value of life is regarded as more important than, say, a rat, but we're both animals. Why should rats be tested on - against its will, mind you - and humans, who consent, not be allowed to without the scientists who conduct the experiments be scrutinized? Human testing can be dangerous, and be viewed as unethical by the extremists, but if the subject is consenting, then why is it unethical?
I fundamentally disagree with that statement right there. We humans are not animals, we are superior to animals. We have dominion over the Earth and we are the caretakers of the planet. We have a conscience and a higher reasoning. We have cultures, different spoken languages, etc. Our lives are worth more than animals because nothing on this earth is like us.

We humans cannot successfully breed with any animals on the planet because no beings are of the same kind as us. Dogs, cats, horses, etc. can do this amongst themselves because they are species of the same kind. Yet we cannot breed with chimpanzees, the species with the highest amount of similar genes, because the differences are far more than enough to prohibit a successful offspring.

Additionally, how is "Playing God" considered bad?
Because we are placing ourselves in His position. Taking the role of creator is equivalent to placing yourself in God's seat, which is a form of blasphemy. Blasphemy being one of the worst, if not THE worst, sins humans can commit, "playing God" is looked down upon as the worst things one can do.
 

Xinnamin

Mrs. Austin
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Location
clustercereal
Yeah, we see it as possibilities too. Possibilities for it to go incredibly, horrifyingly wrong.
The same can be said of every scientific advancement that humanity has ever achieved. Fear of what may go wrong should not and does not stop the advancement of science in light of what gains can be achieved.

I fundamentally disagree with that statement right there. We humans are not animals, we are superior to animals. We have dominion over the Earth and we are the caretakers of the planet. We have a conscience and a higher reasoning. We have cultures, different spoken languages, etc. Our lives are worth more than animals because nothing on this earth is like us.
From a sheer scientific and literal point of view, humans do belong to the kingdom Animalia, we are by every literal definition "animals", and are in no way objectively superior. We have "dominion" over Earth only by our standards. We can shape the planet, but frankly, so can every other living being, and even non-living elements like wind, just in different ways. What we contribute to the planet cannot for example dwarf the oxygen contribution of say cyanobacteria for instance, and how can we claim ourselves objectively superior to all other life if we cannot even survive without them. We may have higher brain function yes, but tell me, why is that the defining characteristic of the "best" animal instead of say population, where bacteria is king, or say size, where whales dominate. Nothing on this earth is like us, but nothing on this earth is like any other creature either. Every species is unique, but humans are simply either too human-centric or not well informed enough to see all those differences.

We humans cannot successfully breed with any animals on the planet because no beings are of the same kind as us. Dogs, cats, horses, etc. can do this amongst themselves because they are species of the same kind. Yet we cannot breed with chimpanzees, the species with the highest amount of similar genes, because the differences are far more than enough to prohibit a successful offspring.
No species can successfully and viably breed outside of their species. That is the very definition of the word species. Dogs, cats, horses, all of those have breeds, but all are their own species. In humans, this can be analogous to races and nationalities. I don't see what point you're trying to make here.

Because we are placing ourselves in His position. Taking the role of creator is equivalent to placing yourself in God's seat, which is a form of blasphemy. Blasphemy being one of the worst, if not THE worst, sins humans can commit, "playing God" is looked down upon as the worst things one can do.
This is entirely an opinion of belief systems. I respect it, but I disagree with it. I personally see "playing God" as people call it to be a challenge of human capability, a challenge that poses potential benefit to society in terms of what it can teach us. If humans are always striving to be better, I see no harm in stepping up to this challenge and learning along the way. That's what science is, after all.
 

Ganondork

you touch her butt and she moves away
Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Alright Sir Quaffler, I'll touch on points Xindi didn't really make.

Sir Quaffler said:
I fundamentally disagree with that statement right there. We humans are not animals, we are superior to animals. We have dominion over the Earth and we are the caretakers of the planet. We have a conscience and a higher reasoning. We have cultures, different spoken languages, etc. Our lives are worth more than animals because nothing on this earth is like us.
We have instinct like an animal does - we're just too "Superior" to listen to it half the time. Ignoring it can get us killed, mind you. Animals also have what we consider "Culture," just not as festive. It can be considered culture - as well as instinct - for a salmon to return to its birthplace in order to lay eggs, for instance. This entire argument is through the eyes of religion, not science. This discussion is, in this situation, a point of science.

We humans cannot successfully breed with any animals on the planet because no beings are of the same kind as us. Dogs, cats, horses, etc. can do this amongst themselves because they are species of the same kind. Yet we cannot breed with chimpanzees, the species with the highest amount of similar genes, because the differences are far more than enough to prohibit a successful offspring.
What does that have to do with what I said, as well as anything discussed in the thread? If this is a comment about cloning, that's not how it works. In order to create a human-animal hybrid, you have to isolate a single gene that one of the two possesses, and then insert it into the host during fetal stages. It isn't a hybrid like a tiger and lion, it's just genetic engineering.

Because we are placing ourselves in His position. Taking the role of creator is equivalent to placing yourself in God's seat, which is a form of blasphemy. Blasphemy being one of the worst, if not THE worst, sins humans can commit, "playing God" is looked down upon as the worst things one can do.
Why are scientists who hold no belief in a deity held back by this? I'm surprised there's enough scientists who still believe in God for this to actually still consider "Playing God" to be negative. This entire point, once again, only applies to someone who believes in a higher being.
 

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
The same can be said of every scientific advancement that humanity has ever achieved. Fear of what may go wrong should not and does not stop the advancement of science in light of what gains can be achieved.
Sorry, but not this time. This has the chance of irrevocably deteriorating our physical makeup as well ash how we view ourselves. If we start introducing animal genes into our own, sure it may have the expected benefits scientists say it will have, but it may also have some unexpected and extremely horrifying effects that can be passed on to every generation after that one. The worst part is, these changes might not become apparent immediately due to recessiveness but may crop up later when these animal genes are in a much larger population, precluding any possibility of getting that gene completely out of the gene pool. Besides that, even if we would be able to somehow go through the minefield of possible drawbacks unscathed (which I highly doubt), think of how our future generations will be affected by these actions. We already have a problem with racism in our world currently, I can only imagine that would worsen if people start having body parts from animals or, heck, even if they just have animal genes that mitigate some problem or enhance some physical abilities. There might even come a point where people are judged by their gene content, something they themselves don't really have a say in (since these genes would have to be introduced from the fetus); Olympians might be disqualified because they have genes from deer or panther that allow them to run faster.

Do you see how this whole thing can turn up on its head and bite us in the butt? I'd rather avoid that situation altogether by nipping the problem in the bud and outlawing human-animal hybrids.

From a sheer scientific and literal point of view, humans do belong to the kingdom Animalia, we are by every literal definition "animals", and are in no way objectively superior. We have "dominion" over Earth only by our standards. We can shape the planet, but frankly, so can every other living being, and even non-living elements like wind, just in different ways. What we contribute to the planet cannot for example dwarf the oxygen contribution of say cyanobacteria for instance, and how can we claim ourselves objectively superior to all other life if we cannot even survive without them. We may have higher brain function yes, but tell me, why is that the defining characteristic of the "best" animal instead of say population, where bacteria is king, or say size, where whales dominate. Nothing on this earth is like us, but nothing on this earth is like any other creature either. Every species is unique, but humans are simply either too human-centric or not well informed enough to see all those differences.
Binomial nomenclature is just a means we as humans have devised to classify the organisms we come across, it's not a set-in-stone law of nature. I find it curious that you're calling me out on my using human standards to declare man the superior being when in fact you're doing the same to classify us as animals.

Now to address the rest of this argument. Yes, animals do in fact shape the environment in their own ways, I'm not going to deny that. But taking everything into account, we humans still have the largest impact on our world; this should be immediately apparent. We are superior to animals because we can use our higher intellect to outsmart them and bring them under our control; we can use our higher brain functions to carry out tasks impossible for animals. No animal has used tools to anywhere near the extent we humans have. The top position of the world is not determined by size or population by instead by how much the top creature changes the world around them. And in that regard I have no qualms declaring humans the top creature.

This is entirely an opinion of belief systems. I respect it, but I disagree with it. I personally see "playing God" as people call it to be a challenge of human capability, a challenge that poses potential benefit to society in terms of what it can teach us. If humans are always striving to be better, I see no harm in stepping up to this challenge and learning along the way. That's what science is, after all.
You're absolutely right it's an opinion of belief systems. He asked why those of us who hold to a religious affiliation decry these scientific actions as "playing God", and I gave an honest answer. Calling me out on my belief system when I answered a question that pertains to my religious system is rather redundant. I know it's not going to apply to those who don't hold to my religious affiliation, but nonetheless I saw fit to answer why those of us with the opinion that these experiments are crossing into forbidden territory think that way. And I'll totally respect your opinion as well. I love how science strives to make humanity better just as much as you do, but there are certain lines that must never be crossed, and creating new life forms & altering our own genetic makeup is one of those lines.

