The Ethics of Chimeras

The idea of chimeras is quite bothersome in my personal opinion. Since I know very little about the scientific implications of these developments, I am uncertain what the specific scientific benefits of chimeras truly are. Yes, chimeras illustrate the advancements of science and innovation, but combining two different species seems odd and unnatural. The thought of combining a human and say a goat is just crazy! So why breed a goat and a sheep together, forming a geep?




I guess my real question here is what purpose do chimeras serve? Do they better the world in any way? Other than some comic relief—I see little purpose behind these combinations. Given the combination of two separate species, I can’t imagine they have long life spans or are extremely healthy animals? My main argument against chimeras is the unnatural physical existence of these animals. They just seem out of place and almost “extraterrestrial.”

I don’t agree with humans affecting the natural cycles of life in the animal kingdom. I think that this causes disruption and changes that can potentially prohibit species development. How do chimeras fare in the wild? I can imagine this double species combination certainly causes reproduction and breeding issues. Does a geep associate more with goats or sheep? Will a geep birth geeps or sheep or goats?

I suppose combining animal species is far better than mixing humans and animal species together. I think humans and animals can certainly coexist, but not reproduce together. That certainly seems unnatural. If it ever comes down to human chimeras, not discussing mythical beings, I think this will prove the overstepping of scientific innovation. I know that half human/half goat may sound innovative, but in the end, is it really humane to breed a human and a goat together? Or a human and any other animal species that has feelings and understanding of their physical existence?

When discussing chimeras in class, I can’t help but think back to the “fruit cocktail” trees in my backyard at home. Fruit cocktail trees graft lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, and other citrus on one tree. Each branch of the tree is a different citrus, which I think is unbelievable. In a sense, this is a chimera. I think grafting flowers and plants is understandable. However, as discussed in class, the real issue with “grafting” different animal species or humans seems unthinkable because of their moral capacity and mental understanding of emotions. The second their emotions or morals come into play, it seems wrong in our eyes. And this is why I think chimeras of human and animal species is wrong, unnatural and seems inhumane. LL


Fruit Cocktail Tree




~ by frumll on March 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “The Ethics of Chimeras”

  1. To answer your question about what scientific purpose chimeras have, please refer to the post 3 up for yours: A message to the laboratory mouse. There is a benefit to using chimeras to further scientific research and disease understanding; its just not the “chimeras” that are portrayed in the entertainment realm. In terms of breeding 2 different species, I don’t think research is interested in creating interspecies organisms; its simply the public and entertainment companies’ way of “taking it too far.”

  2. Have one of these been Photoshop? I mean the Asian lady one, because I can see a an outline/edge that has been missed and is noticeable to the eyes of younger people who play around with Photoshop and have learned how to do that with graphic art class during high school.

    Indeed that human/animal chimeras are wrong.

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