They brought an animal back from extinction, if only to watch it become extinct again. “What we really need to think about is why we would want to do this in the first place, to actually bring back a species.” In Jurassic Park dinosaurs are resurrected for their entertainment value. The disastrous consequences that follow have cast a shadow over the notion of de-extinction, at least in the popular imagination. But people tend to forget that Jurassic Park was pure fantasy. In reality the only species we can hope to revive now are those that died within the past few tens of thousands of years and left behind remains that harbor intact cells or, at the very least, enough ancient DNA to reconstruct the creature’s genome. Because of the natural rates of decay, we can never hope to retrieve the full genome of Tyrannosaurus rex, which vanished about 65 million years ago. The species theoretically capable of being revived all disappeared while humanity was rapidly climbing toward world domination. And especially in recent years we humans were the ones who wiped them out, by hunting them, destroying their habitats, or spreading diseases. “If we’re talking about species we drove extinct, then I think we have an obligation to try to do this I think we played God when we exterminated these animals Pimm also worries that de-extinction could create a false impression that science can save endangered species, turning the focus away from conservation. But others argue that bringing back iconic, charismatic creatures could stir support for species preservation.
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