We have instinct like an animal does - we're just too "Superior" to listen to it half the time. Ignoring it can get us killed, mind you. Animals also have what we consider "Culture," just not as festive. It can be considered culture - as well as instinct - for a salmon to return to its birthplace in order to lay eggs, for instance.
And listening to our instincts 100% of the time is better than using our higher reasoning? I think not. And I never stated that we didn't have instincts. Also, much of our world's cultural customs run counter to instinct (e.g. committing ritual suicide to avoid capture by the enemy, which runs counter to our instinct to survive). Since I cannot rightly recall any animal "customs" that also run counter to the animal's instincts I don't know why this is important to the discussion, unless you provide examples.

This entire argument is through the eyes of religion, not science. This discussion is, in this situation, a point of science.
And why is that a bad thing? Why is it that, when talking about scientific matters, scientists seem to be relieved of any moral standards? This is why I cannot consider myself a "pure" scientist due to the moral bankruptcy of it all. I am talking about scientific matters, but I cannot change the fact that my religion molds my worldview. Does the fact that I have a religion preclude me from any scientific discussion? Is it only atheists who can "rightfully" talk about science? Am I only allowed to talk about science when I shut out any mention of my religion? That's awfully elitist and exclusionary. It's my view that religion and science are not by definition irreconcilable, and it saddens me when others seem to think it is.

No species can successfully and viably breed outside of their species. That is the very definition of the word species. Dogs, cats, horses, all of those have breeds, but all are their own species. In humans, this can be analogous to races and nationalities. I don't see what point you're trying to make here.
What does that have to do with what I said, as well as anything discussed in the thread? If this is a comment about cloning, that's not how it works. In order to create a human-animal hybrid, you have to isolate a single gene that one of the two possesses, and then insert it into the host during fetal stages. It isn't a hybrid like a tiger and lion, it's just genetic engineering.
No that wasn't a comment about cloning, sorry for the confusion. My own labeling of species and kinds doesn't really help things, rather it should have been breeds and species, I apologize for that. I merely brought up this point to bring up the fact that humans cannot naturally breed with any animals on the planet, and as such the fact that these human-animal hybrids cannot naturally be created means that they shouldn't be created.

Why are scientists who hold no belief in a deity held back by this? I'm surprised there's enough scientists who still believe in God for this to actually still consider "Playing God" to be negative. This entire point, once again, only applies to someone who believes in a higher being.
Because the actions of these scientists affect those who DO believe in a higher deity. These scientists cannot act with impunity, they must be held accountable to the public. The fact that there don't seem to be many scientists who hold to a higher calling is a great tragedy indeed, the entire scientific community seems to be insulating itself from any outside beliefs, preferring to only listen to those with similar worldviews.
 

Xinnamin

Mrs. Austin
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Location
clustercereal
Sorry, but not this time. This has the chance of irrevocably deteriorating our physical makeup as well ash how we view ourselves. If we start introducing animal genes into our own, sure it may have the expected benefits scientists say it will have, but it may also have some unexpected and extremely horrifying effects that can be passed on to every generation after that one. The worst part is, these changes might not become apparent immediately due to recessiveness but may crop up later when these animal genes are in a much larger population, precluding any possibility of getting that gene completely out of the gene pool. Besides that, even if we would be able to somehow go through the minefield of possible drawbacks unscathed (which I highly doubt), think of how our future generations will be affected by these actions. We already have a problem with racism in our world currently, I can only imagine that would worsen if people start having body parts from animals or, heck, even if they just have animal genes that mitigate some problem or enhance some physical abilities. There might even come a point where people are judged by their gene content, something they themselves don't really have a say in (since these genes would have to be introduced from the fetus); Olympians might be disqualified because they have genes from deer or panther that allow them to run faster.

Do you see how this whole thing can turn up on its head and bite us in the butt? I'd rather avoid that situation altogether by nipping the problem in the bud and outlawing human-animal hybrids.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, most of this is just paranoia. It is a far cry from making hybrid embryos that will be destroyed in 14 days from inserting animal genes into human subjects. The latter is not something that's likely to ever happen because society is so against human testing and have such extreme moral constraints on it. Again, science requires funding before anything else, and that funding is provided by the public. The public can and does control what research is allowed to proceed from the power of the purse strings. Human cloning is not likely to go past cloning of organs, at least not until the moral structure of society is upended and reexamined, at which point all these negative effects will have been extensively prepared for.

Besides, hybrid embryos does not necessarily pave the way for insertion of foreign genes into an organism. Honestly, I see the next logical step as advancement of gene therapy, which is currently being studied and applied to treatment of diseases like cancer.

Binomial nomenclature is just a means we as humans have devised to classify the organisms we come across, it's not a set-in-stone law of nature. I find it curious that you're calling me out on my using human standards to declare man the superior being when in fact you're doing the same to classify us as animals.

Now to address the rest of this argument. Yes, animals do in fact shape the environment in their own ways, I'm not going to deny that. But taking everything into account, we humans still have the largest impact on our world; this should be immediately apparent. We are superior to animals because we can use our higher intellect to outsmart them and bring them under our control; we can use our higher brain functions to carry out tasks impossible for animals. No animal has used tools to anywhere near the extent we humans have. The top position of the world is not determined by size or population by instead by how much the top creature changes the world around them. And in that regard I have no qualms declaring humans the top creature.
Fair enough, though unless you can provide me with a better method of classification that can show we are physically, anatomically, and developmentally different enough from other mammals that we can be placed "above" them, I maintain that humans are indeed still animals.

Largest impact is again a human centric point of view. What humans have done is take what resources we have and make something new out of them on a global scale. I'm not going to try and diminish this feat. I am going to argue that it is the most important impact on the planet, especially considering how little time humans have spent on earth in the overall timeline of the planet. I'd argue the single greatest impact any organism has had on this earth comes from cyanobacteria, whose oxygen contribution both reshaped the entire atmosphere of the planet and allowed for multicellular organisms to develop in the first place. They still live and perform this function, to a higher degree than any other photosynthetic organism. We may be top of the food chain, but top position of the planet is a very subjective position in my opinion, and I hesitate to be so arrogant as to place humans there.

You're absolutely right it's an opinion of belief systems. He asked why those of us who hold to a religious affiliation decry these scientific actions as "playing God", and I gave an honest answer. Calling me out on my belief system when I answered a question that pertains to my religious system is rather redundant. I know it's not going to apply to those who don't hold to my religious affiliation, but nonetheless I saw fit to answer why those of us with the opinion that these experiments are crossing into forbidden territory think that way. And I'll totally respect your opinion as well. I love how science strives to make humanity better just as much as you do, but there are certain lines that must never be crossed, and creating new life forms & altering our own genetic makeup is one of those lines.
I'm just going to point out that an organism's genetic makeup is always changing naturally from mutations anyways, and like everything natural from growth to sickness we as humans have always tried to guide nature to our favor. But as to the rest of this, fair enough.

Because the actions of these scientists affect those who DO believe in a higher deity. These scientists cannot act with impunity, they must be held accountable to the public. The fact that there don't seem to be many scientists who hold to a higher calling is a great tragedy indeed, the entire scientific community seems to be insulating itself from any outside beliefs, preferring to only listen to those with similar worldviews.
You know, this is an interesting point. Now, I don't pretend to speak for the scientific community, but am merely speaking as a scientist in training, but I don't believe we are necessarily cutting out outside beliefs. Everyone has to believe in what they are doing, that's why they are doing it, and for scientists, our number one goal has always been to learn. I believe in one of those articles, there was a comment that some people felt these scientists were experimenting just because they could. We do that, to an extent. If it falls within the moral boundaries set for us by law and within the moral boundaries set by ourselves for ourselves, then we will push to explore it. You said earlier that you don't believe science and religion do be irreconcilable, I agree, though there are very clear disputes between the two in matters more morally volatile such as this. For a lot of us, that higher calling is restricting, sometimes unacceptably so. It stops us from being able to push through boundaries that, looked at through a different and equally valid lens, shouldn't even be there. Animal embryo hybrids are something you may consider appalling, but we consider completely morally justifiable, and we do have ethical boundaries, they're just more lax than yours. We're not dismissing your beliefs, but to an extend we do have to put them aside or else we cannot progress. This is just how society has to work in cases of stalemate, if everyone always had to be so careful to not trod on anyone's toes then nothing will ever be accomplished. Same with politics, same with the ethics of science.
 
