Whenever the cloning of extinct animals is brought up, images of the movie Jurassic Park tends to float to the top of the mind. Thanks to modern technology, it is possible to bring back animals that were once extinct through the process of cloning. Not only would this bring back the diversity that our planet once had, but it could be a way for humanity to write some pretty serious wrongs that have happened over the centuries there are definitely some pros and cons to consider with this practice.
The Pros of Cloning Extinct Animals
It would expand our scientific knowledge.
Imagine what scientist could learn from real life woolly mammoth? By bringing back animals that were once extinct, we can gain actually insights into the process natural evolution and potentially bring in natural resources that are not available to us at the moment.
It could save human lives.
Genetic engineering is required to clone extinct animals. The field of genetic engineering is just in its infancy stage right now. By focusing on bringing back extinct animals, we could develop technologies that would help treat genetic diseases and mutations that occur in humans. This would then increase the amount of people who could live long and fulfilling lives.
We could save the environment.
Although the earth adapts and adjusts, there is no question that the extinction of the species has a dramatic harmful impact on specific habitats. By bringing back animals that have been extinct, we can equalize these habitats and begin restoring the damage that has occurred with the absence of these animals.
The Cons of Cloning Extinct Animals
These animals would undoubtedly be exploited.
If we were to clone extinct animals, we would be creating them almost solely for our own purposes. There would be a great temptation to make profits from the practice. Although scientific knowledge would be expanded, there is also a good chance that we would cause a lot of harm to these cloned animals.
They might kill us.
Depending on how long the animal has been extinct, there may be specific pathogens and diseases that these animals would carry that could literally kill us. It might be really cool to see a dodo bird, but it wouldn’t be really cool to catch a deadly retrovirus from one.
There are serious moral questions that must be answered.
We might feel like we owe it to extinct species to bring them back, but there is a very real moral question about playing God that must be answered. Is cloning an extinct animal writing a wrong? Or is it simply creating a second wrong in an attempt to make something right? That is a series of questions that must be answered on a personal level.
As with any groundbreaking decision, there will be unforeseen benefits and consequences if we proceed with cloning extinct animals. By weighing the pros and cons, we can together decide if it is the right course of action to take.