June 29, 2018. Bastard HQ.
I just read a colorful little article about researchers at the University of California planting cloned brain tissue from neanderthals in little crab-robots. The experiment is to compare their rate of motor learning and adaptation in these little clusters of ganglia to other crab robots with human brain tissue in it, and try to draw conclusions from that regarding the divergence in our species, somehow.
That’s just grim and absurd enough to be my ideal, but I got a problem with this line:
“The lab-grown brains cannot achieve conscious thoughts or feelings – but can mimic the basic structure of a developed brain, and reveal key differences in how the nerve cells function.”
Fact of the matter is, we don’t know what allows us to achieve conscious thoughts. We have a vague understanding of feelings, but those change every 10 years with new breakthroughs in neuroscience, which is, itself, just the study of looking at brain scans and going, “This part has electricity in it right now! Huh.”
So we’re ripping this species back through extinction and planting clusters of brain tissue that might, in fact, be conscious, in horrible crab robots because we can.
That’s a 70’s sci-fi short story. That’s Harland fuckin Ellison, okay? Don’t insult our intelligence by pretending you don’t know what you’re doing here. I’m not here to tout the sanctity of life or whatever, but I am a diogenic proponent of the truth, so the least you can do, Doctor of Biology and Head Researcher, is have the balls to own the fact that what you’re doing is mad science.