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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

Meatball

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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!
Good luck being objective about that. If you could indeed accomplish it, you would be as indifferent to it as the natural selection process is. You would have no sense of love for animals or a respect for the natural world.

But luckily, you're a human. You've got what it takes to live outside of it all. Far from your natural instincts and "urges", your convictions about nature and wildlife are indeed REAL - separate from anything the natural selection process "decides" about you. So be free my friend. Be free to live full of purpose and with morality. The processes that made your body are not the same ones that made you, you - apart from anyone else at all. Your decisions are yours - not those of natural selection. Hit up Sam Harris about that if you don't believe me.
 

IsaacT

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Good luck being objective about that. If you could indeed accomplish it, you would be as indifferent to it as the natural selection process is. You would have no sense of love for animals or a respect for the natural world.

But luckily, you're a human. You've got what it takes to live outside of it all. Far from your natural instincts and "urges", your convictions about nature and wildlife are indeed REAL - separate from anything the natural selection process "decides" about you. So be free my friend. Be free to live full of purpose and with morality. The processes that made your body are not the same ones that made you, you - apart from anyone else at all. Your decisions are yours - not those of natural selection. Hit up Sam Harris about that if you don't believe me.
For a lump of meat in a pool of ********* sauce, you sure are philosophical my friend!

:beer:
-Isaac
 

djQUAN

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Just wondering... If we indeed manage to bring an extinct species back.

Wouldn't the poachers just think: "they (scientists) can just bring back the rhinos, elephants (or other endangered species) once we hunt them all down to extinction so lets go hunt them all until there is no more."

edit: on second thought. The poachers don't really care if they hunt them all down anyways. All they care about is the money. lol
 
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Lazerbeak

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An interesting and disturbing point djQuan. I don't think anybody's touched on that. How will base men think to exploit the technology :thinking:

~ LB
 

Bionic-Badger

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Just wondering... If we indeed manage to bring an extinct species back.

Wouldn't the poachers just think: "they (scientists) can just bring back the rhinos, elephants (or other endangered species) once we hunt them all down to extinction so lets go hunt them all until there is no more."

edit: on second thought. The poachers don't really care if they hunt them all down anyways. All they care about is the money. lol
Yeah, I'm sure they wouldn't care. Hell, the people who would think in those terms are probably "regular" people who really have no stake in those animals other than some sort of iconic animal seen in a zoo. In many ways, the poacher's motives are more "pure" than those people half a world away trying to stymie those efforts.

More than likely, the armchair preservationists will never even see one of those animals in person, live in their habitat, or in any way benefit or suffer from the animals existence -- if they're really aware of them at all. Yet those same people will demand to preserve those species in the name of "biodiversity" all the while living off land that has been stripped of its biodiversity for the sake of providing habitat for humans and their needs. At least the poachers are killing animals as a resource not some lofty purpose that really has no bearing on the person's life.

It's also like preserving rainforests: people forget that rainforests are practicalyl useless land for human habitation, and are a source of disease, dangerous animals, and other problems. However, people call on the people of these countries to cease logging and clearing of this land in order to preserve these places, while forgetting that we cleared our forests hundreds of years ago for the same reasons. We even come up with these stupid "extinction" extrapolation statistics that rely on finding some certain species in the small segment of forests bordering semi-habitable areas these scientists happen to visit -- as if it really mattered to people in the first place.
 

Lazerbeak

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Don't Rainforests and Oceans provide Oxygen among other things that may be important?

~ LB
 

RA_pierce

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Good luck being objective about that. If you could indeed accomplish it, you would be as indifferent to it as the natural selection process is. You would have no sense of love for animals or a respect for the natural world.

But luckily, you're a human. You've got what it takes to live outside of it all. Far from your natural instincts and "urges", your convictions about nature and wildlife are indeed REAL - separate from anything the natural selection process "decides" about you. So be free my friend. Be free to live full of purpose and with morality. The processes that made your body are not the same ones that made you, you - apart from anyone else at all. Your decisions are yours - not those of natural selection. Hit up Sam Harris about that if you don't believe me.
Understanding the process of evolution (or some of it) does not mean we have to be indifferent to it. Natural selection may not care who/what lives or dies but humans do (and some other animals). Empathy and emotion were selected from our ancestors by natural processes. It's something inherent in us. I think that part of accepting the objective reality of natural selection means also accepting that every thing plays a role in this strange game... the desires of an individual have a part in evolution.

