The saying goes..just because you CAN do a thing does not necessarily mean that you SHOULD do that thing. Ok, perhaps that is a paraphrase from Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, but the thought and the question are certainly valid.
In question is the effort to reintroduce the woolly mammoth to the world 4000 years after its extinction.
My first thought was that the woolly mammoth became extinct for a reason and perhaps it should be left at that but as the article stated, it could be an effort to move the ‘elephant’ to colder climes and further from humankind, therefore preserving the species. But it wouldn’t BE the same species. It would be a new hybrid. The article asks-if the woolly mammoth DNA is mixed with the elephant, is it truly a mammoth? I say no, it is not. Think of the difference between a donkey and a mule. It is the same principle. Two species mixing DNA to create a new species. What of the Liger? It is neither a tiger or a lion, but a hybrid.
The principle of DE-extinction is an interesting prospect. For instance, we would no longer be without the Dodo bird. We would no longer have to worry about losing the tiger or the rhino. For that matter, Jurassic Park could become a reality! Some of these things are certainly a good idea, while others, not so much. But where is that line drawn? Who decides which species should be brought back?
What if it is decided to bring back a few dinosaurs? Fiction aside, man and dinosaur are NOT meant to coexist. And how do you put limits on this process, because there would HAVE to be limits. Certain creatures, created indiscriminately, would be devastating to the standing life cycle. The food chain would be effectively destroyed. In some areas, animals now existing have few, if any, predators. To bring back some extinct species’ would certainly mean a devastation to other species. How do you decide?
Man might, in his arrogance, believe he can control this, but he cannot, of course. Man has proven that he cannot contain or control much of anything.
So, as I asked in the beginning, just because we CAN, does it follow that we SHOULD?