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lordmagnus

Human/Ape Crossbreeding

Who would like to see Human/Chimpanzee crossbreeding done?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Who would like to see Human/Chimpanzee crossbreeding done?

    • Yes, let give it a go!
      6
    • Yes, but abort fetus before the 3rd month for ethical reasons
      0
    • No, this is an abomination
      8
    • Undecided
      1
    • This thread is Perverted!
      102


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I'm beginning to wonder if this is analogous. Perhaps it would be better to ask if chimpanzees consider animals with more limited cognitive abilities than themselves in their moral code, such as monkeys.

 

You can look in this article to start finding answers:

 

10. MD Hauser, Morals, apes, and us. Discover 21: 50-55, Feb. 2000

 

The experiments I remember in this article indicated that primates looked on members of their own species as applicable to a "moral code", but I don't remember if that extends to other species. The group of chimps that broke out of a reserve in Africa last and killed several humans in the process apparently didn't have any "morals" about killing humans. They could have escaped without killing the humans, but went out of their way to do so.

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Morals are how humans decide to treat each other and other species. For instance, the chimps that recently killed several people in Africa were not charge and tried for murder. Why? Because we don't consider the morals of humans -- "thou shall not murder" -- to apply to chimps. You say chimps are sentient. Therefore, by your logic, we should have arrested the chimps, put them on trial, and punish them like humans if convicted. I don't see you advocating that.

 

The question comes down to: if a human-chimp hybrid is made, does it have all the legal, ethical rights and responsibilities of members of H. sapiens?

 

You haven't answered that.

Excellent point. You said this better than I could have. Hybrids should either have all the responsibilities and rights of a human or none of them. Anything in between seems like exploitation.
What experiment? Interbreeding chimps and humans? If so, please provide us with the citation. As far as I can tell, the experiment has NOT been done.
Read further down this post. mak2 was making a joke about Wal-mart employees (or possibly customers).

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What experiment? Interbreeding chimps and humans? If so, please provide us with the citation. As far as I can tell, the experiment has NOT been done.

 

Did you read the WalMart part, that was my attempt at humor.

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perhaps this thread should be about morals and science. Is there any expirment that should not be attempted? If so this is it.

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perhaps this thread should be about morals and science. Is there any expirment that should not be attempted? If so this is it.
Perhaps you should start a new one because this thread is about Human / Ape Crossbreeding. Bad form to hijack someone else's thread, you Wal-mart shopper. ;)

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Sorry I am really not trying to be a jerk. I will get used to this forum. Thanks

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perhaps this thread should be about morals and science. Is there any expirment that should not be attempted? If so this is it.

 

Dr. Stuart Newman believes that making human-animal chimeras should not be done. He has gotten patents on this concept precisely so that they will NOT be done (for the 20 years of the patent, anyway).

 

A couple of years ago some scientists published about a new way to modify viruses. Such a process could be used to make viruses more lethal. They debated long and hard about whether they should publish. They decided to, at the end, because the knowledge is out there to be found by anyone, including terrorists. So, if they made the knowledge public, at least people would be forewarned.

 

As I noted, there are 2 ways we can explore the question of the ability of humans-chimps to produce viable hybrids that does not involve taking a fetus to term. One of them doesn't even involve making a fetus at all.

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Excellent point. You said this better than I could have. Hybrids should either have all the responsibilities and rights of a human or none of them. Anything in between seems like exploitation..

 

It's exploitation because we don't know if they are human or not. Are the hybrids humans or animals. It's about understanding what is "human".

 

The same consideration applies to human cloning. This is what the furor is all about: are clones people or property? If we don't make any (either hybrids or clones), we don't have to confront the problem.

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Hey, everybody that voted yes on the POLL, private message me, so we can chat some

 

I don't think this is healthy. It looks like you are trying to take this out of public scrutiny Why? So you can hide from the ethical issues intead of confronting them?

 

Nearly all bad ethical decisions have been made by a small group of people who all thought the same way and avoided public scrutiny. Think of the syphilus experiments, sterilization of mentally retarded patients, the Enron scandal, the current scandal over firing federal prosecutors, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc.

 

This is not something you want to run off and see if you can do on your own. There are serious ethical concerns here -- both for the health of the pregnant females (of either species) if there are problems producing a viable hybrid and for the hybrid if it is successful.

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I don't think this is healthy. It looks like you are trying to take this out of public scrutiny Why? So you can hide from the ethical issues intead of confronting them?

 

Nearly all bad ethical decisions have been made by a small group of people who all thought the same way and avoided public scrutiny. Think of the syphilus experiments, sterilization of mentally retarded patients, the Enron scandal, the current scandal over firing federal prosecutors, Watergate, Iran-Contra, etc.

 

This is not something you want to run off and see if you can do on your own. There are serious ethical concerns here -- both for the health of the pregnant females (of either species) if there are problems producing a viable hybrid and for the hybrid if it is successful.

I highly concur as a member of SFN and I would hate to see another member led into a bad decision made without without the input of the entire community. Personally I frown on taking this private and it makes me question the intent of the OP.

 

As a Staff member in a gray area I am compelled to close this thread temporarily to allow adjudication. If you are considering contacting lordmagnus by PM on this issue I highly recommend you wait for the outcome of the Staff deliberations.

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Thread is open again. While it seems highly unethical to take this discussion private with so many legal concerns unsatisfactorily answered, the Staff won't stop you from using the PM service to do so. Please exercise caution.

 

Also please report any questionable requests if you choose to contact lordmagnus privately regarding his experiment.

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Hey, everybody that voted yes on the POLL, private message me, so we can chat some

I have strong objections against this request for multiple reasons:

  • This is a forum and usually, forum discussions are not in a mail box or a PM box.
  • Taking this already somewhat 'on the edge' subject out of public discussion looks suspect. Why not discuss things openly?
  • For the person, responding through PM there may be a risk of being involved in illegal/immoral activities. Of course, this is everyone's own decision, but take into account the risk of such involvements.

 

Of course, we do not stop the PM-service for any user, involved in this, and if people really want to have a private discussion with Lordmagnus, then they are free to do so. But on the other hand, please take into account what I (and others before me) have written.

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The only thing that humans are afraid of is losing their unique standing in this world. What possesses cognitive thought and the ability to speak? We do. Nobody else, and by creating this hybrid it might create the possibility of another being similar to ourselves. What does this say about God? It basically says that these things weren't specifically made for us which might bring about the question if God is a real concept. In conclusion, this isn't about Ethics, it's about pride and the infallibility of God.

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I was not attempting to take this discussion private, the board members have jumped to conclusions (hope you all landed safely after that leap). I only wished to allow those who voted yes a way to speak to me without repercussions.

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I was not attempting to take this discussion private, the board members have jumped to conclusions (hope you all landed safely after that leap). I only wished to allow those who voted yes a way to speak to me without repercussions.
If everything you're going to talk about is legal why would there be repercussions? Ethical questions are no problem and as soon as we determined that your solicitations to a bestiality site were not for actual bestiality our legal concerns went away.

 

But private discussions with our members (some of whom are minors) is something we're rather protective of. Besides this thread we don't really *know* you very well, lordmagnus. You have no history with us outside this topic. You joined to discuss it and due to its sensitive nature asking to continue privately without the support and input of the community is frankly rather creepy.

 

No one speaking to you will face repercussions as long as the rules of this forum are upheld. And I would hope anyone speaking with you privately would use their utmost discretion.

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I was not attempting to take this discussion private, the board members have jumped to conclusions (hope you all landed safely after that leap). I only wished to allow those who voted yes a way to speak to me without repercussions.

 

I second Phil here: what repercussions? This isn't about people, but about the ideas. So there are no repercussions to the people. The idea of making a hybrid between chimp and human could easily be criticized, and that is what I think you mean by "repercussion". Your post only reinforces the suspicion that you do not want the idea exposed to critical examination.

 

And there is room for critical examination. For starters, there is Lordmagnus' assertion that there are "antibodies" in the semen that would prevent fertilization. False. The problem would be antigens on the sperm that would cause the female to produce antibodies against the sperm.

http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/3/405

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7530441&dopt=Abstract

 

There can be antibodies in sperm, but these are against the sperm itself and cause interspecies infertility:

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22antibodies+in+semen%22&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

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The only thing that humans are afraid of is losing their unique standing in this world.

 

Read the posts again. Has anyone expressed the idea that humans HAVE a unique standing in the world?

 

What possesses cognitive thought and the ability to speak? We do.

 

And chimps. And possibly whales and dolphins. From sign language, we know chimps have the ability to "speak" and from their actions we know they have some aspects of cognitive thought equal to our own:

9. E Linden, Can animals think? Time 154: 57-60, Sept 6, 1999. The prison breaks described in that article are as innovative as anything humans have done.

 

In the case of whales and dolphins, there is no language in common, so we have no idea whether they can "speak". Certainly the vocalizations are very complex.

 

What does this say about God?

 

Not a thing. It doesn't address the issue of God at all. It does address the issue of whether we evolved. IF chimps and humans can produce a viable hybrid -- like donkeys and horses -- then it is more evidence that we are evolutionarily related. In terms of creationist thinking, it would be "proof" that we were not specially created. But that says nothing about God, only another refutation of creationism.

 

In conclusion, this isn't about Ethics, it's about pride and the infallibility of God.

 

Sorry, but it's not. Because

1) God doesn't have to be "infallible" to be God. If you read Genesis 2 - 4 literally, God isn't infallible to begin with! After all, He makes 2 huge mistakes, first with Adam and Eve and then with Cain and Abel. Mistakes that no human parent or grandparent would make.

 

2) IF you had actually been reading the thread -- which you obviously haven't -- you would see that God is NEVER mentioned by Phil or I. Why not? Because our objections don't involve Him. Read what is there and don't project your own fantasies into what we write, please.

 

3) It's not about pride. Everyone raising objections to the experiment already accepts evolution. So there is no pride that we are specially created involved. There is concern about the rights of the individual and the health of the females involved.

 

However, no one has addressed my alternative experiments! I wonder why not? Both sidestep the ethical issues involved yet still investigate the question of whether chimps and humans can produce a hybrid.

 

It would seem that the pro-hybrid crowd isn't really interested in the question, but in flouting ethics.

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There is some information that this may be possible using some simple IVF techniques to remove human or ape antibodies from the semen sample before implantation in the host. There is one chromosome differance between humans and chimpanzees, and has been rumored that this has been achived by Russian scientists, and a Chinese scientist. Anyone else have any info on the subject?

 

Dr. Gallup at my university was on a show called Humanzee on Discovery channel, where he claimed that while he was doing his dissertation he met a scientist who told him this had been done. I, of course, don't know the validity of this claim.

 

I'd personally fit in the perveted section of the poll, in that I would absolutely love to see a cross breed between a human and a chimpanzee.

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I'd personally fit in the perveted section of the poll, in that I would absolutely love to see a cross breed between a human and a chimpanzee.

 

 

Why would you like this better than doing in vitro fertilization and then killing the embryo at the blastocyst stage? Or why would you like the full term hybrid over comparing the DNA sequences of the genes responsible for hybrid fertility? Either or both might answer the question of whether a human/chimp hybrid is possible without having to actually make a full term organism.

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Why would you like this better than doing in vitro fertilization and then killing the embryo at the blastocyst stage? Or why would you like the full term hybrid over comparing the DNA sequences of the genes responsible for hybrid fertility? Either or both might answer the question of whether a human/chimp hybrid is possible without having to actually make a full term organism.

 

I suppose my reasons for seeing this are similar to anyone's interest in in experimental evolution, that is, to see the effects of the cross breed as the organism matures. Even if the organism is terminated in the blastocyst stage, we still wouldn't know the effects of the cross-breed in maturity (or would we? I'm sure you'd know more about this than I).

 

The concept raises many interesting questions. For instance, perhaps we can use the information (or the mere acknowledgement) to trace our own evolution to a cross-breeding between primitive ape like (or even our prosimian ancestors) species. If anything, we could at least analyze the feasibility of creating hybrids between primate species that are not sterile, and don't carry genetic loads of maladaptive traits that would have made the hybrid animal selected against in the EEA. If a human-chimp crossbreed is feasible, I'd be very interested in seeing it mature.

 

From a strictly ethical standpoint (well, my ethical standpoint), I really don't see anything wrong with this.

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I suppose my reasons for seeing this are similar to anyone's interest in in experimental evolution, that is, to see the effects of the cross breed as the organism matures. ... The concept raises many interesting questions. For instance, perhaps we can use the information (or the mere acknowledgement) to trace our own evolution to a cross-breeding between primitive ape like (or even our prosimian ancestors) species. If anything, we could at least analyze the feasibility of creating hybrids between primate species that are not sterile, and don't carry genetic loads of maladaptive traits that would have made the hybrid animal selected against in the EEA. If a human-chimp crossbreed is feasible, I'd be very interested in seeing it mature.

 

From a strictly ethical standpoint (well, my ethical standpoint), I really don't see anything wrong with this.

 

Your reasons are reasonable and well-stated. However, they are based upon some false premises about how evolution works and what we already know.

 

1. Animal species almost never arise from hybridization. Hybrid speciation does happen in plants, because the male gametes (pollen) are simply cast to the winds (or carriers) and can land in the female receptacles of any other species. However, for animals the male sperm is usually deposited in a specific female by genitals specific for the task. And to make sure that the sperm is in that female only. Such is certainly the case among primates.

 

Speciation in animals has been extensively studied and arises from allopatric or sympatric speciation -- isolation of a small group from the rest of the species, either by geography or lifestyle, and then transformation of the group into a new species by natural selection. I know of only one paper trying to document hybridization as a method of speciation in animals, and that was in snails: 3. "Unscrambling Time in the Fossil Record" Science vol 274, pg 1842, Dec 13, 1996. The primary article is by GA Goodfriend and SJ Gould "Paleontolgy and Chronolgy of Two evolutionary Transitions by Hybridization in the Bahamian Land Snail Cerion", pgs 1894-1897.

 

We know from the fossil record and the genomes that hominids did NOT result from hybridization.

 

2. So what the cross-breeding study tells you is how far the species of chimp and human have diverged from their common ancestor. Speciation in sexually reproducing species is reproductive isolation. That comes in steps and the last step is genetic incompatibility. The species have stopped mating with each other long before that -- they have become separate species long before there is genetic incompatibility.

 

Donkeys and horses are close to the common ancestor in that they will voluntarily mate and produce mules or hinneys. Mate selection is a very important part of reproductive isolation. However, humans and chimps are separated by at least a dozen speciation events from the common ancestor and do NOT mate voluntarily. Chimps don't court humans and humans don't try to court chimps. This is implicit in the OP's premise that the hybridization will be done thru artificial insemination.

 

So ... the ability to form a blastocyst will answer the only question that is evolutionarily relevant: are chimps and humans as close as donkeys and horses or are they farther apart? Having the hybrid come to adulthood doesn't provide you with any more information about evolution. Just like adult mules don't tell you anything more about evolution than fetal mules. The genetic comparison should tell you if the hybrid is non-fertile.

 

3. If you want to do hybrid studies within primates, then you don't need the human-chimp hybrid! You can do "feasibility" studies by hybridizing the 2 chimp species, chimps vs orangutuans, orang vs gorillas, chimp vs gorilla, etc.

 

4. Maturity doesn't tell you anything about evolution. It will tell you something about the traits from each species a hybrid will have.

 

5. The essential ethical question to put to you is: is the hybrid to be considered legally human and covered by the Constitution and civil rights laws or is it an animal? You need to decide this before you create the hybrid. In fact, the decision isn't totally yours to make. We as a society need to decide. After all, if we consider the hybrid human but you don't, then you are going to be in huge trouble for not treating him/her as you would a fellow human.

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Wow, great post and thanks for the clarifications. I do have a couple comments and questions now...

 

1. Animal species almost never arise from hybridization. Hybrid speciation does happen in plants, because the male gametes (pollen) are simply cast to the winds (or carriers) and can land in the female receptacles of any other species. However, for animals the male sperm is usually deposited in a specific female by genitals specific for the task. And to make sure that the sperm is in that female only. Such is certainly the case among primates.

 

Speciation in animals has been extensively studied and arises from allopatric or sympatric speciation -- isolation of a small group from the rest of the species, either by geography or lifestyle, and then transformation of the group into a new species by natural selection. I know of only one paper trying to document hybridization as a method of speciation in animals, and that was in snails: 3. "Unscrambling Time in the Fossil Record" Science vol 274, pg 1842, Dec 13, 1996. The primary article is by GA Goodfriend and SJ Gould "Paleontolgy and Chronolgy of Two evolutionary Transitions by Hybridization in the Bahamian Land Snail Cerion", pgs 1894-1897.

 

We know from the fossil record and the genomes that hominids did NOT result from hybridization.

 

I remember learning something similiar to this called disruptive evolution, whereby a species becomes partitioned into two groups (i.e. such as the species forming two seperate samples, either by geography or lifestyle). The concepts of speciation by allopatric or sympatric speciation are completely new to me. I found a good primer for myself here. Thanks for bringing these new ideas to my attention!

