Terminal hybrids are on my mind. Is it really acceptable to cultivate them? Injunctions against mixing were part of the law of Moses: “Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.” (Leviticus 19:19) “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled. Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.” (Deuteronomy 22:9–11) There are also the creation accounts of God commanding vegetation and animals to produce seed and fruit after their kind. What sort of carnal, devilish person would issue a different order to the life under his stewardship?
A benefit of breeding hybrids is the well known hybrid vigor. Animals that are crosses of two or three purebred strains grow faster and bigger than the purebreds. Vigor isn’t the only possible outcome, though. There are also hybrid inviability, hybrid sterility, and hybrid breakdown. Some genes don’t work well together. The very existence of species testifies of that.
One consequence of breeding purebreds (AKA inbreds) is that recessive genes of a deleterious sort have a greater possibility of being expressed due to being present on both copies of the relevant chromosome. Under diligent management, that can be a good thing however. Harmful genes are more likely to be exposed in purebreds and culled instead of hiding dormant.
With plants, commercial hybridization didn’t start until 1921. As far as I can tell, corn is the only crop that is mostly hybridized at present. I think hybrid cotton cultivation is gaining ground, but I really don’t know. (Corn wasn’t a random subject for Barbara McClintock’s life’s work.)
If any of you know of treatments of the issue of hybrids in our religion or others’, please pass along what you can.