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The ethics of resurrecting extinct species


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Poll: Is it ethical? (29 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it ethical?

  1. Yes (19 votes [65.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 65.52%

  2. No (10 votes [34.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 34.48%

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#1    Render

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:37 AM

Quote

(Phys.org) —At some point, scientists may be able to bring back extinct animals, and perhaps early humans, raising questions of ethics and environmental disruption. Twenty years after the release of Jurassic Park, the dream of bringing back the dinosaurs remains science fiction. But scientists predict that within 15 years they will be able to revive some more recently extinct species, such as the dodo or the passenger pigeon, raising the question of whether or not they should – just because they can. In the April 5 issue of Science, Stanford law Professor Hank Greely identifies the ethical landmines of this new concept of de-extinction. "I view this piece as the first framing of the issues," said Greely, director of the Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences. "I don't think it's the end of the story, rather I think it's the start of a discussion about how we should deal with de-extinction."


http://phys.org/news...ct-species.html


#2    Ever Learning

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:27 AM

i dont see it as a ethical question, if we were debating to kill endangered animals it would be ethical but not for past animals to be brought back. i assume they will be kept in conservation areas and then only when they want to release them into the wild will it become an ethical question.

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#3    pitchp

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 08:37 AM

Welcome to the jungle. Extinction has been on this planet before humans have evolved into this earth. Extinction is just part of the cycle process of evolution. To bring back a certain animal or creature from extinction is just not right. May be we should bring our collective minds together and try to recreate a better environment to prevent any more extinctions. At this current time, this world is set for destruction, with overpopulation, lack of food, pollution, and perhaps war is just around the corner. Will the human race ever get it together?? Will mankind save the world from destruction? Don't hold your breath, it's just not in our logic to do so.


So to answer your question, should we resurrect a species back to life? Why even bother??

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#4    godnodog

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 01:25 PM

View Postpitchp, on 09 April 2013 - 08:37 AM, said:

Welcome to the jungle. Extinction has been on this planet before humans have evolved into this earth. Extinction is just part of the cycle process of evolution. To bring back a certain animal or creature from extinction is just not right. May be we should bring our collective minds together and try to recreate a better environment to prevent any more extinctions.


Soooo... not sure about your post, you don´t think it´s ethical to bring back extinct species due to evolution, but it´s ok to modify the environment to prevent extinctions? Well wouldn´t that be tickling with the natural cycle of evolution, even if it´s a cycle that we humans (most likely being the biggest contributor) have accidently changed.

Personalty I say bring them back, we might find better alternatives to medicine, agricultural, environment alternatives to what we have today.


#5    mysticwerewolf

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

perfect biological weapon   Breed a herd of T-Rex's  and air drop them on N. K.....  or Iran.... or Seattle
  Or
  Dino ranch hunting preserve .  please have you're life insurance paid up before you step outside  .......

........ sorry, I have no idea if it is ethical or not, but I am not really thrilled with the idea of bringing back extinct creatures,  not even the harmless ones like the dodos

Edited by mysticwerewolf, 09 April 2013 - 02:06 PM.


#6    Chooky88

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 02:14 PM

The Thylacine, Great Auk and Dodo as we owe them


#7    supervike

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

It's completely ethical.  Plus it sounds like fun.


#8    moonshadow60

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:08 PM

The ethics would depend on why they were being resurrected and/or how well protected they would be this time.


#9    RedBaron2814

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:45 PM

Why not clone? Seriously?

If we were to clone, it would likely be dealt on a conscientious species-to-species basis. I mean, dinosaurs, even if it were possible to get viable genetic material to "resurrect" them, had their time in the sun and, as Jeff Goldblum put it in Jurassic Park, natural selection saw to it that they died off. And Neanderthals, moral quandries aside, died out naturally due to a changing climate and competition with our ancestors.

However, species like the thylacine, dodo, or Carolina parakeet did not die off due to some natural event - they vanished due to the irresponsible actions of human beings. Some people lambast cloning as "playing God", but then what are we to make of the damage our species has inflicted on global ecosystems over the past 50,000 years? I'd seriously like someone to explain to me how the Stellar's sea cow or the great auk being beaten and butchered into oblivion is "natural".

Yes, for some species, it would be essentially pointless and even cruel to bring them back to life, just so they could die off again so suddenly. For instance, modern New England couldn't hope to sustain massive flocks of resurrected passenger pigeons. Likewise, China's severely fragmented and polluted waterways couldn't hold any reintroduced baiji.

Still, though, why not try? Cloning creatures that died off at the hands of man is simply the newest tool in the conservationist's arsenal. We strive to repair and restore environments which we've sullied, but those ecosystems won't ever be completely functional because we killed off the missing pieces.


#10    paperdyer

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 05:33 PM

You'd have to clone a few different pairs of the same animal to allow natural breeding/selection to strengthen the DNA.  Otherwise the animals would probably just die off again.


#11    pallidin

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:08 PM

I'm Ok with it. I don't consider it unethical at all.

I would have an issue, though, if a "Jurasic Park" with dinosaurs were created, or, if some exteremly dangerous extinct species were re-created. But it still would not be an issue of ethics, rather safety.


#12    Mentalcase

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 06:12 PM

View Postsupervike, on 09 April 2013 - 03:41 PM, said:

It's completely ethical.  Plus it sounds like fun.

I'm with you on this one vike!

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#13    ToySoldier87

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

i think that it would be a great idea, people would be able to go to zoos and see animals for how they really were, we all get shown images of what people said they looked like but no one knows for sure. There is only one way to know for sure and that is to bring them back, nothing dangerous though obviously :)


#14    Artaxerxes

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:44 PM

I'm still p***ed off about the Passenger Pigeon.  I'm a huge fan of the whole Pigeon and Dove family. I raised homing pigeons and roller pigeons almost my whole life.   It irritates me no end that our predecessors saw fit to kill every dam last one of them.  Every one!  What was wrong with those people?  I sure would have liked to see the Passenger Pigeon when it was at it's height of glory.


#15    Artaxerxes

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Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:49 PM

Not only is it ethical but the species that we as a species are directly responsible for killing off I think it is our moral duty to try and do something to bring them back.   There are some species, like the Thylacine, dodo, passenger pigeon, etc. that only died out recently and the guilt for their loss lies directly on us.

Some other species that are questionable, like the Mammoth, and some other large land mammals, we might want to wait till we have a place for them to live before re-creating them.

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