Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 8, 2013

So You're Extinct? Scientists Have Gleam in Eye. [NYTimes.com]

[Komron MacLean]
Ran across this article So You're Extinct? Scientists Have Gleam in Eye. in the NYTimes while perusing bioethics.net for final report topics. I enjoyed the Jurassic Park fantasy that I am sure anyone that reads this article is bound to have.
My humble opinion, based simply  on what I know of science and evolution: We should never prevent science from enhancing our understanding of our world and its possibilities. But I feel we should tread lightly when we do not fully understand the implications of bringing back species that went extinct for a reason, perhaps reasons that we do not fully understand (tangible reasons, to clarify). Perhaps bringing back a toad, fungus or bird from 100,000 yrs ago will also allow a pathogen, hosted principally by that organism, to proliferate; perhaps one that would normally not, given the absence of its now extinct host. A long shot, but again, there is ALWAYS a reason why things happen in our world. Nevertheless, an incredibly cool prospect of science.


  1. I'd love to hear more about "de-extinction" and its dangers, Komron. That'd be a great report topic. Take a look at Stewart Brand's recent TED Talk on the topic too, if you haven't already: discussed at his Long Now site: http://longnow.org/revive/

  2. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/04/species-revival/zimmer-text
    This is a link to the most recent National Geographic magazine. The article is about the possibility of bringing back extinct animals. For one, Russia is trying to bring back the Wooly Mammoth to Siberia. Their argument is that the Mammoth was key to the ecosystem in Siberia. On the one hand, we see this today in the reintroduction of wolves in national parks in the United States. The ecosystems began to thrive again when the wolves were re-introduced so maybe this could happen again in Siberia. Personally, I would love to see this happen, but thats just my greedy curiosity but I fear that people would take de-extinction too far. In theory we could re-create cavemen and other old human species to better understand how our evolutionary process worked, but once created would we give them human rights or would they simply be scientific experiments?