Human-Sheep Hybrids & the Discoveroids

This news is a bit odd, but we have a reaction from the Discovery Institute, so you’ll find it amusing. First, here’s the news from PhysOrg. Their headline is Second successful human-animal hybrid: sheep embryo with human cells. They say, with our bold font:

Carrying forward the results of a team that created a pig/human hybrid last year, a team led by researchers at Stanford University has created a sheep/human hybrid. … As with the team last year, the current researchers say the purpose of creating the human-animal hybrid was to find out if it might be possible to grow human organs in animals to replace defective ones in humans. Such patients would not reject the organs, because the cells used to create them would be their own. The researchers used a sheep in their experiments because its organs are roughly the same size as humans and because in vitro fertilization of sheep is easier than pigs.


The researchers noted that in their work, just 0.01 percent of the cells in the sheep embryo were human, the rest were native sheep cells. Much more than that would be required to actually grow an organ, perhaps as much as 1 percent. The embryos were also not allowed to mature into adults—they were killed after growing for 28 days.

Now for the Discoveroids’ reaction. They posted Hybrid Sheep-Human Embryos Show Need for Biotech Regulation. It was written by Wesley J. Smith, a Discoveroid “Senior Fellow” and a lawyer. His specialty is “Human Exceptionalism,” which is Discoveroid code for “In His Image.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Biotech is rocketing forward into areas that impact life at the most fundamental and basic levels. CRISPR permits any cell or life form to be genetically altered, opening the door to the intelligent (or stupid) redesign of the human species, the ending of terrible diseases, or the unleashing by terrorists of an altered viral pandemic.

Gasp! They’re doing things that man was not meant to do! Wesley tells us:

Scientists have created synthetic life not based in evolution or creation. Human cloning is being done. A recent monkey success reveals the potential of the birth of the first cloned baby.

Egad — there’s no end to it! They’re transgressing on the work of the intelligent designer — blessed be he! Wesley quotes from a story in National Geographic that says they’re doing it as a source for organ transplants, and then he declares:

[T]here is a very real concern here that scientists could manufacture an animal that has a partial human nature, say the capacity for rationality. That would be an ethical nightmare on several fronts.

The point I keep trying to make isn’t that we should shut down all of this research, but that we need to have an intense discussion about how to best ensure it doesn’t wander into unethical fields. More than that, we need to decide what would be unethical.

Yes — oh yes! — scientists need the Discoveroids’ wise and benevolent guidance. This is the rest of Wesley’s post:

But currently, beyond some voluntary guidelines and public funding restrictions, there is little to prevent a real life Dr. Moreau from going to work — particularly in China. We really do need to have a serious democratic discussion about biotechnology, AI, and other such fast-advancing research. Time is growing short.

No doubt, the scientists engaged in this research will be reaching out to the Discoveroids for their wisdom. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Human-Sheep Hybrids & the Discoveroids

  1. All kinds of possibilities for comments here, but I dare not. (He said sheepishly.)

  2. Why do they think that experiments with monkeys are any closer than with pigs or sheep?

  3. “… say the capacity for rationality. That would be an ethical nightmare on several fronts.”

    Because, you know that rationality in “animals” might be contagious and spread to humans. Where would the Discoveroids get their funding if everyone else was rational?

  4. Cloning! BFD! We have been doing that for ever…called twins!
    Only fundies would have a problem with rational animals, they don’t even accept blacks as human now! So yes THEY would have a problem with it, especially when we loose that special quality that makes us gawd’s abused kids.

  5. Ceteris Paribus

    It’s bad enough that science shows that humans have already acquired 100 or more foreign genes that mingle unseen inside our bodies. Now just the other day it has been proved that entire continents of humans have been disappeared and replaced by interlopers:

    Stonehenge builders were replaced by wave of European migrants
    By Ann GibbonsFeb. 22, 2018 , 2:15 PM

    The largest-ever study of ancient DNA shows that the ancient people of Britain, including the those who built Stonehenge, were almost completely replaced by a wave of migrants from Europe about 4500 years ago, BBC News reports. The migrants, known as the “Beaker people,” brought new customs and distinctive Bell Beaker pots from central Europe and Iberia. Using DNA from 400 prehistoric skeletons, researchers show that the Beaker people rapidly replaced 90% of the Stone Age people in Britain within a few hundred years, according to a study published this week in Nature.”

  6. Regarding human-sheep hybrids:
    These Luddites, that would hold back progress in this area, would no doubt use the procedure rather than get their blessed eternal Heavenly reward.
    Regarding cloning:
    If human cloning becomes technologically possible it would in fact become a human right, as reproduction itself is a human right. Cloning does have a downside of course, but the lofty price of such a procedure would keep that in check.

  7. Could there be anything more ghastly created than a creature that’s a cross between a sheep and a Discoveroid? That would be evolution in reverse!

  8. Troy, don’t be so sure. Think what would happen inf the Narcissist-In-Chief had access to cloning

    As for ” We really do need to have a serious democratic discussion about biotechnology, AI, and other such fast-advancing research. Time is growing short”, Wesley is stating the obvious. Perhaps if we had a few scientists in charge of US science …

  9. Derek Freyberg

    I like the Onion’s take on it all:,
    far more so than the DiscoTute’s,