Damien Broderick (
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 13:26:42 -0700

At 05:15 PM 7/25/98 +0000, Nick wrote:

> husbandry. If we could design cattle without brains or with just the
> brain stem, we would have a way of producing meat without maltreating
> animals (the brainless bodies wouldn't count as animals). The human
> yuck-feeling (probably temporary) would have to be weighed against
> the permanent reduction in animal suffering.

This component of the FAQ needs *excruciating* sensitivity. Almost everyone has a gag reflex at this suggestion. I wonder (dunno if it makes bio-botanical sense) if the suggestion might be better expressed as: if we could design plants and vegetables that include certain animal genes, we might be able to `grow steaks' in the same way we now grow tomatos or lettuces. [If that *doesn't* make sense for energetic reasons, we need to rephrase the brainless cows scenario more delicately.]

> intergalactic space. Whoever was in charge of this project could
> probably have done with a little bit more accountability!

Careful! Whimsical homour is not read as such by believers - and there are always nitwits who would quote such a line as proof that >H believe in deity but pit themselves against Him/Her/It!

> persons created per year. This does not mean that population could
> not grow; only that the growth would have to be polynomial rather
> than exponential.

Many readers are non-mathematical. You need to explain this a bit, even if only by providding examples of the two progressions.

Damien Broderick