Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights

An Argentine orangutan named Sandra has been awarded basic human rights by a high-level court in that South American country.


(Sandra the orangutan)

In Argentina, at least, Sandra now has the right to life, liberty and freedom from harm. “The ruling was historic because before a nonhuman primate like Sandra was considered an object and therefore there was no dispute about its captivity, says Andrés Gil Dominguez of the Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights in Argentina, which filed a habeas corpus petition for Sandra, asserting that she had been unjustifably denied her freedom.”

The court’s decision will lead to another proceeding on the orangutan’s behalf to find a home outside the zoo’s cages where Sandra, born in captivity in Germany in 1986, has lived for the last 20 years. The Argentine justice system will now convene a committee of experts to find a sanctuary or another home for Sandra, as long as the aging orang is healthy enough to travel elsewhere.

Science fiction fans are irresistibly reminded of the wonderful 1962 novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Although written as a juvenile, this novel has a grown-up preoccupation with the basic question "What makes us human?"

In the story, a distant planet is colonized under a charter to a large corporation. However, one of the conditions of the charter is that the planet does not have any sapient, human-like intelligent life.

The corporate lawyers are not very happy when a sol stone miner named Jack Holloway finds an odd little creature in his house, and then sees him using tools.

The question arose: if the Fuzzies were sapient, then they should have the rights of sapient beings throughout the Federation, and their planet belonged to them.


(Little Fuzzy cover art)

"...As soon as Kellogg told them what we'd found, Mallin turned fish-belly white and wanted to know how we were going to suppress it. I asked him if he was nuts, and then Kellogg came out with it. They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient."

"Because the Company wants to sell Fuzzy furs?"

Van Riebeck looked at him in surprise. "I never thought of that. I doubt if they did, either. No. Because if the Fuzzies are sapient beings, the Company's charter is automatically void."

i'e also add that Clifford Simak wrote about this in his 1942 story Ogre; see this very early discussion of relations with extraterrestrial life.

Via Scientific American.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/13/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion. - Philip K. Dick, 1969.

Gaia - Why Stop With Just The Earth?
'But the stars are only atoms in larger space, and in that larger space the star-atoms could combine to form living matter, thinking matter, couldn't they?' - Robert Castle, 1939.

Splendid View Of Eclipse From Orbit Visualized And Repurposed By Arthur C. Clarke
'The area affected was five hundred kilometres across, and perfectly circular.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1953.

SensorWake Scent-Based Alarm Clock
'The odalarm awoke Jorj X. McKie with a whiff of lemon.' - Frank Herbert, 1977.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

LORIS Passive-Gripper Climbing Robot
'At the end of each appendage's eight fingers there are tinier appendages...'

Neuroplatform Human Brain Organoid Bioprocessor Uses Less Electricity
'Cultured brains on a slab.'

Drug To Regenerate Teeth In Humans
'We want to do something to help those who are suffering from tooth loss or absence,' said lead researcher Katsu Takahashi.

Coin-Sized Nuclear Battery Good For 100 Years
'...power pack the size of a pea.'

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

Heinlein’s Controlway - Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor In Michigan
'Well, that's us,' said Lazarus.

NYC/Dublin Portal Fails To Meet 'Guardian Of Forever' Standards
I am the Guardian of Forever.

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.