Saturday, October 14, 2006

M. Pakaluk takes on J. Whiting's interpretation of Aristotle

Her reading of the NE, in particular. Jennifer Whiting's faculty page.

Never Say Never AgainBut This Cannot Be the Correct Reading!Whiting on Philanthropia

From the latest post:

We should distinguish: an interpretation which aims to get it right about Aristotle's thought, from an interpretation in which the interpreter, really, is engaging in a kind of 'systematic' philosophy, though using a discussion of Aristotle as a means to doing so.

The latter is, to my mind, disreputable, although it is extremely common. Systematic philosophy should stand on its own. To such interpreters I would say: "Instead of giving us an interpretation of Aristotle as a Rawlsian, please write an essay on justice using Rawls' ideas. Instead of an article arguing that Aristotle is a 'naturalist' (in our sense), write an article defending philosophical naturalism (if you can). " And so on. Each philosopher is what he is, and not another philosopher. Aristotle is not a naturalist (in our sense) or a materialist; he is not an exponent of Rawlsianism or Parfitianism; Aristotle is not a thomist or a neo-platonist. Aristotle is Aristotle.

But the alternative, the only legitimate path, in my view--to get it right about Aristotle's thought--most definitely requires great accuracy in reading and understanding an Aristotelian text. So these are not simply small points.
How very true.

Dr. Pakaluk has been looking at select essays from The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, edited by Richard Kraut. Previously he dealt with the essays by Susan Sauvé Meyer and Rosalind Hursthouse.

His most recent posts on Myer's essay.
Precise of Myer on the Voluntary
More Difficulties
Meyer on the Voluntary--One Last Loose Thread

Note: look up Aristotle on light
Allen Speight
Annette Baier lecture

One has to wonder about the quality of scholarship these days and how the passing on of wisdom and knowledge has suffered because the academy has succumbed to political correctness and the multiculturalist/diversity-for-diversity's-sake agenda.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Integrated Humanities Program

By Kirk Kramer

Great article about the foundation at Clear Creek, but I'm excerpting the part that discusses the work of Dr. John Senior and others at the University of Kansas:

In 1970, at the height--or more accurately, the nadir--of the student upheavals which were at the heart of the social revolution which shook the West as profoundly as the Communist Revolution of 1917 shook Russia, with the same destructive consequences for the human happiness of individuals and the common good of society, three professors, Frank Nelick, Dennis Quinn, and John Senior, received a grant from the American government to begin "an experiment in tradition" at Kansas University. They established a course of studies in the liberal arts, first known simply and elegantly as Pearson College, a name later changed to the more bureaucratic-sounding Integrated Humanities Program. This program, for first- and second-year undergraduates and undergraduettes, was a four-semester sequence of classes in which the students read the Great Books of Western civilization. Many studied Latin, taught orally. For the purposes of this article, it will be enough to give Pearson College's motto and say a word about it.

Nascantur in admiratione. Let them be born in wonder. Aristotle in the Metaphysics says that philosophy begins in wonder. By 'wonder' he does not mean the vice of curiosity, by which, for example, men are tempted to read newspapers and watch the evening news on television. He is speaking of the thing we experience when we look up at the starry sky or enter Chartres Cathedral or behold a "tall ship" with all her sails catching the wind, cutting through the sea. It is the wonder that the cowboy knew who sang, in words that became part of the state song of Kansas:

How often at night/When the heavens are bright/With the light of the glittering stars/Have I stood there amazed/And asked as I gazed/If their glory exceeds that of ours.

Home, home on the range. . . .

This passion of wonder that Aristotle wrote about, and that every man, no matter how debased, has the capacity for, is the reason that men create poetry, understanding that word in the broadest sense: not only poems, but also stories, plays, dance, music, ultimately everything man makes or does that is not merely useful, but for his delight. In Pearson College, Mr. Senior (he earned a Ph.D. at Columbia, but eschews the pretentious title Doctor, in a gesture reminiscent of C.S. Lewis' saying that the only people who get doctorates are Americans and women) and his colleagues taught, and asked their students to read, poetically--to study Plato and Chaucer and Shakespeare in order to know and to understand and ultimately to love the world better. The professors did not seek to cram facts into their students' skulls in the fashion of Thomas Gradgrind. Still less did they wish to "deconstruct" or debunk the texts read in their classes. They wished their students to read the Odyssey and the Aeneid and the Song of Roland in the spirit St Benedict enjoined in the opening lines of the Holy Rule: "Hearken, O my son, to the precepts of thy master, and incline the ear of thy heart."

