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Human-Animal Hybrids: Blasphemy or Science?

Sculpture by Patricia Piccinini entitled The Young FamilyChimeras are transgenic organisms that contain two or more different populations from genetically distinct cells that originated in different zygotes. Chimeras can involve the mixing of species from a human and a rat to a chicken and an elephant. According to Nancy L. Jones, fellow at The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity, transgenic mice containing human genes have existed for over twenty years. While chimeras have the potential of medical therapy, the process raises questions about issues such as: creation of new life forms and crossing species boundaries, the long-term effects on human health and the environment; the blending of plant, nonhuman animal and human DNA, the unintended personal, social, and cultural consequences.


Generally, transgenic combinations of DNA can be broken down into three categories:

1. plant-animal-human combinations

2. animal-animal combinations

3. animal-human combinations

The process of creating a transgene includes isolating the gene of interest from the tens of thousands of other genes in the genome of a gene-donor species. Once that gene is isolated, it is usually altered so it can function effectively in a host organism. That gene is then combined with other genes to prepare it to be introduced into another organism, at which point it’s known as a transgene.

Could Animal-Human Chimeras Be on the Way? By Nancy L. Jones

"The Bible tells us that God designed procreation so that plants, animals, and humans always reproduce after their own kind or seed. (Gen 1:11-12, 21) In the biblical view, then, species integrity is defined by God, rather than by arbitrary or evolutionary forces. The fusion of animal-human genomes runs counter to the sacredness of human life and man created in the image of God."

Human ear growing on the back of a rodent

Human/Animal Transgenics: When is a Mouse Not a Mouse?

By Nancy L. Jones with Linda K. Bevington

"[C]oncern over transgenic animals has focused on the breach of species barriers and the violation of species integrity entailed by the creation of such animals. The Bible tells us that God designed procreation so that plants, animals, and humans always reproduce after their own kind or seed. In the biblical view, then, species integrity is defined by God rather than by arbitrary or evolutionary forces. Christians involved in and/or concerned about transgenics should seek to determine whether the creation of a human/animal hybrid violates this biblical notion of species integrity."

Xenotransplantation and Transgenics: The Need to Discuss Limits

By C. Ben Mitchell

"Transgenics, however, leads down a path that is likely to be very thorny. Just what percentage of human genes make an animal more than animal and what percentage of animal genes make a human less than human? It's a question that may seem far-fetched, but we have to remind ourselves constantly these days that what used to be science fiction is now science fact."