Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






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

America’s best-kept sex secret: lots of us don’t want it

Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?

Will Transhumanism Lead to Greater Freedom?

The Yuck Factor — What Planned Parenthood Smears, Homophobia, & Middle School Have in Common

The King of Weird Futures

Transhumanist Therapy II: A Century of Electronic Psychotherapy


ieet books

Envisioning Politics 2.0
Author
David Wood and Alexander Karran eds.


comments

johnmesserly on 'Transhumanist Therapy II: A Century of Electronic Psychotherapy' (Jul 31, 2015)

Peter Wicks on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 31, 2015)

johnmesserly on 'America’s best-kept sex secret: lots of us don’t want it' (Jul 30, 2015)

spud100 on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 30, 2015)

Peter Wicks on 'Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?' (Jul 30, 2015)

jayjay on 'Transhumanism – The Final Religion?' (Jul 30, 2015)

Pandora on 'Four political futures: which will you choose?' (Jul 30, 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


If We Can Achieve Gay Marriage and Legal Pot, We Can Fix Climate Change Too
Jul 18, 2015
(24782) Hits
(1) Comments

Transhumanism: there are [at least] ten different philosophical categories; which one(s) are you?
Jul 8, 2015
(9557) Hits
(12) Comments

Transhumanism – The Final Religion?
Jul 16, 2015
(8412) Hits
(6) Comments

Robosapiens – merging with machines will improve humanity at an exponential rate
Jul 7, 2015
(8337) Hits
(1) Comments



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

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5952) 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.
Nicole Sallak Anderson is a Computer Science graduate from Purdue University. She developed encryption and network security software, which inspired the eHuman Trilogy—both eHuman Dawn and eHuman Deception are available at Amazon, the third installment is expected in early 2016. She is a member of the advisory board for the Lifeboat Foundation and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (5953) 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