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Resurrecting an Extinct Species


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#1    Saru

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Posted 29 June 2004 - 07:56 PM

This is a formal debate, participants will be asked to discuss the possibility of science being one day able to bring back an extinct species of animal, would it be right to do that ? Despite what we could learn from such a feat, would it simply be fundamentally morally wrong ?

The debate will be between two people, if you'd like to take part, please register your interest by posting a short message as a reply to this topic - please don't start discussing the topic however until the two participants have been confirmed.

Thanks.  thumbsup.gif

For full details on the way the debate system works, Click Here


#2    Falco Rex

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Posted 01 July 2004 - 01:43 AM

I'd like to give this one a try.. thumbsup.gif  


#3    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 03:29 AM

hmm.. this could be interesting.. It's been a long time since i debated on this subject.


I'll give it a shot

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#4    Saru

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 08:39 AM

Ok looks like we have our two debaters for this topic.

The results of the coin toss reveal that,

Hunterkiller2001 will be arguing against resurrecting an extinct species

and Falco Rex will be arguing in favour of it.

You are both allowed 5 posts as well as an introduction and conclusion.

Good luck  thumbsup.gif  


#5    Falco Rex

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Posted 03 July 2004 - 12:42 PM

Opener:

Throughout the years of our time as the most advanced lifeform on this planet Humanity has waged a seemingly endless war against nature. Only in the last few years have we begun to realize the terrible consequences of our actions and tried to take steps to correct them.
Alas, for many of the species who once shared this oasis of life in a barren Solar System, our new concern over our environmental destruction and wasteful hunting practices comes far too late...
But there is yet hope. At the begining of the 21st century Genetic Researchers stand at the very threshold of being able to resurrect species that were once destroyed at our hands. In the following posts I hope to prove to you, Ladies and Gentlemen of the judging panel that the resurrection and re-introduction of extinct species is morally and physically the right thing for us to do as the guardians of our planet..
For, as many of us know, giving back some of that which you have taken is a fundamental law of ethics..    


#6    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 03:07 AM

(note: forgive my delay, and happy 4th to all!)


Opener:

Ladies and gentlemen, boy and girls.  I've thought long and hard over the last few nights about this topic. SaRuMaN delt me a double whammy by putting me on the hardest sides of 2 debates.

The one question i pose is: Why should man ressurrect an extinct species while we still have hundreds of LIVING species on the edge of extinction?


Regardless of the reason it went extinct. Do we have the right to bring back the Dodo, only to loose th bald eagle?

Do we have the right to loose the Siberian Tiger, while we're focusing on the Velociraptor we just made?

Benefit to science or not, there is NO moral way we can turn our backs on living species, while we focus on those about to vanish.


Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#7    Falco Rex

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 03:59 AM

I don't see any reason making use of new technology and scientific procedures to resurrect extinct species would mean for one minute that we would turn our back on the species already on the endangered list..
If anything it would be a huge help to an already beleagured Environmental Movement. Many of the studies done on environmental impact and habitat loss and how they relate to the survival of species are only just being understood today..
And sadly, for many species, no matter how good our intentions or how much we try to help, it is too late. But if we could bring them back? This new technology of ours could not only bring back species already gone, but has wonderful ramifications for those who stand on the brink of extinction..The ones that are too far gone for captive breeding programs and constant monitoring to save could then be brought back to viable population size before "They went the way of the Dodo" as they say..
And what of the Dodo, now that I've mentioned it? A bird that was wiped off the face of the Earth by the twin terrors of overhunting and introduced predators would stand every chance of survival in todays world where introduced species are kept in check for the most part, and hunters follow strict rules...
If we can give a second chance to a bird we wiped out in our own ignorance, then I say we must at least try. Not only would this be the right thing to do, it would also be justice served. And that is something to consider..


#8    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 05:52 AM

The Dodo died because it was a weak, stupid creature that could not adapt to the changing enviornment.

Lets say for a moment, we recreate the Dodo. We make/breed a thousand of them, and reintroduce them into the wild. Will they be able to survive with the pollution, predators and new diseases that exist today?

What would thier impact be on the current ecosystem?  They'd now be competing with the current residents of the land for resources. They'd be additional prey, and you'd see a dramatic increase in predators. But, what would the predators do after they've driven your creation into extinction? I doubt they'd drive more adapted species into extinction.. The excess predators would probably starve to death.. What a very moral side effect.

Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest applies to this. Regardless if the animal was killed off naturally, or by man, the theory still applies.

