Human-Chimp hybrid: Would that "bother" you?

And I don’t mean would it bother you in the sense of whether it was ethical or not to produce the hybrid.

The feasibility of a human-chimp hybrid comes up in GQ all the time*, and it’s interesting how so many people resist the idea that it might be possible. Would it undermine any of your beliefs or feelings or whatever if you learned that such a hybrid existed? I used the term “bother” in the thread title, but only because I couldn’t think of a better word. Would it “rattle your world at all”, or would it “make you shriek in horror” or would it “rattle your belief system”?

Personally, I’d be sort of thrilled, if anything. We know humans and chimps are closely related, and we know that lots of mammalian species that are similarly related can interbreed, so it really wouldn’t be any big surprise to me. And it would sort of be a nice reminder that we’re just a link in the evolutionary chain of life, like every other species.

I don’t really even think it would change the way I look at chimps, since we know how closely related we are, but we also have a pretty good understanding of where our differences are, too.

*There’s an active thread right now in that forum.

I think I would be fascinated with it if it ever happened. And I have no problem with scientists attempting it and learning more about genetics and whatever else in the process.

It would have no effect on my belief system, and I’d be 100% in favor of it, as an experiment . . . of course depending on why it’s done and how it is treated.

What legal rights would such a being have? That’s what bothers me.

Really, it would depend on the result. If it’s basically a stupid ugly semi-human, it’s a tragedy because he/she is the only one of their kind in a world they can’t compete in. On the other hand if the result is a slightly odd looking person with a human’s brains and a chimp’s strength, that would be pretty cool.

I really don’t care, though I confess the upsetting part to me would be the civil rights. How would you decide how much freedom the critter had - if it looked totally chimp but was full human intelligent, would it be treated like a lab animal or a person? If it looked totally human but had the brains of a chimp?

That is the kind of think I want to avoid discussing in this thread.

Only this: If you knew it had been done, how what that change your world-view?

This, and what kind of life it would have.

But to the topic of the OP, no change.

The only change to my world view would be that I would become more prone to getting involved with groups that want to work to ban such experiments.

I would hold a very low opinion of anyone involved in such an experiment because they would create a creature that would be doomed to a bad existence. (E.g. Not able to live as a chimp and not able to live as an autonomous human.)

If the hybrid came about as the result of a human/chimp relationship… I’d still have a low opinion of the human involved, (but not nearly as low as that of scientists who’d created the creature on purpose) and I’d probably donate at least a little to any fund to help raise the little critter in privacy.

ETA: I thought we were actually closer to apes than chimps?

Hit Google Images for “Oliver the Chimp.” Some of those pictures look hauntingly humanlike! Let me try to link to one… I don’t think that’s a Photoshop job, but I cannot swear to it… Anyway, search images…

That guy did disturb me! Haunted the hell out of me! I’ll take their word for it that he was not, in fact, a human/chimp hybrid, but, my God, he looks like one!

So, yes, if they ever did that for real, it would bug me like crazy.

It wouldn’t really change my world-view very much; I’ve already pretty much made up my mind on the morals, ethics, legal aspects, as well as on the philosophical definitions of “personhood.” There wouldn’t really be any challenge here.

Chimps are already smart enough that they push the edges of the definition of “personhood.” They, as they are, are a good challenge to most people’s world-views!

Chimps and humans are both apes, as are gorillas. One viewpoint is that humans are the third chimpanzee, ordinary chimps and bonobos being the other two.

All such classifications are human constructs, so there isn’t some sort of objectively correct classification scheme. BUt, yes, we do tend to think of ourselves as somehow special, and there is a natural tendency to classify as as distantly as possible from our closest relatives.

Still, the only classification that is recognizes as valid is the species level. Everything else is a matter of discussion. If someone wants to put humans and chimps in the same Genus, then there isn’t some scientific committee to say it’s wrong.

Not to mention the social issues s/he would face. Good grief. I would feel very, very sorry for the offspring of this “experiment.” And that’s why it would bother me. I have no belief system that would be shaken by it; I would be utterly unsurprised that it’s possible (I fully expect that it is possible), but I’d be pissed as hell that a bunch of guys decided to do this without regard for the effect it would have on the resultant living being.

You think “being different” in middle school is hard for ordinary kids…

Meh. If there’s scientific gain in conducting the experiment, i.e if it isn’t done just for the fuck of it, I’m ok with it happening.

I’d be surprised in one way - if humans and chimps could interbreed, I would have assumed that ample evidence would be all around us (the Neanderthals say, “Hi!”) I have vast ethical concerns, but I guess that’s a different thread.

So here’s the real question: Should we call them Humanzees, Manpanzees, or Chumans?

My money’s on the Chumans; it’s fun to say!

There was a case of a full chimp raised from birth in a human family with human “siblings” as an experiment to see if it would think it was a human.

The kicker? After the experiment the chimp was sold to a MEDICAL RESEARCH COMPANY.

Wow…people are un-human.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nim_Chimpsky

I suspect that, if its possible, it’s been done. There’s bound to be enough people out there who are not concerned enough with ethics who have been in a position to attempt it. So, it’s either impossible, or the results are underwhelming enough to not be worth reporting.

My guess is you’d get a somewhat weaker and friendlier chimp, not a sentient and language-using human of any sort.

almost everyone has a neighbor or relative like that already. shouldn’t be a bother.

Massachusetts will be the first state to allow interspecies marriage. . .

Whenever I think of this subject I think of the Robert Heinlein short story “Jerry Was a Man”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Was_a_Man

Of course Jerry was not a hybrid, but a genetically modified chimp. But the main thrust of the story was civil liberties and human rights.

A link to the story itself:

http://www.willmorgan.org/Robert_A_Heinlein-Jerry_Was_A_Man.htm