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De-Extinction: Good Idea or Huge Mistake?

Is De-Extinction a good or bad idea in your opinion?

  • I think it is a good idea.

    Votes: 18 62.1%
  • I am indifferent.

    Votes: 3 10.3%
  • I think it is a bad idea.

    Votes: 8 27.6%

  • Total voters
    29

Lazerbeak

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Not exactly my favorite president and I actually am not a fan of politics but the quote seemed appropriate.

~ LB
 
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Meatball

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Ok. Lets think about this.

Would "bringing back" the wooly mammoth disrupt things here on Earth?

Hell no.

Of course not. Lets think about this. Some of you are coming at this from the angle that scientists want to bring them back so they can survive and be a relevant gene pool on the Earth once more. I do not think that would ever happen.

Scientists want to be able to bring these for because of the good practice it would be for the revival of more recently removed species, so we can learn even more about wooly mammoths, and so that they can say they did so. This is not a long term "breeding" program to plant a new family tree.

Why? Well. Mammoths went extinct long ago. Reletively not so long ago, but long ago enough, that's its still a big point. The Earth they would be introduced to would be too warm, full of vegetation not quite the same that its ancestors ate...

...but most importantly they would still arrive in the world with a primitive immune system. If a mammoth is somehow birthed into the Earth (which I firmly believe they eventually will), it will be in a controlled environment. It will be a controlled conception, controlled development from embryonic status until death. It would more than likely live in a controlled environment - somewhat of a "clean room" or "clean space", and direct human interaction with it would not be so common.

You would not be able to go to a "zoo" anytime soon and be able to see once simply behind a concrete wall - or be able to pet one or ride one for that matter. Scientists will pretty much be in control of where it is and be aware of its health status constantly - because we carry plenty of pathogens that could easily kill it. The same goes for us as well - its not a guarantee that mammoths don't have a digestive system that hoards strange and unknown forms of bacteria - potentially fatal to life here now.

No guarantees that the thing wouldn't die with its first breath of air.

At best - it could probably be view from behind bullet proof layers of acrylic in a small controlled environment - a special "zoo" if you will.

And sorry guys - that's where it probably should be. Like LOTS of big and fuzzy zoo animals - they're only there because they would die on their own in their "natural habitat".

I do not think natural selection had much to do with this latest specimen falling into the ice and getting eaten halves at a time. It would not be against nature's "way" or morally irresponsible to bring back mammoths if it was done right. There's already tons of money going into the research - so might as well keep the funds flowing. That's nice if you want to fix other problems - but bringing a mammoth back might solve ten thousand problems in the future.

Its like saying the LHC and Hubble Space Telescopes weren't worth developing.

People to tend to try and take down the things that have no personal cost to them - and rearrange the "wealth" so that doing something like feeding the homeless doesn't have to have any personal cost to them. But some things can ONLY be fixed through personal cost. If you want to homelessness to go away, and to eradicate hunger, you've got to take up the cost personally. I think we all know that throwing mammoth money into some government program isn't going to solve the big problems.
 

Lazerbeak

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Well said MB. I had also considered the immune system of a prehistoric creature re-introduced into our modern times.

People taking it upon themselves to change the world and assuming some responsibility for the changes they want to see... Also a great point :beer:

~ LB
 

Bionic-Badger

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Voted its a bad idea , because the of the cost & benifit , I would rather save a small population in rural 3rd world and beyond where humans are suffering from diseases you dont want to hear , families and generations in the lowest of bmi's and bsa's.. just my opinion!
As if any of that money would find its way into that black hole that is the rural 3rd world. It wouldn't make a difference anyway. A hundred million dollars of research money barely pays for updating sections of city highways. You don't raise those places out of those situations with with that kind of temporary chump change. Look at that shit-hole of the Gaza Strip: all that aid does nothing compared to what is lost from the embargo Israel keeps on their borders.

Plus, as mentioned above, there's no shortage of food, and there's actually no problem with the distribution system. There's just no compelling reason to feed these regions and their people. What if we did? What would they produce? Usually, they'd just keep having more children -- more children without a suitable economy to support them. Then the number of mouths to feed grows without having addressed the real problem.
 

TheDukeAnumber1

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It's really hypocritical to say you'd rather see the money go to {noble cause inserted here} when we're spending money on lasers that can be considered quite frivolous.

We're a natural part of this world, everything we make came from nature, and here we all have this weird view that we create all these unnatural things from this natural world. A lot of what we do as people does damage our own environment, but we are still part of the natural cycle, from dust we came and dust we will return.

I'm for de-extinction, an environment is at it's peak when the diversity of life there peaks, we just might learn something from what was lost long ago.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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It's really hypocritical to say you'd rather see the money go to {noble cause inserted here} when we're spending money on lasers that can be considered quite frivolous.
Not really a fair comparison.

The money we spend on lasers is not obtained through taxes, or other public funds.
 

TheDukeAnumber1

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Not really a fair comparison.

The money we spend on lasers is not obtained through taxes, or other public funds.
I agree public funds should go towards improving the quality of life of the public and not cloning mammoths, but the article doesn't say who funded the discovery or who will fund the cloning attempts.
 

RA_pierce

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When the money comes up... I don't really know what to say. I know that research is expensive but I think that knowledge is priceless.

My opinion:
I think that "de-extinction" as in bringing a species back from extinction - engineering a self-sustaining population - is an irresponsible, if not futile endeavor.
I think that treating an animal as a novelty item is unethical.
I think that creating life from ancient genetic material is an extremely interesting idea and one that can be very valuable to paleontology, ecology, genetics, and medical sciences... possibly more.

I see the effects of human culture on this planet as just a part of evolution. I try to be objective about that. I try to avoid putting things into categories like "good" and "bad," "better" or "worse." Things change. That is what evolution means. It has no goal, no purpose, no morality.
So when an organism becomes extinct at the hands of man, or we destroy acres and acres of wilderness, I have mixed feelings about it.
On the one hand, it shows that that particular creature is no longer fit for this new world. But on the other hand, I love wildlife, wilderness, animals, and have a deep respect for the "natural" world (in the usual sense)... and would LOVE to see an animal from a world unlike the one we live in today. Maybe by the time I get my degree in Bio cloning techniques will be improved and I will be able to study it!

It's sad that scientific research can be considered a waste of money. As a naturalist, artist, and a young adult studying bio, I find a lot of beauty in science and nature along with some very profound truths. I don't expect everyone to value the same things I do but it sure would be nice if our attitude toward science, math, and the natural world was a little more... respectful? enthusiastic? If anything, it would be nice to at least see some curiosity!
 
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Lazerbeak

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Well said RA. Here's a thought. What if, the beings, lifeforms from a particular era are linked together somehow. Reliant on each other in ways that science perhaps has not yet discovered (blasphemy I know) I think that there is much that we don't yet know and that is a wonderful thing. The mystery keeps the search exciting. I think we may lose more than we know if we allow the continual destruction of the Earth. Life will continue in some form or another, even blasted away by Nuclear War, the Earth would continue as a giant rock floating through space. Perhaps what we are preserving is our place here and being a "Good Shepard" I think is a part of that.

~ LB
 

InfinitusEquitas

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It's sad that scientific research can be considered a waste of money. As a naturalist, artist, and a young adult studying bio, I find a lot of beauty in science and nature along with some very profound truths. I don't expect everyone to value the same things I do but it sure would be nice if our attitude toward science, math, and the natural world was a little more... respectful? enthusiastic? If anything, it would be nice to at least see some curiosity!
Not at all, but there is always the argument to be made that the same funds used for the research in question, which may or may not pay off, could be spent on more finite things like infrastructure improvements for example.

As you said, best not to think in absolutes.. this is one of those gray areas.

I do hope some research is done though, because even in failure it could lead to other developments.
 

Zillah

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I can't bring myself to click any of the three options.. I don't think it's a great idea because, we'll.. Nature knows what it's doing and their extinction was before homosapiens truly started destroying our environment..

From an anthropological point of view, I think a lot could be learned from the species, but to what cost? Just because we have the technology to do something, doesn't necessarily make it right.. Then again, how are we supposed to evolve without learning? Without mistakes? Most of the greatest discoveries were by mistake, but in not sure I would want a mammoth chasing me while I'm screaming "damm!t, this was a mistake!"
 

redbean

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Clone the ones we wiped out(e.g. Tasmanian Tiger) and leave the others alone :angel:
 

IsaacT

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I think one possible alternative solution would be this. Instead of making new mammoths to study them, just study their DNA and allow that to be our research. To bring something to life just to kill it is quite cruel, and whether we killed it directly or allowed nature to do so it is no different.

These great beasts had their age of glory and to bring them back now, to suffer and fail in the current world, would take away the pride and dignity of their species.

I have hesitated on this, but I think I am finally sure in my head that bringing them back would be a mistake. Not for the Jurassic Park effect of having dangerous animals eat us, but because of the ethical responsibilities involved in bringing a species back to life.
 
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RA_pierce

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I think one possible alternative solution would be this. Instead of making new mammoths to study them, just study their DNA and allow that to be our research. To bring something to life just to kill it is quite cruel, and whether we killed it directly or allowed nature to do so it is no different.

These great beasts had their age of glory and to bring them back now, to suffer and fail in the current world, would take away the pride and dignity of their species.

I have hesitated on this, but I think I am finally sure in my head that bringing them back would be a mistake. Not for the Jurassic Park effect of having dangerous animals eat us, but because of the ethical responsibilities involved in bringing a species back to life.
I honestly doubt the mammoths had a sense of pride associated with their existence.
Besides, studying their DNA can tell us a lot, but if we really want to understand an animal, we would nee to look at the how the genetic material is expressed.
It will be extremely difficult to deduce much about the behavior of an animal with nothing more than a few frozen carcasses and some DNA.

If a mammoth is cloned, I think the scientists doing it will have considered the potential problems and ethical concerns. With an opportunity like that, the animal would be well cared for, I'm sure. Especially since the project would come with a very high cost, there's no way it's going to get started unless they have a good plan and the means to keep the animal alive and healthy long enough to learn from it.
 




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