The heart. The great books of our civilization (by which the present writer does not mean Hegel or Marx or Sylvia Plath) are not addressed only or chiefly to the mind. They speak to men's hearts. "Were not our hearts burning within us as he spoke to us on the way?" Not our feelings, not our intellects--our hearts. Just as women are prone to emotionalism, men (viri) are prone to rationalism, and one is as disordered as the other. Great teachers teaching the great books in the poetic mode to docile (the word is not an obscenity) students--this dymanic will move hearts and give a true integration to the human person with all its faculties. If grace is allowed to work, as it was at K.U. thanks to the example of three Catholic professors who simply lived their Faith, the results can be remarkable. In Pearson College, the results were extraordinary. Hundreds of students sought instruction in the Catholic Faith (freely, it should hardly be necessary to add).

Stuff on Dr. John Senior:
Our Schoolmaster Remembered
Magister Johannes

His books: The Death of Christian Culture and The Restoration of Christian Culture are out of print, and difficult to find.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vatican Document on Corruption

How many people are going to read this?

Vatican Document on Corruption

"Makes Societies Less Just and Less Open"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 10, 2006 ( Here is the document "The Fight Against Corruption," written by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, issued today by the Vatican press office.

* * *

"The Fight Against Corruption"

1. The International Conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on the theme "The Fight against Corruption" was held in the Vatican on June 2-3, 2006. Participants included high-level officials of international organizations, specialists and scholars, ambassadors to the Holy See, professors and experts.

The purpose of the conference, as stated by Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, was to arrive at a better understanding of the phenomenon of corruption, to identify the best methods for countering it and to explain the contribution that the Church can make in this undertaking. Distinguished speakers, scholars and experts on the phenomenon in question helped the participants gain insight into what corruption is and how to counter it at the global level (Antonio Maria Costa), in the private sector (François Vincke), in the public sector (David Hall), in civil society (Jong-Sung You), in rich countries and in poor countries (Eva Joly), depicting the harsh impact of this phenomenon on the poor people of the world (Cobus de Swardt) and the characteristics of a culture of corruption (Paul Wolfowitz). Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi presented an overview of the aspects of the social doctrine of the Church regarding these issues.

2. The phenomenon of corruption has always existed, nonetheless it is only in recent years that awareness of it has grown at the international level. In fact, with regard to conventions on corruption and plans of action adopted by individual states and groups of states and by international organizations in the area of international trade, in the discipline of international commerce and especially in the field of finances, the majority of these efforts have been made in the last 15 years. This means that corruption has only recently become recognized as a significant phenomenon and that a negative judgment of it is spreading at the worldwide level, while at the same time there is a growing awareness of the need to fight it. To this end, methods for an empirical analysis and a quantitative assessment of corruption have been put into place that will allow for a better understanding of the dynamics behind the illegal practices connected with it. Thus, it will be possible to come up with more adequate methods, and not only law-based systems and repression, to fight these phenomena.

This recent change was brought about in particular by two important historical factors: The fall of ideological blocs after 1989 and the globalization of information. Both of these processes have contributed to shedding greater light on corruption and making people more effectively aware of it. The opening up of borders as a result of the process of globalization has made it possible for corruption to expand with greater facility in respect to the past, but also offers greater opportunity to fight it, by means of more resolute and coordinated international cooperation.

3. Corruption is a phenomenon that is not limited by politics or geography. It exists in rich countries and in poor countries. The economic impact of corruption is difficult to establish with precision; in fact, available data is often inconsistent. Nonetheless, we are dealing with enormous amounts of resources that are taken away from the economy, from production and from social programs. The costs are borne by the citizens: The price of corruption is paid by using monies intended for the legitimate use of society.

Corruption crosses all social sectors: It cannot be attributed only to those who work in the economic sector or only to public officials; nor is civil society exempt. Corruption is a phenomenon that involves both individual states and international organizations.

