Cloning extinct species, good or bad?

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posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:01 PM
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I posted this a long while back under my old user-name, but seeing as I'd like some more opinions Im bringing it back...

In 1866, a female Tasmanian Tiger fetus was preserved in ethanol (alcohol) rather than the common solution of formalin. More than a century later that method of preservation provided the crucial linchpin in efforts to clone the species back into existence, after the last known Tasmanian Tiger died in Tasmania's Hobart Zoo on September 7, 1936.
In 1999, Professor Mike Archer, Director of the Australian Museum, discovered that the alcohol solution preserved intact DNA in the specimen"s organs, muscle and bone marrow tissue. He immediately began to explore the possibility of cloning the species, starting the long, and ongoing, process of turning what had previously been Jurassic Park-style science fiction into concrete science fact.
'We were told by so many people in the scientific community that it was near to impossible to clone an extinct species," says Professor Archer. 'But now the dream is starting to become a reality. We"re not there yet, but we have achieved a significant breakthrough by confirming the existence of Tasmanian Tiger DNA and sequencing."

The above was from my old post.

I also heard that scientists are trying to clone Woolly Mammoths as well.
Havent really heard of any new progress, but then again, I havent looked.

What are your thoughts on (if this were to happen) the effect this would have on the natural world?

In my opinion, even though I would love to see them both with my own eyes, its a bad idea. To re-introduce species like this into the wild after theyve been gone for so long could have generally poor effects on herbivores, carnivores and humans (not to mention species of plants). With the re-introduction of these species Im sure we would be ushering out others.

And who knows, maybe from there (if all went well) they would move on to more dangerous animals, like a Sabre Tooth Tiger. All you need is a scientist with the means to do such a thing and disaster is right around the corner...Anyway, Im rambling now, opinions please.

[edit on 12-8-2008 by BloodRedSky]

[edit on 12-8-2008 by BloodRedSky]




posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:36 PM
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the whole balance of the Australian eco-system is right out the door, as much as i would rejoice at being able to see a real life Thylacine i cant help but wonder about the potential strain it would put on other native species when we have foxes, cane toads, wild pigs and other introduced species wrecking havoc.

on the flip side its possible that the tylacine could help to eradicate certain species like wild rabbits, foxes and maybe with alittle genetic tampering make them immune to cane toad toxins.

the wolly mamoth i doubt could survive in todays world, the elephants are barley hanging on to existance to bring back the mamoth would be a mistake.

the dodo bird would be an interesting subject and there are many marsupials in australia that have become extinct that could potentially be trialed.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:47 PM
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Thank you so much for the reply.

Thats what I was getting at, the effect it would have on the surviving natural species.

If they (scientists) were to use a Thylacine as an "exterminator" it would have to be done under the strictest of circumstances as to not have things get out of control.

I agree with your view of the Mammoth, however Im sure there are people just dying to pop a few out...

As I said, almost any extinct animal that would be brought back would probably have a negative effect on todays environment.

Think about this though, if we were to clone some species and keep them in their own enclosures, barring them from contact with any species that wasnt native during their time, basically setting up their own little world and slowly (and I mean slooooooowly) re-introducing them, do you think the environment would stand a chance?



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:50 PM
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I think that cloning a currently extinct species and resurrecting it would not be too horrible.

Heaven knows we are masters of causing extinction, if the beastie becomes a problem I am sure we can just extinct it again.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by BloodRedSky

Think about this though, if we were to clone some species and keep them in their own enclosures, barring them from contact with any species that wasnt native during their time, basically setting up their own little world and slowly (and I mean slooooooowly) re-introducing them, do you think the environment would stand a chance?


i think under those circumstances such actions would be a great idea and i think it could potentially have a wider ranging benificial effect later on down the track with getting the eco systems back up and running.

it would be nice for once for man to be called the great creator as opposed to the great destroyer



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
I think that cloning a currently extinct species and resurrecting it would not be too horrible.

Heaven knows we are masters of causing extinction, if the beastie becomes a problem I am sure we can just extinct it again.


Care to elaborate? Why dont you think that the result on the ecosystem would be "too horrible"?



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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It would surely be interesting to actually see some of the extinct species, find out what they were really like ..

I think anything that has gone extinct recently, like, I don't know, within a couple hundred years, might be okay to bring back .. Like North America's only native parrot, the Carolina Parakeet. The ecological niche for it still exists, as demonstrated by the population of feral Quaker Parakeets trying to fill it.

