Sharing the homo genus with a furry cousin
One thing DNA sequencing has illustrated is that every organism on earth evolved from the same primordial soup. The genetic blueprints of many animals are astoundingly similar to our own because all species are related.

Scientists have also stated that humans share 99% of their genes with mice and dolphins. Yet Morris Goodman hasn’t recommended adding these animal friends to the homo genus.

Human beings and chimpanzees may share 99.4% of the same DNA but these species differ significantly in appearance, behavior and ability. These are the critical differences that differentiate humans from the animal kingdom. Chimps need to stay where they belong.

As for the “far-reaching implications” mentioned by the Herald News Staff…. Why wouldn’t we continue to cage our furry cousins? Humans cage their brethren. Perhaps a visit to the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater will serve as a friendly reminder. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 2 million inmates were held in federal or state prisons or local jails in June of 2002.

As for medical testing, humans have to participate in clinical trials of experimental drugs prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Each successive phase of testing involves a larger number of human subjects. And even after the FDA has granted a New Drug Approval (NDA), pharmaceutical companies conduct studies on people. Humans are subject to plenty of testing by the medical community. It’s only fair that animals serve as the first line of defense.

The religious community doesn’t hold a monopoly on the belief that the “soul,” or the ability to reason, separates man from animal. Animals do not weigh decisions based on future consequences or any code of morality. Animals cannot develop language to communicate or a culture to celebrate. Animals do not practice religion or recognize the possibility of a “higher power.” Animals do not have the ability to conceptualize.

And while man needs to curb the current rate of consumption, humans must learn to take care of their own before jumping on a bandwagon to clean-up “jungles and wild places.”

If the current state of global sustainability is any indication, the chimpanzees may prefer to do without our assistance.


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