A ready climate for corruption is fostered by a lack of transparency in international finances, by the existence of financial havens and by the disparity between the level at which corruption is fought -- often limited to the level of single states -- and the level at which corruption is carried out, usually at the supranational and international levels. It is also facilitated by limited cooperation between states in the fight against corruption, by the excessive differences in the norms of various legal systems, by the lack of media coverage of corruption in parts of the world, and by the lack of democracy in various countries. Without a free press, without democratic systems of checks and balances, without transparency, corruption is made that much easier.
Corruption is a cause of great concern today, in that it is also connected to drug trafficking, to money laundering, to the illegal trade of arms, and to other forms of criminality.

4. If corruption causes serious harm from a material point of view and places a costly burden on economic growth, still more harmful are its effects on immaterial goods, closely connected to the qualitative and human dimension of life in society. Political corruption, as the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church teaches, "compromises the correct functioning of the state, having a negative influence on the relationship between those who govern and the governed. It causes a growing distrust with respect to public institutions, bringing about a progressive disaffection in the citizens with regard to politics and its representatives, with a resulting weakening of institutions" (No. 411).

There are very clear and empirically demonstrated connections between corruption and an absence of culture, between corruption and functional limitations of institutional systems, between corruption and the index of human development, between corruption and social injustices. This is not merely a process that weakens the economic system: Corruption hinders the promotion of the person and makes societies less just and less open.

5. The Church considers corruption to be a very serious fact that distorts the political system. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church offers a very negative judgment: "Corruption radically distorts the role of representative institutions, because they are used as an arena for political bartering between clients' requests and governmental services. In this way political choices favor the narrow objectives of those who possess the means to influence these choices and are an obstacle to bringing about the common good of all citizens" (No. 411). Corruption is listed "among the causes that greatly contribute to underdevelopment and poverty" (No. 447) and sometimes it is also present within the very mechanisms by which aid is given to poor countries.

Corruption deprives peoples of a basic common good, that of legality: respect for rules, the correct functioning of economic and political institutions and transparency. Legality is truly a common good intended for everyone. In fact, it is a critical key to development, insofar as legality makes it possible to establish correct relationships between society, the economy and politics, and insofar as it makes possible the framework of trust on which economic activity is based. As a "common good," it must be appropriately promoted by all people, in fact all peoples have a right to the good that is legality. Among those things that are owed to men and women by virtue of their being human persons is, precisely, legality. The practice and the culture of corruption must be replaced by the practice and the culture of legality.

6. From the perspective of overcoming corruption, very positive developments are seen in the transition from authoritarian to democratic societies, from closed to open societies, from vertical to horizontal societies, from centralized to participatory societies. But this passage is not automatically positive. Great care must be taken that the new openness does not undermine the strength of moral convictions and that plurality is not a hindrance to solid social bonds. The breakdown of moral standards in many advanced societies can conceal a great danger of corruption, as great as the danger present in the rigidity of so many archaic societies. There are societies that are highly structured, very rigid and closed, and even societies that are authoritarian within themselves or toward the outside world. There are societies that show much greater flexibility and mobility, with streamlined structures and democratic institutions that are open and free.

On the one hand, we can note how corruption is facilitated in the first type of societies, because it is more difficult to become aware of the presence of corruption within them: Those who are corrupt and who corrupt others can remain hidden and even protected when there is no transparency and when the state is not authentically based on the rule of law. Corruption can perpetuate itself because it can count on a situation of stability. On the other hand, however, we can easily note how, in the second type of societies also, there are hidden dangers. Excessive pluralism can possibly cause an undermining of the ethical consensus of the citizens. Confusion arising from different life styles can also weaken moral judgment with regard to corruption. The disappearance of the internal and external borders of these societies can lead to facilitation of the international exportation of corruption.

7. To avoid these dangers the Church's social doctrine proposes the concept of "human ecology" ("Centesimus Annus," 38), which can also be a useful criterion in the fight against corruption. The attitudes of corruption can be satisfactorily understood only if they are seen as the result of a breakdown of human ecology. If the family is not put in a position to fulfill its educational role, if laws contrary to the authentic good of men and women -- such as those against life -- miseducate citizens concerning what is good, if the pace of justice is excessively slow, if basic morality is weakened by tolerance of transgressions, if living conditions have deteriorated, if schools do not stimulate personal growth and do not create independence, it is not possible to guarantee "human ecology"; and the absence of human ecology allows the phenomenon of corruption to thrive.

