Should We Revive Mammoths?

ImageIt’s a question as old as things that are old, and was brought up in the iconic Jurassic Park in 1995 – if we have the power to resurrect lost species, should we? It’s talked about from time to time, but scientists in Russian and South Korean scientists are teaming together to actually put some money where their collective mouth is.

They struck the agreement in 2012, and it’s been over a year, and I’ll tell you what, I’m getting antsy. The thing is, I’m still not 100% sure I’m okay with it. It’s not just that I’ve seen Jurassic Park and vehemently disagree with Richard Attenborough or something of that ilk – it’s that I can’t figure out the “why.”

I’d love to see a mammoth. I’d geek out over seeing a sabertooth tiger or a moderately sized, herbivore dino. But is that enough reason to bring it back? The motivation seems to be based in “Well, it’s awesome.” Okay, so since we can, we should, yeah?

That’s not doing it for me. I want a reason beyond the human need to visually consume mammoths, which I feel is behind 90% of all desire to clone the DNA of a frozen extinct animal. The other 10% may be true curiosity that has nothing to do with the cool factor. Perhaps we can even learn something from studying mammoths, though it’d be difficult, seeing as how the new mammoth would be living in an entirely different environment with entirely different predators (see: none).

I’m not saying we shouldn’t revive dodos – I’m saying I want to know why we are. Cloning living animals to make for greater food supplies makes some sense to me, even if it makes me nervous. But cloning something dead simply to see it alive isn’t reason enough. Scientists will be bringing an entire species back to life – that’s pretty heavy when you take a step back and think about it. It’s a heavy topic when fiction tackles the subject of reanimating ONE person back to life, much less an entire group of creatures that no living person has ever seen walk the earth.

I say let’s consider that maybe humans are being a little selfish when we try to clone dead species – sorry humanity, but you can’t see it all. Stuff happened in the past that you’ll never witness, and more stuff will happen in the future that you’ll never witness; get used to it.

At least Jurassic Park is coming back to theaters

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