 

 

2. So what the cross-breeding study tells you is how far the species of chimp and human have diverged from their common ancestor. Speciation in sexually reproducing species is reproductive isolation. That comes in steps and the last step is genetic incompatibility. The species have stopped mating with each other long before that -- they have become separate species long before there is genetic incompatibility.

 

This is a topic that has long bothered me and I have yet to find a suitable explanation for. At what point does speciation occur? If you have a species-population that is partitioned into two groups, and breeds exclusively within those new groups, then at what point do the two species become incapable of reproducing with the original population?

 

It almost seems like a logical paradox, in that I'm assuming that at some point one generation becomes a new species from the previous generation. Am I missing a variable in my understanding of this concept?

 

 

Donkeys and horses are close to the common ancestor in that they will voluntarily mate and produce mules or hinneys. Mate selection is a very important part of reproductive isolation. However, humans and chimps are separated by at least a dozen speciation events from the common ancestor and do NOT mate voluntarily. Chimps don't court humans and humans don't try to court chimps. This is implicit in the OP's premise that the hybridization will be done thru artificial insemination.

 

True, but is it the case that we know of no species have arisen through hybridization? Are there any species you know of that may have arisen through hybridization? Everything I can find in various internet searches speculates it's possible, but extremely unlikely. However, I can't find any cases of species that are thought to have evolved through hybridization.

 

So ... the ability to form a blastocyst will answer the only question that is evolutionarily relevant: are chimps and humans as close as donkeys and horses or are they farther apart? Having the hybrid come to adulthood doesn't provide you with any more information about evolution. Just like adult mules don't tell you anything more about evolution than fetal mules. The genetic comparison should tell you if the hybrid is non-fertile.

 

Has non-fertility been shown to be a consistent trait in all animal hybrids known (I imagine in plants, however, you can create fertile hybrids).

 

3. If you want to do hybrid studies within primates, then you don't need the human-chimp hybrid! You can do "feasibility" studies by hybridizing the 2 chimp species, chimps vs orangutuans, orang vs gorillas, chimp vs gorilla, etc.

 

4. Maturity doesn't tell you anything about evolution. It will tell you something about the traits from each species a hybrid will have.

 

Studying the traits that would arise in a human-chimp cross breed seems like an interesting concept in itself regardless of if it has weak (or no) implications for our views of evolution. Also, even though it might not advance our knowledge of evolution (assuming we definetely aren't the byproducts of hybridization) it would most certainately have implications the behavioral sciences.

 

Are you aware of any hybridization studies with other primates?

 

5. The essential ethical question to put to you is: is the hybrid to be considered legally human and covered by the Constitution and civil rights laws or is it an animal? You need to decide this before you create the hybrid. In fact, the decision isn't totally yours to make. We as a society need to decide. After all, if we consider the hybrid human but you don't, then you are going to be in huge trouble for not treating him/her as you would a fellow human.

 

Four years ago when I started college I would have told you that what other people think doesn't matter. If I feel it would further science, then despite any backlash of ignoring ethical implications it is a worthwhile endeavor. In my training in psychology and preperation for medical school my views on ethics have drastically changed and I'm leaning much closer to what your getting at here.

 

The problem with society, however, is that what the majority chooses is not always right. Democracy should not generally be applied towards scientific discovery. Allowing society as a whole to decide what is true has historically been a great impediment to science. It leaves room open for society to establish truth in complete disregard for objectivity through science. For example, most people's views on stem cell research are still driven by religious ideologies and a complete lack of regard for truth as established by science. The fact is, stem cell research will create technology that will revolutionize medicine, but as usual, the general populations grasp on this issue is derived from misguided ideas of right and wrong.

 

However, the idea of creating a chimp-human hybrid might not provide much novel scientific knowledge, and therefore I don't have a desire to push my thoughts on this over the public whom will make a big fuss over how wrong, and unethical such an experiment would be. Since we are on the topic, I definetely don't think democracy should block what I feel to be more important science like stem-cell research. If we as scientists went along with the flow of what the public believes is right or wrong we'd probably still be in the stone ages. Nearly all major earth shattering scientific discoveries that have lead to life-promoting paradigm shifts have been met with the resistance of the majority (as we will see when genetic engineering in humans becomes fully realized). With that, I definetely don't agree that democracy should be utlized as a tool to undermine any scientific discovery, but in the human-chimp hybrid case, you have an excellent point: there are certain legal and moral issues that need to discussed before such an experiment takes place.

 

Sorry for all the questions. I'm quite curious and you seem to know your

shit quite while (to put it bluntly).

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I remember learning something similiar to this called disruptive evolution,

 

It's disruptive selection. Natural selection comes in 3 forms:

 

1. Directional selection. This is what we usually mean when we say "natuarl selection". This is the selection that transforms populations.

2. Purifying or stabilizing selection. This is when a population is well-adapted to its niche. Any new variation is likely to be less adaptive, so selection keeps the population the same.

3. Disruptive selection happens when the population faces different environments in different parts of its range. Directional selection in each region tends to pull the population apart into 2 species (allopatric) but gene flow between regions keeps this from happening.

 

whereby a species becomes partitioned into two groups (i.e. such as the species forming two seperate samples, either by geography or lifestyle). The concepts of speciation by allopatric or sympatric speciation are completely new to me.

 

Not really. "by geography" is allopatric speciation. "lifestyle" is sympatric speciation.

 

This is a topic that has long bothered me and I have yet to find a suitable explanation for. At what point does speciation occur? If you have a species-population that is partitioned into two groups, and breeds exclusively within those new groups, then at what point do the two species become incapable of reproducing with the original population?

 

There is no "point". Your assumption -- "I'm assuming that at some point one generation becomes a new species from the previous generation." -- is wrong. We can look at a population at generation 1 and say "It is species A". Then we can come back 1,000 generations later and say "It is species B." BUT, there is no magic line where we can say "At generation 499 we have species A, but at generation 500 we have species B." Reproductive isolation is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon. This is why there is no precise defintion of species. Whatever definition you make, you will always find a population that is in-between undergoing speciation that doesn't fit the definition. :)

 

True, but is it the case that we know of no species have arisen through hybridization? Are there any species you know of that may have arisen through hybridization?

 

Go back to the beginning of my previous post. I clearly stated that speciation by hybridization happens often in plants. Here is one paper detailing the genetics of speciation by hybridization:

1. Speciation in action Science 72:700-701, 1996

 

Here's another one: 2. Hybrid speciation in peonies http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/061288698v1#B1

 

But in animals speciation by hybridization is extremely rare. I gave you one reference to such speciation -- in snails. If you look at that paper, it will cite other examples.

 

Has non-fertility been shown to be a consistent trait in all animal hybrids known (I imagine in plants, however, you can create fertile hybrids).

 

In the biological species concept, species are populations of individuals that interbreed freely with each other but do not breed with other populations or, if they do, they do not produce fertile offspring.

 

So, as speciation begins by allopatric or sympatric (geographical or lifestyle isolation), yes, there are fertile hybrids. BUT, as the populations diverge then the hybrids become less common and they are not fertile with each other, altho they may still be able to interbreed back to one of the populations. Look up the research of the Grants on the Galapagos finches and you will see this. Eventually, as the speciation process continues, the hybrids are not fertile at all with anyone. The exact genes involved in this process are now known: 1. M Nei and J Zhang, Evolution: molecular origin of species. Science 282: 1428-1429, Nov. 20, 1998. Primary article is: CT Ting, SC Tsaur, ML We, and CE Wu, A rapidly evolving homeobox at the site of a hybrid sterility gene. Science 282: 1501-1504, Nov. 20, 1998.

 

Studying the traits that would arise in a human-chimp cross breed seems like an interesting concept in itself regardless of if it has weak (or no) implications for our views of evolution. Also, even though it might not advance our knowledge of evolution (assuming we definetely aren't the byproducts of hybridization) it would most certainately have implications the behavioral sciences.

 

I don't see how. We already know behavior of humans and behaviors of chimps. We can compare those. Much of our behavior is cultural, and a hybrid is not going to have a culture.

 

Are you aware of any hybridization studies with other primates?

 

No, but I haven't done an extensive search.

 

The problem with society, however, is that what the majority chooses is not always right. ... Allowing society as a whole to decide what is true has historically been a great impediment to science.

 

This isn't society deciding what is true, but what is ethical! Remember the Nazi experiments on humans. Lots of scientific data obtained. Completely unethical. Remember the syphilus experiments on black men. Lots of data; completely unethical.

 

For example, most people's views on stem cell research are still driven by religious ideologies and a complete lack of regard for truth as established by science. The fact is, stem cell research will create technology that will revolutionize medicine, but as usual, the general populations grasp on this issue is derived from misguided ideas of right and wrong.

