Some scholars categorically against the revival of extinct species

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2017-03-01 14:45:09

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Some scholars categorically against the revival of extinct species

Last month, the entire scientific community of the desire of Harvard scientists resurrect extinct species of animals. George Church from Harvard University, studying extinct species, said that in the coming years is going to resurrect a mammoth. Here immediately come to mind words uttered by Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) from "Jurassic Park": "Your scientists were so fascinated by the opportunity to resurrect something that did not stop them even the need to think about how and whether to do it." I am glad that in our case, some scientists still stopped to think.

Some of them are opposed to the resurrection of extinct species.

An international group of researchers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada assessed the value of the return to life, of recruitment and further worries about the extinct species. And, in their view, the resurrection of extinct species will require the inevitable victims in other areas, since all that money will have to allocate from General budget. Of course, there are scientists (e.g. the same Church) who believe the resurrection of long extinct animals of great ideas, but these guys are strongly against.

"it is Unlikely that the resurrection of the species can be justified by the usual desire of maintaining of biodiversity", — according to the opponents of the project in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Before you engage in such projects, to begin to understand the question, why do we try to resurrect extinct species. In the published article, this question is never clearly and explicitly:

"whether we are talking here about the benefits in the form of increased biodiversity on the planet and increase our knowledge about extinct species, or we are talking about the desire to feel better knowing that in this way we will supposedly be able to help the ecosystem, especially after all the stupid destruction of the natural world in which we somehow participated and continue to participate?"

In his article, scientists suggest that to resurrect extinct species still offered not for the same reasons that they were raised in the movie "Jurassic Park", since hardly anyone wants to repeat the fate of the characters running through the forests of the velociraptors.

In the end, whatever the reason may lay behind it, the return to life of extinct species will require much more effort than «another game with DNA». After you create a really jizneopisanii embryos of a particular species by using such technologies of genetic modification as CRISPR, we will need to restore a population of this species, then release them into the wild and continue to observe their adaptation and, if necessary, to carry out any other assistance. And because someone has to pay. Whether it's the government or some nongovernmental organization – whatever. Will have to pay anyway. And you have to pay a lot, a lot. The authors of the article indicate that organizations, which, most likely, have to pay for all this attraction, already have to pay for projects to protect endangered animal species.

Such as the Church will likely not agree with such conclusions. In 2013 in the journal Scientific American he had already expressed his opinion on this issue and, among other things, touched on the financial aspects of such projects:

"the Breeding of animals until, until the necessary number of individuals, allowing you to release them into the wild is a very ambitious project. The costs will be comparable to conventional livestock projects or projects to preserve endangered species. One of the options, which will reduce the cost of this project, is enclosed in a genetic method. By modifying the genes of those species that we raise we will be able, for example, to improve the efficiency of their immune system and fertility, as well as give these kinds of a propensity for rapid absorption of nutrients of those food crops that will be available in a particular area, allowing you to cope with environmental stress."

In the new study, the researchers conducted a rather boring analysis of the possible economic costs including the budgets allocated to the protection of nature in their countries, taken as examples. As objects for the resurrection was taken by a single species of birds and plants. The calculations showed that the restoration of one of the types of plants only the first year of the project will be spent tens of thousands of dollars. As for the birds, for example, was taken Polynesian the rock pigeon, it is possible to speak about the figure of seven million dollars. For comparison: the annual budget allocated to environmental protection in the same New Zealand covers 30 million new Zealand dollars (about 21.6 million U.S. dollars).

However, some believe that the analysis and discussion of the financial side of this question is not as important as, say, its ethical aspect. For example, Ronald Sandler, Professor of philosophy at northeastern University (USA), says it is impossible to calculate the final cost of the entire project, because can there be too many aspects which would be impossible to predict in advance: the same new technology that may be required for the implementation of a new project, our lack of knowledge about the types and other pitfalls.

"One calculation of the costs and benefits of this project enough. Also important is the consideration of the arguments from an ethical point of view. You need to listen to the opinions both "for" and "against". You need to understand the actual benefits of this project, its cultural value, to consider the question from the religious point of view, and only then, the collective majority to try to find a solution to this or that benefit," — said Sandler.

Should we bring life to extinct species if this will provide benefits from the point of view of biodiversity conservation? Perhaps, as the answer to this question is best suited another quote from "Jurassic Park":

"God created dinosaurs. God destroyed the dinosaurs. God created man. Man destroys and God creates dinosaurs. Dinosaurs eat men, women inherit the Earth".

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