Human Exceptionalism

Did Scientists Learn Nothing from Michael Crichton?

A scientist says he can create dinosaurs out of chickens.  From the story:

A Canadian palaeontologist believes that he can manipulate chicken embryos in order to create a dinosaur. Hans Larsson, the Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution at McGill University in Montreal, said he aims to develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. Mr Larsson believes that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo’s development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy, he told AFP in an interview. Though still in its infancy, the research could eventually lead to hatching live prehistoric animals, but Mr Larsson said he has no immediate plans to create dinosaurs, for ethical and practical reasons – a dinosaur hatchery is “too large an enterprise.”

“It’s a demonstration of evolution,” said Mr Larsson, who has studied bird evolution for the last 10 years. “If I can demonstrate clearly that the potential for dinosaur anatomical development exists in birds, then it again proves that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs.”

Yea, well good luck with that. But don’t blame me if the tyrannosaurus decides you’re on the menu for lunch. Here, chick, chick, chick!

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