Do We Need a Human Brain in a Monkey?

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There is no one who doesn’t want scientists to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But so far there has been no cure; because the animals whose brains they study just really aren’t similar enough to human brains to be worth that much.

So what we need, say scientists in Canada and China, and at Yale, is to inject human tissue into a monkey’s brain to make it much more like a human brain (… And honk if you think this is a good idea.

See, they need a “better” animal to study, to experiment on. They are thinking of “biologically humanizing a large portion of a monkey’s brain.”

Uh-huh. And when the monkey turns around and sues you, what then? Like, just how human do you want to make the monkey’s brain? And is that really the sort of thing a righteous person does? Really?

Close observation of human patients–wouldn’t that be better?

Maybe–but not as much fun  as playing Frankenstein with monkey brains.

6 comments on “Do We Need a Human Brain in a Monkey?

  1. Even if this were possible or advisable, they still wouldn’t be studying human brains. They’d be studying monkey brains that had had human brain tissue grafted onto them.

    I’m reminded of a tenure review we were doing in my department one year. One of the publications the candidate, a lesbian feminist, had written was a study of messages written inside stalls of public ladies’ rooms. The study purported to show “how women talk to each other when no men are present.” I had to point out that no, it just showed how people who write on bathroom walls talk to each other.

    1. I don’t think she had any special funding for this one. I seem to recall that she just wandered around the bathrooms on her own and with the help of like-minded colleagues. (We won’t even speculate on what those minds were like.)

      Actually, such a study might have been interesting as a rhetoric of bathroom graffiti and/or the psychology of people who write on bathroom walls if it hadn’t been so full of logical non sequiturs and so lacking in scientific rigor. For example — aside from the utter nonsense of the premise (“how women talk to each other”) and the minuscule size of the sample — there was some rhetorical conclusion about the placement of responses to comments, i.e., their height, direction, proximity to the comment responded to, and all. But in all of this there was no allowance for the possibility of different heights and reaches among the writers, the space available near the original comments, or any other physical determinant of the placement. It was all an excuse for a political tirade.

      Remarkably, the candidate didn’t get tenure and was gone the next year. The whole record was too skimpy. But that was over 20 years ago. Today the decision would might very well go the other way.

  2. It boggles the mind how trained scientists of today spend their lives studying the laws that govern organic and inorganic life and then come to the “settled science” conclusion that all is by chance. When God spoke creation into existence, everything made was according to his laws of physics and his laws of DNA language. And along with all the physical laws that govern life (gravity, electro-magnetism, etc.) is also God’s moral law. Just as their are penalties for breaking physical laws, so there are penalties for breaking God’s moral laws. How sad that autonomous man doesn’t believe this. And how sad that too many believers skip the church part of the faith and miss out on the blessings of God by this choice which is a penalty in itself.

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