In fact, it must not be forgotten that corruption implies a whole series of relationships and complicity; it involves the numbing of consciences, blackmail and threats, unwritten agreements and conspiracies that first involve, overall, people and people's moral conscience, and after, their structures. This, then, is the context for the enormously important task of the moral education and formation of citizens, and for the duty of the Church, which -- with her communities, institutions, movements and associations, and with the presence of individual members of the faithful in every segment of modern society -- can play an ever more significant role in preventing corruption. The Church can cultivate and promote the moral resources that will help to build a "human ecology" in which corruption will not find an hospitable habitat.

8. The Church's social doctrine makes use of all its fundamental guiding principles, which it puts forth as indications of personal and collective behavior, placing them on the front-line in the battle against corruption. These principles are the dignity of the human person, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, the preferential option for the poor, the universal destination of goods. Corruption stands in radical contrast to all these principles. It exploits the human person, disdainfully using men and women for selfish interests. It represents an obstacle for achieving the common good, because it is based on individualistic criteria of selfish cynicism and illicit special interests.

It is a contradiction of solidarity because it gives rise to injustice and poverty, and a contradiction of subsidiarity because it does not respect the different social and institutional roles but corrupts them. It also acts against the preferential option for the poor by hindering the proper delivery to the poor of the resources intended for them. Finally, it stands in contrast to the universal destination of goods because the good of legality, as we have already seen, is a human good for every man and woman, intended for all people.

The whole of the Church's social doctrine proposes a perspective of social relationships that is completely at odds with the practice of corruption. Thus we can understand the gravity of this phenomenon and the Church's utterly negative judgment with regard to it. We can also understand the origin of the great resource that the Church brings to the fight against corruption: the entire body of her social doctrine and the work of those who are inspired by it.

9. The fight against corruption requires a greater conviction, by means of the consensus given to moral evidence, and a greater awareness that this fight will provide important social advantages. According to the teaching of "Centesimus Annus": "Man tends toward good, but he is also capable of evil. He can transcend his immediate interest and still remain bound to it. The social order will be all the more stable, the more it takes this fact into account and does not place in opposition personal interest and the interests of society as a whole, but rather seeks ways to bring them into fruitful harmony" (No. 25).

This is a very effective and realistic criterion. It tells us to aim at the characteristics of virtuous behavior in men and women, and also to encourage these characteristics; to think of the fight against corruption as a value, and also as a need; that corruption is an evil, and that it also involves a great price; that rejecting corruption is a good, and also an advantage; that abandoning corrupt practices can lead to development and well-being; that behavior marked by honesty is to be encouraged and behavior marked by dishonesty is to be punished. In the fight against corruption it is very important that responsibility for illicit acts be exposed, that the guilty be punished with reparative measures aimed at restoring socially responsible behavior. It is likewise important that there be rewards for countries and economic partnerships that work in conformity with an ethical code that does not tolerate corrupt practices.

10. On the international level, the fight against corruption requires that people work together to increase transparency in economic and financial transactions and to enact within different countries uniform legislation in this area. At the present time funds arising from corruption are easily concealed, as are the dishonest gains of corrupt governments; these governments are able to export huge amounts of capital effortlessly with many forms of complicity. Harmonized or uniform legislation is to be encouraged as a step in prevention, so that poor countries do not attract this illicit capital solely because such uniform legislation is lacking.

Since organized crime knows no borders, international cooperation between governments also needs to increase, at least with regard to juridical cooperation in the area of extradition. The ratification of agreements against corruption is very important, and it is desirable that the number of countries ratifying and enforcing the U.N. Convention against Corruption increase. There remains, however, the problem of the concrete application of these agreements, since -- because of political motivation -- they are not observed in many countries, even in countries that have signed them. It is necessary that a common accord be found also at the international level for confiscating and recovering what has been illegally obtained; at present, norms regulating such procedures exist only within individual Nations.