Anything further back than that, or anything that could potentially have a big impact on the ecosystem (like the mammoth) should be confined to zoos and animal parks.

We are able to maintain a breeding population in zoos and parks, so having them to look at and study without setting them free might be a reasonable compromise.

Dinosaurs probably wouldn't survive if we did try to clone them, unless we severely modified them; their food sources are long gone and chances are they wouldn't be able to eat the plants and animals we have now. They would also be terribly susceptible to diseases and microorganisms that didn't exist when they were alive.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:01 PM
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In my opinion, the best way to see how an extinct animal would really act isnt by locking it in a cage. Re-create the natural habitat of its time, let it roam free and do what its instincts tell it to do.

If we can clone extinct animals we can also clone extinct plants. If the cloned animals main diet is extinct, clone that too. See what Im saying? Completely recreate its old surroundings and silently take note.

[edit on 12-8-2008 by BloodRedSky]



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


little pot belly dinosaurs :p

im pretty much in agreeance there would need to be a line drawn where things became extinct for a reason opposed to mans intervention.

what about things like saber toothed tiger, giant kangaroo and the giant ground sloth?

interesting idea about the zoo, but i wonder if its reasonable to recreate something for the sole reason of caging it?


yea i know zoo's arnt as bad as they used to be and alot of the enclosures are as humane as possible but it is still a cage ...



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by BloodRedSky
 


Yes, I do. But now you're creating an entire ecosystem ... where are you going to put it? The plants won't be adapted to our environment, they'll have to be protected from competition with modern invasive plants like grasses and weeds ...


And don't forget that if we go far enough back, those animals are used to a different composition of atmosphere, as well as what I already mentioned; like War of the World's Martians, they won't have any immunities to current bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:06 PM
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If it could be done without any barriers it would be best.



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:07 PM
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Originally posted by Heike
reply to post by BloodRedSky
 


Yes, I do. But now you're creating an entire ecosystem ... where are you going to put it? The plants won't be adapted to our environment, they'll have to be protected from competition with modern invasive plants like grasses and weeds ...


And don't forget that if we go far enough back, those animals are used to a different composition of atmosphere, as well as what I already mentioned; like War of the World's Martians, they won't have any immunities to current bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms.



Im not talking about dino's. Im talking about more recently extinct animals...Thylacine, Do Do, etc...



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:08 PM
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Who knows what we could learn from these animals, we murdered them off so quickly...



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:16 PM
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Sure. It wouldnt be too horrible because new things are always coming along, and old things are always falling by the wayside. Not everything that has been introduced into new habitat has been a disaster, though there are certainly some spectacular failures. (Kudzo, cane toads, rabbits, rats, etc.)

Those extinct creatures have already proven not to have been adaptive, who knows if it was to climate change, other animals, (including humans,) some bacteria or virus, etc.? They may STILL not be adaptive, and promptly die right back out despite our efforts.

The odds of them being cloned in sufficient number to develop a completely viable species again is small. Even if we did manage to clone enough to get a good breeding pool going, there really isnt a ton of habitat left to introduce them to, they would end up on private land in reserves or zoos, how would that be different than pushing existing species off to make room for cattle? Or more humans?

They would likely be VERY susceptible to all of our modern viruses and bacteria, as they would be waaaaay behind in the immunity war.

And finally, like I said, it isnt like we couldnt drive them right back into extinction pretty quickly. We arent talking about rapidly evolving microbes here that are hard to see, and can adapt quickly. We would be talking about relatively easy to spot creatures raised in captivity. We have a hard enough time getting things not quite yet extinct, (wolves for instance) to bounce back in many areas.

Finally, even if the worst (in human terms) scenario occurred, and bringing them back brought along some virus that wiped US out, would that really be so horrible? Or would it just be our turn on the chopping block of extinction?



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander

Those extinct creatures have already proven not to have been adaptive, who knows if it was to climate change, other animals, (including humans,) some bacteria or virus, etc.? They may STILL not be adaptive, and promptly die right back out despite our efforts.



I have to disagree with you on that one. Humans murdering an entire species of animal has nothing to do with them not being able to adapt. Can you outrun a bullet?



