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Nanny of the Week: Georgia lawmaker wants to ban mermaids, werewolves, other fictional creatures from real life

By   /   February 23, 2015  /   News  /   No Comments

Part 34 of 80 in the series Nanny State of the Week

By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org

A lawmaker in Georgia wants to ban mermaids, centaurs, werewolves and other half-human, half-animal creatures that don’t exist.

But he’s not talking about banning them from bookshelves or theater screens. No, state Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Gwinnett, is proposing legislation that would prohibit scientists from attempting to create human-animal hybrids in laboratories by experimenting with DNA.

Shutterstock image

NO MEANS NO: State Rep. Tom Kirby says there needs to be “a legislative line” to stop science from creating mythical creatures in the real world.

If you’re hoping the miracles of modern science will one day allow you to meet a mermaid in real life, you’re probably out of luck.

Those types of creatures should remain in the realm of mythology, Kirby told WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

“I say no. And thats what this bill is really all about,” he told the TV station.

It’s a shame that Stephen Colbert isn’t doing his show anymore, because Kirby’s interview with WXIA is full of potential comedic gold.

When it comes to mermaids, Kirby says humans shouldn’t try to create them, “but if they exist, that’s fine.

He applies the same standard to werewolves — if they’re “naturally occurring in the environment, that’s fine” — so there’s no need to get all worked up over there, Team Jacob.

But he’s not so forgiving about centaurs, which Kirby says have a bad attitude.

“Y’know, I really don’t like centaurs,” he says. “We’ve got enough people with bad attitudes as it is.”

He’s also trying to ban glow-in-the-dark people (theoretically made by splicing together jellyfish DNA with a human), which is bad news for comic book super-villains like Dr. Manhattan.

All joking aside, this seems like it could actually be a pretty good idea — it’s just a bit of a shame that it has to be written into law. Hopefully, any scientist capable of this kind of experimentation would have their own ethics to consider before splicing together the world’s first living mermaid or centaur — but then again that didn’t stop the Nazis from doing sick experiments on humans and didn’t stop the folks in Jurassic Park either.

But would a piece of legislation stop a mad scientist determined to play Frankenstein and create one of those fantastical creatures of myth? No, probably not.

Georgia Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, worries about the “unintended consequences” of placing limits on what science is allowed to do.

Kirby’s bill exempts research from the ban, so scientists who are playing with animal DNA as a potential cure for human diseases would be able to carry-on with their experiments. One promising strain of research shows that shark DNA might help cure cancer, for example.

Maybe it’s unfair to call Kirby a nanny — after all, he’s not banning anything that you and I would likely ever have a chance to do — and his proposal does not deserve to be ridiculed the same way as those that would ban childhood fun or economic activity.

But trying to ban things that don’t exist is always a good way to end up here – even with the best of intentions.

