Mad Scientists and Pig Men

MAD SCIENTISTS AND PIG MEN….I know that I wasn’t the only one mumbling “WTF?” when George Bush talked about banning “human-animal hybrids” last night, but apparently it was just a garden variety shout out to the religious right. PZ Myers provides an example of what’s really going on in our nation’s labs:

Down syndrome is a very common genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21…. We would love to have an animal model of Down syndrome…So what scientists have been doing is inserting human genes into mice, to produce similar genetic overdoses in their development.

….These mice are a tool to help us understand a debilitating human problem.

George W. Bush would like to make them illegal.

He’s trusting that everyone will think he is banning monstrous crimes against nature, but what he’s really doing is targeting the weak and the ill, blocking useful avenues of research that are specifically designed to help us understand human afflictions. His message isn’t “We aren’t going to let the mad scientists make monsters!”, it’s “We aren’t going to let the doctors help those ‘retards.'”

Actually, that’s kind of disappointing. I was hoping that scientists were working on outfitting me with the eyes of an eagle and the reflexes of a cat. But instead they’re just working on curing disease and making the world a better place. Sheesh.