Monday, May 19, 2008

Hybrids, Why Not?

In many parts of the world mixing human and animal DNA is something that rustic folk do in private behind closed barn doors. However this ancient practice is more controversial when done in a laboratory by scientists.

The Prime Minister has come out in favour of allowing human-animal hybrid embryos to be created, but apart from that I can't see any reason to oppose it. As far as I'm concerned a two week old embryo is simply a cluster of cells and not a distinct being is any sense and any moral dilemmas only appear once it develops a neural system.

Whilst human animal hybrids can be made to sound more dramatic than they are, the only coherent grounds for objecting to them are that one believes that life is sacred from conception onwards, and that is indeed the belief of organisations like the Catholic church. For other opponents it really doesn't make a lot of sense to allow foetuses to be aborted as late as 24 weeks whilst simultaneously throwing up one's hands in horror at the prospect of a two week old embryo being experimented on before being disposed of.

The creation of hybrid embryos has the potential to allow medical advances that would save many lives in the future and causes no suffering to anyone else.

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