A) You’re realistic and a touch pessimistic, but that’s only because you know that we have a better perception of reality when we’re depressed.
B) You have a cat named Marduk.
C) Congrats! You’re an internet MorAn!
D) Please hurt yourself
I’m trying to be timely with my posts here so this was in reference to a site built for a direct tv commercial of a Russian mini-giraffe farm (I would link to it but then you might think we were getting paid, which would stand in sharp contrast to my emaciated frame) and it reminded me of how people always get super excited about miniaturized animals (or plants-BONSAI!!) Obviously the site wasn’t built to fool people but fortunately, as we all know, the internet is populated by the aforementioned morAns, not people, so I still had the pleasure of seeing some folks get exited at the prospect, and it made me lawl.
Here’s why you wouldn’t one day wake up and happen to notice some new miniaturized animal through a link on Facebook. If it had been done through selective breeding it would take ages (literally) and there’s no way we wouldn’t have been aware of said animal in various different sizes and forms. Plus why would it stay looking exactly the same? Selective breeding causes unexpected changes in appearance too, as seen in the domestication of the Siberian fox experiments (While being domesticated they took on dog like physiological traits such as lowered ears and dog like coats, they even wag their tails when happy and bark!)
If the miniaturization was some new genetic engineering magic I doubt it would get funding, but let’s say it did and this happened, it would be all over the news, real scientists would be interviewed and most importantly fundies would be protesting about it being immoral and how we shouldn’t play god -but cows, sheep, dogs, bananas or broccoli don’t bother them for some reason. Well, the reason of course is that they don’t realize all of these things have been genetically engineered to suit our lifestyles over thousands of years through selective breeding. Case in point is also why doing research entertains the hell out of me.
The text right above this has always been my major gripe about anti-genetic modification sentiment. We’ve been been doing it for centuries. Except now we can actually make the exact changes we want and not spend years of trial and error to get it right. It’s like performing heart surgery with a rock for a thousand years, and then branding the surgeon as a sorcerer for using a scalpel. This really isn’t anything new, and now we can stop trying to get fish to have sex with tomatoes. Everybody’s Happy.
This was also the most giggle inducing part about Ray Comfort’s banana designer argument. Way back he claimed the banana was evidence of an intelligent designer because of how well it was made for our consumption. It’s seedless, sweet, smooth skinned, ergonomically shaped, and easy to peel. Unfortunately, the last three can also be used as evidence that the grand designer had intended it to be a sex toy. Don’t ask.
But in serio, we made bananas that way. The wild banana is full of seeds and tastes like crap. I give credit to the botanical visionary who looked at one and said “I can work with this.” Heck, the bananas we eat now aren’t even the same kind eaten a hundred years ago. Their seedlessness (all bananas are grafts, aka clones) actually takes them out of the evolutionary butter churn and makes them prone to fungi wiping out entire cultivars, which has happened and is in danger of happening again. If the fundies are going to cry about anything, it should how we play god with seedless fruit and apples. Yeah, their glorious apple of forbidden knowledge* is a clone. Michael Pollan details this process extensively in The Botany of Desire.
And the giraffes? I think I saw this once. No wait, that was Bonsai Kittens. Also great. I remember the hatred and rage that it spawned when it first appeared on the internet. It was probably one of the earlier great trolling events of tube history. I’m not saying the tiny giraffes are a comedic hoax (though they might be) but c’mon. If you think that there are suddenly tiny giraffes being made in secret for your entrainment, I have the world’s smallest horse to sell you. I promise it’s not just a shetland pony.
This post was brought to you by Oxygen (O).
*I know nobody thinks it was an apple.