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2.13.2005    |    Valhalla
How appropos that a New York scientist trying to obtain a patent on a human-beast hybrid does his work in Valhalla, New York. Valhalla being the Hall of the Slain. According to this news report, Stuart Newman's
seven-year effort to win a patent on a laboratory-conceived creature that is part human and part animal ended in failure Friday, closing a historic and somewhat ghoulish chapter in American intellectual-property law.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the claim, saying the hybrid -- designed for use in medical research but not yet created -- would be too closely related to a human to be patentable.
"Ghoulish" is a good adjective for this kind of work. It opens a raw wound and exposes the questions of what is human, and what gives us the right to attempt to create things that can not occur in nature.

In a small hint of sanity, a senior officer with the patent office opined about their inability to discern what is human and what is not:
I don't think anyone knows in terms of crude percentages how to differentiate between humans and nonhumans," said John Doll, a deputy commissioner for patents. Yet neither is the office comfortable with a "we'll know it when we see it" approach, he added: "It would be very helpful . . . to have some guidance from Congress or the courts."
This, of course, is where Mr. Doll is misguided. There is no "guidance" on this matter that can usefully come from Congress, or the courts. Or any other mortal source. Man was created by God, in God's image. One may argue as to what that image might mean. One may not, with impunity, meld the God-designed DNA that makes us human with animal DNA just because we are able to.

I hate to sound like an old-time preacher man, but in this case, the description for what is being attempted here fits: an abomination unto the Lord. Dr. Stuart Newman and others who think it is their province to better the Lord's work -- stop, in the name of all that is holy. And in the name of all that is human.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.