Pharyngula

Legislators in Louisiana are considering a bill to prohibit human-animal hybrids. We’ve been all over this subject before — it’s ridiculous and founded on complete incomprehension of what the research is all about. How ridiculous is it? SB 115 bans the “mixing of human and animal cells in a petri dish”!

i-ed29a1a564dcf38a39438fa92b9a0cc8-hughes.jpeg

Guess who is pushing this ban? The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, a collection of professional ignoramuses, like this guy, Archbishop Alfred Hughes: old, white celibates with clerical collars and heads stuffed full of decaying dogma.

Look, Hughes, let’s face up to reality. You aren’t promoting this ban because you have any knowledge of the science; if you knew anything about the subject, you’d know that culturing cells of different species is common. Those cell lines to which George W Bush limited government-funded research? Many of them are grown on beds of mouse feeder cells. We could grow specific human cell lines on human feeder cells, but you’d freak out over that, too. There are gene mapping procedures that use fused rodent/human cells to produce cell lines with partial chromosomal losses. Monoclonal antibodies are made by combining immune system cells with immortalized cancer cell lines. And then there’s the ultimate miscegenation: bacterial cells made with copies of human genes, to make human gene products, like insulin. You look old enough that if you aren’t diabetic yourself, you probably have friends who are…and they’re shooting up the product of a human-non-human hybrid. Are you going to ban those next?

Let’s not pretend this is a decision based on morality, either. People are not harmed in the production of these hybrid cell lines, the work is biomedical in intent and produces knowledge and treatments that help people. The decrees of the Catholic church seem to have little to do with human values any more; they’re all about enforcing a rigid dogma and regimenting people, not in mutual cooperation to help one another, but instead to perpetuate your authoritarian hierarchy.

You aren’t promoting this silly because it’s good science or good morality: it’s simpler than that. You’re doing this because biology disgusts you. This isn’t unusual at all — many people are squeamish about the oozy, squishy, squirty, gooey, slimy, sloppy, messy wet business of what goes on beneath their skins. That it makes you feel icky is not grounds for demanding that others unburdened by that bias must follow your taboos. Your personal sense of revulsion is not an argument for your position.

Worse, this is a topic all tied up in your, umm, issues with sex. Your priesthood is just plain weird in its denial of a basic and healthy human urge and its obsession with regulating the private behavior of others. You are not normal. You are the wrong people to be taking on the responsibility of dictating anything about human sexuality — you’re just too far out on the fringe of perversity. There are a lot of weird sexual practices out there, but I’m afraid denial and repression and the kind of self-loathing that characterizes the professional celibates of the Catholic church are among the weirdest. That doesn’t mean you have to stop, of course — your kinks are your kinks, and I will defend your right to not do whatever you want in the privacy of your bedroom — but you have to realize that in the face of the riotous diversity of human sexual behavior, no one gets to use their personal preferences to instruct others on what they may do in private and between mutually consenting adults.

And that includes using a little polyethylene glycol on an assortment of cells in a dish to encourage a bit of fusion. As long as no aware, autonomous individuals are slithering out of the dish, you don’t get to argue that it is wicked and hurting people.

You’re being a sour old prude trying to impose your quaint morality on situations in which you are probably among the least qualified people on the planet to judge, and I have no sympathy with your position at all. But I’ll make you a deal. If you grim old white male virgins leave sex and science alone, I won’t suggest that your sexual pathologies could be treated with regular exposure to the soft and slippery bits of living, squirming human women (or, if you prefer, the flesh and fluids of human men)…you know, all that biology you deny. Even if it would be good for you.

Comments

  1. #1 Lee Picton
    April 19, 2009

    Do these retrogrades think the squishy stuff has something do do with cloning? What maroons!

  2. #2 yoyo
    April 19, 2009

    Wont someone think of the cells!!! Next you libruls will be pushing for inter cell mariages along with your gay abortions and total puppy diets. Shame!

  3. #3 Anonymous
    April 19, 2009

    If you grim old white male virgins leave sex and science alone, I won’t suggest that your sexual pathologies could be treated with regular exposure to the soft and slippery bits of living, squirming human women (or, if you prefer, the flesh and fluids of human men)?you know, all that biology you deny. Even if it would be good for you.

    Er–you did suggest it. And good for you for doing so. That’s what makes you PZ.

    But squirming? PZ, honestly–it’s writhing.

  4. #4 Aquaria
    April 19, 2009

    Huh. Don’t know how it posted me anonymous @ #3, even though I filled in all the crap. Weird!

  5. #5 The Science Pundit
    April 19, 2009

    I disagree PZ! Their sexual pathologies could be treated with regular exposure to the soft and slippery bits of living, squirming octopods! There isn’t a Catholic hang-up that can’t be alleviated with a little squid porn.

  6. #6 ThorSonofOdin
    April 19, 2009

    “bacterial cells made with copies of human genes, to make human gene products”
    Yes!
    My seemingly benign research which involves expressing the human MeCP2 homologue is now officially denounced by the catholic church. I will enter the lab proudly tomorrow. I’ll take my lyophilized demon out of the freezer to do some further diabolical tests on it to try to understand why God lets mutations in this gene give girls mental retardation.
    http://twitter.com/thorsonofodin

  7. #7 raven
    April 19, 2009

    Legislators in Louisiana are considering a bill to prohibit human-animal hybrids. We’ve been all over this subject before ? it’s ridiculous and founded on complete incomprehension of what the research is all about. How ridiculous is it? SB 115 bans the “mixing of human and animal cells in a petri dish”!

    I’m not aware of anyone even wanting to produce human-animal hybrids. With our present level of technology, it isn’t even possible. Might just as well outlaw vampire making, Frankensteinian monster making, and zombie making while they are at it.

    So what if one mixes human and animal cells in a petri dish, a common technique in some specialized fields (ESCs) but otherwise rather pointless. The result is a mixture of cells unless one fuses them somehow and selects out the hybrids. And then one has a fused cell that doesn’t do much but divide.

    None of this makes any scientific sense. The catholic church seems to be imploding here.

    1. There is a huge and growing gap between the members and the priests. No one pays them much attention these days.

    2. The priests seem to dumber and dumber every year. They aren’t recruiting the best and brightest anymore, quite the opposite.

    3. The average age of the priests is going way up. The only explanation for this ridiculous bill is a mixture of ignorance and senility.

    4. Ratzinger. The old pope JPII seemed to be a benign and intelligent man for a pope. The new one just seems to be inept.

  8. #8 Joshua Zelinsky
    April 19, 2009

    Anonymous @ #3, you saw the picture of the cardinal right? I’m pretty sure anyone will be more likely to be squirming than writhing.

  9. #9 Whiskeyjack
    April 19, 2009

    Amen.

  10. #10 Kel
    April 19, 2009

    Yet another kook showing that 3rd century CE definitions are completely inadequate in the 21st century.

  11. #11 CalGeorge
    April 19, 2009

    Danny Martiny: “The archbishop asked me to file it.”

    So much for the separation of church and state.

  12. #12 Jules
    April 19, 2009

    Does this mean diabetics in Louisiana won’t be able to purchase that ungodly insulin?

    Or is insulin OK if it’s mixed in the lab somewhere else and then shipped to Louisiana?

  13. #13 littlejohn
    April 19, 2009

    Or, as Earl Butz once put it, in a politically incorrect manner, you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules.

  14. #14 lynn
    April 19, 2009

    This is very timely. I was just at dinner at an Elvis-themed Mexican restaurant in Garden Grove, CA, and there was an Elvis impersonator who started chatting with me about his religious and spiritual beliefs. He told me that he was the reincarnation of Elvis’s stillborn twin brother, that he was telepathic, that animals were telepathic, and, after lots more of this stuff, he concluded that we are nearing the end of days because scientists are splicing genes and making half-man half-fish hybrids.

    So that’s why they’re trying to ban it – you scientists are bringing on the end of days. Shame on you!

  15. #15 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    April 19, 2009

    Posted by: raven| April 19, 2009

    I’m not aware of anyone even wanting to produce human-animal hybrids. With our present level of technology, it isn’t even possible. Might just as well outlaw vampire making, Frankensteinian monster making, and zombie making while they are at it.

    Do you want to know what else I am against? Human-fly hybrid with parts of a telepod within it’s body.

  16. #16 Goldenmane
    April 19, 2009

    Well said, PZ… though I think you have a typo in there.

  17. #17 gillt
    April 19, 2009

    Shave my head and call me Dr. Moreau. Here I was thinking I was doing some good xenotransplanting human to mouse Bcr-abl cells into zebrafish.

  18. #18 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 19, 2009

    So, of course the legislators will be seeking the input of recognised leaders in the field, right? Yeah?

    Hello?

    Meh – they’ll probably just have an internet poll…

  19. #19 Ichthyic
    April 20, 2009

    because scientists are splicing genes and making half-man half-fish hybrids.

    WHO TOLD YOU THAT!

    They’re obviously on to my plan for world domination, and must be eliminated…

    *ahem*

    I mean, er, that’s cute.

    hahaha.

    *whistles nonchalantly*

  20. #20 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 20, 2009

    Maybe they’re anti-furry? That’s what you get for taking the Senior Citizen Bishops Society on a field trip to Comic*Con!

  21. #21 Pete Cockerell
    April 20, 2009

    PZ, you seem to reserve a special level of disdain for the Catholic church, which I heartily applaud. Is it too much to hope that your sabbatical year will be partly spent producing a definitive treatise on the evils of this organization? Bill Lobdell did a good job of documenting some of the specific wrong-doings and hypocrisies of the church in Losing My Religion (read it, people), but there are so many other crimes it’s guilty of, both in terms of thought control and actual deeds, that need exposing to a wider audience. I hope someone goes for it, even if you can’t.

    (Yes, I was raised Catholic, but even by my confirmation I realized the whole thing was a ludicrous charade. At least I was never interfered with by a priest, though.)

  22. #22 Larry
    April 20, 2009

    Does anyone think it would be of any help if someone would invite some of the ignorant into a lab to see what is really happening? Probably bot, as they are stuck in their dogma and too closed-minded.

  23. #23 Numad
    April 20, 2009

    I know the series Fringe didn’t get any acclaim from PZ to begin with, but I usually enjoy it just fine, but this week’s episode put me in mind of this sort of nonsense.

    The word “Dwarwinism” was also used.

  24. #24 faust
    April 20, 2009

    As a biologist working at LSU, I can assure you that the legislature couldn’t care less about our opinion.

    Apparently the louisiana family forum and these guys know better about science than we do.

  25. #25 Numad
    April 20, 2009

    Dwarwinism being a theory relating to PYGMIES+DWARVES, of course.

  26. #26 Random Mutant
    April 20, 2009

    “mixing of human and animal cells in a petri dish”

    Firstly, define ‘human’, ‘animal’ and ‘petri dish’.

    For certain values of ‘petri dish’, this goes on inside the archbishop all the time. Those values are where the bioreactor ‘petri dish’ is equivalent to the bioreactor ‘stomach and digestive tract’. All he needs to do is eat some agar, ingest some live animal matter and Bob’s your proverbial.

    This is most easily done by swallowing a little seawater.

  27. #27 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 20, 2009

    Faust – What gets me pissed off is not that it is your opinion they are ignoring, but that it is your expertise that they are ignoring.

    If they want a new database, I’m sure they call in IT Consultants. If they need the toilets fixed they get a plumber, and I’m sure they don’t renovate the council chambers by themselves. What mental-malfunction makes them go “Complex bio-sciences? Stand back! We got this one!”???

  28. #28 TheVirginian
    April 20, 2009

    Well, everyone knows that only liberals like me drives Priuses or other hybrids. Real Americans drive Hummers, buying as much oil as possible from Saudi Arabia and contributing to the campaigns of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida to destroy the Great Satan of the West. So the Louisiana Legislature is quite right to ban hybrids and help Osama. It ought to go on and ban …
    Uhhhhhh, wrong hybrids …
    Nevermind!
    Seriously, although I’m not a native of Louisiana, I’ve spent most of my adult life here and there really are some intelligent people in the Bayou State. Remember, Barbara Forrest, the Slayer of Cretinism, is both a native and a professor at a La. university. And New Orleans has a sizable, active secular humanist group. And the University of New Orleans just had its 10th anniversary Darwin Day celebration. (When is PZ going to bring his wonderful blasphemy to the Big Sleazy to help them celebrate the birthday of the man who slew Christianity?)
    So don’t write off the state to either secede or be Expelled or otherwise consigned to a Hell only Ben Stein would love. Support the patriots here who want only science taught in school and mythology taught in … well, places where people know it’s mythology and therefore fiction. Some of us are fighting for reason to prevail.
    I must note that the Baton Rouge newspaper has had several editorials promoting science and evolution and criticizing the Jindalistas for pushing mythology/BS in science classes, and cretinists’ letters to the editors lately have been outnumbered by people defending the scientific fact of evolution.
    I’m going to include part of a message from the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association, NOSHA, in case anyone wants to help their “no gods” bus ad campaign:

    Please send your check now payable to NOSHA, marked “advertising,” to our Treasurer: Connie Gordon, 2509 Giuffrias, Apt. 603, Metairie LA 70001. United we stand.

  29. #29 raven
    April 20, 2009

    Do you want to know what else I am against? Human-fly hybrid with parts of a telepod within it’s body.

    Somebody should tell the Archibishop that the movie, The Fly, was fiction and not a documentary.

    As a biologist working at LSU, I can assure you that the legislature couldn’t care less about our opinion.

    That’s OK. They ignored expert opinion about levees, sea levels, and hurricanes and look where that got them.

  30. #30 Janine, Insulting Sinner
    April 20, 2009

    That’s OK. They ignored expert opinion about levees, sea levels, and hurricanes and look where that got them.

    Funny how a president from a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt, knew that wetlands were needed to weaken a hurricane touching ground.

  31. #31 Michael Hawkins
    April 20, 2009

    I don’t think it’s that these people find biology disgusting. I’m sure they’re fearful of science and that plays into all this wackiness, but I think moreso, it’s the fact that these people have been raised and taught their entire lives that rule internalization is a good thing, a virtue. They think the world is black and white and simple and should be their twisted definition of pretty. They are wrong.

  32. #32 Arthur Hunt
    April 20, 2009

    “The decrees of the Catholic church seem to have little to do with human values any more; “

    Any more? Do you mean that, at one time, the Catholic Church cared about human values?

  33. #33 Ba'al
    April 20, 2009

    Given the number of E coli cells that live inside us, this law would make humans illegal. Well except for the petri dish part.

    I wonder if my dish is made of plastic, is it still a petri dish? What if the cells are growing on a glass coverslip? I should be ok right?

  34. #34 shamar
    April 20, 2009

    I wish the catholic church would let me eat babies in peace!!!

  35. #35 Kel
    April 20, 2009

    Given the number of E coli cells that live inside us, this law would make humans illegal. Well except for the petri dish part.

    Since when was bacteria animal?

  36. #36 Crudely Wrott
    April 20, 2009

    Most salient point:

    . . . the kind of self-loathing that characterizes the professional celibates of the Catholic church . . .

    Self-loathing, or disgust at the basic human state is the inevitable result of applying the doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin. The idea that none of us have any ancestors who were greater than the least of us is not exactly full of inspiration. Not to mention that all of our accomplishments of the past are meaningless.

    Just one more of the reasons I kicked the dust from my shoes when I left the church.

  37. #37 Herm
    April 20, 2009

    With friends like Dawkins and PZ does evolution really need any more enemies?

  38. #38 Sparkomatic
    April 20, 2009

    Uh…lemme get this straight…the catholic church doesn’t want to use mouse feeder cells but they’re cool with the whole creepy monkey head transplant thing…hmmmm….I always leave these posts feeling like I’m missing something.

    Of course I’ve always felt like the pope was more badly in need of a blow job than anyone else on the planet.

  39. #39 Ciaphas
    April 20, 2009

    If they want a new database, I’m sure they call in IT Consultants. If they need the toilets fixed they get a plumber, and I’m sure they don’t renovate the council chambers by themselves. What mental-malfunction makes them go “Complex bio-sciences? Stand back! We got this one!”???

    The same mental malfuction that gave us an internet connection that goes out every time someone flushes the toilet.

  40. #40 plum grenville
    April 20, 2009

    Wouldn’t this ban sticking your finger in a petri dish of animal cells? Some skin cells are bound to fall off your finger and get mixed with the animal cells.

  41. #41 llewelly
    April 20, 2009

    Kel April 20, 2009 12:54 AM :

    Given the number of E coli cells that live inside us, this law would make humans illegal. Well except for the petri dish part.

    Since when was bacteria animal?

    You just wait ’till they have a wild party in your digestive tract. They’re animals, I tell you. Animals.

  42. #42 Mr Gronk
    April 20, 2009

    Whether it’s hybrids, stem cell research, cadaver dissection, vaccination, euthanasia, anaesthetics, birth control, or IVF, when it comes to any medical issue the RCs have always been instinctively opposed to any advances.
    Their notion seems to be that human dignity is best served by continued suffering and ignorance (unless Mother Teresa catches a chill, then only the best medicine will do). Only religion can have such a warping effect on morality.

  43. #43 Aquaria
    April 20, 2009

    you saw the picture of the cardinal right? I’m pretty sure anyone will be more likely to be squirming than writhing.

    1) I thought PZ’s statement was directed more to the Vatican as a whole, and not entirely to the cardinal.

    2) Looks aren’t necessarily a precursor of sexual capability.

    3) PZ seemed to want the priesthood to learn about the joys of sex. Squirming would imply they were doing it wrong. Writhing would imply that they’d gotten the idea, and would be more likely to lighten up enough to stop worrying about bullshit that they know nothing about.

  44. #44 Aquaria
    April 20, 2009

    Of course I’ve always felt like the pope was more badly in need of a blow job than anyone else on the planet.

    Do you not count those he commands from the altar boys?

  45. #45 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 20, 2009

    The same mental malfuction that gave us an internet connection that goes out every time someone flushes the toilet.

    Oh, come on. Everyone gets that problem! I’m sure Microsoft will have a patch out for it soon.

    Of course, our problem here in Aus is that our internet connection is about to be flushed down the toilet – if the luddite “Communications” Minister (scare quotes on purpose) gets his filter idea through. But thats a different whinge for a different day.

    So for now, lets go jump on the Herm gumby…

  46. #46 Jackie M.
    April 20, 2009

    You left out “moist”! Apparently most people associate the word “moist” with “disgusting”–which perhaps explains the Catholic patriarchy’s inability to have a coherent discussion about plain-old human-human reproduction?

  47. #47 Jadehawk
    April 20, 2009

    *sigh*

    I’m really going to have to get myself excommunicated one of these days… but fuck if I know which country I’d even have to try that in…

  48. #48 MadScientist
    April 20, 2009

    Not content to ban gay marriage, they now want to ban all marriage? Or am I confusing things and they only want to ban sex between heterosexuals, in which case the church is going 100% gay? Or do they just want to ban humans grown in Petri dishes – in which case we’d better confiscate their Weird Al Yankovic CD collection.

  49. #49 MadScientist
    April 20, 2009

    “old, white celibates with clerical collars and heads stuffed full of decaying dogma”

    Uh, PZ, I’d leave out the ‘celibate’ part. You don’t know where they’ve been putting their willies.

  50. #50 Clemens
    April 20, 2009

    The Catholic Church: Those who aren’t satisfied with replacing the opinion and expertise of real scientists with those of bronze age death cultists feed those myths through generations of senile celibates with their own twisted logic and political agenda.

    Seriously. When the RCC always had had it their way, Europe would have been wiped out by the plague entirely, because washing your hands and covering your mouth where Muslim practices.

  51. #51 Derik N
    April 20, 2009

    Damn, that’s a rant PZ

    nicely put

  52. #52 Charlie Foxtrot
    April 20, 2009

    They’re Bishops – of course they’re celibate!
    Just like their fathers, and their fathers before them.

  53. #53 The Purple Jujube
    April 20, 2009

    The Catholic Church is trying to prevent the development of the real life catgirl.

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

    Damn them! Damn them to hell!

    If you grim old white male virgins leave sex and science alone, I won’t suggest that your sexual pathologies could be treated with regular exposure to the soft and slippery bits of living, squirming human women

    You see? They fear the catgirl!

    Apparently most people associate the word “moist” with “disgusting”-

    Really? I associate it mostly with cake. Ot towelettes.

  54. #54 currie jean
    April 20, 2009

    I don’t associate moist with “cake” or “disgusting.” I associate it with Dr. Horrible. Evil moisture buddy, anyone?

  55. #55 Tom Farrell
    April 20, 2009

    All of the biotech work that gets banned in Louisiana… will be more than welcome in Massachusetts.

  56. #56 Andre
    April 20, 2009

    Preach it, brother!

    I remember having a conversation with two very intelligent, well read and well meaning friends of mine who objected very strongly to the idea of genetic engineering (to the extent, I believe, of “direct action” at certain high profile agricultural facilities.)

    We went through every objection they could come up with, and agreed at the end that, although they saw genetic engineering in a “moral” light, their underlying objection was aesthetic. They didn’t want “frog genes” in their tomatoes, not because it was potentially harmful, but because it was yucky!

    Of course, commercial genetic engineering is a bit more complicated than medical research because of the complications short sighted big businesses bring to any endeavour, but the objections really do start in the same place.

  57. #57 Matt
    April 20, 2009

    It may be a mistake, but I’m willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. It sounds like their goals are not (intentionally) to perpetuate [their] authoritarian hierarchy, but rather to ensure we scientists are not designing centaurs in the lab or impregnating a human with a squid embryo.

    Martiny’s bill would make it illegal to “create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, . . . transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb . . . (or) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb.”

    While good intentioned, these lawmakers have definitely stepped outside of their area of expertise and are trying to impose legal restrictions on the unknown, ie. what scares them. I highly doubt they or their supporters are aware of any of the research that is currently being undertaken that their legislation would outlaw and the wealth of medical advances that such investigations have already brought us.

  58. #58 Zar
    April 20, 2009

    I’m guessing he caught a re-run of “Mansquito” on the Sci-fi Channel and freaked out.

  59. #59 John Swindle
    April 20, 2009

    Everyone seems to be ignoring the troll, Herm. I can’t tell you how proud you all make me.

  60. #60 Paper Hand
    April 20, 2009

    The Catholic Church is trying to prevent the development of the real life catgirl.

    No!!!!!!

  61. #61 Rorschach
    April 20, 2009

    jadehawk @ 47,

    I’m really going to have to get myself excommunicated one of these days… but fuck if I know which country I’d even have to try that in…

    I did it in Germany,although I live overseas now.Well,not getting excommunicated,but leave the RCC.

    Gee,PZ is one grumpy bum these days LOL,another nice rant…

    And the price for “most non-sensical comment” goes to Herm @ 37:

    With friends like Dawkins and PZ does evolution really need any more enemies?

    Its interesting to notice how the RCC has transformed itself from a motor of advances in the sciences and humanistic fields,to a bunch of increasingly scientifically illiterate senile dogmatists,who have absolutely no idea about whats going on in the world anymore,and whose century-old dogmatic answers to the questions and problems of today make them seem increasingly superfluous and outdated.

  62. #62 Bone Oboe
    April 20, 2009

    Don’t know why I thought I could beat anyone to a “Dr. Moreau” reference. It only took 17 comments before someone hit upon the idea.

    Really makes me wonder when, or less optimistically* if there will ever come a time when humans, or whatever sentient beings who’re around at the time, will not have their lives blighted by any of these guilt, sin and Invisible Man In the Sky religions.

    *I’ll borrow a little Carlin:

    “I don’t see the glass as half full, or half empty. I see the glass as too big.”

  63. #63 Justin
    April 20, 2009

    More depressing news coming out of my state. And they wonder why all the science and engineering graduates are leaving. An article about this bill is however getting some very negative attention at Noladotcom, a New Orleans area news site.

    Maybe if more people speak up we can oust some of these guys.

  64. #64 Tail!
    April 20, 2009

    Could somebody please explain WHY human-animal hybrids are so maligned? (By both sides in the above debate, I might add.)

    I want a tail!

  65. #65 Emmet, OM
    April 20, 2009

    But what about PYGMIES+DWARFS??? em, I mean CENTAURS+MERMAIDS???

  66. #66 Paper Hand
    April 20, 2009

    But what about PYGMIES+DWARFS??? em, I mean CENTAURS+MERMAIDS???

    You win the thread!

  67. #67 Emmet, OM
    April 20, 2009

    The old pope JPII seemed to be a benign and intelligent man for a pope

    Compared to whom? Rodrigo Borgia?

  68. #68 Russell Blackford
    April 20, 2009

    Dammit, PZ, you’ve lost all sense of restraint here. That was a destructive, vitriolic, uncompromising attack on our friends in the Catholic Church. You gave no respect to their most cherished beliefs; and you’ve probably caused a lot of offence, sounding off in the way you did.

    Well done, mate! Congratulations!

  69. #69 Bone Oboe
    April 20, 2009

    Tail! @ #64

    Could somebody please explain WHY human-animal hybrids are so maligned? (By both sides in the above debate, I might add.)
    I want a tail!

    Now you’re talking! I’d have to see about getting a prehensile tail/”thumby” orangutan foot combo. Also look into getting some of that chimp strength and take my tail, grippy ape foot and totally dominate MMA fights all over the globe…Get my own show on the Travel Channel…At each county I land in I could proclaim “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubble gum.”

    Whoa, I’m getting loopy. It’s bed time. And besides, I Wouldn’t want to chance ending up like this poor four assed monkey.

  70. #70 MadScientist
    April 20, 2009

    “The old pope JPII seemed to be a benign and intelligent man for a pope”

    Really? Huh. I guess I never had a chance of winning that bet that he’d canonize Hitler then. I was worried JP2 would drag catholics back to the “good old days” of the crusades; he was one of the biggest supporters of the heretical cult “Opus Dei”, and that cult just misses the good old days when people knew what to do wi’ ‘dem moslems and especially ‘dem jesus-killer-jews.

  71. #71 Jeffery Keown
    April 20, 2009

    Don’t mince words PZ, tell us how you really feel.

    Thanks for this rant. It’s exactly what we need to hear in the face of all this religious nonsense. Don’t ever change!

  72. #72 MadScientist
    April 20, 2009

    @Bone Oboe:

    Dang! So George Carlin beat me to it? Whenever people ask me “is the glass half empty or half full” my stock replies are:

    * the glass is larger than it needs to be
    * the water would easily fit in a smaller container
    * are you too stupid to figure that out on your own?

    What I’d like to do of course is slap them silly for being such a sheep and bleating out that “glass half full” crap.

  73. #73 Ragutis
    April 20, 2009

    Tail? What the hell good is that? Pfft… the planet’s surface is 70% water. Gills. The practical choice. Gills is where it’s at.

    Now, a prehensile penis… that might be worth staying landbound for.

  74. #74 toomanytribbles
    April 20, 2009

    pz, this post and its language are excellent.

  75. #75 Master Mahan
    April 20, 2009

    This ban goes too far! No one’s the denying the potential for abuse in animal human hybrids, but the Moreau incident was over a hundred years ago. The scientific community long ago established strict rules of ethics to prevent scientists from creating colonies of beast men and ruling over them like gods.

    More recent uses of human-animal splicing have been far more successful. I wonder if Archbishop Hughes would really rather die than allow Spider-Man to save his life.

  76. #76 Heraclides
    April 20, 2009

    The bill proposed needs to very accurately define what it means by human-animal hybrid, etc., and without this it should not even be allowed to be considered as it opens too many doors to be abused to “ban” acceptable practices.

    Unrelated to that, what about human-mouse chimeras, for example?

  77. #77 shonny
    April 20, 2009

    Posted by: Rorschach Author Profile Page | April 20, 2009 2:47 AM
    Its interesting to notice how the RCC has transformed itself from a motor of advances in the sciences and humanistic fields,to a bunch of increasingly scientifically illiterate senile dogmatists,who have absolutely no idea about whats going on in the world anymore,and whose century-old dogmatic answers to the questions and problems of today make them seem increasingly superfluous and outdated.

    You are joking, – ja?
    The catlick church has tried to block social and scientific advancements for its whole existence, to maintain their established hegemony as ‘natural’. All advancements have been in spite of catlickers input and prosecutions.
    All and any ‘transformation’ has always been so the church could survive, which includes the pact they made with the Nazis, and now using siegheil 2 (ratty) as pope.
    Same for CoE and the muzzies. As to the four-by-two’s . . .

  78. #78 BrainFromArous
    April 20, 2009

    “…old, white celibates with clerical collars and heads stuffed full of decaying dogma.”

    “…If you grim old white male virgins leave sex and science alone…”

    Why the hangup with skin color, PZ? Have you looked in the mirror lately? Seriously, what the hell?

    Does this use of “white” (that is, Caucasian) as an epithet signal some manner of self-hatred?

    Or does it betoken a thralldom to contemporary PC Leftism – speaking of dogma – leading to the unthinking employment of its demonology? (“White” = lame, bad, suspect)

    Say! Can we expect a similarly venomous denunciation of the Catholic Church’s “decaying dogma” the next time they urge some US governor to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment, since the RCC is a strong opponent of capital punishment?

  79. #79 Flea
    April 20, 2009

    Let me see if I understand the catholic position on these matters: Crocoducks are ridiculous but rodenthumans are evil. Am I correct here?

  80. #80 Marc Buhler
    April 20, 2009

    Gee wiz, Paul –

    They, er….. seem to have “gotten under your skin”.

    OMG – they are in there with all the squishy bits!

    “Oh my!” – I said “OMG” [i.e. oh my god!] …. so it seems they are mind-controlling me!

    Please – make them stop! (Oh, that’s right – you’re trying to! Good on ya, mate!)

  81. #81 Olaf Davis
    April 20, 2009

    BrainFromArous, #78:

    Say! Can we expect a similarly venomous denunciation of the Catholic Church’s “decaying dogma” the next time they urge some US governor to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment, since the RCC is a strong opponent of capital punishment?

    I can only assume so – after all, the alternative would be for him to admit the possibility of their being right about one issue and wrong about another, completely different one. What a preposterous idea…

  82. #82 Emmet, OM
    April 20, 2009

    A biologist walks into a bar in Louisiana and says, ?Will anyone here fuck a chimpanzee for $100?? And a guy at the bar says, ?Sure, but I’ve only $40 on me.?

    *rimshot*

     

    I’m here all week. Try the veal.

  83. #83 SAWells
    April 20, 2009

    Not that the RCC is actually all that strenuously anti-death penalty. They’ve been kicking up a fuss about the Vatican ambassador and abortion rights, not CP.

  84. #84 Rorschach
    April 20, 2009

    Shonny @ 77,

    what I wrote was a bit unfortunately worded,sorry.I wasnt trying to say the RCC used to be the standard bearer of science,but at least they used to have a tradition of their priests being up-to-date somewhat with earthly developments,and flexible to adapt and survive,as you mentioned.
    These days they just seem totally out of touch with the real world and backwards and dogmatic,in other words,they have made themself redundant.

  85. #85 John Morales
    April 20, 2009

    BFA:

    Say! Can we expect a similarly venomous denunciation of the Catholic Church’s “decaying dogma” the next time they urge some US governor to commute a death sentence to life imprisonment, since the RCC is a strong opponent of capital punishment?

    Ahem. Not that strong.
    “3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.

    While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment.

    There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

  86. #86 Matt Heath
    April 20, 2009

    WTF? Seriously, what are they playing at? They did here about the recession, right? Catholics (unlike some kinds of Protestant) are (doctrinally) meant to care about poverty. That they have a crazy position on uses of biology is one thing, but that’s their lead concern now?!

    I can only assume it’s some elaborate demonstration of in-group loyalty. “Any old Commie-Quaker-Atheist can be against malnutrition. I’m going to show I’m True Believer by shooting my mouth off over something faintly absurd.”

  87. #87 Matt
    April 20, 2009

    Bravo. Loved the post.

  88. #88 Piltdown Man
    April 20, 2009

    Kel @ 10:

    Yet another kook showing that 3rd century CE definitions are completely inadequate in the 21st century.

    “CE”? Is that Christian Era?

  89. #89 Rorschach
    April 20, 2009

    “CE”? Is that Christian Era?

    Yes,and no.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CE_(era)

    Emmet @ 82,

    I dont get it !

  90. #90 SC, OM
    April 20, 2009

    A biologist walks into a bar in Louisiana and says, ?Will anyone here fuck a chimpanzee for $100?? And a guy at the bar says, ?Sure, but I’ve only $40 on me.?

    Emmet @ 82,

    I dont get it !

    Uh, I wouldn’t go around bragging about that. :D

  91. #91 goldnsilver
    April 20, 2009

    This post, and your shameless bashing of Catholic priests, has made my day.

  92. #92 Donnie B.
    April 20, 2009

    So: human-animal hybrids are right out. Seems a bit odd, since any human infant could be described as a human-animal hybrid. We humans are, after all, animals ourselves. (I leave the question of which parent counts as the human as an exercise for the reader.)

    If this law passes, I say we get right to work on some nifty human-plant hybrids. Who wouldn’t want to get their nourishment by putting down roots?

  93. #93 Jim
    April 20, 2009

    Yeah, and there’s all that money being spent research little flies in France too; what did little flies ever do for us eh?

    Honestly, these scientists, they’re supposed to be producing cures, not playing with flies and mixing human and animal cells. Tsk, tsk.
    ;-)

  94. #94 John Morales
    April 20, 2009

    Piltdown @88:

    “CE”? Is that Christian Era?

    Once upon a time, before Christianity began its fall into desuetude, it was. Now it’s become Common Era.

    Humanity progresses, Piltdown, despite religion’s best efforts.

  95. #95 Dancaban
    April 20, 2009

    Excellent post PZ! I for one will continue with my animal-plant hybirds as these jokers haven’t even considered that?

    Expecting my first Triffid soon. It’s a venus fly trap/creationist combo with a slice of cabbage to raise the IQ up a few notches (only need the creationist for locomotive duties and the rat-a-tat speech pattern).

    If anybody has any ideas for better combos then please feel free to let me know!

  96. #96 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 20, 2009

    Many of them are grown on beds of mouse feeder cells.

    I can’t help it but this of course popped in my head.

    There’s an add first unfortunately.

  97. #97 Jeremy
    April 20, 2009

    Bravo, PZ, bravo.

  98. #98 L.Minnik
    April 20, 2009

    If they want a new database, I’m sure they call in IT Consultants. If they need the toilets fixed they get a plumber, and I’m sure they don’t renovate the council chambers by themselves. What mental-malfunction makes them go “Complex bio-sciences? Stand back! We got this one!”???

    The RCC would like to be consulted on everything, but since a non-working database or leaky pipe would show right away, they can only claim “ethics” as their domain and rule what is “not ethical”. Would be so sad for the church leaders if the goverment didn’t consult them regarding scientific matters–their opinion so superflous and power ever dwindling.

  99. #99 Nasikabatrachus
    April 20, 2009

    What, no “Kind Regards” at the end? That would have been hilarious.

    Also, can anyone explain this bit:

    “combining immune system cells with immortalized cancer cell lines.”

    Does immortalized mean these cells don’t die, or what?

  100. #100 James
    April 20, 2009

    Great line from a commenter on the story’s webpage:

    “What the heck is wrong with Archbishop Hughes? One can only wish he was more interested in preventing Priest/Boy hybrids…”

    More troubling is the next bill proposed:

    “On another ethical issue, Rep. Bernard LeBas, D-Ville Platte, has filed House Bill 517 that would protect from being fired or demoted people who refuse to participate in any health care practice that violates their conscience. ”

  101. #101 MrFire
    April 20, 2009

    Wasn’t Jesus a god-human hybrid?

    And the old buggers seem to be kind of sterile, implying they may be hybrids themselves.

  102. #102 katie
    April 20, 2009

    Hey…it’s not quite fair to say that someone who doesn’t have sex is not normal.

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

    Although…to be fair, I’m sure not every priest falls in that category.

  103. #103 MosesZD
    April 20, 2009

    Well said, PZ.

  104. #104 itspiningforthefyords
    April 20, 2009

    They mean well. Or at least they mean something.

    It is the last croak for these throwbacks (though “faith” is likely a mental disease homo sapiens either “needs” or simply can’t get rid of), and my great-grandchildren may well live in the age where that last brick falls from that last church to crush the skull of that last doddering old Catholic priest. Though I’d prefer he retired earlier and take up useful work of some sort.

  105. #105 Elwood Herring
    April 20, 2009

    Superb rant, PZ. And thanks for turning anon commenting back on. I understand the need for this Typekey thing, but I can’t get it to work here.

  106. #106 Vincent
    April 20, 2009

    A picture of that guy (not even at carnival day !)

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/46/145965834_4431d569ae.jpg

    ahah, I guess all this must finally be a joke, right ? good one !

  107. #107 Bug
    April 20, 2009

    Slightly off topic: PZ, you badly need to see episode three of the second season of the Full Metal Alchemist anime, which aired about twelve hours ago in Japan. It was subtitled in English mere hours afterwards, and subtitled (although pirated) versions can be found by searching for “Eclipse Productions”. I would have provided YouTube links, but I couldn’t find any yet. This episode features a lot of dialogue between a religious high priest, fundamentalists and alchemists (who sort of represent atheist scientists), about heresy, taboo and such things. It also has slapstick humour, so it might be fun to watch while relaxing. The episode also requires very little background knowledge of the series.

    One of the great points near the end (20 minutes, 55 seconds into the episode) has *SLIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW- YOU MAY NOT WANT TO READ ON UNTIL AFTER WATCHING* a distraught former believer asking the main characters what she is now supposed to cling to, now that her former religious figure is well and truly exposed as a charlatan. The main character responds “Decide that for yourself. Get up and take a step. Walk forward. You’ve got two fine legs on you. You don’t need to cling to anything.
    I think this is a truly fine display of how people do not need the crutch of religion to survive.

  108. #108 Doug
    April 20, 2009

    Jesus Christ, it’s almost every day now something comes out that makes me embarrassed to live in Louisiana. Tell me, PZ, is Minnesota as beautiful as it sounds on a Prairie Home Companion?

  109. #109 Emmet, OM
    April 20, 2009

    Thus spake SC,OM:

    Uh, I wouldn’t go around bragging about that. :D

    Indeed. It reminds me of telling the old joke ?If a woman is uncomfortable watching you masturbate, do you think (a) you need more time together, (b) she’s a bit prudish, (c) you should sit somewhere else on the bus?? and a guy asking me ?What’s the answer??

  110. #110 Stephanurus
    April 20, 2009

    PZ,
    This is one of your best posts. Keep up the good work.
    Stephanurus

  111. #111 Bug
    April 20, 2009

    Oh, and on the subject of Fullmetal Alchemist: Amusingly enough, the fourth episode, due to air in Japan on Sunday night this week, will feature an alchemically created human-animal hybrid. I’d like to show it to these bishops.

  112. #112 Don Martin
    April 20, 2009

    When these guys get too old for altar boys, they get into real mischief.

  113. #113 Atheomatic
    April 20, 2009

    @Nasikabatrachus, re immortalized cell lines:

    No, the individual cells aren’t immortal. They’ve got some mutations that cancer cells have that allows them to divide indefinitely (most regular cells from the body have a fixed number of divisions since sperm/egg status that they can undergo).

  114. #114 Bug
    April 20, 2009

    Re MrFire @101:
    “Wasn’t Jesus a god-human hybrid?”
    Actually, one of my friends put forth a convincing argument recently that God should be considered a female member of an insect species, given that those are the most infamous examples in the animal kingdom of putting copies of their own DNA inside mammalian bodies.

  115. #115 Bug
    April 20, 2009

    Of course, once you no longer consider Jesus as an incarnation of (and hence same species as) God Himself, and more as the offspring of God and Mary, the analogy sort of collapses. A mother is hardly the same thing as the host organism of a foreign parasitic species, after all.

  116. #116 Sabio
    April 20, 2009

    Ad Hominem arguments ["he is old, and thus despicable and worth ignoring"] should be more beneath you, but they seem to abound on this site. I wish we would all aspire to a higher quality atheism.

  117. #117 co
    April 20, 2009

    Of course, once you no longer consider Jesus as an incarnation of (and hence same species as) God Himself, and more as the offspring of God and Mary, the analogy sort of collapses.

    Ahh. Well, that’s got that sorted, then. This whole Christianity thing — it all makes sense suddenly!

  118. #118 dNorrisM
    April 20, 2009

    If they ban it in vitro, then the next step on the slippery slope is to ban it in vivo.

    No more frolicking with Fifi.

  119. #119 Peter Ashby
    April 20, 2009

    Hmm while making blue mice (mouse intergenetic sequences spliced to a bacterial sugar splitting enzyme) one day I accidentally stabbed myself with the injection pippette. I wouldn’t bet against my finger having that construct in it, so does that mean I will be illegal in the state of Louisiana?

    Also considering in that lab you could clone Bluescript out of DI water that had been open to the air for 30s i probably have that too. Usually it was KSII+. When doing PCRs for our transgenes we had to be careful not to do too many pcr cycles or ghost bands would turn up in all the lanes, including the negative control. We pcred for the boundary between the LacZ and the SV40 polyA, so what does that say about what was floating in the air in that lab? I’m a walking, talking chimaera I tell you.

  120. #120 Alyson Miers
    April 20, 2009

    But they’re NEVER too old for altar boys!

  121. #121 Abdul Alhazred
    April 20, 2009

    … old, white, celebates …

    Why bring race into it? Do you suppose that black Roman Catholic clergy have a different read on this issue?

    Or that the position is motivated by racism?

    A racial red herring that weakens the argument.

  122. #122 Dr.Woody
    April 20, 2009

    Archbishop Alfred Hughes: old, white celibates with clerical collars and heads stuffed full of decaying dogma.

    And dreams of pre-pubescent boys?

    He’s a catholic priest. What makes you think he’s “celibate?” If he were, he’d be the only one in Looseyanna…

  123. #123 lurker111
    April 20, 2009

    “Or, as Earl Butz once put it, in a politically incorrect manner, you no play-a the game, you no make-a the rules.”

    Er, wasn’t it Bridgette Bardot who said, about the current pope many years ago, “He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules!” and got into a lot of trouble for it?

    Yeah, I’m dating myself …

  124. #124 Dr.Woody
    April 20, 2009
  125. #125 blackjackshellac
    April 20, 2009

    Somebody better tell these idiots about Horizontal Gene Transfer, that should keep them really busy.

  126. #126 Victor
    April 20, 2009

    Don’t humans have a huge percentage of non-human cells in their body?

    Sometimes I think the Catholic Church raises a fuss about something just to keep themselves in the news. Like with trademarks. Every few years the Beatles “sue” Apple computers (and they settle out of court) because you have to show that you’re trying to defend their trademark or they will lose the right to.

  127. #127 Mbee
    April 20, 2009

    Trust the religious to talk about human – animal hybrids.
    They are the only ones who think that humans are not animals.
    For this to make sense they need to be talking about inter-species hybrids.

  128. #128 Bill Dauphin
    April 20, 2009

    Charlie Foxtrot:

    They’re Bishops – of course they’re celibate!
    Just like their fathers, and their fathers before them.

    Reminds me of a joke Groucho Marx used to tell in his octogenerian one-man show1: He ended up on an elevator with a Catholic priest, who looked at him and said, “oh, my mother just loves you.” To which Groucho replied, “I didn’t know you fellows had mothers; I thought it was immaculate conception.”2

    1 May the person who borrowed my (vinyl) album of same and never returned it rot in nonexistent Hell!

    2 Yeah, yeah, I know that’s not what immaculate conception really refers to, and so did Groucho: It’s a joke, not a theology lesson. ;^)

  129. #129 Peter Ashby
    April 20, 2009

    Good point Blackjackshellac. I once cloned a gene from a chicken (not the one I was looking for) and when I threw it at the database it hit only H. sapiens and Anopheles gambiae, the malaria mosquito. The mouse genome and several others were on the database at the time not to mention lots of EST libraries (one of the two human sequences was an EST). Just those two, so a human, a mosquito and a chicken. Two hosts living in close proximity and a vector. Lateral transfer in action.

  130. #130 raven
    April 20, 2009

    “combining immune system cells with immortalized cancer cell lines.”

    This is the standard way of making monoclonal antibodies.

    Usually they go mouse to mouse myeloma. Human B cells to mouse myeloma should be a good way to make human monoclonal antibodies but has never really caught on. It seems easier to take mouse Mabs and humanize them with standard genetic engineering.

    Human Mabs are very important drugs for a variety of serious diseases, cancer, RA, Crohns, MS.

    The part about mixing mouse and human cells in a petri dish might be more clever than it sounds. A standard way of growing Embryonic Stem Cells from humans is on irradiated mouse cell feeder layers. This looks like a cryptic attempt to outlaw human stem cell research in Louisiana. Which is OK, California is throwing lots of state money into this very field.

  131. #131 BigBob
    April 20, 2009

    I put my name down as a minister of the Church of the Apathetic Agnostic some years ago. Where do I sign up for the
    writhing women?

  132. #132 Ahnald Brownshwagga the Monkey
    April 20, 2009

    @116…

    I agree, although I do find personal attacks humorous (sometimes).

    @121…

    I’m also not sure why PZ mentioned the whiteness of the guy’s skin. Seems a silly thing to say as a biologist attempting to promote tolerance.

  133. #133 ArchangelChuck
    April 20, 2009

    They’re only keeping humanity’s best interest at heart. Even with such a great responsibility on their shoulders, they have the humility not to take a pompous and ignorant moral high ground. After all, if those morally upstanding Catholic bishops weren’t there keep a watch over those evil scientists, we’d have the mythical Minotaur running around slaughtering the defenseless peasants. We need religion to keep an eye on immoral and godless science. Otherwise, there would just be chaos!

    Lawl.

  134. #134 Bill Dauphin
    April 20, 2009

    BrainFromArous (and Abdul Alhazred, who raised a similar objection):

    Does this use of “white” (that is, Caucasian) as an epithet signal some manner of self-hatred?

