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The Ethics Of De Extinction Essay

1435 words - 6 pages

De-extinction is a process that has been experimented with for many years, but has never been completely successful. The ethics and consequences of this idea have been questioned but, de-extinction has the potential to be truly helpful to humans and the environment, and many of the scenarios that people think could happen, are actually impossible. To actually revive a species, there are certain conditions that must be met, and the terrible situations that people think could happen, are unable to actually occur because of the lack of . Bringing species back that are beneficial to the environment could preserve biodiversity, restore diminished ecosystems, advance the science of preventing extinctions, and undo the harm that people have caused in the past. The true potential of the revival of species cannot be realized because people overdramatize the effects and possible outcomes. Once we realize and understand how beneficial the process of de-extinction can be we can better improve our world, our lives, and our ecosystems.

The process of reviving an extinct species is not overly complicated, but it does require a few elements that may be hard to obtain from a species. In order to actually to be eligible for revival a species must have only gone extinct in the last 800,000 years (ngm.nationalgeographic.com). If a species went extinct before that, the environment that it lived in is gone and throwing the organism into this time period’s environment could have disastrous consequences. Enough DNA to sequence the organism must also be present, this assures that we know exactly what makes up the organism and allows us to have the complete “instructions” for the organism before the process starts. Also, an organism must have a close enough relative that can be used for producing offspring through insemination. The related organism must be of a close size in relation to the extinct species, and it’s habit must also be similar (longnow.org/revive/species/). This eliminates certain species for revival such as the Steller's Sea Cow which grew to around 26 to 30 feet in length and weigh anywhere from 8-10 metric tons. It’s closest relative the manatee only grows to around 13 feet and 1,300 pounds, and because of the size that the baby would be, we cannot revive this species. Another species that is unable for revival because it does not meet this condition is any species of dinosaur. Dinosaurs, apart from going extinct over 800,000 years ago, are unable to become de-extinct because there isn’t any tissue that could be used for sequencing DNA or cloning. No, Jurassic Park is not something that could happen in today’s society.

What is possible, is simply a matter of intact tissue with traces of the animals DNA. Though we cannot recreate dinosaurs, steller’s sea cows, or giant sloths, we can however, re-create a species with close relatives such as the pyrenean ibex, wooly mammoth, thylacine, and the heath hen. Cloning is one of the fastest methods of...

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