Did Grandma oink: are humans a pig-ape hybrid?

I have been reading a book in French only - "Le Pere de Nos Peres" which looks at many different theories of the origins of life.

One of them is that humans - homo sapiens - actually dervied from an ape-pig hybrids, millions of years back when chromosomes or whatever weren’t fixed, and such a hybrid was possible.

This hybrid then bred back with other apes, which is why we are more ape like, but explains our pig-like characteristics (blue eyes) and the fact that humans can (apparently) receive pig organs but not ape organs.

Is this even possible? And is it totally wacko, or has such a hybridisation thesis (whether with pigs or other species) even been given given serious scientific thought. I note that scientists are currently managing to grow pig-human fetuses

No, yes.

As for humans receiving pig organs, it’s not just a matter of popping in a replacement alternator. The organ recipients still have to take immunosuppresive drugs. A major reason ape-human transplants are uncommon is that not many apes are close to humans in physical size, while pigs can match pretty closely. Further, apes are tricky and expensive to breed, while an entire industry is built around pig famring.

Chromosomes (or whatever) were “fixed” long before mammals had appeared on the scene, let alone proto-apes and proto-pigs.

Hee Hee Hee Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee Ha Ha Ha


Well, that explains my corkscrew penis.

It does say “roman” right on the cover, as in novel. As a rule of trotter, you shouldn’t take the “science” in novels too seriously.


I predict that the Teeming Millions will go whole hog with the pig puns on this one! :smiley:

I know it’s a novel!

But all the other theories it presents are ones I have heard elsewhere (big bang, Darwinism, alien bacteria, various evolution mechanisms) so I wondered if the pig/ape one was the author’s own invention or comes from somewhere else.

I’ve never heard that humans can’t receive pig organs, ever, under any circumstances. I don’t believe it has even been attempted to any great extent, partly for the reasons Bryan Ekers outlines above.

Not that I think it would be a good idea necessarily, either.
The blue eye thing is just bizarre. It seems like very trivial trait to attempt to use to prove an evolutionary relationship.

And I have no idea what the author means when he says animals chromosomes didn’t used to be “fixed” but now they are.

Make that “I’ve never heard humans can’t receive ape organs ever, under any circumstances…” :smack:

Then my last post almost makes sense.

Please don’t put Alien Bacteria and Evolution in the same sentence. It makes my balls shrink back up into my body…

It may help to distinguish between a scientific theory and an everyday theory.

From http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/theory : In science, an explanation for some phenomenon which is based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning. In popular use, a theory is often assumed to imply mere speculation, but in science, something is not called a theory until it has been confirmed over the course of many independent experiments. Theories are more certain than hypotheses, but less certain than laws.

The big bang and evolution qualify as scientific theories. Pig-ape hybridization doesn’t, although it can still be called a theory in the everyday or popular sense. The lack of clarity from the two significantly different meanings of the term “theory” often leads to confusion in those who are not well-trained in science.

I am not sure exactly how to interpret the behaviour of your testicles, but panspermia is a hypothesis we cannot rule out, given how little we know about how life began on Earth. Some researchers (notably the late Fred Hoyle) have taken the idea to fringy extremes, and it’s certainly not as popular as abiogenesis but it is usually mentioned as a possiblity by responsible scientists.

On an unrelated note, I could have sworn that somebody recieved an organgutan heart transplant, but Googling for orangutan heart transplant and orangutan organ transplant just got me random stuff. Maybe I read it in a novel, or dreamed it, or something!

Could you have been thinking of baboons instead of Orang-utans?

Baby Fae lived for three weeks after receiving a baboon heart. http://www.llu.edu/news/today/dec299/mc.htm

I seem to recall another baboon heart transplant, to an adult, but I couldn’t find it on Google.

Here’s a timeline of animal-to-human transplants. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/organfarm/etc/cron.html Chimps, baboons, and, yes, pigs. And I seem to recall that pig blood is the closest thing to human. (Whatever that means. And how is that measured?)

But, to get back to the OP, the idea that chromosomes were “less fixed” a million or so years ago sounds like major hand-waving. The kind of thing a novelist would employ to force a far-out scientific concept to fit into a far-out plot. Though I have to admit - that’s just my opinion.

A baboon heart was used at least once as a temporary heart transplant for an infant, but IIRC the baby died.

In the science fiction story Family Resemblence by Alan E. Nourse (1953) a scientist proposes that humans have evolved from pigs instead of apes, but this is obviously tongue-in-cheek. As far as I know, the theory has never been seriously proposed by a scientist, but is possible your French novelist got the idea from there.

Natural hybrids between pigs and apes, or pigs and humans, are impossible. However, pig-human chimeras, which contain pig cells, human cells, and even some hybrid cells have been produced in the laboratory. But this is very different from producing a hybrid by crossing pigs and humans by using eggs and sperm.

It should also be noted that among the first human cell fusion lines (going back to at least 1971) were human-hamster fusions, sometimes called “humsters” . Why hamsters? Because they have the same number of chromosomes as humans. These were crude fusions, grown only as cell cultures, but many were quite long-lived (some were effectively ‘immortal’ by cell biology definitions) and were legitimately half-human, half-hamster on the cellular level, as opposed to a mosaic, where each individual cell would essentially be all-human or all-hamster.

Compatibility is weak evidence of evolutionary heritage.

You may possibly be conflating the Baby Fae story with the well-intentioned but uneven and occasionally over-sentimental Christian Slater movie Untamed Heart.

Re the OP, all I can say is, somebody’s giving Dan Brown a run for his money. :wink:

Am I the only one creeped out by this?

And thus, the true origin of the SDMB moderators is revealed.

What am I gonna do with a pig organ? I can’t even play the piano!

OK: here is my very bad translation from French of what the author says, when he’s leading up to the revelation of what This Other Animal is:

Then there is a lot of other guff about the well-known saying (which I have never heard): “In every man, there is a sleeping pig.” The fact that Judaism and Islam forbid the eating of pork without obvious reason. The fact that pig-flesh tastes very similar to human flesh.

So there we go. Overwhelming evidence that Granny oinked, and Grandpa was aroused by curly tails… :wink: