This paper critically examines the biology of species identity and the morality of crossing species boundaries in the context of emerging research that involves combining human and nonhuman animals at the genetic or cellular level. We begin with the notion of species identity, particularly focusing on the ostensible fixity of species boundaries, and we explore the general biological and philosophical problem of defining species. Against this backdrop, we survey and criticize earlier attempts to forbid crossing species boundaries in the creation of novel beings. We do not attempt to establish the immorality of crossing species boundaries, but we conclude with some thoughts about such crossings, alluding to the notion of moral confusion regarding social and ethical obligations to novel interspecies beings.
- Genomics chimeras species stem cells hybrids embryos taboo abomination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy