The Humanzee

Responding to the horrific suggestions of a modern academic

by

Published: 22 March 2018 (GMT+10)
David-P-Barash
Dr. David P. Barash

Dr David P. Barash is an accomplished academic and prolific writer, holding a Ph.D. in zoology. He is an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Dr Barash was included in 2006 on a list of ‘the 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America’ by conservative writer David Horowitz.1

A heinous experiment

Horowitz’ concern was not unfounded, as we will see shortly. Barash recently published an article in the Darwinist science magazine Nautilus entitled, “It’s Time to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids: The humanzee is both scientifically possible and morally defensible.” His article is an adapted chapter from his upcoming book Through a Glass Brightly, whose very title is a jab against Christians by playing on the King James text of 1 Corinthians 13:12 ( … “For now we see through a glass, darkly”)2

Reading the article, one cannot help but feel Barash’s seething hatred of the Bible, and so-called ‘fundamentalist’ Christians in particular. For example, he lambasts Christians for their “nonsensical insistence that human beings are uniquely created in God’s image and endowed with a soul.” Is it this hatred alone that motivates Barash’s horrific suggestion to use genetic engineering to cross humans with chimpanzees?

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And those who fail to see the poisonous ideas filtering through academia are doomed to be subjected to the consequences of those ideas once they are put into practice.

Learning from past mistakes

This is the situation we are once again facing in the Western world. The 20th century was undoubtedly the bloodiest century yet in world history (save perhaps the time of the Flood!), and it all started with poisonous ideas. Darwin’s theories ‘liberated’ academia from all vestiges of God’s role as Creator, as well as humanity’s role as the only life on Earth made in the image of God. Morality was now without a basis and became very fluid (as we are seeing today more and more). With this acidic ideology in the highest institutions, it was only a matter of time before people, and governments, began to act on these principles. As a result, we saw the atrocities of the Nazi and Soviet regimes, and many others besides.

Today, in the 21st century, we have sadly learned very little from this history. Politicians piously say ‘never again’ when talking about this tragic past, yet they have no idea what caused it to happen in the first place, so there is little chance of them preventing it from repeating.

Barash begins his article by repeating the old and thoroughly-refuted myth that humans and chimpanzees share 99% of their genetics. It is based on this pseudo-science that Barash goes on to giddily imagine the possibility of creating a living hybrid between humans and apes.

Debasing humanity

What is the lofty scientific goal of this project? Why, nothing other than to poke a finger in the eye of God Himself, of course! Barash actually says that creating a monstrosity in this way would somehow invalidate the Christian worldview, proving once and for all that humans are not special. Barash writes:

“I propose that the fundamental take-home message of such creation would be to drive a stake into the heart of that destructive disinformation campaign of discontinuity, of human hegemony over all other living things … How could even the most determinedly homo-centric, animal-denigrating religious fundamentalist maintain that God created us in his image and that we and we alone harbor a spark of the divine, distinct from all other life forms, once confronted with living beings that are indisputably intermediate between human and non-human?”2

His atheopathic3 urge to genetically meddle with humanity, however, is nothing new, considering Genesis 6 with its account of the Nephilim (and what God did as a result!)4. Far from disproving the Bible, Barash’s experiment, were it to succeed, would prove nothing except the dangers of wayward thinking in academia. It is unclear what would result—would humanzees be disabled/disfigured humans, or would they be animals? A crude form of this experiment has already been attempted. The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin instructed his scientists to create a breed of superwarriors by impregnating chimps with human sperm. Of course, it failed.

The question naturally arises: how can it be moral to knowingly create a potentially disabled person or even a creature, especially since he places creatures on an equal footing with mankind? Barash, who ironically has also written extensively on the topic of world peace, had this to say in response to this anticipated objection:

“It is at least arguable that the ultimate benefit of teaching human beings their true nature would be worth the sacrifice paid by a few unfortunates.”

This was likely the type of justification that would have been bandied about by Nazi scientists in the concentration camps who were performing heinous experiments on the Jews.

How can this kind of talk be tolerated in our universities? It is a logical consequence of Darwinism, the ‘universal acid’, as atheist Daniel Dennett called it, eating through every aspect of our foundations as a civilization, including morality. And why? Because one’s views about origins ultimately provides the basis for one’s worldview. It is hypocritical that Barash endeavors to lecture his readers on morality while he makes statements such as the above. Can there be anything more evil than suggesting we breed disabled monsters for the sole purpose of creating an antireligious talking point?

Barash’s materialistic, atheistic worldview provides no foundation for morality, or any sense of human conscious choice.5 In his article, Barash betrays no hint that he is conscious of these internal inconsistencies in his thought, as he portrays himself as championing a moral high ground, and human scientists as if they have the ability to make free, rational choices. These represent clear failures of the atheistic worldview to account for reality as it is, and present an opportunity for Christians to demonstrate the better way.

Humans are not animals

Barash claims that there is nothing unique or special about humanity that sets us apart from the animals. In spite of his attempts at elephant-hurling, though, he is manifestly wrong6. Just to cite a few examples: humans make music (animals don’t), humans read and write (animals don’t), humans make creative works of art (animals don’t—not counting, of course, when humans train them to play with paintbrushes or the like), and humans are able to use complex abstract concepts like mathematics, as pointed out in an aptly-timed article from our own Creation magazine.7

is-human-life-special

That these ideas can be seriously entertained shows how far we have fallen from the Christian roots of our society, and it is a stark indicator of what can result if we do not turn from this path—and quickly. God’s Word is proven true once more: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools … ” (Rom 1:21-22). Maranatha (“O Lord, come”)!

CMI has, in fact, predicted that this type of thinking would increase in academic circles. Our booklet Is Human Life Special? is an insightful and powerful refutation of this type of thinking, and a great evangelistic tool that you can use to make a stand and present the Gospel at the same time. Click the enclosed link or the image on the right (bulk prices are available).

References and notes

  1. Horowitz, D., The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, Regnery Publishing, Washington, 2006. Return to text.
  2. Barash, D., It’s Time to Make Human-Chimp Hybrids: The humanzee is both scientifically possible and morally defensible, nautil.us, 8 March 2018. Return to text.
  3. A term, coined by Jonathan Sarfati, which emphasizes the unnatural, or pathological, nature of denying God’s existence. Return to text.
  4. This has been a controversial issue among Christians for centuries, as covered in chapter 9 of the Creation Answers Book, with the most common alternate view being referred to as the Sethite view. I agree with the position set forth by Jonathan Sarfati in The Genesis Account as well as Gary Bates in Alien Intrusion, that the intended meaning of the text is that fallen angels created the Nephilim with human women; however, we at CMI understand that there is a diversity of opinions on this topic. Return to text.
  5. Meaning free choice in the context of the philosophical debate between deterministic materialism (belief in only atoms acting according to the laws of physics) versus the belief in a supernatural soul and ‘agent causation’. Return to text.
  6. Barash writes: “There is an immense pile of evidence already demonstrating continuity, including but not limited to physiology, genetics, anatomy, embryology, and paleontology…” One can only wonder to what ‘evidence’ he is intending to refer here, given his demonstrated propensity to trot out old refuted arguments in support of his view. Return to text.
  7. Christie, D. and Grigg, R. What Humans do but animals don’t, Creation 40(2):52-53 (April – June 2018). Return to text.

Helpful Resources

Is Human Life Special?
by Gary Bates and Lita Cosner
From
US $3.50
The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
From
US $35.00

Readers’ comments

Mattanja B.
Hi,

I do have a question about the following sentence:

"Far from disproving the Bible, Barash’s experiment, were it to succeed, would prove nothing except the dangers of wayward thinking in academia."

But wouldn`t it reveal that humans and apes/monkeys are the same species? There are quite a few articles on your website that discuss the original created kind and how being able to reproduce (whether the offspring is fertile or not) means that the two species are descendants of one original kind.

I understand the reference to the nephilim but as, if one agrees with that interpretation, they were offspring of spiritual entities that had intercourse with humans would it even be comparable to the experiment here proposed (The former being a special and strongly spiritual event)?

Therefore I would assume that it would disprove the bible if it were possible. But as humans and apes/monkeys do not share common ancestry and are not part of the same kind creating offspring will be impossible. Or am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance and keep up the great work!

Greetings from Germany!
Paul Price
Hello Mattanja,

The most common definition of what counts as the same species is anything which can naturally interbreed and create fertile offspring. However, the idea of having humans 'naturally' impregnate chimps was attempted in Soviet Russia and failed. Barash's idea is different: he wants to use artificial means (genetic engineering) to synthesize a new type of creature in a lab which would be, allegedly, halfway between apes and mankind. I still think it is very unlikely they could successfully do this, as the genetic differences between the two are much larger than Barash is counting on. But if they were to succeed, it would be an artificial creation, and would not in any way indicate that humans and apes are the same species.

There is no indication in the text of Genesis 6 that the fallen angels were using any kind of advanced genetic engineering technology when they created the Nephilim. It seems to indicate they were created using 'natural means', albeit against the natural order that God set up (the angels "left their proper dwelling", Jude 1:6).

Vielen Dank für Ihre Anfrage!
James K.
Sometimes I contemplate writing and illustrating a book titled “if evolution was true”. Within the book I would illustrate a class, (homonidiformes) where there are gliding, swimming, grazing and predatory humanlike creatures all of which descended from a single pair of people stranded on a NewZealand sized island. The point is to show the true, honest nature of evolution and how morality and humanity is impossible under an evolutionary worldview (also describe the real life impossibility of increasing heterozygosity in small inbreeding populations) . After reading this article I have discovered that I placed too much faith on the intellectual honesty of the atheist. What hope is there for people who call right wrong and wrong right? These people would not be disgusted by such a fantasy, they revel in it. Furthermore they will not see the real life problem with how small inbreeding populations do not give rise to new orders or classes, and instead lead to a loss of genetic variation and expedite mutation accumulation and genomic decay. After all according to evolutionists all placental mammals (elephants- rats) descended from a single pair 70- 50 million years ago. If inbreeding doesn’t work today why did it work millions of years ago? The answer I get is always confused and convoluted sort of like the ‘professor’ advocating for human animal hybrids.
Edmond C.
As an established Christian, knowing what man is capable of, I can assure Dr. Barash that my faith will not be shaken even if a human-chip hybrid were created. That being said, I think its very interesting that the author brought up the Genesis 6's "sons of God". From a clear reading of scripture I believe that this passage is referring to fallen angels and human women having relations that resulted in a hybrid race. As Gary Bates pointed out in Alien Intrusion, this was the belief of Jews around the time of Christ and of the early church. I also think it is interesting how Jesus points to the end times being like the days of Noah. Now its possible that rampant sin was the only cause for the flood, but with these verses directly proceeding Genesis 6:5, I believe that Genesis 6:1-4 laid the foundation for God's judgment of man. First he said he would limit the years of human life to 120, then the scripture mentions the Nephilim, rampant wickedness, and God's flood judgment.

Dr. Barash is directly challenging God with his claims that a human-chip hybrid would invalidate God's Word that man is created in his image. The problem with that is that God never said he created the human body in his image. God created the whole man in his image (body, soul, spirit). What would a human hybrid be? Would it have a human soul? I think not, I believe it would just be an animal with human DNA. A monstrosity similar to the Nephilim and its possible that this is what Jesus was referring to when he said, "it will be like the days of Noah."


Paul Price
That is an interesting perspective, thank you. My only comment would be that you should look at this feedback article concerning the topic of the '120 years'. Rather than a limit on human lifespans (this is what I understood your comment to mean), it is actually a prophecy God gave about how long it would be until the Flood started.
Dan M.
Am I missing something here or are atheists NOT putting on their thinking caps?
There is the HUGE gulf between animals and humans that has always instinctively kept me open to the concept of a creator God and ultimately allowed Him to reveal Himself to me thru the Bible.
As you stated in your article, chimps and humans cannot interbreed, (Stalin) and it seems obvious to me if evolution were true, there would already be many variations of ape-human stages of development present on the earth and indicated in the fossil record. But all evolutionists have is a few faked and disputed examples of fossils which they claim validates their world view while the scriptures make perfect sense in relation to the created kinds currently present and in the fossil record.
I’m always respectful and kind to the layman, (student) and open minded professor evolutionists when trying to reason with them on this issue. As to the closed minded professors who claim to know it all and push this ridiculous idea of evolution, I have nothing but contempt and pity, (God will judge) because they deep down know evolution has little evidence, (Rom 1:19-20) but still deceive others which is how Satin works.
I have found committed evolutionists to be rude crude and dishonest in their attitudes towards anyone who disagrees with them. Like some politicians all they have is mudslinging because the facts are not on their side!
Thomas M.
The author is congratulated for keeping his criticism so professional. But is it always an ad hominem attack to point out where those being criticized are "coming from", so to speak? According to a May 31, 2011 post on The Chronicle of Higher Education by Jacques Berlinerblau (who writes as if he knows Barash well) entitled
"Has Professor Barash Flipped? On Atheists and Liberal Theology", Berlinerblau wrote:
"In his most recent post Professor Barash earnestly bemoans the plight of the theological Left. Describing himself as a “Left-Wing atheist Jew,” he seems sincerely despondent at the current near political irrelevance of progressive theology—especially when contrasted to the Sound and Fury and Megachurches of the Christian Right."
If Barash is a self-identified "Left-Wing atheist Jew", any criticism of his ideas ought to at least identify that fact for the reader and the commentary might recognize that as the starting point of his thinking. To treat persons as if they were "philosophically neutral" is a wasted academic exercise. The "leader board" of evolutionist-promoting superstars is peppered with non-observant atheist Jews and it is not "anti-Semitic" to state a fact. In reality, the non-observant atheists of Jewish ethnicity are Humanists whose "Creed" is The Humanist Manifesto.The reason I think it is important to say the truth is because none of this debate is really about science. It is about worldview based on philosophy. Until people understand that they will keep asking "How can you assert that so many top tier scientists are wrong?"
Paul Price
Regarding your compliment of professionalism: I will give all the credit for that to our rather extensive peer-review process ;)

I am afraid I cannot see how pointing out that Barash self-identifies as a Jew is relevant to anything we've posted here. It sounds too much like a conspiracy theory ("the Jews are responsible for all the ills of the world," etc.) Regarding the (unbelieving) Jews, Paul wrote: "As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers." (Rom. 11:28)

It is enough for us to point out, as we have, that our worldview determines our actions, as well as how we interpret the evidence we find. Barash's rigididly anti-Christian worldview prevents him from properly seeing the obvious fact that the heavens declare God's glory, and so does the great beauty and intricacy of life on earth.
Bruce B.
Some things never seem to change. Profesor Barash's arrogance is redolent of the inhabitants of Babel desiring to build a tower to the heavens. Are Christians, I wonder, the only people who truly understand that, since the Fall, human nature has never changed except for those who have become 'new creations' in Christ?
Human arrogance (is there another sort?) seems to be the spiritual equivalent of glaucoma. It simply blinds the minds and spirit of even the most intelligent among us, often with appalling consequences.
May the Lord continue to richly bless the work of CMI.
Phil K.
I got sidetracked by the Nephilim discussion with regard to the offspring of chimps and humans. It bothers me when I hear or read people explain that the Nephilim were the offspring of fallen angles and human women. Nowhere in scripture have I read that angels can procreate and make baby angels. And this interpretation further contradicts Matthew 22:30 which says in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. I take that verse at face value to mean that angels don't procreate. So how could they have "bonded" with human "wives"? Genesis 6, v2 calls them "sons of God" which has been interpreted as fallen angels. I'm sorry, but that interpretation is extra biblical.

However, the point made by Mr. Price is spot-on. Dr. Barash is going beyond rebellion against God. He is waging war against God and this won't end well.
Paul Price
Phil,

Thanks for your comments. You will find that the uniform view among the earliest Jews and Christians was the 'angelic view', and some ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint even translated that phrase as 'angelos' in the Greek in that passage. The 'Sethite' view is a later addition to Christian thought, and is fraught with inconsistencies. In addition, your argument is based on circular reasoning:

"Nowhere in scripture have I read that angels can procreate..."

What about Genesis 6? In the OT, 'Sons of God' (Bene Elohim) refers to angels. I encourage you to read this article, from Alien Intrusion, as well as the relevant portion of The Genesis Account (see my footnote in the article above). We also find other places in the Bible where angels are found doing things which require a physical body, such as eating with Abraham.

The reference in Matthew to angels not marrying is very much irrelevant in this debate, because Jesus, in context, is clearly referencing obedient angels there, not fallen, rebellious ones. The topic of angels' physical ability to procreate with human women is not even in view there.

Let us refrain from attempting to force our limited, finite understanding of things on parts of the Bible which may be mysterious or hard to comprehend.
Cynthia B.
An obviously desperate attempt by a desperate atheist who has strong contempt for the Lord and His gospel. As demonstrated this is naturally genetically impossible unless manipulated by current scientific technology.
This is forbidden scripturally and unlikely to succeed.
Regardless of whether a chimp supplies the X or Y chromosome, any offspring would not qualify to be a descendant of Adam. All of humanity are directly descended from both Adam and Eve except for Christ. Both are required for a human soul made in Gods image.
The Nephilim were disqualified for being outside of this mandate. A hybrid humanzee manipulated by scientific rebellion is witchcraft. Any resultant creature would more likely attract a demonic entity than the Grace of the Spirit of life.
God is not mocked and blasphemy is blasphemy.
A tiny human aborted soul will make its way heavenward.
This attempt at another abomination stores up wrath waiting to be revealed.
Gian Carlo B.
I can take confidence that the psychology professor would get an epic fail even if the experiment is accepted. It will be a huge disappointment. And after all ge said, he is going to cover his shame with: “It may have failed, but this doesn’t mean that humans and chimps are not related. They have 99% DNA similarity after all.” [Reference to expletive deleted], I would just love to ridicule this guy. Anyways, even if it was successful, it would just be a frankenstein monster, a zombie. It wouldn’t have consciousness. Angels and humans could interbreed even though they aren’t biologically related, but that’s another issue altogether.
John P.
Barash will one day meet his maker face to face, hopefully having repented before he does so, for his sake. He is certainly fulfilling Bible prophecy.If such a creature were to be engineered it would indeed be similar to the Nephilim in that it would be disqualified as descending from Adam and Eve, but I would doubt it would succeed.This bloke's rebellion against his Creator will end badly. The rapture may occur this century. In any case Western civilisation is crumbling rapidly, as expected when ditching its Christian roots.If Barash really is a Jew had he been in Germany during Hitler's time he'd have found himself in Auschwitz.He really does show the foolishness prophesied in God's Word re those rejecting Him
W Wade S.
Regarding the “as in the days of Noah…”, and the implication of human—(fallen) angelic hybridization: I think we can safely conclude that angels are not limited to, or by, the constraints of our 4-dimensional spacial-temporal environment. We can only speculate as to what sort of nefarious technology might be employed by rebellious angels, who “kept not their first estate” (Jude 6), in order to corrupt the human gene pool, and thereby thwart God’s plan of Redemption. It is not unreasonable to entertain the idea that it could have been somehow biological in character. After all, it is “the angels in heaven” who neither marry nor are given in marriage (e.g., Mt. 22:30). Might that refer to the obedient angels? If so, we can surmise that for those who joined with Satan, “everything is permissible”.

At any rate, it appears that whatever mischief was utilized to achieve the hybridization, its results were so severe that God destroyed the entire world with water — save for Noah and his offspring, who remained “perfect in his generations” (Gen. 6:9) — and the angels responsible are “reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”

Does the possibility of human-animal chimeras, made real by the abandonment of the Judeo-Christian worldview, along with other manifestations of the “Transhuman” movement, indicate that we are in, or near, “the days of Noah” referred to by our Lord? As the late pastor Adrian Rogers put it: “if these aren’t the end times, they’ll do until the real end times come along…”
Michael K.
I read somewhere that one of the Nazi experiments was to have women impregnated by apes. It certainly would not be surprising. I am stealing your statement of
“Today, in the 21st century, we have sadly learned very little from this history. Politicians piously say ‘never again’ when talking about this tragic past, yet they have no idea what caused it to happen in the first place, so there is little chance of them preventing it from repeating.”
The experiments under Stalin are again, not surprising. In a way, I am glad this professor called himself out and showed people where godless thinking leads.

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