But they're in a bottleneck themselves. There's only 700 left and there's other species of gorilla. Why are these so special.
Even at these low numbers, they have a far greater genetic diversity than humans.
Not to mention there's no guarentee that they have those useful genes let alone that anyone will allow them to be inserted into their bodies.
It's not necessarily about direct insertion. It's about learning the parameters of the game. Have you ever tried to learn a foreign language from a textbook? Have you ever seen anything in such a textbook and thought, "You know? I bet no one says that."? Or seen a word where you weren't sure what the given definition really meant? Or seen a word that you later found out had an idiomatic meaning? Or not realize at some point that there's a very simple word you don't know and never learned?
I speak Spanish. I have learned Spanish both from school and from life. I have heard things taught in Spanish classes that, if you said it in a bar, would silence the place. vosotros
tense, for instance. In any Spanish-speaking area in the Western hemisphere, using that tense would immediately identify you as someone who learned Spanish from a book or a class. I recall seeing the word sello
in a lesson. The given definition was "seal". I had no idea whether that was a seal like a seal of approval or a seal like the animal with flippers and whiskers. No idea. How about juevos
? Your high school Spanish text will tell you juevos are eggs, but they're not eggs. They're testicles, balls. If you are a woman that is ordering eggs from a male waiter, you'd better ask for blanquillos
, a word you won't find in many spanish textbooks. And I recall a time I was in a hotel and the light bulb in the lamp blew out. I suddenly realized that after four and a half years of Spanish, I didn't know the word for light bulb, a word any three-year-old native speaker would know. I had to go ask the guy at the front desk for the ball of glass that makes light. This are the things that happen to you when you have a very limited source of information, as human geneticists do. You may be able to apply a lot of hard work and puzzle through some problems, and maybe you'll even get good or right answer, but the gorillas provide a reality check on our reasoning and our logic. They are the ones that will tell us that saying juevos
is going to elicit laughter and what you really want to say is blanquillos
. They can tell you in an instant what might have taken you a year to figure out on your own. They can give you ideas you might never have thought of at all. Think of the plot from the Terminator movies. It was the leftover hand and chip that led the researchers down the path toward the Terminator to begin with. Maybe you'd get there eventually, but the genes of the gorillas will provide a HUGE shortcut. Like I said, the commodity of the future, the resource that people will be craving will be functional primate genes. We're operating out of an abridged dictionary. These animals will be the library. Otherwise, we'll have to wait for the monkeys at the typewriters to reproduce the life works of Shakespeare, instead of simply reading the copy we already have. Let's rescue this last pocket before its too late.