Form is not the only thing that is "selected." Behavior is just as important in determining the success or failure of an organism.

The things that make me "me" or the things that make anybody "anybody" are not outside of what was determined by the roll of the primordial dice. Heredity, environment, and culture are natural factors that decide what we become.
I can't say whether my choices are predetermined or from "free will" and I don't know what Sam Harris would have to say about it but I'm sure it would be interesting...
 
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Bionic-Badger

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Don't Rainforests and Oceans provide Oxygen among other things that may be important?
Yes they do. Rainforests turnover about 28% of the Earth's oxygen; oceans the majority. We're really not going to be running out of oxygen though, and whatever does not get absorbed by the forests will be compensated by other life forms. Rainforests are actually more useful as carbon sinks.

People aren't scrambling to save rainforests because of their oxygen converting abilities, however. It's mostly because they think rainforests are cool, despite likely never having been in one, let alone having to eke out a living by one. More recently the idea that rainforests can be used for (natural) medicines has come about, but you don't actually need that much rainforest to discover such medicines, nor are the majority of rainforests even that accessible for that purpose. It's more like a rationalization that rainforests have the potential to be useful even if they're not proven to be useful at the moment.

Don't get me wrong. I think rainforests are a good thing to keep. My statements above are more about the reasons people purport to care about these rainforests, and how it often comes at the expense of the indigenous people. So rather than, say, sponsor development drives to help farmers produce more on their lands, people instead want the natives to live like the primitive people they see in documentaries and "maintain the land." Nevermind that those people want to improve their lives to the same kinds of standards we enjoy. It's not like people there really want to use rainforest land (it sucks for farming); it's just what they've got, and they have lives to lead too. It's like poppy farmers in Afghanistan: you're not going to stop the heroin trade if there's nothing to replace it.
 

Lazerbeak

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Bionic-Badger...
Don't get me wrong. I think rainforests are a good thing to keep. My statements above are more about the reasons people purport to care about these rainforests, and how it often comes at the expense of the indigenous people.
Thanks for clarifying your position :) I respect your opinions and your post seemed a little too indifferent. Agree that most people will never go to the Rain-forest or have any stake in its welfare outside of having a reason to get into an argument.

It amazed me when I found out how much biomass is in the oceans. The growing number of Dead Zones in the Ocean is pretty disconcerting. What happened with the Gulf spill will continue to have long reaching consequences IMO.

~ LB
 

Meatball

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Understanding the process of evolution (or some of it) does not mean we have to be indifferent to it. Natural selection may not care who/what lives or dies but humans do (and some other animals). Empathy and emotion were selected from our ancestors by natural processes. It's something inherent in us. I think that part of accepting the objective reality of natural selection means also accepting that every thing plays a role in this strange game... the desires of an individual have a part in evolution.

Form is not the only thing that is "selected." Behavior is just as important in determining the success or failure of an organism.

The things that make me "me" or the things that make anybody "anybody" are not outside of what was determined by the roll of the primordial dice. Heredity, environment, and culture are natural factors that decide what we become.
I can't say whether my choices are predetermined or from "free will" and I don't know what Sam Harris would have to say about it but I'm sure it would be interesting...
Exactly. Understanding it does not make a difference - but understanding that you can act outside of those evolutionary factors frees you from having to worry about whether its good or bad for a species to go extinct. You have the option to change the factors for another species - to the change the number of dice and the numbers on the dice.

Now I would never say the natural selection process is random - which almost implies a roll of dice. This process is much more methodical now that humans walk the Earth.

Remember, that your desires are unique in the animal kingdom. You can choose to follow those instincts and natural urges, or you can choose to have a desire for something else entirely.

You are not your form, nor are you your behavior. You could get hit by a bus, get a disfigured face and suddenly cease to 'behave' as you did before, but as long as your heart beats and your brain cells are firing on that hospital bed, you are still you. You do not become someone else, your body and behavior may change, but you don't. Your body and behavior are affected by natural selection - but you as a human individual are not. Again, this is something no other creature has.

You are so much more than a product of your environment. If that were true, all of your brothers would be creepy copies of you and everything you are. The naturalist must assume that everything is pre-determined. Since matter and their laws of behavior are all that there is, there cannot be any influence from anything else entering into the universe. It all becomes predictable.

Is culture really a natural factor? What's natural about culture in the grand scheme of things?

I think bringing back an extinct species is a grand choice with grand responsibility attached to it. If it all go wrong - is it truly our fault? Or is it just another roll of the dice? Why should it even matter?
 




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