Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Island of lost souls

"Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men?"

H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

Well the jury may still be out, according to George Bush, on matters of science and evolution, but the jury of George's peers; the stupid, the ignorant, the fundamentalist, would be harder to put together in other countries. Plans to allow British scientists to create human-animal embryos are, according to The Guardian, expected to be approved tomorrow by the British government's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. The idea is to use one of several techniques to derive human stem cells using only animal eggs, such as inserting a human cell nucleus into an egg from another species. The goal is to be able to have a sufficient supply of these all purpose cells to study treatments for degenerative diseases and spinal cord injuries.

Tomorrows decision comes after a year of argument and lobbying between research scientists and religious groups opposed to blurring the distinction between men and animals; blurry though science shows it to be and of course the untimely release of unredeemed souls from bits of biological matter that may or may not be human. Does a rat-man have a soul or half a soul and does it inherit original sin through its mother if it doesn't have a mother? Demented minds want to know.

1 comment:

Reign of Reason said...

We are animals...

That's not to say there are not moral issues here... But focusing on the "animal-man" distinction is a red-herring.