There's thousands of species that have adapted/learned to co-exist with man.

Going on your theme of human hunting, lets try the racoon.

The Racoon was hunted fiercly for the last hundred years, for thier fur. Thier habitat was taken over by humans. Yet the still florish in some areas.  They were able to adapt and survive. They passed the test of evolution. You also need to consider that species vanish for a reason. They make way for newer, better species able to handle thier current enviornment.

What if your "we need to bring back the dead animals" quest goes to far? What if 200 years from now, we're revived hundreds of species, and reintroduced them into the wild? Mankind would be killing off more species, indirectly.  The balence in nature is there for a reason. Take the mice in australia.  Introduced by man, They've killed off countless species, and burdened many others.  While Mice were never extinct, this is the same principal. Justice served? please.. you could very well hurt a lot more then you help.

You can't morally recreate a species, and reintroduce it to the wild, for the reasons above.  And you can't morally recreate a species for it to live in a zoo, or a cage somewhere. Bringing  aspecies back, only to have it exist in slavery is so messed up. i hope you don't try to imply that's your suggestion.

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#9    Falco Rex

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 03:21 PM

I can see where your argument comes from about competing for current resources;but it is specious at best...
To prove this out we have only to look at the example of the Bald Eagle that you mentioned in your opening post. Thanks to human intervention the Bald Eagle has made a triumphant comeback in the past decade. Each year on the Sitka River in Alaska thousands of Eagles gather to take advantage of the Salmon run. There were hardly as many in years past. And yet, do the Bears starve now that the Eagles are back in force and taking more fish? Is the Salmon population as a whole in danger of being wiped out?
No, it is not. Any problems the fish population encounters is because of overfishing by commercial fisheries. Nature makes room for it's own, and for the most part the habitats that these creatures once occupied are still in existence and availible to be taken advantage of by re-introduced wildlife..
I don't believe that I ever suggested that we re-introduce species into unsuitible or non-native situations. I merely think that if such habitat is still availible or is restored; then the resurrection and restoration of former species is a wonderful thing to attempt...
I thought eventually you might bring the survival of the fittest theory into this, and I was more than ready for it..
The problem with Darwins' Theories is that in our age, they have become dated. Darwin could never have imagined the effect that Man could have on the Environment today. We have become the arbiters of the Natural Order of things. We have now become able to influence natural selection and evolution. We once blindly wiped out species that would do quite well without our interference; so it seems only natural that we should use our power to give them a chance to compete a second time in a more enlightened age..
Was the Passenger Pigeon a weak and stupid species that was unable to adapt? Great clouds of them once filled the skies in the US, and yet within one century overhunting for the plume trade wiped them completely out. It seems being unable to adapt to our wasteful hunting practices is not the same as being unable to adapt naturally, on their own. And now that they are gone, have they had such a great effect on other species? Other Dove species still occupy the same general habitats and population levels in the wild as they used to, and the predators haven't suffered unduly from their loss..
If Humanity has become the axis on which survival and extinction revolve. Then we must realize that our responsibility to the environment works both ways. If there is any way that we can even try to restore what we have destroyed, then there is no real reason we shouldn't try merely because of one mans' outdated view. Darwin himself might have said the same were he still alive to see the level our Technology has reached.
He was an "adaptable" thinker after all. He was not bound by the thinking and common mores of his age when he developed his beliefs on evolution. And neither should we limit ourselves to his theories now that the our place in the world has become more pre-dominant than ever...


#10    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 05 July 2004 - 05:43 PM

But some species of Salmon are endangered my friend.  grin2.gif

In some areas, Like the Pacific NW, and the Upper New England states, Salmon are under strict laws concerning fishing, and in some cases, out right protected because they reside on some states endangered species lists.

"Reintroducing" eagles into such enviornments is a very stupid act, on the humans part. Will they start arresting eagles that violate our salmon laws? Or will they sit back and realize that we've dealt a crippling blow to the salmon species?

The problem with re-introducing ressurected animals into the the wild, is there is no such thing as a "Native" Habitiat for them anymore. the dodo died off 1681, it was hunted into exinction. Thats over 300 years.. do you think the ecosystem could still house such animals?

Darwin's theory hasn't become dated in this new age.  It still applies in the natural world.  Humans are just another predator, another disease, or another natural disaster .  Animals learning to survive , stay alive.  So? The passenger pigeon was hunted to extinction. The buffalo was NEARLY hunted to extinction, yet it still survives.

