The New York Time (as always) is advocating controversial science with no need for public debate.
In an editorial yesterday, the Times editors attempted to calm any doubts or fears about the creation of chimeras (animal-human hybrids).
There’s no problem they assured us. Researchers just want to try to find cures for all our diseases. Stem cell research using chimeras will solve every health problem we’ve ever had. All they want to do is implant human brain stem cells into mice and see how they react. That’s all. Who knows what would really be going on there, but don’t worry just let the scientist do their jobs.
Science with no guided ethics is no science at all. When we remove any ethics from the realm of science. We are not given ourselves more freedom for cures. We are giving ourselves more rope to hang ourselves with.
Do the editors at the New York Times honestly want to end up in a society where we experiment with human brain cells inside of animals?
This is not an anti-science tirade. I am all for legitimate science, but that has to be guided by some form of ethics and morality. All is not okay as long as it is in the name of science.
There is a reason that people who wanted to do these type of things used to be refered to as “mad scientists.” They were excluded from the normal science community because they insisted on operating outside the ethical norms of legitimate science.
In opening the door for chimera, we are creating a Pandora’s box of huge, diverse ethical questions.
You think the debate over life and personhood is intense now. What happens in the future with the chimera? When are they considered human or a person? Do we have different degrees of personhood? Is an functioning brain of a human all that is required for personhood? What about human bodies with different animal parts? What about human bodies with animal brains?
Yes, these all seem so futuristic and almost impossible. But they will become reality if we allow unfettered development in the field of chimeras. These type of questions need not be brought up if science remains responsible enough to operate within ethically boundaries.
Hat Tip: World Mag Blog