You know me. I love pseudo-scientific concepts. Honestly, I've been interested in the concept of a half human half ape hybrid for a while now..
Like the article says, it's likely possible, and therefore (based on what we know about human behavior) probable that such beings exist. There's also some word about a program under Stallin where they experimented with the idea in the hopes of making a man/ape super soldier, but reportedly no such creature was ever made.
Oliver is an interesting case. I'm not really satisfied with the explanation of how they decided he was a "regular chimp".. In Japan DNA tests confirmed that Oliver had 47 chromosomes, the number between what a human and a chimp has. Oliver traded hands several times and was lost for more than a decade. He was supposedly found in an animal testing facility...
The animal they found did not exhibit the unusual characteristics that Oliver did. To me, the two animals don't even look the same, as the Oliver from the 70's/80's had light skin while the Oliver of today has dark skin. What's more, the Oliver of today has different DNA than what the tests taken in Japan reported...
In Japan scientists reported that Oliver had 47 chromosomes, but tests on the animal which is now reported to be Oliver (though he exhibits none of the remarkable characteristics that Oliver did) show that this animal is a normal chimp with 48 chromosomes. My understanding is that usually when there are two different DNA results, the conclusion is that there are two different creatures. For some reason that wasn't the conclusion drawn on this.
I think there are some important questions that aren't being asked. The issue boils down to whether or not we trust that the people who had Oliver for lab testing for a decade gave us the real Oliver, or simply swapped out another Chimp in his stead. They claim that they never actually used Oliver in any tests, but it doesn't make sense to me that they would keep a subject for that amount of time and not use it. So did they give us the real Oliver, or did Oliver die in some kind of lab experiment? In my mind, the DNA evidence indicates the latter option.
I think that there would be a strong legal motivation for a company to lie under these circumstances considering the possible legal ramifications. Watch the documentary if you want, it's very interesting.. Regardless of the Oliver case though, the idea of a human-chimp hybrid is a disturbingly probable scenario.
I also find it interesting that something with which we share almost all of our DNA with can be so profoundly different from us. It just goes to show that very minor differences in our genetic code, a fraction of a percent, can result in profound differences.
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