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1.09.2008

When Pigs Can Fly

I just saw this article and couldn't help jotting down some thoughts for the welfare of the world. The article highlights a monumental scientific discovery: a pig cloned to glow florescent green, passed the trait on to its offspring. They hope this will lead to the advancement of harvesting pig organs for humans awaiting donors.
A second article as mentioned by the one above, tells of South Korean scientists cloning florescent RED cats.

I don't even know what to say. There's also video on youtube.

To me, more astonishing than the trait being passed on, we CLONED A PIG FLORESCENT GREEN. Not with extra hairy ears or premature balding or bad eyesight. None of that child's play. FLORESCENT GREEN. Is anyone else in the world concerned with this besides me? Scientists thought the best way, the most effective and efficient way to study a sow's Punnett Square was to make it glow like shoe laces under a black light? No one thought that might blur ethical lines? We can't wear fur, but we can make the mink's tail GLOW. There's no cruelty in that. I guess it's better than giving a lab rat cancer, but at least you're studying how to fight cancer. I find it a stretch to pick "Nuclear Green" as a trait to pass on to little piglets in attempting to find cures for liver cancer. Why not just try to grow two livers in the pig?

And now we have a new demonic cat species. Their eyes aren't creepy enough, we had to go and make the rest of the cat glow in the dark? Apparently this is under UV lighting, but aren't we always concerned about UV rays from the sun? So now are we going to have stray orbs wandering our streets? Forget spaying and neutering. Stop scientists from cloning Kitty Neutron over there. And what's this going to do to the Chinese food industry?

And if researchers noticed this trait in the pigs was passed on, does that make it a dominant trait? Not that it'd be hard to spot a phosphorescent pig. Are we going to be eating green pork from now on? How will we know when it's gone bad? More importantly, if we're cloning sheep and cows, glowing red cats, and now the Green Little Pigs, what's next? A wolf in sheep's clothing? A dinosaur? A centaur? I remember in 2002, and I'll find the article, Reuters noted that Japan outlawed interbreeding unnatural species so as to discourage the creation of say, a centaur. But it was a year in prison and $500,000 fine. Hardly the deterrent. What a way to upstage the first cloned man; clone a horse-man.

I know we're nowhere near that point yet, or so I thought merely an hour ago. Our country is waging war over stem cell research with conviction and courage, trying to find the ethical line. I fear while we argue over the meaning of "is" and "life," others have long since moved beyond caring. So much so, that cloning a phosphorescent cat or a pig florescent green is no more news than the discovery that it can pass that gene on. I don't know if people are trying to clonen humans yet or why there's an obsession to try. Our world is fixated on it, for no other reason than perhaps the timeless struggle with our own mortality. But in the end, we aren't gods. We can't create ourselves--not even copies of ourselves. We are finite. We are limited. We'll eventually die.

And we'll never be able to stop that. Even if the chic fountain of youth for this generation of scientists is harvesting organs from swine.

We're too complex, too deep, too real. We have a soul that can't be created or destroyed or transferred to the newest replica of ourselves. We don't even understand how all of the brain works. How can we try to clone something like that? I don't think it's like cutting and pasting. Copying or sketching from an art book. It's complexities we don't even understand yet. We should stick to liposuction and face lifts, Donna Karan, Chanel and celebrity obsessions as our means of recreating ourselves. Our quest for eternity and higher self-esteem won't be satisfied then either. But at least we truly won't be altering the fabric of civilization. It's a much deeper problem that pigs and cats and sheep and cows don't know. Our depth is explained by the existence of our soul. And it must be nurtured by the loving One who created it. And He's not Zun Xiang or any other scientist busy at work to disprove Him. We'll never be able to completely disprove His existence or the reality of our souls. And we'll never be able to completely, safely, successfully clone a human being.

But I don't expect Congressmen and Prime Ministers, scientists or special interest groups to get that. At least I'll believe it when I see it.

Or when pigs can fly.