What are the obvious questions we should ask ourselves before we start bringing extinct species back?

Baby Woolly Mammoth by el-cabrito

Source: El-Cabrito

Here are just a few:

  • How does it advance the science?
  • How is the world better for it?
  • What are the downsides?

Recently, I ran across an article that looked deeper. Here’s a few more questions that I haven’t heard much: could extinction be a good thing? Is it “nature’s way”? If extinction is integral in the web of life, who are we to determine what comes and goes?

I know… I know… it’s hard to consider these questions if you are committed to the concept of reversing the havoc human activity has caused Mother Nature’s balance.

But these are some of the questions that Ryan Phelan is asking. She is the Executive Director of Revive and Restore, a project within The Long Now Foundation, with a mission to provide deep ecological enrichment through extinct species revival. If she can entertain these inquiries, then we might do well to do the same.

Reviving extinct species is really wonderful science, but there are scientific ethics to be dealt with.

Today we are going to link you to an amazing conversation with Ryan Phelan that you can read or watch. It’s a great way to really understand the 3 ways revival can happen, and the ethical quandaries. But first, let’s get a feel for the subject with a quick video that lays the groundwork. Take a look…

Terrific! This is something we’ve all heard a little about, but I had no idea things were this far advanced.

How do we bring the Woolly Mammoth back from extinction?

Now it’s time to get serious about the details of this de-extinction… in a funny way! Here’s one more short video that makes us all a little smarter on the science. (This crazy video team produces some fun science videos. They are on the light-side, for me, but let’s not take ourselves so seriously all the time! Still really good information here. Thanks, DNews!)

Via: DNews 2

DNews is a fabulous place to get some science news in a light-hearted way! Check them out on FaceBook!

Okay…now we’re ready for the ethical discussion about de-extinction…

Let’s consider some of those deeper questions. To read Ryan’s wonderful interview click here .

There is also a video in that article that is quite good, but we were unable to embed it here for you. Take some time to get deeper into this fascinating matter, then see what you think. As we like to say here at Ever Widening Circles, we have no agenda except to help us all feel a little more hopeful, smarter and more curious. We might make better decisions as more and more people know more.

Thanks for visiting and digging into this insightful topic. You’ll be the smartest person in the room for the rest of your day! (Maybe even your week!)

Stay open, curious, hopeful!

~Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “Woolly Mammoth: Back from Extinction – Earth Juice (Ep 39) – Earth Unplugged.” YouTube. BBC Earth Unplugged, 27 Aug. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=jQ36fSiwf24>.
  2. DNews. “Are We Finally Ready To Clone A Mammoth?” YouTube. DNews, 4 Mar. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5UutEd0PvA>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.