A leading scientist has warned a new species of "humanzee," created from breeding apes with humans, could become a reality unless the government acts to stop scientists experimenting.

In an interview with The Scotsman, Dr Calum MacKellar, director of research at the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, warned the controversial draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill did not prevent human sperm being inseminated into animals.

Let's set aside whether this will ever actually happen. If it did, how should we treat the humanzee born to the world of a human mother? What rights would it have if any and on what basis would we assign rights to it?

Tags: chimera, humanzee

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I reckon if you've got homo sapien in you, you've got human rights. How many rights? Well, if he or she were as intelligent as a pig, I'd figure he or she would have the rights of a comparitively intelligent human. How intelligent are pigs? As intelligent as a 3 year-old human? A teenager? I don't readily see any way around a humanzee having a legal guardian, the way a lot of mentally challenged adults might. But a lot of mentally challenged adults live quite functionally with little supervision or even assistance.
Hmmm. You seem to be saying that if the creature's DNA is similar to homo sapien, they should be given human rights, which I suppose the right to life, to live free from torture etc. But aren't there already animals that are very similar to us genetically, but who don't enjoy these basic rights?
Slightly confused here. If the bill you refer to allows for human sperm to be inserted into animals, exactly how would there be a human mother?

I have been crossbreeding species of frogs and donkeys for years. I keep them on my farm as pets. Errrr…….at least that is what I tell Jehovah Witnesses when they tell me that Scientists are playing god with the “Kinds” of creatures their god created in one day. Its Evolution gone mad, you know? :-)

After all this time, I finally learn what the Fronkey in your name refers to.  I doff my chapeau to you sir.

I explain it in more details here.....thanks for the hat tilt !!

Watch out guys! We've been creating freak-of-nature hybrid ligers for years and thats just dandy.... but now we're going to do it with humans!

Seriously though, ligers (and why they are so HUGE!) are a fascinating topic.

And now to the questions:

how should we treat the humanzee born to the world of a human mother?

Since this hybrid naming convention consists of male-female compound. A humanzee would require human sperm and a chimpanzee egg. I would think it more likely, therefore, that a humanzee would be born of a chimpanzee mother. On the other hand, we could use chimpanzee sperm and a human egg and make a chimpan-man which may then be easier for a human female to carry to term.

How we should treat this humanzee or chimpanman (not necessarily the same thing) is a very interesting subject, which I actually have thought of before... I asked a vegetarian where they draw the line (and why) between edible and not-edible. The answer was "if it moves: not-edible". However, there are some vegetarians who are quite happy to eat fish on the basis that fish are not advanced enough to have complex emotions. Disturbingly, most people will happily have bacon without considering that a full grown pig can have an intellect rivaling a human three year old. Why am I rambling on about this? The point I am trying to make here is that intelligence apparently has nothing to do with how we treat other animals. The only criteria most people apply to their food is "must not be human". Our humanzee/chimpanman, is by definition 50% human... but humans share 98% of their DNA with chimps already anyway...

TL;DR: Don't know... shit's messed up!

It's not a ramble. It's interesting and I think you're right. The ethics of eating meat seem to be if it's not human, I'll eat it. To me, this seems pretty shallow and owes much to the Christian standpoint of men having dominion over the animals. Is it really the best we can do to rival religion's claim on morality. Theists would say if God says it is OK it is moral (even dashing babies on rocks etc). Atheists seem to say, if man says it's OK, its moral. Doesn't seem much of a basis to hold ourselves to account.

I agree that religion helped solidify male domince, but meat-eating was already a hundred-thousand (or more) year old means of survival.

I'm not sure I feel safe in a world with horses, anymore.

we (women) don't need another human/chimp hybrid running around.

We may not need it, but it may be inevitable and as such have to deal with it. I'm not sure how certain the science is on the matter, so maybe it isn't possible.

Technology has been outpacing morality for years. How do you feel about cloning humans? This also happens whether we like it or not.

Will Walmart promote this research to replace their work force?

Will the Defence Department offer their education services to help man/humanzee their drones and robots?

My mind reels with the possibilities.

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