Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Maybe it's just time to think about drawing the line between "person" and "thing" based on other criteria than genes...

CHIMERA CONCERNS

Interview With a Humanoid
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

DEFOREST, Wis. — In a secret, locked barn near DeForest, five black-and-white calves look up from their hay with huge, friendly eyes. No. 313 approaches, as if to grant an interview, for these are not the ordinary bovines they seem — all five are part human....

These technologies could help the 80,000 Americans now on waiting lists for organ transplants. But there are also ethical and philosophical questions about whether it is wise to blur the distinction between what is human and what is not.

Francis Fukuyama, in his brilliant new book on cloning, "Our Post-Human Future," warns that we could face a future "in which any notion of `shared humanity' is lost, because we have mixed human genes with those of so many other species that we no longer have a clear idea of what a human being is."...