Comment of the Day: Animal Experiments Aren't All Bad

We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them.

So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even.

This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit, clarity and whatever else we feel like at the moment.

Yesterday we wrote about PETA's new animal-experimentation target, now that they've defeated NASA -- the UT Medical Branch in Galveston. PETA's filed a complaint saying a whistleblower has documented unethical use of animals at the facility; UTMB denies it.

One of our readers stepped in to defend the experiments after another had complained that universities duplicate effort on such things.

Sihaya wrote:

Actually, a result that can't be duplicated independently isn't scientifically valid. That's high school science. So yeah, ALL lab tests should be duplicated.

Secondly, though you haven't actually cited the test you throw out there, I'll assume it's real and not that you've just asserted it's true based on something your cousin's hairdresser's roommate told you. Medical experts are starting to hypothesize that minor head injuries that aren't individually deadly might be killing athletes when applied repeatedly over time. How minor, and how many? Frankly, just assuming that the hypothesis is true or that we know the threshold is stupid. If scientists can get more info, they might be saving thousands of human lives. They can't do it with a petri dish or a computer simulation. Gaining lifesaving scientific knowledge about a possibly deadly phenomenon seems to be a valid use of animal testing to me.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly