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Thread: The end of extinction

  1. #1 The end of extinction 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Do you think that it is morally responsible to clone/splice and alter various animals to best represent their extinct cousin's? That way we can end extinction to better preserve life on earth in an easier fashion.
    Anyone agree? Disagree?

    Any religious folk think playing god is immoral? (If so, then your god would not have given us the capability to have enough brain function to perform these tasks, since he is 'all seeing')


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    Verzen, an animal similar to an extinct animal is not going to be the same as that extinct animal. Thus, you have not actually brought it back to life and ended its extinction.


    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    I know that it's not the same.
    Just like cloning isn't actually cloning and more like DNA replication. (When i think of cloning, think an actual clone as in "The Island")
    But if it's closely similar.
    For instance lets take a striped tiger and a sabretooth tiger. Both look very similar. If we can find the genetic structure which leads to the tusk's of the sabretooth tiger, we may be able to incorporate that in to a regular tiger creating a pseudoclone of the extinct beast.
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  5. #4  
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    It's very interesting all this talk about cloning and splicing animals, it may actually work as well.
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  6. #5 Re: The end of extinction 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Do you think that it is morally responsible to clone/splice and alter various animals to best represent their extinct cousin's? That way we can end extinction to better preserve life on earth in an easier fashion.
    Anyone agree? Disagree?
    Hard to see what value that would have.

    I can see an argument for resurrecting species that humans made extinct (maybe not smallpox). We can take that as some sort of environmental responsibility. So cloning the dodo would have some merit. Aside from that, there only seems to be novelty value to the idea.

    The way to end extinction is to catalogue the genomes of all living species. That way, with sufficient technology, any of them can be brought back from extinction if needed.
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  7. #6 Re: The end of extinction 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Do you think that it is morally responsible to clone/splice and alter various animals to best represent their extinct cousin's? That way we can end extinction to better preserve life on earth in an easier fashion.
    Anyone agree? Disagree?
    Hard to see what value that would have.

    I can see an argument for resurrecting species that humans made extinct (maybe not smallpox). We can take that as some sort of environmental responsibility. So cloning the dodo would have some merit. Aside from that, there only seems to be novelty value to the idea.

    The way to end extinction is to catalogue the genomes of all living species. That way, with sufficient technology, any of them can be brought back from extinction if needed.
    Technically you wouldn't have to resurrect smallpox since some of it is still in existence in Atlanta and wherever the Russians tucked theirs away.

    A couple years ago they dug up some bodies in Alaska and managed to sequence the genomes of the Spanish Flu, we could bring that one back too

    It would be novel though wouldn't, I saw that some researches had managed to manipulate the genes of a chicken to elongate the tail, and they believed they could eventually restore scales. We could potentially create something dinosaur like eventually, even without knowing the actual genomes of any dinosaurs.
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  8. #7 Re: The end of extinction 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Technically you wouldn't have to resurrect smallpox since some of it is still in existence in Atlanta and wherever the Russians tucked theirs away.
    Hard not to be cynical about the motives for preserving the last remnants of smallpox. I'm sure there's a reasonable stated motive, but I'd sooner see them sequence it fully and just destroy the stocks.
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  9. #8 Re: The end of extinction 
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Do you think that it is morally responsible to clone/splice and alter various animals to best represent their extinct cousin's? That way we can end extinction to better preserve life on earth in an easier fashion.
    Anyone agree? Disagree?
    There is a background extinction rate on this planet that shows extinction to be a common and normal phenomenon. I guess the question I would ask is are we okay with letting the Earth do its thing, or should we step in because we are in the unique position to recognize it? Granted, the question takes on a different tone as arguably humankind is/will be pushing the extinction rate above the background. But I think it's important to recognize and respect Earth processes.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I would be interested in preserving at least the genetic material, and hopefully as much information collected from living individuals and their environment as possible, about animals that have gone extinct. Not because I think the background extinction rate is a bad thing, but because of how much learning and knowledge we lose when an animal goes extinct. Contrasting and comparing all the different variations of life is one of the most powerful methods of research, and the more information you have, the larger the sample size you have, the more reliable your results will be. I will always be in favor of more information and more data. If nothing else, the more we learn, the better enabled we are to save those species which may be dying solely due to human activity.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  11. #10  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank
    Verzen,
    If we were to do such a thing, the animals would likely suffer various anatomical problems and not live for long anyway; even cloning an animal without toying with the DNA generally doesn't create a healthy specimen (eg. Dolly the sheep.)
    Technical difficulties. It's new technology and there's no reason to assume that this cannot be overcome. If I remember rightly, the problem with Dolly was telomere degradation. Hardly a nail in the coffin of cloning.
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  12. #11  
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    There can be consequences that may arise from these clonings.

    Not all factors are covered and thus can lead to something dangerous.
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  13. #12  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoolEJ
    There can be consequences that may arise from these clonings.

    Not all factors are covered and thus can lead to something dangerous.
    This statement could be applied to practically anything. Of course we should view all new technology with caution.
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