It is the hope of many that an international authority against corruption will be established, with the ability to act autonomously even while working in conjunction with States, and with the ability to verify whether crimes of international corruption have been committed and, if verified, to punish the perpetrators. The principle of subsidiarity can be useful in this area, applying it to the different levels of authority at work in the fight against corruption.

11. A particular kind of attention is called for with regard to poor countries: they must be helped, as noted above, when there are voids at the level of legislation and when they do not yet have adequate legal institutions for the fight against corruption. Bilateral or multilateral cooperation in the area of justice -- for the improvement of prison systems, the acquisition of investigative competence, the structural independence of the courts with respect to the government -- is most useful and is to be fully included in aid given for development.

Corruption in developing countries is sometimes caused by Western corporations or even by state or international agencies; other times it is brought about by corrupt local oligarchies. Only with a consistent and disciplined approach on the part of rich countries will it be possible to help the governments of poorer countries to acquire credibility. A most desirable approach is certainly the promotion of democracy in all countries, the promotion of a free and vigilant press, and the revitalization of civil society. Specific plans on the part of international agencies, developed on a country-by-country basis, can lead to good results in this area.

The local Churches are heavily involved in the formation of a civil conscience and in the education of citizens to a true democracy; episcopal conferences of many countries, have made interventions against corruption and on behalf of a society that is governed by law. Local Churches should cooperate in a valuable manner with international organizations in the fight against corruption.

Vatican City, Sept. 21, 2006
Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino

Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi

Monday, October 09, 2006

Papal Address to Bishops of Western Canada

Papal Address to Bishops of Western Canada

"The Human Need to Confront Sin Never Goes Away"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2006 ( Here is the address Benedict XVI delivered today to the bishops of the Western Catholic Conference of Canada, with whom he met on the occasion of their five-yearly visit to Rome.

* * *

[In English]

Dear Brother Bishops,

"We should celebrate and rejoice ... he has come to life; he was lost and is found" (Lk 15:32). With fraternal affection I warmly welcome you, the Bishops of the Western Catholic Conference of Canada, and I thank Bishop Wiesner for the good wishes offered on your behalf. I warmly reciprocate them and assure you, and those entrusted to your pastoral care, of my prayers and solicitude. Your meeting with the Successor of Peter concludes the visits "ad limina Apostolorum" of the Canadian Bishops' Conference. Notwithstanding the increasingly secular climate within which you serve, your reports contain much from which you can draw encouragement. In particular, I have been heartened to note the zeal and generosity of your priests, the selfless dedication of the Religious present in your Dioceses and the increasing readiness among the laity to embolden their witness to Christ's truth and love in their homes, schools, places of work and in the public sphere.

[In French; translated by ZENIT]

The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most appreciated passages of sacred Scripture. Its profound illustration of the mercy of God and the important human desire for conversion and reconciliation, as well as the restoration of severed relations, speak to men and women of every age. Man's temptation to exercise his freedom by distancing himself from God is frequent. Now the experience of the Prodigal Son makes us see at the same time that in history and in our own lives, when freedom is sought outside of God, the result is negative: loss of personal dignity, moral confusion and social disintegration. However, the Father's passionate love for humanity overcomes human pride. Freely lavished, it is a forgiving love that leads people to enter more profoundly in the communion of Christ's Church. It truly offers all peoples unity in God and, as perfectly manifested by Christ on the cross, reconciles justice and love (cf. "Deus Caritas Est," No. 10).

[In English]

And what of the elder brother? Is he not, in a certain sense, all men and women as well; perhaps particularly those who sadly distance themselves from the Church? His rationalization of his attitude and actions evokes a certain sympathy, yet in the final analysis illustrates his inability to understand unconditional love. Unable to think beyond the limits of natural justice, he remains trapped within envy and pride, detached from God, isolated from others and ill at ease with himself.

Dear Brothers, as you reflect upon the three characters in this parable -- the Father in his abundant mercy, the younger son in his joy at being forgiven, and the elder brother in his tragic isolation -- be confirmed in your desire to address the loss of a sense of sin, to which you have referred in your reports. This pastoral priority reflects an eager hope that the faithful will experience God's boundless love as a call to deepen their ecclesial unity and overcome the division and fragmentation that so often wound today's families and communities. From this perspective, the Bishop's responsibility to indicate the destructive presence of sin is readily understood as a service of hope: it strengthens believers to avoid evil and to embrace the perfection of love and the plenitude of Christian life. I wish therefore to commend your promotion of the Sacrament of Penance. While this Sacrament is often considered with indifference, what it effects is precisely the fullness of healing for which we long. A new-found appreciation of this Sacrament will confirm that time spent in the confessional draws good from evil, restores life from death, and reveals anew the merciful face of the Father.

