Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

More Anything Goes Science; Human/Rabbit Transgenic Embryos


So, UK scientists have petitioned the authorities to create human/rabbit embryos by injecting human cells into rabbit eggs with their nucleuses removed. If it works, this will create a mostly human but about 1% rabbit hybrid embryo. Given that Brave New Britain's authorities almost never say no to requests from the biotech sector, it is a good bet that the effort will receive the go-ahead.

There is much to say about this, but for now, let's just focus on hubris. Society is wrestling with the ethics and propriety of these "futuristic" technologies. It isn't helpful that the scientists are hyping the cures, misstating the biology and claiming they want the people's support--and billions in tax dollars--while also charging forward heedless of what the people might think. It is clear now, that "the scientists" have decided they know best and that the intrinsic importance of being human means very little to them, and they are going to do what they want and to heck with the public's moral sensibilities.

But amidst the outrageous hype, outright fraud, gross misrepresentations, spin, and tens of millions spent annually in propagandizing society to promote what amounts to unfettered biotechnology, these science uber alles types are losing sight of an important point: If they go too far, too fast, science could well lose the confidence of the people. If that happens, how long will it take for the sector to recover?


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