The Null Device
Scientists in Australia recently
transferred the nucleus of a human cell
into a pig's ovum
, an experiment which may someday lead to regrowing organs
for patients in need of transplants. The Sunday Times beat the story up,
turning it into a "pig-human hybrid", and rousing knee-jerk international
condemnation. It seems that a lot of people have superstitions about the
sacred inviolability of human DNA, and are all too ready to exclaim their
outrage like Frankenstein's torch-wielding peasants at the very hint of this
taboo being violated, without ever looking at the facts.
If more people realised that biologically, humans are just animals like any
other (albeit with more elaborate cognitive faculties) and stopped taking
ancient creation myths literally, then we'd have more of a chance of
actually understanding how nature really works, and be closer to solving more
of our problems. But then again, this is the world in which the theory of
evolution is still controversial, not because the facts don't agree with it
but because popular prejudices don't. Sometimes I wonder whether
there is hope for humanity.
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