View Full Version : Is it ethical to bring back extinct species?

9th April 2013, 21:03
Once a species has gone extinct, is it ethically sound to use science to bring it back from oblivion? This is only a short part of an article from the source below. For those interested it's a good read. I thought this was enough to get some feed back from you guys.

One of the biggest questions raised by the movie blockbuster "Jurassic Park" was that even if we did have the capability to bring extinct species back to life, the question remains whether or not we actually should. With advances in science leading us ever closer to the capacity to resurrect an extinct species, scientists have found themselves pondering the ethical considerations of such an act in addition to the practical possibilities.

One particularly controversial area is in the resurrection of an extinct species of human such as the Neanderthals. If we were able to produce a living Neanderthal, would that person be doomed to a life of scientific experimentation and observation and would human rights still apply?

Scientists predict that within 15 years they will be able to revive some more recently extinct species, for me this raises the question of whether or not they should... just because they can.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2013-04-ethics-resurrecting-extinct-species.html


9th April 2013, 21:11
Yes if man was responsible, and no if nature was. Certain animals become extinct for a reason.

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Neanderthals no. Then we would be playing God with them. What would we do with them?

10th April 2013, 01:28
to me it went extinct for a reason, until balance is restored I say leave it in the past and try and learn something as to not repeat the same steps ...Earth humanity has had six extinctions, and we are poised to do it again...

12th April 2013, 14:35
If a species was over-hunted to exiction would okay to bring back. Hopefully they automatically go on a protected status until such a time that they have sufficient numbers to survive. That would have to be heavily watch dogged.

12th April 2013, 16:35
I think it is a human trait that we really are uncomfortable with change.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could experience again our once great abundance of native fish in the Great Lakes of American.
In the past 150 years over 250 native species of fish are now extinct which was mostly a result of over fishing and human eutrophication.

No I don't think it would be immoral. Morals are man made and often are quite foolish in many cases. Once it was considered moral for the rich to own slaves, and they still do.

12th April 2013, 18:24
to me it went extinct for a reason, until balance is restored I say leave it in the past and try and learn something as to not repeat the same steps ...Earth humanity has had six extinctions, and we are poised to do it again...

Sorry to thread jack a bit, but Ghostrider can you elaborate on this a bit? maybe send me a link where you got this thought, if it is outside yoru own?

this interests me, but i have heard of earths humanity having extinctions but never knew how many.

as for cloning ANYTHING. i think it is wrong in my mind. once something is gone, it is gone and it is gone for a reason. whether it was man made or nature made. if it was nature made, maybe for a reason nature saw fit. if it was man made, they may have did it for good or bad reasons, but before bringing them back, finding out why man did this and if it was right or wrong, correct the problem on the mans side if it was done in error. but then again. who are WE to even dictate that?

12th April 2013, 19:15
Isn’t the reason for extinction usually they were ill suited or unadaptable to their environment?

I recognize that in most cases, this means they can’t handle the destruction WE have caused, but that’s beside the point—is there anything more UN-ETHICAL than creating life that by definition will only die off again…unless we take complete responsibility for their environment/existence, which in itself is a questionable moral problem—as it would be creating life completely dependent on it and/or assuming complete responsibility for its environment—something we’ve proven (and their extinction proves) we are completely incapable of (or unwilling to do).

To me, this idea kinda begs the question: Is it ethical to bring an “unwanted pregnancy” into the world?

12th April 2013, 20:37
Sorry if my suggestion is controversial or anyone takes it the wrong way…I did NOT intend to direct this thread in the abortion direction…but here is my thought process:

You ask is it ethical to bring back extinct species…which is to say, bring life to something that was unable to survive (for whatever reason) on its own.

I believe we’re all on the same page as far as “ethical” in this sense: If you choose to bring life to a creature that cannot survive without your help, you are responsible for it as long as it is physically unable to live without you.

Or maybe not, I don’t know what you all consider “ethical”, I for one base my moral framework on the above premise, you make a conscious decision, you are responsible for it.

So if your ethics are a step further than that, and I may go as far as to presume that it is ethical to provide the best life you can for any that you take responsibility for, then it would only be ethical to me if:

1) You can provide an environment in which it can survive and grow, without needing you to manipulate it in order for the being to survive
2) Ensuring this, and that the being gets to “be itself”, is a priority you intend to uphold throughout your life

That’s it, the only ethical reason and condition, and I think it is impossible.

The only ethical reason is that you are giving it life for the sake of that being--which I am not certain is possible—there is always a selfish motive—you are CHOOSING to bring in a specific species for your reason...otherwise—why bother…what circumstances would you be able to do this selflessly?

And the providing a flourishing environment is something we have been able to do with the species that are around…

So I am going to say (currently) a resounding no….according to my ethical code. The cloning of life is completely selfish. I condone it in cloning a part of you…to be integrated into your body (ie – organs), but by definition it is not possible to integrate an extinct species into an environment it was unable to survive in…choosing to do this is vanity, playing god for the sake of doing it, your amusement, or to further your knowledge.

…perhaps when we achieve a level of spirituality where we are actually good shepherds for the home (and its extant species) we have now…but right now? NO

12th April 2013, 20:53
Re: Is it ethical to bring back extinct species?

This is almost hypocritical to even consider bringing back extinct species while at the same time we are causing the extinction of many or most of the ones that are here and alive now....Things like this are up side down and backwards to say the least....

The Truth Is In There
13th April 2013, 08:44
these species are just vehicles for souls to incarnate into and use in physical density. if they are there they'll be used, if not they won't. there's no question about "ethical" or not, that's just a human sentiment. if it serves a purpose the universe will make sure it works, if it doesn't the species won't survive.

you could also ask whether it is ethical to keep physically or mentally disabled people alive. do souls really want to experience a life of pain and suffering or would they much rather use healthy bodies? still, as long as disabled bodies exist souls must incarnate into them and are forced to suffer. if they procreate it weakens the human species further. humans don't allow the animals they breed to procreate if they are somehow "damaged" and yet it is frowned upon if people suggest the same for humans.

i'm not offering an opinion here that most wouldn't understand anyway, just stating some facts for people to think about.