Some species adapt, others die.

I've already gone over the balance of nature, and the introducing "foreign" species into the wild.

Here's a question.

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#11    Falco Rex

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 01:53 AM

What question?
Eagles have been reintroduced into New England and they have affected the remaining Salmon population not at all. I should know, I live there tongue.gif .
At this point only we can completely exterminate the Salmon, whether we stop ourselves from doing so is up to us. Nature tends to strike it's own balance in regards to who eats what and how much of it..
Very, very,very few species ever edge each other out of existence. Only when the hand of Man or a major natural disaster is involved does the hammer of extinction fall..
And yes, the Buffalo survived. Solely through our eventual restraint and extensive captive breeding. You can't seriously use them in an argument which has survival of the fittest as it's main point..

So again we end up with what Humans can do at the center of everything..
You've stated that we're just another Predator. Actually we are omnivores; which certainly helped our success as a species. Omnivores always adapt easily. Is that a good reason to turn our backs on those that can't? At the very core of Modern Human Society is the precept that the weak are protected from the strong and all have equal rights. So it would seem that letting things just die off "because they couldn't hack it" is not so ingrained as you might have us believe. It's a small step from there to protecting other species on our planet; which many of us do with zeal. While we may be "Just another animal" biologically; our unique mind and conscience; and our abilities with technology; place us far beyond that limited viewpoint of our place in the scheme of things..

And the best part about resurrection technology? There doesn't have to be a time limit. We don't have to recreate and re-introduce an extinct species into the wild right now, just because we can. If habitat conditions aren't favorable right now; maybe they will be 500 years from now. But as long as some DNA exists then no species ever has to be truly gone or dead forever. And someday when the time is right, maybe they will be allowed to walk the Earth anew..



#12    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 02:42 AM

QUOTE
What question?

I added that at the end.. but i decided to save it until later.. i forgot i started to ask it.. and didn't want the wrath of saurman if i edited it out.

Your quite right, the salmon populations in the NE US is thriving.  But forget for a moment, the plentiful salmon runs in the St. Lawerence river, and think about the Pacific NW.  Different species of salmon, and in places, much more likely to become extinct.

There are millions of species that were wiped out prior to the infulence of man, and theres still a few hundred that die out every year because of "natural" causes.

Oh your quite right about the fact that humans are omnivores.. but you  misunderstood what i was saying. The fact is, I'm glad you brought this up, because you led me to find this little bit of info

QUOTE
Today around 5,000 species of animals and over 25,000 species of plants are endangered.
..

Now, are you meaning to tell me, that you mean to bring back entire ecosystems?!

Lets say, hypothetically.. we nuke the hell out of china.  Do you mean to bring back Bamboo and the creatures that support it's existence, JUST to bring back the giant panda?  The San Diego zoo imports thousands of pounds of live bamboo a year, just to feed the panda's there. (Note, incase falco finds this out, the panda's are also fed a number of other food to make up for the lack of nutrients in bamboo. Because it's impossible to import the amount they are "naturally" required to eat)

What about the koala bear? thier bodies have adapted to eat only eucalyptus leaves.

The point I'm trying to make is that with some species, it's not as simple as just bringing back the animal in question.. you have to supply what they need. And with some species.. we have no idea what that is.

What about diseases? The immune systems of species are passed on from mother to offspring.  It's not passed through DNA. So... you'd breed a species that has no defense against stuf like this? Hell, they could be a target for diseases that we've long since beaten.  What if, i dunno, mumps hit your new babies, and it mutates into something we can't beat?


The most "moral" argument against this would be from a religious standpoint.  This isn't really my cup of tea, but look at the shock that ran around the world when people cloned a sheep. Millions of people are against any form of genetic modification, and many more are against cloning, in any form.



Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#13    Falco Rex

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Posted 07 July 2004 - 12:48 PM

I would say that if we did theoretically "Nuke the Hell" out of China, then morally  it would be our responsibility to rebuild it's ecosystem. Not just the for the Giant Panda, but also for the Human survivors and any other species that lives there. We helped rebuild Japan didn't we?
But answering this question has dragged us away from the point..
If there is a species or two that is so incredibally specialized in habitat or diet that bringing it back would be pointless, then maybe we shouldn't. But that is no reason to not try to restore the species that were more adaptable and only lost their place in the world at our hands. And even that doesn't have to be a hard and fast rule. In the case of the aforementioned Koala I will say to you that Eucalyptus Trees can quite easily grow anywhere the climate is right. Perhaps we wouldn't grow them for Koalas' the world over, but even a limited population is better than none. Witness the re-introduction of the Mexican Wolf. A species many would have thought gone forever is making a comeback thanks to a small Zoo population. Genetic diversity will take quite some time due to the limited stock, but they're on their way To species viability once again. And that's not a bad thing..
Maybe, just maybe some species that are ressurected would encounter problems with diseases unknown to them before. And then again, maybe they won't. I hardly find this a reason to never try at all. I don't think any problem has been solved or any advance has ever been made by having a "We better not dare" attitude..
And speaking of that attitude segues me nicely into your point about religion. Almost all advancements made by the Human Race have been made in spite of the few religious fanatics rather than because of them. Had we never questioned their "Stay in your place" Dogma, we would literally still be living in the Dark Ages, on a Flat Earth, with the Sun revolving around us. I could go on but you all get the point..
We cannot give in to the Fundamentalists' protests and still evolve mentally ourselves. If by moving ahead despite religious protest we can do greater good for the Earth and it's inhabitants, and if in the process we can make amends for our past mistakes; then I think it is crucial for us both Morally and Physically that we do so....

By the way. You are allowed to edit Your posts as long as you do it before your opponent responds to you...See?  tongue.gif  

Edited by Falco Rex, 07 July 2004 - 12:50 PM.


#14    hunterkiller2001

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 06:16 AM

After a bit of thinking..

Your not realizing what I'm saying.. when an animal is created genetically, it's born without defense to ANY disease. Antibodies aren't programmed into an animal's DNA. You'd be opening them up to every disease that animal can get.

Where, in humans for instance, Flu antibodies are passed on from mother to child.

Same thing with animals.  Yes, they'd have white blood cells, but that'd be it. Thier white blood cells Vs every disease in the world. Diseases that are commonly fought  off in a day or 2 could be fatal. And with this opens the possiblity for those diseases to mutate into a form that other animals cannot combat.  It's highly probable this "mutation"  could happen..  It's like asking a human to jump out of a plane without a parachute.. death is a promise, not a possibility.

not to metion other "specialized" animals, like the mongoose, who eat venomous snakes.  If they were genetically created, they'd no longer have the antibodies, and thier own instinct would kill them when the snake bit back.

QUOTE
Had we never questioned their "Stay in your place" Dogma, we would literally still be living in the Dark Ages, on a Flat Earth, with the Sun revolving around us. I could go on but you all get the point..


These pale in comparision to the position mankind would put themselves in if they start "becoming" god.  200 years ago.. if an animal died, it died. Now, if an animal dies, we want to throw it in a machine, and make a new one.



Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin, Speaking on Gun control

--‘‘We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts  — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.’’ — Abraham Lincoln

#15    Falco Rex

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 01:48 PM

Actually, I do realize what you were saying. But anti-bodies can be manufactured along with everything else. They can make anti-bodies now to tell you the truth, whole companies are built around them.
And while these antibodies may be manufactured; so would the whole first generation of whatever species you'd be working with. The trait would be passed down as "natural" to offspring. I think the consequences might be a little overstated on your part. You seem to think that I'm advocating the "no sense at all" method of resurrection. I fully realize that extensive study is needed before we release a recreated species into the wild. I'm not stating a case for just making something and letting go in the woods.. grin2.gif
And on the topic of overstatement, we'll move on to the statement you made about playing God. This old chestnut has been bandied about in almost every single movie, book or argument about science gone bad for ages now. But really, where is the foundation for the argument? If this melodramatic statement had any basis at all then surely the Human Race would have wiped itself out ten times over by now. Scientists do not actually behave the way they do in works of fiction. The very nature of the Scientific Method is such that any hubris on the part of an individual is tempered by the data gathered. In short, no scientist working on resurrection technology is going to look at a species that can't be made viable and say, "What the Hell; let's re-introduce it anyway."
All this would be well considered and the problems ironed out before it came to that. If it could not be, the project would be scrapped or begun anew from a completly different angle...
Again, that's no real reason not to try.
It seems to me that we've been playing God for a while now anyway by destroying these species. If it is our nature to "Play God," as it were; then I believe we should play a God that gives and creates instead of one that just takes and destroys..
We've been a one-sided species for far too long...


Wow, fifth post and I didn't even have time to go into the economic aspects yet. This debate just flew by..






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