Here’s a question for y’all to ponder: Is it ethically or morally wrong to create new life from DNA? Specifically, extinct DNA…
I read this article on Yahoo this morning about that very thing; scientists have compiled a whole list of extinct animals who’s DNA has been preserved by one means or another that they think should be recreated and released back into the wild. Or, recreated to spend their new lives in a zoo. For those of you who don’t like to click thru a link, here’s an excerpt of the article:
On Friday at a National Geographic-sponsored TEDx conference, scientists met in Washington, D.C. to discuss which animals we should bring back from extinction. They also discussed the how, why, and ethics of doing so. They called it “de-extinction.”There are a few guidelines for which ancient species are considered, and sadly, dinosaurs are so long dead they aren’t in the picture. Their DNA has long ago degraded, so researchers are fairly sure that Jurassic Park will never happen.They chose the animals using the following criteria: Are the species desirable — do they hold an important ecological function or are they beloved by humans? Are the species practical choices — do we have access to tissue that could give us good quality DNA samples or germ cells to reproduce the species? And are they able to be reintroduced to the wild — are the habitats in which they live available and do we know why they went extinct in the first place?This still leaves plenty of other animals on the table. The list of candidates is actually pretty long, considering. The cost of de-extinction varies by species but projects could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. Then there’s also the cost of housing the animals once they are created, and re-introducing them into the wild and protecting them from poachers once they are there.But, if you were the zoo that had that one Woolly mammoth or saber-toothed cat, these costs just might be worth it.
Is anyone else profoundly disturbed by this idea??? Creeps me the F out. Like seriously….I think more because of humans propensity to go overboard on stuff more than the thought of running into a Saber Toothed Tiger on a hike in the hills…
And yes, the Saber Toothed Tiger is on the list…along with the Dodo bird, a bunch of other birds, a weird half zebra half donkey looking creature, seals, Woolly Mammoths and Mastodons and the Tasmanian Tiger (who looks like a hyena with stripes)…
Why?? And for me the more disturbing question is What would be next?? De-extinction of Henry the VIII? Socrates?? Some Dude’s Great Great Great Grandma so he can ask where the hell she buried the family fortune?? MICHAEL JACKSON??
I would like my conscientious objection to go on record: No good can come of this….
Y’all know I’ll be MIA for a week (or 2 depending on the road conditions in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming’s mountain passes) so this oughta give you plenty to ponder in my absence!
PS….I’m looking for local volunteers to come sit/jump or otherwise squash my suitcase this afternoon so it will close…Packing will commence in 5….4…..3……………..