Resurrection Biology

Back when I lived in Yellowstone, my friends and I had fairly regular conversations on what it might be like to discover a wormhole back to the Pleistocene. This is what biologists talk about over winter whiskey. What would it be like to live in caves and roam a landscape dotted with trundling mega fauna? Actually, it was easy enough to imagine while perched on a butte watching herds of bison tramping through the sage, flanked by grizzlies and wolves and lions–only a small stretch of the mind to super-size everyone to dire wolves and saber-tooths and woolly mammoths.

You’ve probably read a bit about the fledgling movements to bring extinct animals back from the dead. This is a real thing, the technology is basically here, and it is now more of a question of should we┬ámore than can we. Within reason. There will never be a Jurassic Park–dino DNA is just too old to poach. But there could be a Pleistocene Park someday.

As tempting as it is to image myself riding a baby mammoth, the case of de-extinction is really complicated, both technically and morally, and even spiritually. Personally, I’m more into saving our living endangered species, but it’s still an interesting thing to think about.

Check out what I dug up the matter in this new SciShow…


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