Oh bugger. How easy it is to become the enemy….
This post on the Scientific Activist: Animal Rights Activists Hijack the Brains of Three Respected Scientists, the subject of which is a paper in Bioessays that suggests that cell cultures and computer modelling should replace more animal experiments.
It’s fair to say that this Scientific Activist blog post isn’t exactly supportive of the view point but it’s a reasonably argued post. It ends with this point.
As scientists, we should constantly be thinking about ways to reduce our dependence on animal research, and this paper does attempt to advance this cause. However, this should not be done at the expense of the science (and at the expense of human lives), and grossly oversimplifying the issue, as this paper seems to, does a service to no one.
Not so Pharyngula’s take on it.
Once we’ve defeated the creationists (hah!), we’re going to have to manage the next problem: well-meaning but ill-informed animal rights activists. Nick describes a recent article that tries to claim we can reduce animal use in labs â€” and it even has a couple of respectable scientists signing on to that nonsense.
Hmm. Well it rather looks, from the bit I quoted above, as if Nick (assuming that refers to Scientific Activist) did accept that reducing animal use was a goal to aim for, rather than “nonsense”, but Toutatis forbid that Pharyngula blogged on something without reading the whole article. (I mean WhyDontYou blog would never dream of doing anything like that. Well, not very often… )
I’m not a biologist. In fact, my schoolgirl aversion to biology was based precisely on the fact that it involved cutting up dead creatures. So, I don’t know how far slicing up animal’s bodies – or genetically manipulating them so they exist only to exhibit diseases similar to the ones humans have and so on – are necessary for the furtherance of knowledge.
But, it better had be bloody necessary before it’s OK with me.
If that makes me an enemy of reason, that’s tough. “Respected scientists” must have had their “brains hijacked” because they suggest other more animal-sparing alternatives? Those of us who think they have a point are the enemies of science, almost as if we are the wimpier wing of the creationists?
Surely biology shows us that we are animals? Mammals? That we share most of our genes with other sentient beings? But we can just ignore this whenever it suits us and act as if we have a right to do whatever we like with other species.
This form of “atheism” is basically indistinguishable from the Judeao-Christian world view that everything else in the universe is just our plaything, just without the Jahweh figure directing the show. Yada Yada… He gave man “dominion over all the beasts of the field” and so on, to do whatever we damn well please with?
How come that bit of the Bible is still gospel to a lot of atheist scientists?