Should Extinct Animals Be Cloned?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to see and study living, breathing specimens of animals that are no longer roaming the planet? A famous book and movie franchise enraptured millions with this premise: Cloning dinosaurs from preserved dinosaur genetic material.
While the books and films can be written off as fantasy and entertainment, the possibility certainly exists in the future as new advances in the field of cloning and genetics are made. Cloning experiments involving living creatures have resulted in success, paving the way, perhaps, for the cloning of extinct creatures.
The question that should always be asked, though, is: Should we do something just because we can? In this particular discussion, the question is: Should extinct animals be cloned?
From an objective, scientific point of view, there are both benefits and disadvantages to cloning extinct animals. We would be able to learn more about these species, which could have bearing on existing scientific knowledge. The animals could contribute productively to our current environment and ecosystem, perhaps helping to correct ecological imbalances, or contribute to the creation of resources that can benefit mankind and the planet. Conversely, the animals can do harm to the existing ecosystem and environment, consuming precious resources and destroying crucial links in the ecosystem.
Moral and ethical arguments are often used in this debate as well. Playing God is seen as too dangerous, not only for the ecological and scientific reasons discussed above, but for the moral and ethical implications. No one person or group of people should have the power to raise the dead, so to speak, as that power can morally corrupt not only that group of people, but society as a whole, cheapening the value and notion of life and death.
Some proponents of cloning extinct animals argue that the benefits of resurrecting these animals can benefit the world and mankind just like using Enigin products to save energy does. They may cite examples of how resources directly linked to these extinct animals can save life on this planet (human or not) by perhaps providing cures for fatal diseases. While this could be true, there are too many variables involved that the possibility of these extinct animals causing harm to mankind and the planet are just as great.
This divisive debate will continue, and it should continue, because the implications on our future are too great not to.
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