Understanding the gift of reconciliation calls for a careful reflection on the ways to evoke conversion and penance in man's heart (cf. "Reconciliatio et Paenitentia," 23). While manifestations of sin abound -- greed and corruption, betrayed relationships and exploitation of persons -- the recognition of individual sinfulness has waned. Behind this weakening of the recognition of sin, with its commensurate attenuation of the need to seek forgiveness, is ultimately a weakening of our relationship with God (cf. Address at Ecumenical Vespers, Regensburg, 12 September 2006).

Not surprisingly this phenomenon is particularly pronounced in societies marked by secularist post-Enlightenment ideology. Where God is excluded from the public forum the sense of offence against God -- the true sense of sin -- dissipates, just as when the absolute value of moral norms is relativized the categories of good or evil vanish, along with individual responsibility. Yet, the human need to acknowledge and confront sin in fact never goes away, no matter how much an individual may, like the elder brother, rationalize to the contrary. As Saint John tells us: "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves" (1 Jn 1:8). It is an integral part of the truth about the human person. When the need to seek forgiveness and the readiness to forgive are forgotten, in their place a disturbing culture of blame and litigiousness arises. This ugly phenomenon, however, can be dispelled. Following the light of Christ's healing truth is to say with the father: "My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours" and we must be glad "because your brother ... who was lost ... is found" (Lk 15:31-32).

The lasting peace and harmony so longed for by individuals, families and society underpin your concerns to deepen reconciliation and understanding with the many First Nations communities found in your region. Much has been achieved. In this regard, I have been heartened to learn from you about the work of the Catholic Aboriginal Council for Reconciliation and the aims of the Amerindian Fund. Such initiatives bring hope and bear witness to the love of Christ which draws us forward (cf. 2 Cor 5:14). Yet there is still much to be accomplished. I therefore encourage you to address with compassion and determination the underlying causes of the difficulties surrounding the social and spiritual needs of the Aboriginal faithful. Commitment to truth opens the way to lasting reconciliation through the healing process of asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness -- two indispensable elements for peace. In this way our memory is purified, our hearts are made serene, and our future is filled with a well-founded hope in the peace which springs from truth.

With fraternal affection I share these reflections with you and assure you of my prayers as you seek to make the sanctifying and reconciling mission of the Church ever more appreciated and recognizable in your ecclesial and civic communities. With these sentiments I commend you to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and to the intercession of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. To you and to the priests, deacons, Religious, and lay faithful of your Dioceses I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing.

[Original text: multilingual]

© Copyright 2006 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Scientists to create 'frankenbunny' in big research leap

From NOR
Scientists to create 'frankenbunny' in big research leap

Scientists are planning to create a "frankenrabbit" by fusing together human cells with a rabbit egg.

It is hoped the "chimeric" embryos, which would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent rabbit, could lead to breakthroughs in stem cell research which could one day cure diseases such as Alzheimer's or spinal cord injury.

The embryos will allow scientists to perfect stem cell creation techniques without using human eggs.

"If we learn how to do this with animal eggs, we should be able to have more success with human eggs, and I'd much rather know that if we were going to ask women to donate eggs that we were very likely to get stem cells as a result," said Chris Shaw, at the Institute of Psychiatry.

"We know this is a huge challenge after Dr Hwang in South Korea failed to get stem cells despite having 2,000 human eggs."
Teams in London, Edinburgh and Newcastle are to submit application to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority this month, requesting licences to create embryos that will be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent rabbit or cow.

The HFEA is encouraging the applications after legal advice. The embryos will be allowed to grow for only 14 days, at which point they will be cells smaller than a pinhead.

While chimeric embryos created from non-human species could be useful in developmental studies and as further evidence that there are natural kinds, this sort of experiment is abominable.