 

You are confusing 2 different concepts, and it's dangerous:

1. What is true in an objective sense.

2. What is ethical.

 

Science is not a system of ethics. Whatever you use to decide "right and wrong", it is NOT science! It comes from some other source. For some, it is religion. For others, it is a study of ethics.

 

What you are using is the ethic of "the ends justify the means", because you are justifying ES cell research by "will create technology that will revolutionize medicine". I don't buy that ethic. Also, scientifically, there are severe problems with your view. Nearly all the revolution for medicine can be accomplished by adult stem cells.

 

Now, I don't agree with those opposed to ES cell research, but that is because I am coming from a different ethical premise. My premise is that human life does not begin until birth. Thus, ethically, a blastocyst is not a human in the legal and ethical sense. However, I respect the people coming from a different perspective even tho I disagree with them.

 

Just because we can do something does not mean we ought to. Science accepts these ethical limitations. There are severe ethical limits on doing research on people. Yes, we can run studies on humans, say, where we don't treat a leg fracture at all for some people and treat it with adult stem cells in others. That would be the ideal experimental groups. However, we can't do that. We must compare adult stem cells vs the best medical treatment available. We must treat people with leg fractures.

 

Since we are on the topic, I definetely don't think democracy should block what I feel to be more important science like stem-cell research.

 

That's where we diverge. You are placing your ethics on how important you view the scientific research. That is a fallacious ethical system. I don't care how important a cure for AIDs is (and it is very important), but any research involving deliberately infecting people with HIV so you can have a study population for your proposed cure is wrong. Or, let's put another example: forcefully harvesting kidneys, corneas, bone marrow, and other organs from convicted felons to provide organs for other people is wrong.

 

If you start with your ethical premise that a 5 day blastocyst is a human, then killing it to cure other people is wrong. The only justification is the ethical position that sacrificing one for the many is ethical. And that is the ethical argument used by ES cell advocates. Kill one blastocyst (or several) to provide cures for millions. But you can argue that, since the individual did not have an opportunity to consent, then that is wrong.

 

My example above about harvesting organs from convicted felons is similar. We can't turn people into organ donors unless they agree. To forefully take the organs is unethical. Well, if your ethical premise is that the blastocyst is a human, then you are taking ALL of its organs -- forcefully.

 

I, of course, avoid that by having a different ethical starting point.

 

You, however, have no justification. Saying "scientific knowledge uber alles" doesn't work. You are still destroying the blastocyst.

 

If we as scientists went along with the flow of what the public believes is right or wrong we'd probably still be in the stone ages. Nearly all major earth shattering scientific discoveries that have lead to life-promoting paradigm shifts have been met with the resistance of the majority (as we will see when genetic engineering in humans becomes fully realized).

 

1. Please don't use "paradigm shifts". Kuhn's view of science has been shown to be wrong for at least 50 years.

 

2. I don't approve of massive genetic engineering in humans. For the simple reason that natural selection is so much smarter than we are. It's just a stupid idea. If you mean suppressing some genetic diseases, maybe. But notice that anti-gays want to suppress the genes/alleles that make a person gay. Do you approve of that? That's part of genetic engineering becoming "fully realized".

 

With that, I definetely don't agree that democracy should be utlized as a tool to undermine any scientific discovery, but in the human-chimp hybrid case, you have an excellent point: there are certain legal and moral issues that need to discussed before such an experiment takes place.

 

Now you are beginning to see the difference between truth and ethics. No, the public cannot determine whether or not a chimp-human hybrid exists. A chimp-human hybrid either is possible or not independent of what anyone thinks about it.

 

BUT, whether we should do the experiment is an ethical issue that lies outside of science.

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The problem with society, however, is that what the majority chooses is not always right. Democracy should not generally be applied towards scientific discovery. Allowing society as a whole to decide what is true has historically been a great impediment to science. It leaves room open for society to establish truth in complete disregard for objectivity through science. For example, most people's views on stem cell research are still driven by religious ideologies and a complete lack of regard for truth as established by science. The fact is, stem cell research will create technology that will revolutionize medicine, but as usual, the general populations grasp on this issue is derived from misguided ideas of right and wrong.

 

Religion has nothing to do with it.

 

There are limitations, you wouldnt support people breaking into your house, strapping you down and start mutilate you and your family in the name of science. They could be completely objective about it as well.

 

It's for science man! we can't let the majorities misguided idea get in the way...

 

That's just horrid reasoning.

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