created in God’s image and endowed with a soul…”
—David P. Barash
David P. Barash wrote the article, “It’s Time to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids” for Nautil (March 8, 2018 AD) who described themselves, in part, as “We are here to tell you about science and its endless connections to our lives.
I suppose that his subtitle regards, “its endless connections to our lives” because it reads, “The humanzee is both scientifically possible and morally defensible” so this is about amoral science and Barash taking an is (or, his subjective view of an is) and demanding an ought via proclaiming that doing so is “morally defensible.”
At the end of his article an update notes, “Shortly after writing this, I discovered that Richard Dawkins had made a similar suggestion. I am delighted at this convergence.” Indeed, there has hardly been any outlandish concept that, at one time or another, Dawkins has not entertained.
David P. Barash is a Professor of Psychology and so we should keep in mind that he is speaking outside of his field when addressing both science and also morality.
He notes that “human and chimp (or bonobo) share, by most estimates, roughly 99 percent of their nuclear DNA. Granted this 1 percent difference presumably involves some key” differences, of course, that the 99% represents millions upon millions of genetic differences.[fn]Roy Britten’s study puts the figure at circa 95% after taking insertions and deletions into consideration: Britten, R.J. 2002. “Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5% counting indels.” Proceedings National Academy Science 99:13633–13635[/fn] Also, of course, beings that were designed to perform similar tasks, such as seeing, climbing, exercising ground based mobility, metabolizing nutrients, etc., etc., etc. would have some very similar information within their genetic makeup.
With regards to hybridizing, on purpose, he refers to “adding and deleting targeted genes as desired” which is important to keep in mind as he is admitting intelligent design—or, redesign.
He foresees the result of such hybridization as being “neither human nor chimp: rather, something in between” and notes that “If that prospect isn’t shocking enough, here is an even more controversial suggestion: Doing so would be a terrific idea” so that, yes of course, this is an attention getting proposition which (who would’a known it?) just so happens to coincide with Oxford University publishing a book that is to include this scenario of his.
David P. Barash notes, “the grotesque abuse of nonhuman animals” with “grotesque abuse of…animals” being sadly true but that they are “nonhuman animals” being false since humans are not animals. Yet, he continued this thought by outing his presupposition which is not science but anti-biblical activism (and/or anti any Bible-like theology). He continues the thought directly with that this grotesque abuse is “
“facilitated by what might well be the most hurtful theologically-driven myth of all times” so at the outset he merely asserts that it is myth and that is the myth “that human beings are discontinuous from the rest of the natural world, since we were specially created and endowed with souls, whereas ‘they’—all other creatures—were not.”
We may be “discontinuous from the rest of the natural world” in that we are clearly very, very different from any other living Earthling but we are still a part of the natural world since that is where we live. Also, that we have souls and they do not is something that some may have appealed to in order to perpetrate grotesque abuse but that is not enough in terms of that the equation no soul equals the acceptability of grotesque abuse is a non sequitur.
Another aspect of verifying that it is a non sequitur is that Atheist evolutionists deny the existence of the soul and yet, within a mere couple of decades in the 1900s AD, they set the grotesque abuse of humans world’s record> Before that, they published instruction on how to murder, taxidermize, and display dead human Aborigines, displayed humans in zoos as missing links, etc., etc., etc.
Yet, Barash sought to downplay or, actually, straight up ignore history, in stating, “Of course, all that we know of evolution (and by now, it’s a lot) demands otherwise, since evolution’s most fundamental take-home message is continuity.”
He did not define the term evolution and so this creates gaps of vaguery within this article. We know a lot about whatever is meant by evolution and one of the things we know is that it “demands” which means an authoritative imperative (apparently Barash is some sort of inspired prophet of evolution), it demands nonhuman animals should not be grotesquely abused because “evolution’s most fundamental take-home message is continuity” and so what since very many species (another vague term) have gone extinct. But in any case, what he refers to as evolution, at least on one level, refers to the subjective interpretation of observations of bio-organisms. One certain lesson we can learn from nature is that if we want something we can brutally kill other organisms and take it.
