What separates us humans from apes?
Apparently not much since we have 95% of our DNA sequence in common and anyway, what’s a few chromosomes between friends? Whatever that other five percent is, I hope it remains a mystery.
My kid, God
bless her, got me the new Michael Crichton
book entitled “Next” for Christmas
. It's basically about genetic
s and biotechnology
and all kinds of other stuff that I can’t really understand. Not really my cup of tea
but since it was a gift, I felt obliged to see it through.
I mean, c’mon, it's got a talking orangutan who only knows how to curse although he can do it in about six or seven different languages, a talking bird (an African Gray parrot) that has a better vocabulary than I do and a chimp that seems to have the features of a four year old boy but also retains many of his apelike qualities like hurling feces when he’s pissed off or threatened and that winds up getting adopted by a family that includes his “father”, a scientist who had his sperm implanted in a chimp years before. They somehow miraculously re-unite just before the National Health Institute is getting ready to off the boy/monkey since he was part of an unauthorized experiment but the scientist get all dad like and kidnaps him and brings him home to the wife and otherwise normal family. They even enroll the little fucker in school and claim he has this “rare disease” and the school buys it.
Unless you like unbelievable plot twists, a cast of characters so long its hard to remember any of them and chapters that consist of one entire page, I highly recommend you stay away from this book. But, to each his own. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.
Where was I?
Oh that’s right - the mixing of chimpanzees and humans together in a biological blender and coming up with the humanzee.
So far as I can tell, and our friends over at Wikipedia agree, there are about four ways to create one of these hybrids. They are as follows:
Impregnating a human female with chimp jism
Impregnating a female chimp with man juice.
Somehow fusing human and chimp DNA together like some kind of chimera.
Conducting gene therapy on a living human or ape
Sounds far fetched doesn’t it?
Believe it or not, in one sense, its already been tried…
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
It seems that the great humanitarian, Josef Stalin, got it into his head that by crossbreeding monkeys and humans he’d have an effective method for replenishing the already diluted Red Army. His thought was that these humanzees could be trained for doing simple tasks such as dying and fighting. Over the years, as the program would become more sophisticated, his grandiose dreams also included them doing menial work on farms and other such types of manual labor. His reasoning was simple, he could exploit them and nobody would care.
He even enlisted the services of a scientist by the name of Ilya Ivanov to investigate whether it was possible to create his own Planet of the Apes and after some preliminary research, Ivanov decided that the undertaking was worth it.>
So in 1926 it was off to the jungles of Africa where they captured thirteen unsuspecting chimps. From there, they were off to French Guinea where in 1927 two of the chimps were artificially inseminated with male sperm. (To this day, nobody knows who coughed up the goods for the little experiment. Some things are best left that unsaid.) A little while later, a third chimp was injected and they set sail back to Africa.
It didn’t take long for them to determine that the experiment was a failure. Two of the chimps failed to conceive and the third died en route. I guess nature has its own way of telling you certain things. The remaining chimps were set free and allowed to engage in all of the hot monkey sex that they could handle.
If only that were true…
The Ivanov party headed back to French Guinea where he proposed an alternative plan. He tried to recruit some local girls to have themselves inseminated with monkey sperm. Finding no takers and getting a bit of push back from the French government on ethical grounds, Ivanov headed back to mother Russia.
In 1929 Ivanov tried his hand again at the experiments By this time, the remaining monkeys were, shall we say, past their prime and had nothing left to give. It would be at least another year or so before a fresh batch chimps could be brought back from Africa.
Say what you want about Stalin but one thing for certain is that he wasn’t what you would call a patient man. After his failures, Ivanov was arrested in 1930 and sent packing off to some godforsaken gulag named Alma Ata in what is today Kazakhstan. His sentence was five years.
He only lasted two.
Ironically enough, his obituary was written by none other than physiologist and Nobel prize winner Ivan Pavlov.
Okay, some of this was pure bullshit and some of it is in fact true. You know the old saying though, What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys?