This article originally appeared on watchdog.org.
A lawmaker in Georgia wants to ban mermaids, centaurs, werewolves and other half-human, half-animal creatures that don‚??t exist.
But he‚??s not talking about banning them from bookshelves or theater screens. No,¬†state Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Gwinnett, is proposing legislation that would prohibit scientists from attempting to create human-animal hybrids in laboratories by experimenting with DNA.
If you‚??re hoping the miracles of modern science will one day allow you to meet a mermaid in real life, you‚??re probably out of luck.
Those types of creatures should remain in the realm of mythology,¬†Kirby told WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
‚??I say no. And thats what this bill is really all about,‚?Ě he told the TV station.
It‚??s a shame that Stephen Colbert isn‚??t doing his show anymore, because Kirby‚??s interview with WXIA is full of potential comedic gold.
When it comes to mermaids, Kirby says humans shouldn‚??t try to create them, ‚??but if they exist, that‚??s fine.‚?Ě
He applies the same standard to werewolves ‚??¬†if they‚??re ‚??naturally occurring in the environment, that‚??s fine‚?Ě ‚??¬†so there‚??s no need to get all worked up over there, Team Jacob.
But he‚??s not so forgiving about centaurs, which Kirby says have a bad attitude.
‚??Y‚??know, I really don‚??t like centaurs,‚?Ě he says. ‚??We‚??ve got enough people with bad attitudes as it is.‚?Ě
He‚??s also trying to ban glow-in-the-dark people (theoretically made by splicing together jellyfish DNA with a human),¬†which is bad news for comic book super-villains like Dr. Manhattan.
All joking aside, this seems like it could actually be a pretty good idea ‚??¬†it‚??s just a bit of a shame that it has to be written into law. Hopefully, any scientist capable of this kind of experimentation would have their own ethics to consider before splicing together the world‚??s first living mermaid or centaur ‚??¬†but then again that didn‚??t stop the Nazis from doing sick experiments on humans and didn‚??t stop the folks in Jurassic Park either.
But would a piece of legislation stop a mad scientist determined to play Frankenstein and create one of those fantastical creatures of myth? No, probably not.
Georgia Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, worries about the ‚??unintended consequences‚?Ě of placing limits on what science is allowed to do.
Kirby‚??s bill exempts research from the ban, so scientists who are playing with animal DNA as a potential cure for human diseases would be able to carry-on with their experiments.¬†One promising strain of research shows that shark DNA might help cure cancer, for example.
Maybe it‚??s unfair to call Kirby a nanny ‚??¬†after all, he‚??s not banning anything that you and I would likely ever have a chance to do ‚??¬†and his proposal does not deserve to be ridiculed the same way as those that would ban childhood fun or economic activity.
But trying to ban things that don‚??t exist is always a good way to end up here ‚?? even with the best of intentions.