In fact, in biased characterization fashion Barash tells us that “chimpanzees are widely known to be very similar to human beings” and his examples are “They make and use tools, engage in complex social behavior (including elaborate communication and long-lasting mother-offspring bonds), they laugh, grieve, and affirmatively reconcile after conflicts” oh, and they literally tear each other to pieces, wage war over territory and resources, etc., etc., etc.
He also complains that “Chimps, moreover, are enthusiastically consumed in parts of equatorial Africa, where they are a prized component of ‘bush meat’” but, pray tell, why not? What does it matter what one accidentally and temporarily existing bio-organism does with and to another accidentally and temporarily existing bio-organism? One lesson from nature is that it matters not or, perhaps, that raping, pillaging, abusing, enslaving, is very, very beneficial: in fact, well known Atheists have argued that rape played a beneficial role in evolution—see here.
So far, his science, morality, biology, history and philosophy or logic leave much to be desired.
Now, I love honesty in all of its—good, bad and ugly—forms and David P. Barash is certainly brutally honest as he again reveals something of his own psychology as “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and professor Barash seems to be foaming at the mouth as he demands that “the fundamental take-home message of such creation would be to drive a stake into the heart of that destructive disinformation campaign of discontinuity.” He specifies that the discontinuity he is referring to is “shared genes” between humans and chimps—he refers to the potential hybrids as “humanzees or chimphumans”: coining new hashtags in terms of newspeak.
Appearing to date his knowledge of genetics to the time of Ernst Haeckel (born 1934 AD), he actually claims that There is an immense pile of evidence already demonstrating continuity, including but not limited to physiology, genetics, anatomy, embryology, and paleontology” which he leaves as an un-evidenced and un-cited assertion. But from merely claiming to have an immense pile of evidence he then takes aim at his target again since or so he tells us, “if confronted with a real, functioning, human-chimp combination” then “it is almost impossible to imagine how the most die-hard advocate of humans having a discontinuously unique biological status could continue to maintain this position” so that his proposition is not unbiased science but worldview and prejudice driven activism.
David P. Barash notes that David Livingstone Smith argues that “dehumanization goes hand-in-hand with racism and genocide” and dehumanization is the stuff of which Atheist evolution is made which is part of the reason why death is their final solution to everything: overpopulated with useless/worthless eaters? Death! Unwanted baby in the womb (even after having wanted the sex)? Death! Too old? Death! Too sick? Death!—“all who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).
Barash further notes that “Smith revealed a long-standing pattern whereby people, despite acknowledging that other human beings appear to be human, often maintain that in their essence—whatever that means—these others continue to be less than human.” Indeed, such as when Charles Darwin titled one of his books “The Origin of Species by Natural Selection Or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Existence” and he wrote that “the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world” and that human’s “nearest allies…will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla” (The Descent of Man, 2nd ed., 1874 AD, p. 178).
And that is merely scratching the surface of Atheist evolutionary style of thinking (and within that worldview “thinking” is merely the result of random bio-chemical neural reactions).
David P. Barash notes that “people are certainly known to obscure inconvenient truths” which seems to derive from that which is known in psychology as transference or projection: transferring or projecting your own doings to others and blaming them for doing them.
Back to the science, he asserts that “faced with individuals who are clearly intermediate between human and ape, it will become painfully obvious that a rigid distinction between the two is no longer tenable” but, keep in mind, if that ever happens then that lack of distinction will be artificial since it would be due to creatures created in our own image: via our re-design.
David P. Barash also shows that his history and theology are lacking in asserting that “In the early days of biology, when special creation ruled, it was widely thought that species were rigid and fixed, each specially created as such. Now we know better.” The issue is that he is confusing and confounding terminology. The fact is that In the early days of biology, when special creation ruled, it was widely thought that kinds were rigid and fixed, each specially created as such and now we still know that this is the case which is why the missing links are still missing: there is no chain. There is variety within kinds, such as wolves and Chihuahuas, but Darwin’s idea of evolution was the origin of species (whatever that is) from other already preexisting species and this is precisely that about which we know nothing.
Barash does actually offer a definition of species but his is one amongst many. His is that it describes, “naturally interbreeding individuals” which is actually the basic concept of what the Bible terms “kinds.”
He states that “species such as mallards and pintail ducks often interbreed, producing hybrids that can be the bane of even experienced birders” but that is just the point: they are still both birds.
He also notes, “Grizzlies and polar bears also hybridize on occasion: but they still produce bears.
And Northern Hemisphere ravens “earlier divided into two…raven species” which “recombined several hundred thousand years ago, forming the single Holarctic raven species” but they are not only all still bird, they are all still ravens.
Plus, “Elephants and mastodons evidently interbred” and they were of the same kind and produced their same kind.
Moreover, “Wolves, coyotes, and domestic dogs have been hybridizing” and they are all canines and produce canines.
“Homo sapiens contain as much as 5 percent Neanderthal genes” but we are the same kind and the original interpretation of Neanderthal remains still holds: they were humans who suffered from something like rickets. The practiced ritualized burial, painted, formed and played musical instruments, made jewelry, etc.
He also refers to “Galapagos finches” which also are still all bird and still all finches.
The he whimsically refers to that “many animal species (including ourselves) are likely ‘haunted by the ghosts of interbreeding past’” shows that I was right about dating him to the Haeckelian era.
David P. Barash ends by pinpointing the “morally defensible” portion of his demands. Yet, he states that “to many people, downright immoral” but that it “would be not only ethical, but profoundly so” so that he is confounding and confusing morality and ethics. Think of it what you will but the fact is that he should define one term and stick to it since not doing so causes issues—for an elucidation of this issue see, Confederate statue issue: morality vs. ethics in Atheism & Christianity interfaith dialogue.
It is at this point that he made the statement with which I opened this article in referring to “the nonsensical insistence that human beings are uniquely created in God’s image and endowed with a soul” and he continues with wondering “How could even the most determinedly homo-centric, animal-denigrating religious fundamentalist maintain that God created us in his image and that we and we alone harbor a spark of the divine, distinct from all other life forms, once confronted with living beings that are indisputably intermediate between human and non-human?” but as noted before, if this was the case the reply would be that the only reason that there are (or, would be) indisputable intermediate between human and non-human is because humans redesigned them so that they are artificial constructs.
Moreover, this would be one of the very many nails in the Atheist evolution coffin since the fact that personages such as Barash are desperately looking to a future when humans will be able to redesign indisputably intermediate between human and non-human is that there are no indisputable intermediate between human and non-human—and not even disputable intermediate between human and non-human: the evolutionary jig is up.
He then circles back to an embarrassingly inaccurate talking point that “It is only because of this” the view that animals do not have souls, were not created in God’s image, etc. which he terms a “self-serving myth” but note his narrowness in that it is “only” due to this, mind you “that some people have been able to justify keeping other animals in such hideous conditions…”
And so, his argument for such hybridization being moral is simply that it would allow him to express his utter hatred and it would be “screamingly evident” that there is “evolutionary connectedness between” humans and “other life forms.” I am unsure as to how or why this would matter since it is a non-sequitur that there is evolutionary connectedness between humans and other life forms equals better treatment of animals. Also, there is already a connectedness between humans and other life forms in that we were all created by God.
He ends with “When claims are made about the ‘right to life,’ invariably the referent is human life, a rigid distinction only possible because of the presumption that human life is somehow uniquely distinct from other forms of life” so that this, perhaps unbeknownst to him, would be a good pro-life argument in terms of people ceasing from brutally murdering beautiful human babies by the millions.
Overall, David P. Barash should stick to psychology and not pretend that, as so very many pop-supposed-intellectuals do, that expertize in one field makes them experts in any and all fields.
The interested reader may want to read Human animal hybrid experiments.
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