Part of 80 in the series Nanny State of the Week
  1. Nanny-state state of the week: MD may become first to ban Vaportinis
  2. Nanny-state city of the week: Minneapolis wants to ban take-out trays
  3. Skim is in: CT lawmakers want to ban whole milk in day cares
  4. Nanny state of the week: Fairfax, VA, wants to limit the right to assemble
  5. Nanny state of the week: SC — and Schumer — for duplicative efforts to ban powdered alcohol
  6. Nanny of the Week: Virginia hoses down car wash fundraisers
  7. Nanny of the Week: Even a summertime trip to the beach can’t be nanny-free
  8. Nanny of the week: Federal authorities think feral cats can read signs
  9. Nanny of the week: Cambridge wants to ban ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft
  10. Nanny-stater of the week: NY lawmaker wants to ban photos with tigers
  11. Nanny-stater of the Week: Who needs cupcakes and candy? Here, have a pencil
  12. Nanny-stater of the week: Fargo limits kids to less than four shots of juice per day
  13. Nanny-stater of the week: Wisconsin towns fight repeal of bow ban
  14. Nanny of the week: No fun in the sun, thanks to Congress and FDA
  15. Nanny-stater of the week: DOT to ban cell phone use on planes
  16. Nanny of the week: The out-of-control trend of arresting non-helicopter moms
  17. Nanny of the Week: Vermont city could ban ‘human activity’
  18. Nanny of the Week: Mississippi makes bird feeders illegal – by accident
  19. Nanny of the week: MO town bans breastfeeding near pools
  20. Nanny of the Week: School bans lip balm, 11 year-old girl fights back
  21. Watchdog.org blows lid off Vermont’s bake sale brownie ban
  22. Nanny of the Week: Seattle imposes fine on residents who throw away food
  23. Nanny of the Week: California bans plastic bags
  24. Nanny of the week: Maybe this time it will be different for Chicago
  25. Nanny of the Week: Florida growls at craft breweries’ growlers
  26. Nanny of the Week: Massachusetts town seeking to ban tobacco faces uprising from residents
  27. Nanny of the Week: Proposed bans on Thanksgiving Day shopping
  28. Nanny of the week: U.S. government bans ‘Comfyballs’ underwear
  29. Nanny of the Week: Better take down those holiday decorations
  30. Nanny of the week: Towns ban sledding
  31. Nanny of the Week: New York City plans to ban out-of-state cars
  32. Nanny of the Week: Snow-shoveling teens get in trouble with the law
  33. Nanny of the Week: Get caught wearing yoga pants three times, go to jail for life
  34. Nanny of the Week: Georgia lawmaker wants to ban mermaids, werewolves, other fictional creatures from real life
  35. Nanny State of the Week: Endangering manatees in Florida
  36. Nanny of the Week: Christie caves to protectionist gravestone proposal in N.J.
  37. Nanny of the Week: Don’t mix beer and ice cream – because of the children
  38. Nanny of the Week: Is the minimum wage a nanny state policy?
  39. Nanny of the Week: Republican in NY backs cat declawing ban
  40. Nanny of the Week: NJ continues ban on self-serve gasoline, because sometimes it snows
  41. Nanny of the Week: Bernie Sanders is coming for your deodorant
  42. Nanny of the Week: Will babies confuse beer for their binkies?
  43. Nanny of the Week: Weeds will prevail in Maryland lawn care ban
  44. Nanny State of the Week: FDA bans trans-fats
  45. Nanny State of the Week: L.A. plans to jail unlicensed street vendors
  46. Nanny ST8 of the Week: Anti-government messages not allowed on license plates
  47. Nanny State of the Week: Helicopters, horses and New York City
  48. Nanny State of the Week: Lawsuit challenges Seattle trash snooping
  49. Nanny State of the Week: Town officials mandate mowing
  50. Nanny State of the Week: Florida county sends environmental specialist to investigate BBQ
  51. Nanny State: Despite menu nannies, Americans still fat!
  52. Nanny State of the Week: New York City’s ban on Styrofoam hurts businesses, consumers
  53. Nanny State of the Week: Colorado Springs may ban sitting in public places
  54. Nanny State of the Week: New York’s soda ban could be back — but for kids only
  55. Nanny State of the Week: D.C. flexing licensing muscles at personal trainers
  56. Nanny State of the Week: Hammock bans mean no hanging out on college campuses
  57. Nanny State of the Week: County can use same lawn treatments it banned residents from using
  58. Nanny State of the Week: Pols want to ban daily fantasy sports
  59. Nanny State of the Week: Bay Area bureaucrats ban fireplaces, wood stoves
  60. Nanny State of the Week: Halloween for the politically correct only
  61. Nanny State of the Week: Governments lag behind the public on orca captivity ban
  62. Nanny State of the Week: New York might accidentally ban makeup
  63. Nanny State of the Week: California could be first state to apply no-fly list to guns
  64. Nanny State of the Week: University may block social media app in futile effort to combat racism
  65. Nanny State of the Week: City fines residents for chipped paint, mismatched curtains
  66. Nanny State of the Week: No Christmas in Bethlehem this year
  67. Nanny State of the Week: Connecticut may outlaw smoking in many cars
  68. Nanny State of the Week: Town inspection checks whether you cleaned your toilet
  69. Nanny State of the Week: Minnesota men facing felony charges for selling beer
  70. Nanny State of the Week: City rewrites law to block theater from getting liquor license
  71. Nanny State of the Week: FDA goes beyond the pale, prepares to ban teen tanning
  72. Nanny State of the Week: Charleston’s storied history is off-limits to the unlicensed
  73. Nanny State of the Week: Feds marketing food stamps with bingo games, TV ads
  74. Nanny State of the Week: No sipping and selling for Alabama winemakers
  75. Nanny State of the Week: Jail time for texting while walking in New Jersey
  76. Nanny State of the Week: In time for Opening Day, cities ban chewing tobacco at ballparks
  77. Nanny State of the Week: Feds send LSD Ale on a long, strange trip
  78. Nanny State of the Week: Happy Tax Day! Now get ready to pay more to file
  79. Nanny State of the Week: A state license for breast-feeding advice?
  80. Nanny State of the Week: School officials bully kids with ban on skinny jeans

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Eric is the national regulatory reporter for Watchdog.org. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and Fox News. He was once featured in a BuzzFeed list-icle. Follow him on Twitter @EricBoehm87.