"The two-week experiment -- taking place in the Western Austrian Alps -- was trying to determine what factors make it possible for humans to survive an avalanche in an air pocket until rescued without suffering permanent brain damage.
Hermann Brugger, co-director of the experiment led by the Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine in the northern Italian town of Bolzano and the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria, asserted the pigs didn't suffer because they were sedated and given an anesthetic beforehand."
"But activists called it cruel and pointless.
Following protests Thursday, Herbert Lochs, director of the Medical University of Innsbruck, confirmed the experiment had been halted temporarily due to the massive media interest in the activists' protests. A total of 29 animals had been selected for the tests."
"It is absolutely unacceptable that these highly sensitive, helpless animals are killed for such an unnecessary test," said Johanna Stadler, head of the group Four Paws.
"People are shocked and outraged that such cruel experiments can even be carried out in Austria," echoed Gerda Matias, president of the International Union of Animal Experiment Opponents.
In a statement posted on the Medical University of Innsbruck's Web site, organizers said the experiment was ethically justifiable and had been approved by a commission in Austria's Science and Research Ministry.
Brugger, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said the study could help humans survive an avalanche and that stopping now would mean that those pigs that already died did so in vain.
"We want to save lives, that's the only goal of this study," he said in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF.
What an ironic thing for Brugger to say:"We want to save lives, that's the only goal of this study."
Save the lives of humans at the expense of another animal. How can someone think like this? Hermann Brugger, why are we humans better than other animals?
Have other animals on the planet brought the world to the brink of destruction by the building up of nuclear armaments? The fact that some humans thought it was necessary to create these weapons to keep us safe from being destroyed by other members of our species....what does that say about our species? The fact that members of one religion on our planet want to kill members of other religions on the planet (or other members of the same religion on the planet, what does that say about our species?) The fact that members of one race of humans see no problem with the idea of killing members of other race(s) on the planet, what does that say about our species? The fact that laws had to come into existence to control the behavior of our species, again what does that say about human beings?
Hermann Brugger believes that the main justification for burying these pigs in the snow was so that human lives could be saved in the future. I assert that he and his fellow scientists engaged in their "experiment" not to save human lives, but rather
I assert that Hermann Brugger and others like him have no morals or values, and that is the reason they chose to act the way they do.
As stated at the website:http://sharescienceideas.wikispaces.com/The+Selfish+Scientist
"Selection pressures facing scientists today continue to escalate. Funding, promotion, and professional survival itself depend on the credit that goes to those who foster a project from idea through publication. Those who publish first, and publish alone, get more credit." And as stated by Leon Kass, whom President Bush appointed as chairman of the President's Council on Bioethic :
"Science has become so dangerous, in [Kass's] view, because it is a powerful force, yet one that has been deliberately stripped of moral values by scientists who are trained to pursue the truth objectively."
Do we really want people in this world, who are given as much power as scientists in our world, to act in ways which are immoral?
Hermann Brugger and his collegues seems to lack some scientific knowledge concerning pigs so I will educate them.
As Smart as the Primates"Intelligence research was done with pigs in the 1990s. One of the experiments was to train the pigs to move the cursor on a video screen with their snouts. When the pigs used the cursors again, they were able to distinguish between the scribbles they already knew, and the scribbles they were seeing for the first time. The pigs learned this skill as fast as the chimpanzees."
"All species of pig are smarter than dogs, and capable of abstract representation. “They can hold an icon in their mind, and remember it at a later date,” says Professor Stanley Curtis of Penn State University, who discovered that pigs dominate at video games with joy sticks. Curtis goes on to say, “Pigs are able to focus with an intensity I have never seen in a chimp.”
Smarter Than a Three-Year-Old Child"Other tests were done where the pigs were taught the meaning of simple words and phrases. Several years later, the instructions were repeated, and the pigs still remembered what to do. The same thing was done with different objects placed in front of them. They were taught to jump over, sit by, or retrieve the item. Three years later, they could distinguish between the items."
"The studies also showed:
- Pigs lead complex social lives that behaviorists once believed to be true only of primates.
- Mother pigs sing to their piglets while they are nursing.
- They excel at video games that would be hard for a young child, and sometimes better than the primates.
- Pigs dream.
- Pigs have a good sense of direction, and can find their way home from long distances.
- They learn from watching one another.
- Pigs outsmart each other. One will often follow another pig to food before grabbing it away from him, and the pig who was tricked will change behaviors to reduce how many times it is tricked."
What gives these scientists the right to kill another intelligent species of life on our planet?
As stated by Ernest Partridge:
""We've all heard the complaint that "science is amoral." Indeed, even scientists and philosophers of science persistently remind us that "science is value neutral." Both are troublesome half-truths: in a sense, science is truly value-free, yet in another sense, it is profoundly value-laden.""Scientific morality" is widely regarded as an oxymoron, since it is commonly believed that science is "value neutral." This belief embraces a pernicious half-truth. The logic of science stipulates that the data, laws, hypotheses and theories of science exclude evaluative terms and concepts, and that the vocabulary of science be exclusively empirical and formal. There are no "oughts," no "goods and bads," no "rights and wrongs." (The fact that social sciences deal with values descriptively, is only an apparent violation of this rule). Capitalist and communist missiles are subject to the same laws of trajectory. The same laws of physiology apply to the physician who heals, and the murderer who poisons. The "value-free" status of scientific vocabulary and assertion is the "truthful half" of the belief that science is "value free."
"By the worldly standards of public life, all scholars in their work are of course oddly virtuous. They do not make wild claims, they do not cheat, they do not try to persuade at any cost, they appeal neither to prejudice or to authority, they are often frank about their ignorance, their disputes are fairly decorous, they do not confuse what is being argued with race, politics, sex or age, they listen patiently to the young and to the old who both know everything. These are the general virtues of scholarship, and they are peculiarly the virtues of science. Individually, scientists no doubt have human weaknesses. . . But in a world in which state and dogma seem always either to threaten or to cajole, the body of scientists is trained to avoid and organized to resist every form of persuasion but the fact. A scientist who breaks this rule, as Lysenko has done, is ignored. . .
The values of science derive neither from the virtues of its members, nor from the finger-wagging codes of conduct by which every profession reminds itself to be good. They have grown out of the practice of science, because they are the inescapable conditions for its practice."
""Persuasion, a psychological activity, is the arena in which propagandists, advertisers, politicians and preachers perform their stunts. To the "persuader," the "conclusion" (i.e. what he is trying to get others to believe: "the message," "the gospel," "the sale") is not open to question. His task is to find the means to get the persuadee (i.e., voter, buyer, "sucker") to believe the message. Whatever psychological means accomplishes this goal (apart from "side effects") is fair game. (When the "persuader" and the "persuadee" are one and the same, this is called "rationalization"). If the message promises "repose," or otherwise is found "rewarding," the simple and primitive tendency will be to accept it."
""Demonstration (or "argumentation" or "proof"), a logical activity, is the objective of the scholar and scientist. Therein, hard evidence and valid methodology is sought, and the conclusion is unknown or in doubt. However discomforting the resulting conclusions might be, "demonstration" has evolved as the best "proven" means of arriving at the truth -- or more precisely, at whatever assurance of truth the evidence will allow. "Demonstration" is exemplified in scientific method (in particular, through freedom of inquiry, replicability of experimentation, publicly attainable data, etc.), in legal rules of evidence, and in the rules of inference of formal logic."
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).
Hermann Brugger, and your fellow scientists at the Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine you claim that by burying these pigs in the snow you and your fellow scientists will determine what factors make it possible for humans to survive an avalanche in an air pocket until rescued without suffering permanent brain damage. How did you arrive at this conclusion, and if you cannot tell us how you came to arrive at this conclusion, then how do you justify killing these pigs who had the right to live out their lives, without being subject to your "experiment"? Herman Brugger I challenge you to tell the world how you arrived at the conclusion you did!!