Are human-animal chimeras a good idea?
In previous posts of mine, I have looked at sides that are for the creation of human-animal chimeras and against the creation of human-animal chimeras. This post is all about which side I’m on. The answer may surprise you.
I think that human-animal chimeras could be a great help in improving human life. What makes me think this is the benefits that human-animal chimeras have already given humanity. No longer must diabetics get insulin from animals or corpses — human-bacterium chimera can be used to mass produce insulin; they could be engineered to produce any protein that people need. I think this is amazing. Human-animal chimeras could be used to grow human organs or human organ systems, lots of human lives would be saved either by organ transplants or by experiments done on the human-animal chimera that couldn’t be done on humans to find out the pathways of diseases that plague humanity — I think that being able to increase our knowledge in the field of biology is a great thing that human-animal chimeras would enable humanity to do.
And so, human-animal chimeras would be great tools in improving human life; human-animal chimeras are an amazing idea to me.
But the thing is, if you think about human-animal chimeras as just tools and not as living organisms then everything is great.
While I see there are so many positive points to human animal chimeras, once I started thinking of them as living organisms which can feel pain it seemed rather cruel to me to create them with the sole purpose of harvesting organs or experimentation that is deemed unsafe to be done on humans. Human-animal chimeras can blur the species line — thus making it easier for disease originating in animals to spread to humans — and it boggles my mind in regards of how much DNA does it take to classify an organism as human — sure we have a lot of genes in common with other organisms but with human-animal chimeras how much human DNA is enough to make them have “human qualities”?
There are so many ethical, philosophical and biological questions to answer when it comes to human-animal chimeras and I don’t really have answers to them.
So there is my conundrum, I’m torn between the two sides I have mentioned though there have been human-animal chimeras already created and nothing major has happened, do the pros outweigh the cons in creating human-animal chimeras?
So are human-animal chimeras a good idea?
Is my answer to this question going to be yes or no?
Sadly, the answer to this question that I have found out for myself is not a simple one. Though I really wish it was, it would have been great for me if I had come up with a definitive answer for myself — yes human-animal chimeras are great or no they shouldn’t be created — I find that portraying subjects as simply black or white, while this can help give a person an easy answer, subjects like the subject of human-animal chimeras are usually very nuanced.
I believe that every scientific discovery in itself is neutral and it is people who use those discoveries in a way that makes other people think of the scientific discovery as either “good” or “bad”. For example, nuclear energy can be used to power cities or to level them. What does that make nuclear energy? Well, the “badness” or “goodness” of nuclear energy is subjective, it is still being used though the threat of harm could come from how it is used by humans.
So honestly, whether human-animal chimeras are a “good idea or not”, science will progress regardless and whether human-animal chimeras will cause detriment to human society or human-animal chimeras will help benefit humanity, all depends on what kind of regulations are put into place and whether people follow those regulations. I do think that human-animal chimeras could be of great help to humanity if used in the “right way”. As to what that way is, at this moment I honestly do not know.