What do you think?
Give us your opinion about de-extinction in the four situations described below.
Want to find out more about the subject before you answer?
- Watch the interview about de-extinction that features palaeontologist Jordan Mallon
- Read Jordan's article in our blog.
Large species, such as mammoths, could be brought back and farmed as a food source. Would the meat be healthier or dangerous? Would this new food source help fight world hunger? Would it simply be a novelty for the wealthy?
It is possible that some resurrected species may contain valuable pharmaceutical properties that could be processed to form life-saving drugs. Would it be acceptable to breed formerly extinct animals to harvest them for drugs that would benefit humans? Who would own the resurrected animals?
At the Zoo
There would be considerable interest in seeing formerly extinct animals in the flesh. Undoubtedly zoos would be created for public viewing of these animals. Is it proper to have animals in zoos for which there are no wild populations? What if the funds raised from these zoos were used to support protection of endangered animals? Would seeing resurrected animals permit people to think about extinction as being reversible? Would conservation ecology suffer as a result?
Once a formerly extinct animal is brought back to life, what would stop genetic modification of those species? What if we bred them to be house pets? Would the novelty of having a pet mini-mammoth overshadow the ethics of doing so? If there are no wild populations, what is the harm in creating new breeds of animals? Would it not be similar to a new breed of dog?