This wasn’t supposed to happen

Bringing back long-extinct species is probably not a good idea:

Jurassic Park is a fun movie, but a terrible idea. Cloning a wooly mammoth falls into the same category. These animals are extinct for a reason. Humans might have wiped out the passenger pigeon, but maybe Nature wanted the skies cleansed of the immense herds of these poop machines. Imagine the ecological damage a thousands-strong flock of birds could do. Perhaps the mammoth was so terrifying that it was a good thing our ancestors killed them off?

One of the great unintended consequences was the absolute destruction wrought upon the indigenous peoples of the Americas by European diseases. It never occurred to the best scientists of the time that could happen. You may argue that we are much advanced scientifically in the modern times, but it was not so long ago the best scientists thought you treated a cut by smearing it with horse dung or that bleeding cured just about anything. Is there reason to believe future scientific minds will not look back on our own era and marvel at how crude, how inept, how wrong we are today?

Nope. They’re going to sneer at us the way we sneer at those medieval types, and for exactly the same reasons.

3 comments

  1. Lynn »

    28 February 2017 · 11:59 am

    I have always rather liked the idea of bringing back the Carolina Parakeet.

    Unintended consequences are a bitch but if it can be done sooner or later someone will do it. We might as well get used to the idea.

  2. fillyjonk »

    28 February 2017 · 12:19 pm

    I dunno, I tend to feel like “Let’s bring back the wooly mammoth! Only if there’s only one of its kind and it was a social species! Even if we have to splice in some elephant DNA!” is why there are things like ethics classes for biologist.

    I guess I care less about some kind of soul-dead wooly mammoth going on a rampage and killing people than I do that poor mammoth trying to interact with elephants that aren’t really its species and keep going “ew, keep your extinct cooties to yourself!”

    I’m not sure zombifying species is a good idea; I’d rather the resources be used on keeping alive the ones we currently have.

  3. Holly H »

    28 February 2017 · 2:15 pm

    “These animals are extinct for a reason.” And the reason, more and more often, is our short-sighted greed. I’m not buying that it will be a good thing when the last snow-leopard is gone. I root for bringing them back, assuming we can be smart enough this time to give them room to live on this planet.

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