Genesis of The Man-Apes?

Thoth Aw C'mon

Aw C'mon!... :shock: See the article below...

No one tell Chuck Heston! "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape-like humanoid creature of indeterminate moral standing!"

While certainly one hopes for success in such research of this dreadful disease, that Chuck Heston is currently suffering from ironically, you never know what unintended consequences can arise given enough time..

Certainly gotta hope they don't have that 3d8+9 damage Crush attack like they do in the Conan RPG! :wink:

Most of all, I hope this doesnt lead to more Marky Mark Planet of the Apes flicks...

Experts Ponder Ethics of Ape Brain Research
By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- Imagine this

scenario: Sometime in the not-too-distant future,

scientists decide to test a potentially lifesaving

treatment for Alzheimer's disease in a chimpanzee. The

treatment involves the transplant of human neural stem

cells into the ape's brain.

As their experiment progresses, the researchers notice

the chimpanzee is changing in ways they never expected

-- displaying signs of a much richer emotional and

intellectual life as the transplanted human cells take


The scientists begin to feel uneasy about continuing

their research. Has the animal gained an inner life that

now makes her use in medical experiments morally wrong?

Is this even possible?

Perhaps, concludes a special panel of ethicists, legal

experts and scientists whose report on the ethics of

neural stem cell research in non-human primates appears

in the July 15 issue of Science.

"There was consensus on the view that there was indeed

something to worry about. Ethically speaking, we cannot

rule this possibility out," said panel member Mark

Greene, an assistant professor of philosophy (and former

veterinary surgeon) at the University of Delaware.

Greene and the other experts stressed that no

experiments have as yet triggered this kind of shift in

the moral ground between animal and human. However,

based on evidence from the cell biologists,

neuroscientists and primatologists taking part in the

discussion, the panel agreed that the potential effects

of human neural stem cell transplants in primate brains

remains largely unknown.

Neural stem cells are progenitor cells that can grow

into any number of brain cell types. Laboratories around

the world are already hard at work investigating whether

these cells might be used to re-grow brain cells lost to

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative


Because they are the nearest relatives to humans, other

primates are a logical choice for neural stem cell


"But the problem is that we can't rule out the

possibility that engrafting human neural stem cells into

a non-human primate would alter the emotional or

cognitive life of the creature," said panel member Ruth

Faden, director of the Berman Bioethics Institute at

Johns Hopkins University.

This type of neurological change might also alter the

animal's "moral status," which Faden defined as "the

extent to which something is entitled to moral

protection and respect."

It's easy to draw moral lines in the sand between humans

and stones, insects and (for many people) rats. But

things get tricky when higher-level animals are

involved. The panelists decided to set aside the larger

moral problem of whether animal experimentation itself

is moral, and concentrated instead on this new question,

borne of a new technology.

"A lot of people believe that humans are morally

special, just by virtue of being human," Greene said.

But he pointed out that we often give moral equivalency

to other species -- at least fictional ones. "Look at

science fiction, Star Trek -- you'll see all the time

encounters with other species with rich mental lives,

and we have no problem according them humanlike moral


So, real-life dilemmas could arise if scientific

tinkering brought primates closer to "humanlike" moral

status, he said. Such a change might be difficult to

spot. "It's certainly not going to be talking," Greene

said. "It might be that we suspect the animal's social

needs have somehow changed, something like that."

The panelists agreed that scientists still understand

very little about the inner lives of even well-studied

primates like chimps or gorillas, so gauging any

cognitive or emotional change would be tough. "But just

because that change is subtle doesn't mean it's morally

ignorable," Greene said.

While the group did not expect to reach a consensus on

whether or not human neural stem cell transplants in

non-human primates was morally correct, they were able

to agree on rough guidelines that might help researchers

avoid ethical quandaries.

Ideally, very small amounts of human neural stem cells,

transplanted into the brains of fully grown, lower-order

primates (i.e., not great apes) probably pose the least

risk of cognitive enhancement approaching the morally

ambiguous, they said.

"At the other end of the spectrum, if we are talking

about an embryonic or fetal chimpanzee or bonobo, or

some other great ape that's still developing, we can't

rule out the possibility," Faden said. "Those human

neural cells might integrate into the construction and

function of the animal's brain, altering its


She stressed that the panel's work was not about coming

to any certainties on this issue, but simply to start

discussion and to alert researchers that changes in an

animal's "moral status" could potentially occur.

In the end, Faden said, researchers simply need to learn

much more about man's closest evolutionary cousins

before any definite recommendations can be made.

"This is an extraordinary puzzle," Faden said. "How can

we possibly know what the inner life of another species

is when we aren't privileged to the inner life of even

our fellow humans? With other species, we can't even ask

the simple question 'How do you feel?' "

More information

For an insight into how primates aid scientific

research, head to the Yerkes National Primate Research


SOURCES: Mark Greene, Ph.D., assistant professor,

philosophy, University of Delaware, Newark; Ruth Faden,

Ph.D., director, Berman Bioethics Institute, Johns

Hopkins University, Baltimore; July 15, 2005, Science

Copyright © 2005 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

Sounds like a good basis for Planet of the Apes or a Post-holocaust game.

In the case of the ape-men in Conans world, I have assumed that they were descended from an ape-like slave race called the Voormis, created by the Serpent Men.

The Voormis appear in the Hyperborea fiction of Clark Aston Smith.
Seeker said:

Sounds like a good basis for Planet of the Apes or a Post-holocaust game.

In the case of the ape-men in Conans world, I have assumed that they were descended from an ape-like slave race called the Voormis, created by the Serpent Men.

The Voormis appear in the Hyperborea fiction of Clark Aston Smith.
Hope my players aren't reading this, as I just introduced them to the ape-men this past Saturday!!!

The apemen are descendents of the Atlanteans, who-unlike the other races of men, haven't risen from the savage state they fell after the last cataclysm several thousand years before the time of this game. I think it's hinted to from the story "Rogues in the House" when Conan is trying to deal with the ape-man Thak.