Chinese Mice

Chinese Mice

A very interesting news item appeared on Fox News and a few other websites around the internet recently that caused me to take a second look.  The article announced that some Chinese genetic researchers had been able to produce baby mice without any need for a male mouse. If this claim is true, then they’ve made a very interesting discovery which could advance our understanding of genetics.  However, despite the claims of some evolutionary activists, this is not evidence for evolution.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Stem Cell made headlines for a number of reasons. The Chinese researchers were attempting to discover why mammals did not retain the ability to reproduce asexually as their “evolutionary ancestors” did.  Thus they performed a very clever genetic manipulation.  What they did was they took a haploid stem cell from a mouse and combined it with an unfertilized egg or a sperm cell depending on whether they were working with a male or female stem cell. This created a diploid cell, which contained the full number of mouse chromosomes. They found that they were able to create viable baby mice from female stem cells. Male stem cells inevitably died within 48 hours.   However, the female mice survived and thrived, even to the point of being able to produce soccer. To do this, though, they had to delete certain genes from the transplant that were gender controlled.

Predictably, this study created outrage from animal rights enthusiasts. PETA among others denounced the experiments as inhumane, sadistic, and “Frankenscience”.  While PETA’s reaction is typical and hardly unexpected it illustrates a common mindset among many evolutionary scientists. They value animal life above human life.  PETA, for example, does not take an official position on abortion which is honestly surprising because, if man is just another animal, and they want to keep animals alive, they should be vocally pro-life.  Except it isn’t a surprise at all because they actually act consistently with the evolutionary worldview that claims man is a blight on the planet and needs to be stopped before he destroys everything nature gave us.  The organization, like a lot of other animal rights groups, has been known to protest against pro-life demonstration so their lack of an official position is actually an implicit endorsement of infanticide.

PETA and other members of the animal rights crowd aside, this study does not provide any evidence for mammals containing leftover genetics for asexual reproduction or that mammals evolved from a lower organism.  First of all, the study was a complete failure when it came to male mice. All male embryos died very quickly.  While female embryos were successful and able to reproduce,  this is not proof of some form of asexual reproduction in the organisms past. What it means is a group of intelligent scientists were able to trick the genetics of the mouse into doing something it was not designed to do in the first place.  That’s literally the entire takeaway from this study.  It’s an interesting study, and it is good to know that stem cells can do this due to potential medical applications of adult stem cells, but that’s it. It does not speak to evolutionary ancestry in any way.  There is still no explanation for the change from asexual to sexual reproduction, or by what means this happened.

A third group has attempted to co-opt this study, that being the LGBTQI+ and whatever other letters that group is using these days.  I’ve seen some activists, particularly on social media, promoting this study as evidence that same-sex relationships are valid and that they happen in the animal world. Apologies to those making the claim, but you clearly did not read the study or the article. While no male mice were involved in the process, this did not happen in the wild. It happened in a lab petri dish under the guidance of extremely intelligent scientists. It is not a natural process, nor does it point in any way to the LGBTQ movement.

This study, while interesting, should not have received the notoriety it has in certain circles on the internet.  It demonstrates nothing, other than it takes intelligence to create life.  Claiming anything else it to insert meaning to the study that is simply not there.   This is not evidence for evolution or some way to make LGBTQ anything other than unnatural.  It’s a scientific study that highlights how hard same-sex reproduction in mammals in a lab is for researchers.

 

https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)30441-7

 

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