So I was just watching a video demonstrating the possibilities of bringing extinct animals back to life by taking preserved DNA from the extinct animal and using it’s closest living relative to incubate and conceive the extinct animal. First off, I’ll say it looked like it had a little way’s to go before it would be as easy as clicking a few buttons on a computer then tapping enter. Secondly, I can understand the moral and ethical debate associated with bringing back something that is no longer around, playing God if you will.
Like with any technology, it will grow and evolve into a more viable and cost effective option for species that are no longer with us. Whether it’s five years or fifty depends greatly on the amount of interest that can be generated in the project, same holds true for just about everything.
On to the second point. While I can understand the prior argument, as well as the argument of some conservationists that if we can just bring back extinct animals, no one will care about protecting the ones we already have, I have to wholeheartedly disagree, to a point. If a species was killed either directly or indirectly by people or the influence of people on their ecosystems and we have the potential technology to correct our prior mistakes, do we know owe it to ourselves as the most intelligent things in the known universe? I think yes.
Plus let’s face it, even without the technology to reverse extinction we eliminate a ridiculous number of species every year and have been for quite a while. But really, we’ve only known we were even capable of causing the extinction of a species for a short while big picture wise. Not only that, so many people are doing amazing things to protect the natural world around us. If such a technology as de-extinction becomes viable, and were used in an appropriate manner, I believe it would be very beneficial in the right hands at restoring ecosystems lost to societal progress.