Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



Support the IEET



The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.


Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

We May be Systematically Underestimating the Probability of Annihilation

Aristotle, Robot Slaves, and a New Economic System

Hate Speech Hurts - Should It Be Banned?

India: little real progress for most people during the 20-year economic boom

Three Transhumanist Organizations Fund “Science & Literacy Centre” in Uganda

From Children of ‘Witches’ to ‘Child Witches’ in Ghana


ieet books

Apex
Author
Ramez Naam


comments

Peter Kinnon on 'What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence' (May 26, 2015)

instamatic on 'Does the Biblical God Exist? - I Think We Can Do Better' (May 26, 2015)

spud100 on 'The Argument for Legalizing Psychedelics - Part 1: Cognitive Liberty and Creativity' (May 26, 2015)

spud100 on 'What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence' (May 26, 2015)

Lincoln Cannon on 'The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose' (May 26, 2015)

rms on 'Self-Driving Trucks Are Going to Hit Us Like a Human-Driven Truck' (May 26, 2015)

dobermanmac on 'The Semi-Orthogonality Thesis - examining Nick Bostrom’s ideas on intelligent purpose' (May 26, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


The Scientific Method is a Scientific Idea that is Ready for Retirement
May 24, 2015
(11995) Hits
(3) Comments

We Should Consider The Future World As One Of Multi-Species Intelligence
May 20, 2015
(7751) Hits
(4) Comments

‘Let’s Kick Islam & Christianity out of Africa’ - interview with Nigerian activist Jd Otit
May 19, 2015
(6366) Hits
(1) Comments

What, Me Worry? - I Don’t Share Most Concerns About Artificial Intelligence
May 26, 2015
(6138) Hits
(2) Comments



IEET > Security > Biosecurity > Rights > Personhood > Life > Innovation > Implants > Health > Vision > Staff > Kyle Munkittrick

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5897) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Xenotransplants Might Wipe Out the Human Race


Kyle Munkittrick
By Kyle Munkittrick
Science Not Fiction

Posted: Nov 28, 2010

But probably not!

You see, I was merely quoting Margaret Somerville, the Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University in Canada.

In addition to thinking gay marriage is bad for the kids, Somerville really does not like transhumanists. She thinks that personhood is the “world’s most dangerous idea,” (sounds vaguely familiar) because if aliens, animals and robots have rights too, we won’t value humans anymore.

In her recent piece, calmly titled “Scary Science Could Cause Human Extinction,” Somerville makes a strange argument about organ transplants. First, she beats up on transhumanists and our support of life extension. She attempts to link life extension with genetically modified animal organ transplants. She then argues that the transplants will - get this - cause a mutant virus leading to a global pandemic obliterating humanity!

I am not joking:

[Using genetically modified pig-hybrid organs] poses a risk, not only to transplant recipients, their sexual partners, and their families, but also, possibly, to the public as a whole. An animal virus or other infective agent could be transferred to humans, with potentially tragic results - not just for the person who received the organ but for other people, who could subsequently be infected. And there might be a very remote possibility that it could wipe out the human race.

Image from K. Sandberg at Vintage Collective via Flickr
Somerville’s argument abuses the word “potentially” and its synonyms in a desperate attempt to draw a link in the reader’s mind between xenotransplants and a cataclysmic plague. Human-to-human disease transmission during transplants is extremely low, and the genetic differences between humans and animals, even hybrids, would lower the risk all the more.

The IEET’s Martine Rothblatt wrote a whole book, Your Life or Mine, addressing the fears around xenotransplantaion. In short, Somerville’s concerns about xenotransplantation are not based in science, but in bioLuddite hysteria. Somerville’s case against xenotransplantation is in terminal condition already, and things only get worse from here…

READ THE REST


Kyle Munkittrick, IEET Program Director: Envisioning the Future, is a recent graduate of New York University, where he received his Master's in bioethics and critical theory.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5898) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: If I said I’m thankful for the wisdom of the American people, would you think I’m crazy?

Previous entry: I Am the Man Who Sees the Future

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376