I heard a piece on NPR a while back that debated the morality and ethics of the insertion of human stem cells into monkey brains. While some felt it was a good way to study the effect of stem cells on primate neurology, others feared the technique could alter the animals’ abilities in ways that might make them more human-like. In fact, a panel of 22 experts (including primatologists, stem cell researchers, lawyers and philosophers) debated the possible consequences of the technique for more than a year, and while the group concurred it is “unlikely that grafting human stem cells into the brains of non-human primates would alter the animals’ abilities in morally relevant ways,” the members “also felt strongly that the risk of doing so was real and too ethically important to ignore.”
Forgive my kneejerk overreaction here but I’ve watched way too much sci fi and read far too many comic books to not see the writing on the walls here. Come on! Kamandi? Planet of the Apes, anyone? Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp, fer cryin’ out loud?!
Oh well … if it’s destiny …
I, for one, welcome our simian overlords and look forward to cooperating with them as best I can. Maybe I’ll get a cushy job picking fleas and ticks off some lesser politico. That way, I can avoid an early death slaving away in the banana mines. (They do grow bananas in mines, right?)