Scientists Cross Ethics Boundaries with Human-Pig Hybrids

How many times have you called a family member or someone else a pig? How many times have you been called a pig?

Your Relative May Be a Real Pig After All!

For centuries, many cultures have myths of creatures that are part human and part horse, lion, eagle, serpent or bull. Creatures like minotaurs and centaurs are among the more famous mythological creatures reported to be part human and part animal.

In 1896, English novelist H.G. Wells took the concept of human-animal hybrids a step further in his science fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau. In his book a mad scientist experiments by creating a number of different types of hybrid animals including ones that are part human. The concept makes great science fiction but even Wells knew the implications of his book and once described it as an exercise in youthful blasphemy because of how his title character plays God in his creations and controlling them. Numerous movie versions of Wells’ book have been made, with my favorite starring Burt Lancaster as Dr. Paul Moreau in the 1977 film version.

Whether Wells believed a real-life Dr. Moreau would someday exist or not, it seems that he does exist, at least to an extent and Wells is right describing it as an exercise in blasphemy.

According to a recent report from the National Geographic Society:

“In a remarkable—if likely controversial—feat, scientists announced today that they have created the first successful human-animal hybrids. The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive, and even grow inside a host animal, in this case, pigs.”

Most true Christians and some conservatives believe that human life begins at conception, so what’s the case of such abominable hybrids? What happens to the spiritual soul humans receive at conception?

Why are scientists working so hard to create such a highly controversial and questionable creature? National Geographic explains:

“This biomedical advance has long been a dream and a quandary for scientists hoping to address a critical shortage of donor organs.”

Every ten minutes, a person is added to the national waiting list for organ transplants. And every day, 22 people on that list die without the organ they need. What if, rather than relying on a generous donor, you could grow a custom organ inside an animal instead?”

“That’s now one step closer to reality, an international team of researchers led by the Salk Institute reports in the journal Cell. The team created what’s known scientifically as a chimera: an organism that contains cells from two different species. (Read more about the DNA revolution in National Geographic magazine.)”

Lead scientist and author Jun Wu of the Salk Institute said he views his chimera creations in the same sense as ancients viewed chimeras, saying:

“In ancient civilizations, chimeras were associated with God, and our ancestors thought the chimeric form can guard humans.”

By introducing stem cells from one animals or human into another animal’s embryo and the letting them develop together, they hope to produce useable organs for transplanting that will not be subject to many of the problems found with lab grown organs.

Certainly, this work presents a number of huge ethics issues that should be addressed before human lives are destroyed in the process. There are many questions that really cannot be answered such as the one posed earlier about the soul of the human portion of the chimera hybrid.

So, the next time you call someone a pig, think again about how true that might someday be.

Frankly, this type of experimentation is a blasphemy and an abomination and should be stopped immediately and banned from ever taking place again.

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