Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Disappointment

Kevin Drum learns about human-animal hybrids, and is disappointed:
I was hoping that scientists were working on outfitting me with the eyes of an eagle and the reflexes of a cat. But instead they're just working on curing disease and making the world a better place.
This in response to Dr. Myers explanation of what such a hybrid might be:
Down syndrome is a very common genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21.... We would love to have an animal model of Down syndrome...So what scientists have been doing is inserting human genes into mice, to produce similar genetic overdoses in their development. Sheesh.
Bush's message wasn't:
"We aren't going to let the mad scientists make monsters!", it's "We aren't going to let the doctors help those 'retards.'"
Putting human insulin genes (to pick an example at random) into bacteria is also a powerful tool for treating real people with real problems.

Why is the Republican party so obsessed with hybridizing humans and animals? It's their argument against equal rights for gay people, it's their argument against scientific research. It seems to motivate the objection to letting students read Toni Morrison in an AP English class.

Is there some unreported epidemic of people taking animal husbandry too far?