It’s been a common topic of late – De-extinction they call it, and it’s gotten some heated debates in the world. So now it’s time for my 2 cents, just because I can.
So, from where I stand and from watching the TED Talks regarding bringing back extinct animals, and reading all about it, it seems as though there’s a divide in the community. Some researchers say yes, whilst others say no. The main animal is the Mammoth, which has been a possibility for years, and even more so now since they found some frozen blood with DNA.
I think they shouldn’t bring them back, purely because they died due to their environment (ok, fine, and humans), but I don’t think they would’ve survived for long even if early humans didn’t hunt them. They lived in Siberian-type environments, so are we going to have to travel to the corner of the earth to see them one day? I think not.
Another thing, and this saddens me, is the fact that whatever you do to protect animals, sooner or later there will be some magical charm that says “if you have Mammoth tusk you will leave forever” (or some crap like that). Look at what’s happened to the tiger and the rhino, and an extinct animal coming back to life will get a lot of superstitious people interested. It’s human nature, and it sucks.
Some other ice age animals they want to bring back are the Sabre-tooth Cat – a little scary, but ok – and the Giant Sloth (which was probably one of the slowest big things around).
More recent animals they want to revive are the Cuban Red-Macaw, Giant Moa, Tasmanian Tiger, Passenger Pigeon and the Dodo which might be a little smarter this time round.
The whole idea of de-extinction is a double-edged sword because it’s great that scientists want to bring back animals that died out due to our species, and seeing them physically for the first time would be awesome! But on the other hand, are scientists playing god with the lives of animals that might not be accustom to today’s environment, or are we trying to make up for past mistakes? At the moment there are other animals on the brink of extinction, so why aren’t we putting all those resources into helping them, or will future humans decide to bring them back again in 100 years time?
I’m not trying to sound like a Debby Downer, but it’s a little ironic don’t you think?