Mammoth Prevarication

Two day and back to gym. The lateness is due to the holy day yesterday which was a bit irritating: abuse of the meaning of the day with speeches appropriate for veterans’ day but NOT memorial day. And nary a mention of the Second American Revolution that motivated the holy day.

The podcasts today were scienceish and the one that caused the greatest irritation was an interview with some journalist who had written a book on de-extinctioning animals. I should comment that the author’s tone was actually quite practical if not quite direct enough for me. So pray do not take my comments as plagiarism.

The attraction of “de-extinctioning” animals, of bringing back extinct species, usually dinosaurs (Jurassic *.*) or woolly mammoths (cuddly plush toy) is a mixture of guilt (for vertically copulating the ecology,) romance (self explanatory,) and insecurity. It’s fundamentally a boggish thing and it is the deepest, most odoriferous, stercus tauri.

What can maybe be done is to grow one (or a few) almost/near animals based on modifying genetic material. But any animals produced from this are neither biologically nor ecologically those vanished animals. Genetically they are inexact and they will not be a species except as biological curiosities and P. T. Barnum exhibits. Take mammoths. They are herd animals. To bring them back we have to recreate their ecology (terraforming, in effect) and re-establish their herd social structure. Lots of animals, not just mammoths required. They have to be genetically mammoths, which they won’t be except approximately. And there won;t be enough genetic diversity for them to continue.

So all they’ll be is a continuation of a species going extinct. And when they go we’ll be even more depressed and guilty.

Better we figure out how to reverse out own headlong rave to extinction.