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Kathy Beckett

Jurassic Park

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I have been wanting to delve into this ever since I read a post by S. Turner's about his fear of being chased by a T. Rex. I have a few questions I would like to ask concerning, could it be done, the "re-creation" of the dinosaurs.(This is not an argument about Man playing God, for in this instance, we are looking at no more than an amalgamation of species.(If any godplaying should enter, it would be only in the reasons why we would do so.)

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Ian Malcolm,JURASSIC PARK.

While I understand that perhaps, somewhere down the road, endangered species may be rescued by such a bioengineering, my question is whether it would be acceptable to bring a long ago extinct species back.

I may be biased in this, for I could tell you that to bring the Dodo Bird back (extinct in 1905) would be grand. (I base a personal hesitation of such a recreation on the behemoth quality of the large reptiles). But to bring any extinct life forms back merely to study(how much study? and when we're done studying--what do we do with them?) doesn't seem to be viable. Would they be allowed to live? Where?? Who is responsible and for how long?? What if/when the control becomes uncontrollable?

I know that JP is an old movie(but a great one), and that this comes up from time to time.

Assuming that it could be possible:

What do you feel are the ethical considerations for/ against this?

Edited by Kathy Beckett

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As a biological scientist who keeps up on this kind of 'stuff', current technology would not yet allow the 're-creation' of an entire genome of a large species...only portions of it. Intact DNA has been, rarely - but yes, found - in some specially preserved dinosaur fossils; however, over time the entire (very long) genone of the DNA has broken into pieces and to re-assemble those pieces into an intact 'clone' is not yet possible. It might be sometime in the future [maybe 50 years?] and it might be that it will never be possible for long-lost species as some genes have been lost due to degredation and almost all would be necessary to recreate and in the correct order, in order to have a 'dinosaur DNA' genome. More recently extinct species have a better chance - HOWEVER in both cases....while one may be able to recreate a few individuals they probably [dinosaur or more recent] may not survive to propagate due to the dirth of genetic diversity within the species - necessary for ongoing successful propagation of offspring. Details are complex. What may be possible in greater than 100 years is not known...... by that time it may be needed to be able to re-create the human genome unless we stop the destruction of the environment on Gaia. Who would be left to do this?......unknown.

Great answer--to the wrong question.

I am asking, that assuming WE CAN, what are the ethical considerations with respect to bringing long extinct animals back?

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You are in fact touching on the controversial subject of cloning and when it's a matter of human cloning then there is a lively and heated debate worldwide. Theoretically and in some instances in fact, various body tissues such as skin and others are already 'on the table'. So the progression towards full cloning is there and given science proven disregard for ethics in many instances (to wit MKULTRA, the Nazis eugenics, Dr Death etc.) there's absolutely no reason to think it will not at some time happen, or even is already, or has.

Some species such as the Tasmanian Tiger is seriously pushed for reintroducing into the habitat which only recently saw the last of its species alive.

Given the phenomenal rate of species extinction and threatened extinction. the ability to do it could be good, but the debate rages on on many levels. To be able to see a live T-Rex or a flying Pterodactyl would be phenomenal. To see an army of cloned Rothchilds is another matter.

Further, the insanity of parents that somehow believe that something of the 'original' may be recreated to assuage their inability to grieve or let go is spooky, and particularly a society that would consider it is spooky. Alien-Nation.

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Didn't Frankenstein already try this? I think we all know how that turned out.

I put it down to the fact that he couldn't relate to his creation as he didn't name it, referring to it instead as an "abhorrent creature", or a "wretched fiend". What hope then for any re-animated "tyrannosaurus rex", the king of terrible lizards? Or "triceratops", the three-horned face? (Not to be confused with a comely wench whose acquaintance I've known). These names aren't exactly inducive to fostering the kind of relationship that humans enjoy with their favoured animals. We need to humanise animals in order to relate to them, and this is more important for dinosaurs.

Can you imagine, for example, that "101 Dalmations" would have been anywhere near as successful had it been titled "101 liver-spotted canis familiar"? Would crowds of people have packed out theatres across the globe to watch "Free the Piebald, Fish-breathed beast from the depths", a bestial tale of a boy and a killer whale? What does it for you, "Dumbo, the flying elephant", or "Dumbo, the unfeasibly-festooned, gravitationally-challenged pachyderm?" And would you really have shed a tear when Travis shot his rabid dog in "Old Mange-Ridden Fleabag"?

No, we like our animals to be cute by name, if not necessarily by nature. So, when the cloning does begin, we need more user-friendly names for our newly created endangered species. Instead of "Tyrannosaurus Rex", how about "Cuddles, the loveable lizard"? Bracchiosaurus? "Big Friendly Giant". For Velociraptor, try "Sugar-teeth".

Finally, a warning from history. A Diplodocus is for life: not just for Christmas.

stay.jpg

Thought for the day - how big is a bracchiosaur's carbon footprint? That's an awful lot of methane... :huh:

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Guest Stephen Turner
Didn't Frankenstein already try this? I think we all know how that turned out.

I put it down to the fact that he couldn't relate to his creation as he didn't name it, referring to it instead as an "abhorrent creature", or a "wretched fiend". What hope then for any re-animated "tyrannosaurus rex", the king of terrible lizards? Or "triceratops", the three-horned face? (Not to be confused with a comely wench whose acquaintance I've known). These names aren't exactly inducive to fostering the kind of relationship that humans enjoy with their favoured animals. We need to humanise animals in order to relate to them, and this is more important for dinosaurs.

Can you imagine, for example, that "101 Dalmations" would have been anywhere near as successful had it been titled "101 liver-spotted canis familiar"? Would crowds of people have packed out theatres across the globe to watch "Free the Piebald, Fish-breathed beast from the depths", a bestial tale of a boy and a killer whale? What does it for you, "Dumbo, the flying elephant", or "Dumbo, the unfeasibly-festooned, gravitationally-challenged pachyderm?" And would you really have shed a tear when Travis shot his rabid dog in "Old Mange-Ridden Fleabag"?

No, we like our animals to be cute by name, if not necessarily by nature. So, when the cloning does begin, we need more user-friendly names for our newly created endangered species. Instead of "Tyrannosaurus Rex", how about "Cuddles, the loveable lizard"? Bracchiosaurus? "Big Friendly Giant". For Velociraptor, try "Sugar-teeth".

Finally, a warning from history. A Diplodocus is for life: not just for Christmas.

stay.jpg

Thought for the day - how big is a bracchiosaur's carbon footprint? That's an awful lot of methane... :huh:

Dave's late entry for "funniest post of the year" or "most comedic post in a Dinosaur related topic" LOL.

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