Why Do Research On Primates? Does It Give Better, Quicker Drug Discovery?

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Number of Primates Used in U.S. Research Jumps

  • “Public opposition to animal research has been rising—with a recent Pew Research Center poll finding that a record 52% of Americans oppose such studies. And importing monkeys to the United States has become increasingly difficult as almost all commercial air carriers now refuse to fly the animals.
  • “According to the new USDA figures, scientists used 75,825 nonhuman primates for research last year, up 22% since 2015. In contrast, the number of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other animals recorded by USDA are all being used at lower numbers than they were a decade ago…The total number of monkeys in labs—which also includes those bred in colonies and those not currently being used in research—has remained fairly steady for the past decade, with about 110,000 recorded last year.” – Science, 02NOV18

This short blog grew from a desire to understand two statistics:

  • Why research on monkeys and other primates has grown dramatically under President Trump’s administration, at the same time, the number of Americans who DO NOT “believe” evolutionary biology – “The Descent of Man” – has reached its greatest number – more than 100 million.
  • The number of American women who oppose primate research has increased to over 60%

That is correct! More than 1-in-3 Americans do not believe humans evolved from an earlier primate species or “common ancestor.”  Why then, do we believe that the drugs we take are any value to us if derived from primate research?  At least to the 1 in 3 Americans who do not believe we have any interest or connection to primates.

How to Talk “Evolution”

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How We Know Humans are “Primates” from an admitted non-Darwinian working at the Smithsonian

One thesis is that the 1-in-3 Americans, at least, are moral hypocrites.  As many were with slavery; as some are today with discrimination against half our species – women.  By disavowing any connection to primates – primates being sub-human in their views – they can use them as they wish, guilt-free.  Many quote ‘oft-quoted passages’ from religious texts to support this claim.  That view is, ‘the whole world should support humans.’ Period.  Or ‘Humans versus Nature.’

In that way, as with slaves in past generations, and women today, this 1-in-3 Americans may think that they are “not us”, sub-humans, “different by nature”.  However,  if primates are so different by nature from humans, why has research on dogs and cats declined so dramatically in relationship to primate research?   It must be that dogs and cats give poor results?  Anyone with an education in evolutionary biology can answer THAT question.  Even non-Darwinian theists, as the article above demonstrates.  Primates are “more like us” in many way, than “dogs and cats”.  Humans are primates. The descent of humans is real.  Whether the 1-in-3 Americans say so or not, their drug dollars say so very loudly.

A more direct and simple thesis is that President Trump’s Republican administration, or any administration of science, that refuses to be honest with the people on whose tax-dollars and votes it depends, must speak ‘with a forked-tongue’.

One commentary to the public; another commentary tied to the results of science and the funding that supports that science. This explains so much. Like why almost a billion USD is directed to the Office of Basic Energy Science this year  and ON-TIME!*  And why much of that funding is towards alternative energy resources and atmospheric science (I.e., “climate change”). It is necessary funding. The lieing and double-speak is not.  It is just easier for the administrators, I guess.

Again,  I wrote this short blog to explore, not to condemn, any specific scientific research.


*US Energy and Science Budget is Staggering


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