Get the last of the woolly mammoths…

I’m always amazed at the link between science fact and fiction. I often have trouble figuring out which one influences the other. Is science fiction getting ideas from science fact or is science fact trying to achieve what is set out in science fiction? Still with me?

Supposedly the mobile phone was directly influenced by the mobile communicator in Star Trek! Touch screen computers are readily available and voice activated gadgets are becoming more common place. I even hear a cloaking device has been theoretically proven. All well and good, next up will be transporters and a few photon torpedos for good measure.

But surely some of the best science fiction should be left as just that, fiction. What I’m getting at here are the books/films that show us a world in the future where things are far from okay. I’m thinking of Issac Asimov and Philip K. Dick who wrote great but worrying stories that have influenced films like “i Robot”, “A Scanner Darkly” and “Blade Runner” to mention a few. Stories that depict how things can get out of control when technology/science takes over and everything gets screwed up.

You’d think we’d learn from the implications in these stories? I read an article the other day about the carcass of a woolly mammoth found in Russia. A very important find as it’s largely intact and can be studied to gain a better understanding of the species. But instead of just cataloging it and sticking it in a museum they want to clone it and re-introduce the species? Why would you want to do that? Here’s the money quote:

“When we got the Jarkov mammoth [found frozen in Taimyr, Siberia, in 1997], the geneticists told me: ‘if you can get us good DNA, we’ll have a baby mammoth for you in 22 months’,” he told BBC News.

What’s the rush, they’ve been dead for a few thousand years, it’s not like we need them desperately? It’s all well and good making a new mammoth but the implications have to be considered carefully.

Have they not seen Jurassic Park? Sure, lets have the fields filled with woolly mammoths. But then we’ll need something bigger and meaner to keep their population under control. So how about a T.Rex to keep the numbers down? Throw in a few velociraptors and we’ll all be running for the hills.

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3 responses to “Get the last of the woolly mammoths…

  1. No no no! We want the woolly mammoth to make a come back. Think of it, already the world is getting too hot for polar bears, we obviously need to resurrect an extinct species so we can say to ourselves, “ah, it doesn’t matter if we kill all the polar bears, we can just grow some more when we fix the weather”

  2. When I was in Dublin a couple of years ago, I read an article in a newspaper that the ginger-haired, freckle-faced Irish person will be a thing of the past in about 100 years.

    Let’s start cloning them…now!

  3. Just as well I’m not ginger. Plenty of freckles though! I’ve toyed with cloning myself, but not sure if the world is ready for that yet!

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