Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Knock it off !!!

Jonah Goldberg (NRO The Corner) linked to this UK article concerning the cloning of extinct species. In this case...the Ibex.

I find it disturbing...
The Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain.

Shortly before its death, scientists preserved skin samples of the goat, a subspecies of the Spanish ibex that live in mountain ranges across the country, in liquid nitrogen.

Using DNA taken from these skin samples, the scientists were able to replace the genetic material in eggs from domestic goats, to clone a female Pyrenean ibex, or bucardo as they are known. It is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned.
Everyone will make the association to Jurassic Park, no doubt.

We ought not to be fooling around with this stuff. You don’t get second and third chances to pick a single Powerball sequence after the numbers have been called. Nor should you get another run at the Natural Selection lottery.

Sooner or later, one of these lab rat scientist types is going to start messing around. It will start off simple with a Dodo bird in a locker to impress a co-worker. Perhaps there will be reciprocation with a Horned Gopher running roughshod through the lunch room. Fine…all fun and games…no one gets hurt.

Well, until Dr. Know-it-all takes the clone kit home and starts growing a Mastodon in his basement or a baby Zeuglodon in his bathtub. And how long before one of those nutty Austrians gets in on the act and starts screwing around with the DNA such that antlers are put on a fish? (Disclaimer: I’m not picking on Austrians…but if you have ever been to one of their hotels in the Alps just above Innsbruk you know what I’m talking about. Every stuffed little rodent they could find has antlers and a menacing stare).

The point is that we now live in a society that is moving way too quickly for our own good. Only half of our population remembers when you had to write a check out to “Cash.” The other half thinks “Grand Theft Auto” is a good idea. In a world of obvious planned obsolescence, immediate gratification, and declining common sense…the last thing we need is someone walking their pet Baluchitherium down the street. It’s hard enough to not step in anything…I don’t want to worry about drowning in it.