    Or does it betoken a thralldom to contemporary PC Leftism – speaking of dogma – leading to the unthinking employment of its demonology? (“White” = lame, bad, suspect)

    Not meaning to put my own words in PZ’s mouth, here, but I took him to be referring to the pervasive whiteness of the RCC hierarchy as just one more way — similar to their age and unnatural virginity — in which they’re dissimilar from, and potentially out of touch with, the diverse global population to whom they presume to speak. In their age, in their sex, in their sexuality, and in their ethnic/cultural background, these guys who claim to speak the Word of (Alleged) God to the whole wide world are unlike many of the people they presume to lead; it’s reasonable to question how relevant their perspectives are to those of their “flock.”

    Complaining about lack of diversity within a power elite does not equate to some sort of “white shame” self-loathing.

  135. #135 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 20, 2009

    But what of Bat Boy?

  136. #136 j.t.delaney
    April 20, 2009

    The LA legislature is infamous for really ill-conceived, poorly crafted legislature. The great state of Louisiana does have its share of gifted people… but traditionally, they’re not the ones passing laws down there.

  137. #137 Anonymous
    April 20, 2009

    SB 115 bans the “mixing of human and animal cells in a petri dish”!

    Louisiana lab supply companies better stock up on tea saucers.

    Back in the ’80s, there was an attempt to produce a leaner cut of pork (cue “bacon!” responses… all done now?) by adding human DNA to pigs. Apparently the project failed – the resulting animals were subject to extreme arthritis – but I personally was more than a little upset at the prospect of what I considered industrial cannibalism.

    There are some serious ethical and cultural considerations presented by genetic modification (not to mention medical and ecological questions). Unfortunately, the only parties reported in (what passes for) the relevant debate are corporate hucksters and superstitious tub-thumpers – reason-based voices, such as the Council for Responsible Genetics, go unheard.

  138. #138 Pierce R. Butler
    April 20, 2009

    Damnit, TypeKey lost my name too – # 137 can be blamed on yours truly, Pierce R. Butler.

  139. #139 robotaholic
    April 20, 2009

    “and I will defend your right to not do whatever you want in the privacy of your bedroom ? ”

    haha, right on-

    retards

  140. #140 Kausik Datta
    April 20, 2009

    Let’s suppose this bill passes. Let’s suppose the said bill successfully stops all stem cell research, monoclonal antibody work and xenotransplantation work as well as production of transgenic mice for the purpose of research in Louisiana. What would be the neat result?

    Nothing! They don’t need that shit anyway – they have God on their side, and more importantly, they have the mighty Bobby Jindal and the unbeatable strength of the Republican party weighing in in their favor.

    That will show ‘em – the rational, sane, science-minded minority – who’s boss!!

  141. #141 Russell Blackford
    April 20, 2009

    Where’s my goddamn minotaur? First, no jet car … and now this. Goddamn useless scientists …

  142. #142 2112
    April 20, 2009

    I want a tail!

    Dunno about a tail, but I’d take some awesome cat eyes and retractable claws. Oh, and spidey sense.

  143. #143 Mark
    April 20, 2009

    As a Louisiana college student, all I can say is this is more proof you need to do some lectures down here, PZ.

    The worst part is that, being in New Orleans, I can’t just claim that this is more madness from the typical “Rest of the State”, because the guy who is bringing this Bill is from Kenner, a New Orleans suburb. But of course, we’re used to the madness from the Archdiocese in this town.

    Dear god, I can’t believe you linked from NOLA.com. Please don’t think the kind of people who comment on that site are typical of us in NO.

  144. #144 Rasyek
    April 20, 2009

    After completing my PhD last week predominantly using a human-hamster hybrid cell line… and as a former catholic… this article has made my week!

  145. #145 Anonymous
    April 20, 2009

    First, I agree that the logic is bad. However, the amount of personal insults in this post/thread is just absurd. I don’t want to identify with such a group.

    They’re not going to listen to you when you start attacking them instead of showing them where their logic is wrong. Hey, I know they may not even listen then, but personal insults are going to immediately shut down the conversation without hope.

  146. #146 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 20, 2009

    I don’t want to identify with such a group.

    Realists? Okay, suit yourself.

  147. #147 Evilcor
    April 20, 2009

    Aw, SNAP!

  148. #148 Drosera
    April 20, 2009

    Martiny’s bill would make it illegal to “create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, . . . transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb . . . (or) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb.”

    It should be illegal to create or attempt to create legislation for problems that do not exist.

  149. #149 MrFire
    April 20, 2009

    Waiting for the pre-emptive bill against teleportation. But the language should be specifically against the ‘reconstructive’ version, where you’re technically dead during the process.

    Because Catholic priests will know just how to interpret god’s will in THAT matter.

  150. #150 JennyAnyDots
    April 20, 2009

    Sorry – not read all the comments yet, as I only have a brief moment, but at No. 3 – I think squirming might be the right word after all. I think I’d squirm at just the idea of doing anything with most of them, and I don’t mean that in a good way!

  151. #151 Stu
    April 20, 2009

    However, the amount of personal insults in this post/thread is just absurd. I don’t want to identify with such a group.

    Concern troll is still concerned. Check.

  152. #152 MrFire
    April 20, 2009

    @148:

    …with due kudos to Janine @15 who referred to it earlier.

  153. #153 Doug Stewart
    April 20, 2009

    This legislation could be a very clever way for the Louisiana Governor Jindal to feed on the scientific ignorance of Louisiana. Now that the pious have been impregnated with images of Louisiana becoming H.G. Wells? ?The Island of Doctor Moreau?, and biologists have been stereotyped as immoral crazy mad scientists, the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology?s decision to boycott Louisiana because of the Louisiana Science Education Act, (AKA The Christian Indoctrination Act), doesn?t seem so bad.

    Way to go Bobby! Advancing your career by dumbing down the voters.

  154. #154 KentuckyKamacausey
    April 20, 2009

    I found the next bill in that article horrible as well. Hopefully it will not pass but as I understand it, that could mean a pharmacists could deny medicine to an HIV/AIDS patient because the believe AIDS is god’s punishment and prolonging their life would be against their con-science.

  155. #155 SteveM
    April 20, 2009

    Back in the ’80s, there was an attempt to produce a leaner cut of pork …

    Why? pork is actually quite a lean meat as it does not “marble” the way beef does. the fat is easily seperated from the meat. Pork chops with the fat trimmed off are very lean, that’s why it is easy to overcook them making them very dry. And while it was widely mocked, pork really is the “other white meat”; both are very lean and easily dried out by just slight overcooking.

  156. #156 LightningRose
    April 20, 2009

    As an engineer, I’ve often noted the glass has twice the capacity necessary for the project at hand.

  157. #157 SteveM
    April 20, 2009

    Sabio wrote:

    Ad Hominem arguments ["he is old, and thus despicable and worth ignoring"] should be more beneath you, but they seem to abound on this site. I wish we would all aspire to a higher quality atheism.

    You are an idiot. Saying “You’re argument is bad and you are despicable” is not an ad hominem attack. PZ attacked the argument first on its own merits, then attacked this priest and Catholicism on their own merits. Neither was ad hominem.

  158. #158 Bone Oboe
    April 20, 2009

    MadScientist @ #72

    “Dang! So George Carlin beat me to it? Whenever people ask me “is the glass half empty or half full” my stock replies are…”

    I just looked it up, the quote of Carlin was from Brain Droppings, Pg. 72. I misquoted, by just a little.

    Carlin: “Some see the glass as half-empty, some see the glass as half-full. I see the glass as too big.”

    My own “Near Miss”:
    “I don’t see the glass as half full, or half empty. I see the glass as too big.”

    Shall I invoke the “Coincidence Woo” on your Chance comment number and the page number on which I found the quote? Nah. Probably get pilloried or tarred and feathered or Criscoed and Fiber Glassed or something.

  159. #159 Major Tom
    April 20, 2009

    Excellent takedown, PZ. A joy to read.

    Somebody should tell the Archbishop that he has his shirt on backwards.

  160. #160 Pierce R. Butler
    April 20, 2009

    Doug Stewart @ # 153: …the pious have been impregnated with images of Louisiana becoming H.G. Wells? ?The Island of Doctor Moreau?…

    Hmmm… The Bayou of Doc Boudreaux… get me a couple of hack scriptwriters, stat!

    SteveM @ # 155: Why? pork is actually quite a lean meat…

    Because Americans will pay a premium for anything labeled “low-fat”.

  161. #161 Herm
    April 20, 2009

    “Everyone seems to be ignoring the troll, Herm. I can’t tell you how proud you all make me.”

    Well, not a troll but rather a professional evolutionary biologist dealing with issues of science literacy everyday with what appears to be an endangered species in the discussion; a penchant for a fair and civil discourse on issues of science and religion. I guess that around here defines the “trolls”?

  162. #162 Strider
    April 20, 2009

    Paragraph 6 is teh awesome! Right on the mark!

  163. #163 Bill Dauphin
    April 20, 2009
    Ad Hominem arguments ["he is old, and thus despicable and worth ignoring"] should be more beneath you, but they seem to abound on this site. I wish we would all aspire to a higher quality atheism.

    You are an idiot. Saying “You’re argument is bad and you are despicable” is not an ad hominem attack.

    Right on!

    Not only that, but while it’s an obvious fallacy to critique a logical argument based on the personal character of the person making it, it’s not invalid to critique that person’s claims to personal moral authority based on his personal character (since we’re talking about the Catholic hierarchy, the gendered pronoun is sadly appropriate). IOW, “you’re personally despicable, so your logic must be wrong” is fallacious; “you’re personally despicable, so your moral leadership is questionable,” not so much.

  164. #164 Darren S. A. George
    April 20, 2009

    Just explain to the religious folks that “mixing cells in a petri dish” is required for legitimate research, and the formation of living half-human, half-beast monstrosities is neither the intention nor a possible result of such work. If you leave off the anti-clerical screed, you might get some results.

  165. #165 Dick Alstein
    April 20, 2009

    Does the proposal include a promise that folks from Louisiana will never use any medical breakthroughs that may result from this kind of research?

  166. #166 tmaxPA
    April 20, 2009

    I’m afraid you may be mistaken, PZ. Not in your callous disregard for this particular religionists position, certainly. But it sounds to me as if you are saying that ANYONE’S position, unless they are the scientist doing the experiment, is irrelevant, and as long as YOU feel comfortable with some particular manipulation of human genes or cells, then that is all that matters.

    I hope you don’t mean to suggest that, since *I* don’t see anything wrong with creating a human/animal hybrid, I should be allowed to do so.

  167. #167 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 20, 2009

    Herm, your website link doesn’t work.

  168. #168 Alex
    April 20, 2009

    Hey, I know they may not even listen then, but personal insults are going to immediately shut down the conversation without hope.

    If that’s what you think, then you’re an ass-clown, ass-clown.

  169. #169 Marcus Ranum
    April 20, 2009

    Lert it happen. There are some awesome opportunities for civil disobedience, if it does. When boogers are illegal, only outlaws will play with their boogers!

  170. #170 Marcus Ranum
    April 20, 2009

    What are they going to ban, next? Transubstantiation?

  171. #171 Nathan Schroeder
    April 20, 2009

    I think the geezers saw the South Park where they grew a new penis on a mouse. One geezer woke in a cold sweat having had a nightmare. There were penises running everywhere! Something must be done! Pass a law. No more penises! Mankind must be protected.

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/guide/1205/

    Nate

  172. #172 raven
    April 20, 2009

    and the formation of living half-human, half-beast monstrosities is neither the intention nor a possible result of such work.

    Oh really? How do you explain Ham, Hovind, Dobson, Cheney, and so on. Half cockroachs at least, maybe even 3/4′s.

    The concern trolls are off base. If you can’t make fun of senile catholic priests, Louisiana legislators of any age, and those who can’t tell the difference between pop science fiction and reality, then who can you laugh at?

    If these guys weren’t acting stupid and ridiculous, it wouldn’t be a problem. Since they are, it is their problem.

    Off to finish my Frankenstein monster before someone makes robbing morgues for spare parts and human-human chimaeras illegal. It is going to be a performance art piece called “Bobby Jindal” only smarter.

  173. #173 cicely
    April 20, 2009

    Ichthyic @ 19:

    because scientists are splicing genes and making half-man half-fish hybrids.

    WHO TOLD YOU THAT!

    They’re obviously on to my plan for world domination, and must be eliminated…

    and Tom Farrell @ 55:

    All of the biotech work that gets banned in Louisiana… will be more than welcome in Massachusetts.

    One word….Innsmouth.

    And as for the tails or gills or cat’s eyes/retractable claws package question, I say, dare to want it all! What with rising sea levels and all, this could be the winning combo and, unlike hoarding weapons and 50 gallon drums full of beans, can be inherited by your descendants.

  174. #174 PZ Myers
    April 20, 2009

    On the complaints about “old, white”: Bill Dauphin has it right. I am complaining about the lack of diversity among the people making the restrictive argument. I’m also able to make that specific because I am also old and white — without loathing my status at all, but also aware that it means I belong to a narrow demographic group that has unwarranted benefits as the dominant clique that puts me in a precarious position if I try to make statements about minority groups with less status.

  175. #175 Peter Ashby
    April 20, 2009

    Mind you I remember a meeting of the American Association for Developmental Biology a few years ago. Someone (I forget who) was doing the ‘what are the roles of mesoderm and ectoderm (filler cells and skin) in forming the shape of the face?’ stuff and was recombining mouse mesoderm and chick ectoderm and vice versa and getting snouted chickens. Us Europeans there were going ‘Cool that is really interesting’ while the Americans were all hyper concerned that ‘you didn’t let them hatch, did you?’.

    Now this could either be that Americans in general are hyper sensitive to the prospect of genuine cross species chimeras or those there were hyper aware of exactly the potential for this sort of misinterpretation. Anyway it was a genuine culture clash.

    The irony is that here in the UK at least we have way stricter rules on what experiments we can do and the hoops we have to jump through to get permission etc. Yet we seem a bit more gung ho about a lot of this stuff.

  176. #176 Herm
    April 20, 2009

    Rev. BigDumbChimp asked about my web link. It’s http://www.monofilia.org

    Sorry I don’t know why it didn’t work? Its been a long time, if ever, since I commented on Pharyngula or any of these Seed Media science blogs.

  177. #177 'Tis Himself
    April 20, 2009

    tmaxPA #166

    But it sounds to me as if you are saying that ANYONE’S position, unless they are the scientist doing the experiment, is irrelevant, and as long as YOU feel comfortable with some particular manipulation of human genes or cells, then that is all that matters.

    The problem is that the bishops and legislators have a weird idea that mixing human and non-human cells will result in something looking like an Egyptian god or The Fly. The minor fact that they’re objecting to a common biological technique used for decades is meaningless. A bunch of ignorant luddites have decided that something is icky and should be outlawed.

  178. #178 Tom
    April 20, 2009

    I think the problem isn’t that they are dumb… the problem is that they are dumb about biology. But a lot of people are so this shouldn’t be a surprise. I seem to recall some scientist somewhere talking about making a neanderthal/human clone and this, or something like this, is probably what has their knickers bunched up. They probably don’t want cloning leading to a centaur or something and they think this might be in the near future but they have no idea how to shape that into a law and they are too prideful to talk to someone like a biologist who might actually know.

    This kind of thing isn’t new. Politicians propose laws all the time about things they don’t really understand and then someone who does understand corrects them and the world goes on.

  179. #179 Petzl
    April 20, 2009

    PZ nails it!
    How is it the church is concerned over petri dishes
    and condom use
    , and yet, say, during WW2, real countries
    are invaded, real peoples are being liquidated, next door,
    and this pillar of righteousness stands mute.

  180. #180 kevin
    April 20, 2009

    wouldn’t this make all humans illegal? We already share significant parts of our genes with other species, so technically every human is an animal-human hybrid.

  181. #181 phantomreader42
    April 20, 2009

    Bug @ #107:

    Slightly off topic: PZ, you badly need to see episode three of the second season of the Full Metal Alchemist anime, which aired about twelve hours ago in Japan.

    As I recall, a much similar scene was in episode 2 of the first season, in fact the same situation, as the new season is a reboot of the original based on the manga, which took a much different direction. I’ll definitely have to check out the new version.

    The main character responds “Decide that for yourself. Get up and take a step. Walk forward. You’ve got two fine legs on you. You don’t need to cling to anything.

    The bold part takes on a different meaning when noticing said character has a prosthetic leg, the origin of which is itself a minor spoiler for newbies (not for anyone who has seen the first series though).

  182. #182 Anonymous
    April 20, 2009

    ‘Reminds me of a joke Groucho Marx used to tell in his octogenerian one-man show1: He ended up on an elevator with a Catholic priest, who looked at him and said, “oh, my mother just loves you.” To which Groucho replied, “I didn’t know you fellows had mothers; I thought it was immaculate conception.”2′

    Groucho once asked, while attending a performance of ‘Jesus Chrisst, Superstar,’ “Is this based on a true story?”

  183. #183 Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth
    April 20, 2009

    PZ and others, I read years ago in the then magazine of NCES thaat humans and other great apes could mate to have children. Is that true, and why not if so?
    For the geezers and other “sex perverts,” why not adult consensual incest?

  184. #184 Ragutis
    April 21, 2009

    Religion + politics = stupid

    Well, duh.

    Anyway, while the OP contains little that’s surprising, the number of concern trolls in this thread somewhat is. What about this post brought them out of the woodwork?

  185. #185 Piltdown Man
    April 21, 2009

    Bill Dauphin @ 134:

    Not meaning to put my own words in PZ’s mouth, here, but I took him to be referring to the pervasive whiteness of the RCC hierarchy as just one more way ? similar to their age and unnatural virginity [sic] ? in which they’re dissimilar from, and potentially out of touch with, the diverse global population to whom they presume to speak. In their age, in their sex, in their sexuality, and in their ethnic/cultural background, these guys who claim to speak the Word of (Alleged) God to the whole wide world are unlike many of the people they presume to lead; it’s reasonable to question how relevant their perspectives are to those of their “flock.”

    PZ Myers @ 174:

    On the complaints about “old, white”: Bill Dauphin has it right. I am complaining about the lack of diversity among the people making the restrictive argument. I’m also able to make that specific because I am also old and white — without loathing my status at all, but also aware that it means I belong to a narrow demographic group that has unwarranted benefits as the dominant clique that puts me in a precarious position if I try to make statements about minority groups with less status.

    This argument might make some kind of sense if the Church claimed to speak on behalf of humanity and based her moral authority on being somehow representative of the human race. But she doesn’t.