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:28 PM
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this provides a good list of candidates in Australia that would be good to bring back

Extinct Animals Of Austalia



Following is a complete list of Australian vertebrate extinctions from 1788 to the present. There are 23 birds, 4 frogs, and 27 mammal species known to have become extinct since European settlement of Australia. It is worth making special mention of the three great human-introduced killer species: the European rabbit, the European Red Fox, and the domestic cat. Although many other introduced species have played a destructive role, so far these three have been far and away the most significant.


where as these speices are probably best left in the past even though they are extrodinary in themselves

Extinct Australian Megafauna


not sure id want to go bush walking and encounter a Thylacoleo carnifex lol


[edit on 12-8-2008 by Demandred]



posted on Aug, 12 2008 @ 11:43 PM
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My instant thought to this was a big NO,but provided the cloning technology was used responsibly,and the species had sufficient habitat to roam free(not a zoo) i might say ok , especially if it was an animal vital to other animals survival .but that's just it ,unless this animal can live out freely in the world .In many cases the environment is just not safe,Ferrel animals or there's just not enough room or food.



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:02 AM
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Resurrecting extinct species only makes sense if you think that man is not native to this planet. If you believe in natural selection then any extinct species, exterminated by man or otherwise is SOP, normal and natural.

It would be unnatural to bring back such creatures.

But resurrection is not the problem. Man will not stop until we have generated every viable genetic permutation to determine the extent of biological possability. That is of course assuming that the possabilities are not infinite. If hell never existed, man will create it to see how bad it can get!



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by BloodRedSky
 



Very dramatic, and surely heartfelt. I am aware that humans have contributed to the extinction of many species. But to say that all the species that we have been discussing the possibility of resurrecting have been shot to death by humans is just not so. We have no evidence that mammoths were hunted to extinction by guns. Or even arrows, spears and rocks.

It is very likely that a combination of predation by humans and other animals along with climate change did them in.

The Dodo for instance,

en.wikipedia.org...


However, when humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before, including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques, which plundered the dodo nests, while humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes;[18] currently, the impact these animals – especially the pigs and macaques – had on the dodo population is considered to have been more severe than that of hunting. The 2005 expedition's finds are apparently of animals killed by a flash flood; such mass mortalities would have further jeopardized an already extinction-prone species.[19]


regarding the Tasmanian Tiger;

en.wikipedia.org...


Its extinction is popularly attributed to these relentless efforts by farmers and bounty hunters.[25] However, it is likely that multiple factors led to its decline and eventual extinction, including competition with wild dogs (introduced by settlers),[49] erosion of habitat, the concurrent extinction of prey species, and a distemper-like disease that also affected many captive specimens at the time.[20][50]


However, the very fact that these animals ever had the chance to be driven to extinction is due to another species emitting toxic gases into the atmosphere and killing off untold number of species.


As photosynthetic bacteria prospered and spread, and higher forms (the 'eukaryotes')developed, the concentration of oxygen in air and water became abundant.

Free oxygen began to build up around the middle of the Proterozoic Period -- around 1.8 billion years ago -- and made way for the emergence of life as we know it today.

This event created conditions that were toxic for most organisms present and thus made way for the more oxygen dependent life forms to flourish and take over.


The game of Life is a complex one. One species tragedy is another species opportunity. If what you are hoping for is that a snapshot of all the life currently on Earth can be preserved as is for all eternity, you are in for a sad awakening. It isnt going to happen. Even if humans were not present, it still would not be the case.

I personally do try my best to limit my impact on the world, and also out of sympathy for the lovely creatures that share the Earth with us. But I am not foolish enough to believe that anyone but Nature herself has the final say over what stays and what goes.

I also dont think extinction is an evil in general. One of the things I personally am doing to limit my impact on other species is not breeding. I am driving my own personal line of DNA into extinction in my own little attempt to not contribute to the problem. I dont feel the least bit upset about it either. Life marches on, regardless of those who fall by the wayside. Our swelling population is the primary mechanism by which humans contribute to the extinction of other creatures, not guns. Every mouth we add to the tribe of humanity means some creature somewhere loses its habitat and dies. Not to mention the ones we eat outright.


[edit on 13-8-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Aug, 13 2008 @ 12:18 AM
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I completely agree with you,the evidence of our impact here on earth to us is covered by cheeseburger rapers ,most of us are in complete denial,seems we are subconsciously bent on self destruction,as many others i am finding it difficult to leave more than i take,deep down i am ashamed to be human,i fear we will be cloning ourselves in the end






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