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Emma

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Sorry, but not this time. This has the chance of irrevocably deteriorating our physical makeup as well ash how we view ourselves. If we start introducing animal genes into our own, sure it may have the expected benefits scientists say it will have, but it may also have some unexpected and extremely horrifying effects that can be passed on to every generation after that one. The worst part is, these changes might not become apparent immediately due to recessiveness but may crop up later when these animal genes are in a much larger population, precluding any possibility of getting that gene completely out of the gene pool. Besides that, even if we would be able to somehow go through the minefield of possible drawbacks unscathed (which I highly doubt), think of how our future generations will be affected by these actions. We already have a problem with racism in our world currently, I can only imagine that would worsen if people start having body parts from animals or, heck, even if they just have animal genes that mitigate some problem or enhance some physical abilities. There might even come a point where people are judged by their gene content, something they themselves don't really have a say in (since these genes would have to be introduced from the fetus); Olympians might be disqualified because they have genes from deer or panther that allow them to run faster.
I don't think you understand what this is. This does not mean you'll have enhanced, super-human ability. You can't run like a deer or panther just by having genes from them. You'd need their legs, their circulatory system. That's not what it is. You're not going to get an elephants trunk or a cat's ears. That's not what anyone is actually trying to do. You seem to have an extremely warped view of what is being tried. The goals are far less... dramatic than that. The real efforts are in things such as replacing damaged organs, resisting disease, correcting disabilities. Things like that. Not anything like you seem to think is going to happen.


Binomial nomenclature is just a means we as humans have devised to classify the organisms we come across, it's not a set-in-stone law of nature. I find it curious that you're calling me out on my using human standards to declare man the superior being when in fact you're doing the same to classify us as animals.
We ARE animals. It's a biological fact. Separating us from them is something we did ourselves. There is no difference biologically between them that says they're not both animals.

Now to address the rest of this argument. Yes, animals do in fact shape the environment in their own ways, I'm not going to deny that. But taking everything into account, we humans still have the largest impact on our world; this should be immediately apparent. We are superior to animals because we can use our higher intellect to outsmart them and bring them under our control; we can use our higher brain functions to carry out tasks impossible for animals. No animal has used tools to anywhere near the extent we humans have. The top position of the world is not determined by size or population by instead by how much the top creature changes the world around them. And in that regard I have no qualms declaring humans the top creature.
Our intellect and impact does not make us more than an animal. We're just a smart, influential animal.


You're absolutely right it's an opinion of belief systems. He asked why those of us who hold to a religious affiliation decry these scientific actions as "playing God", and I gave an honest answer. Calling me out on my belief system when I answered a question that pertains to my religious system is rather redundant. I know it's not going to apply to those who don't hold to my religious affiliation, but nonetheless I saw fit to answer why those of us with the opinion that these experiments are crossing into forbidden territory think that way. And I'll totally respect your opinion as well. I love how science strives to make humanity better just as much as you do, but there are certain lines that must never be crossed, and creating new life forms & altering our own genetic makeup is one of those lines.
You can certainly believe that if you want. But you don't have any right to demand that anyone else conform to your religious ideals, which is exactly what you're doing when you demand they don't "play god."


And why is that a bad thing? Why is it that, when talking about scientific matters, scientists seem to be relieved of any moral standards? This is why I cannot consider myself a "pure" scientist due to the moral bankruptcy of it all. I am talking about scientific matters, but I cannot change the fact that my religion molds my worldview. Does the fact that I have a religion preclude me from any scientific discussion? Is it only atheists who can "rightfully" talk about science? Am I only allowed to talk about science when I shut out any mention of my religion? That's awfully elitist and exclusionary. It's my view that religion and science are not by definition irreconcilable, and it saddens me when others seem to think it is.
Science and religion are not compatible. That's not to say you can't have religion, you can. You just can't use religion to dictate things in science. You can't use it to say what people can or can't do in science. You can't use it to say what is and is not factual in science. Science runs on a system of empirical evidence which religion does not. When you use your religion to tell science what do to, you are doing your own religion a disservice. It is no different than, say, another religion telling your religion what to do or believe. I can't see you thinking that is acceptable. Well, it's not that much different when you use your own religious beliefs to tell science what to do. Just because someone doesn't hold to your religion, doesn't mean they're "morally bankrupt." Even within one religion, different people have different morals.


Because the actions of these scientists affect those who DO believe in a higher deity. These scientists cannot act with impunity, they must be held accountable to the public. The fact that there don't seem to be many scientists who hold to a higher calling is a great tragedy indeed, the entire scientific community seems to be insulating itself from any outside beliefs, preferring to only listen to those with similar worldviews.
As I said, you just complained about religion being excluded from science. Now you're saying that religion should have authority over science. That is exactly what you just said would result in. You expect science to conform to your religion's beliefs and to not do anything you don't like. That is authority over them. You can't expect to have your beliefs protected when you try to force them on others against their will.
 

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