    The Church claims to speak with divine authority to humanity on behalf of God. That claim is true or it is false. The ethnic/cultural origins, sex or age of the Catholic hierarchy is irrelevant.

    For various historical reasons, most of the Vatican personnel are white Europeans. But if they contained a higher proportion of Africans or Asians , would PZ Myers be more disposed to accept the Church’s claims to speak with divine authority? Of course not.

  186. #186 woodsong
    April 21, 2009

    Cat eyes? I’d prefer owl…cats are pretty colorblind, but birds not only see the colors we do, but UV as well! How cool is THAT? Retractable claws would also be cool, but only if it can be done without compromising my current manual dexterity. Might need to add another bone to the fingers. What I REALLY want though (living in the NE) is my own fur coat! Waterproof, ideally. Fur seal. Oh, and a higher lung capacity would be nice, too, or at least the ability to completely flush the spent air with each breath. Think dolphin…

    The wording of this bill looks like it would ban chimerae as well as hybrids. I remember hearing about a possible medical development that someone was working on several years ago, which involved creating pigs with human cells for organ transplants. Think of a liver patient awaiting a transplant. They could give their doctor a tissue sample, and a pig embryo incorporating some of that tissue would be cultured in the lab and grown to adulthood. The pig would then be slaughtered, and the liver transplanted to the (very) patient. Theoretically, while the patient’s body might attack the pig cells, it would NOT attack the human cells of the new liver, and therefore would be an improvement over the existing transplant system. It was more than a decade ago that I remember hearing about this, and I don’t know what further research was done. I just remember feeling some sympathy for the poor pigs! And what do you do with the rest of the carcass after the desired organ has been extracted? But, with this bill, no more worries about that little detail, eh?

    I also see a lot of comments about the “celibacy” of Catholic priests. Folks, I think a lot of you are equating “celibate” with “chaste”. From what I have been told, the Church doesn’t equate those two–”celibate” (and “adultery”) applies only to adult heterosexual relations in reference to a marriage. To be celibate, a man is only having sex with the woman he’s married to, and priests are considered to be married to the Church. Adultery is sex in violation of marriage vows. Gay or pedophilic interactions do not apply with respect to their vows. And no, they don’t vow chastity (although nuns do). One result of this is that if a woman claims to have had sex with a priest, he’ll be defrocked, while a known child molester will be moved to another parish…

  187. #187 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 21, 2009

    Ah, Pilty. Still trying to keep up your imaginary god and morally bankrupt hierarchy. Which is what PZ was pointing out. The hierarchy isn’t that moral. And they should keep their mouths shut except to church members inside of the church.

  188. #188 Patricia, Queen of Fowls
    April 21, 2009

    Pilty – Why does god need anyone to speak for him? That is something I have never understood.

  189. #189 darth_borehd
    April 21, 2009

    To be celibate is to remain unmarried, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are having sex.

    To be chaste is to abstain from sex, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are married.

    Priests take vow of chastity, not celibacy.

  190. #190 Michelle
    April 21, 2009

    Quite the article, Myers.
    With your education and God-given gifts, THAT is what you choose to produce?
    You need help.
    Only a very troubled mind pens this kind of article.
    But I add to that:
    You need God.
    Badly.

  191. #191 Josh
    April 21, 2009

    Michelle, have you accepted Odin as your personal protector? You’re not dead yet. There is still time to follow the true path.

  192. #192 Sastra
    April 21, 2009

    Michelle #190 wrote:

    But I add to that:
    You need God.
    Badly.

    And thus you deliver God to us, badly.

  193. #193 Wowbagger, OM
    April 21, 2009

    With your education and God-given gifts, THAT is what you choose to produce?

    If, as you say, your god gave him the gifts, then surely what Myers has produced is what he knew he would produce and what he wanted him to produce.

    Or are you saying your god didn’t know what was going to happen? Or are you saying humans are more powerful than god’s will?

  194. #194 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 21, 2009

    You need God.
    Badly.

    Until you show the physical evidence for your imaginary deity, you are absolutely wrong. And you are wrong. Put up or shut up. Welcome to science.

  195. #195 Piltdown Man
    April 22, 2009

    Nerd of Redhead @ 187:

    Ah, Pilty. Still trying to keep up your imaginary god and morally bankrupt hierarchy. Which is what PZ was pointing out. The hierarchy isn’t that moral. And they should keep their mouths shut except to church members inside of the church

    That’s fine. Prof Myers is perfectly free to deny the Church’s moral authority. I was just pointing out that it makes no sense to say the Church lacks moral authority because of a perceived lack of “diversity” among the hierarchy.

    woodsong @ 186:

    To be celibate, a man is only having sex with the woman he’s married to

    darth_borehd @ 189:

    To be celibate is to remain unmarried, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are having sex.
    To be chaste is to abstain from sex, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are married.

    Wrong and wrong. According to the Christian understanding, chastity means abstaining from unlawful sexual intercourse – ie sex outside the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. A married couple who have sex only with each other are chaste.

    I believe celibacy technically does mean to abstain from marriage not sex per se, but since extra-marital sex is a no-no anyway for a Christian, to be celibate would necessarily entail complete continence.

    woodsong @ 186:

    priests are considered to be married to the Church. Adultery is sex in violation of marriage vows. Gay or pedophilic interactions do not apply with respect to their vows. And no, they don’t vow chastity (although nuns do). One result of this is that if a woman claims to have had sex with a priest, he’ll be defrocked, while a known child molester will be moved to another parish…

    I may well be wrong about this, but I’ don’t think the priesthood is ordinarily considered as being “married to the Church” (although nuns are commonly referred to as brides of Christ – I’ve seen a photo of young novices celebrating the start of their religious life by tucking into a three-tier wedding cake).

    Sodomy is irrelevant to the issue – since sodomy is regarded as intrinsically sinful, there can be no distinction between ‘lawful’ and ‘unlawful’ sodomy. (Sodomy is classed among the Four Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance, the others being murder, oppression of the poor and defrauding workmen of their wages.) And the reason pederast priests were shielded by their superiors probably has something to do with the fact that the hierarchy, particularly in the USA, has long been infested with pederasts at all levels, the consequence of being infected with liberalism.

    Patricia @ 188:

    Why does god need anyone to speak for him? That is something I have never understood.

    Adam and Eve originally had a direct unmediated knowledge of God. After the Fall, human beings’ intellects became darkened and they lost that primordial awareness, deviating into errors such as paganism and atheism. God in His mercy established a channel of communication to make His will manifest and provide favoured souls with the means to enter Heaven and enjoy an even greater knowledge of God than Adam’s.

  196. #196 Wowbagger, OM
    April 22, 2009

    I was just pointing out that it makes no sense to say the Church lacks moral authority because of a perceived lack of “diversity” among the hierarchy.

    Well, I agree with that – because there are so many far better reasons to say that the Church lacks moral authority. That it can’t keep its own employees from repeatedly raping children is, of course, the most obvious one; it doesn’t help, of course, that it shelters them from justice and facilitates their continued abuses.

  197. #197 Piltdown Man
    April 22, 2009

    Wowbagger:

    there are so many far better reasons to say that the Church lacks moral authority. That it can’t keep its own employees from repeatedly raping children is, of course, the most obvious one; it doesn’t help, of course, that it shelters them from justice and facilitates their continued abuses.

    And of course such monstrous acts are inconceivable in secular or non-Catholic religious institutions …

  198. #198 Piltdown Man
    April 22, 2009
  199. #199 Wowbagger, OM
    April 22, 2009

    Are you trying to say two wrongs make a right? I guess that’s one of the key messages in the bible; the only problem was it was the alleged god having to have supposed person some consider to have been his sons tortured and executed because he (the god) was incompetent.

    Anyway, religious hypocrisy is religious hypocrisy – your newer version of schismatic Judaism and the original are the same thing to me. Both of you claim special access to the guiding light of a higher power – and then demonstrate it provides nothing at all in the way of moral guidance.

    And which deity did the secular people claim were the source of all goodness in the world?

    Such things have no impact on my position, Piltdown – I don’t belong to an organisation which likes to tell people that those who do believe are less likely to perform such acts – or that forces naturally sexual beings to forgo their urges because it allegedly allows them to be closer to their imaginary friend.

    Though I might be wrong; feel free to produce any official documentation that says otherwise.

  200. #200 latsot
    April 22, 2009

    You aren’t promoting this silly because it’s good science or good morality: it’s simpler than that. You’re doing this because biology disgusts you.

    No, it’s because it disgusts lots of other people. This makes it a good vehicle for pushing doctrine. Solidarity in adversity.

  201. #201 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 22, 2009

    Pilty what is your point?

  202. #202 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 22, 2009

    Pilty, your church is morally bankrupt due to the inept handling of the pedophile clergy cases. It also cannot tell anybody outside of the cat-o-lick faith what is moral. Trying to do so also makes them immoral. As we have explained to you time and time again. Quit apologizing for your church. It doesn’t say much for your morals.

  203. #203 Cosmic Teapot
    April 22, 2009

    darth_borehd

    To be celibate is to remain unmarried, it has nothing to do with whether or not you are having sex.

    To be celibate has 2 meanings:

    1. Abstinence from sexual intercourse, especially by reason of religious vows.
    2. The condition of being unmarried.

  204. #205 Tulse
    April 22, 2009

    Yeah, that’s a real hoot!

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