Wednesday, January 19, 2011


In Japan, they do science.
This is what science is all about: Researchers in Japan are planning to clone a woolly mammoth from DNA extracted from some frozen remains discovered in Russia. Why? I don't know. Maybe because science is all about pushing boundaries, and going beyond what is known. Or, maybe it's because Japan's got a thing for giant prehistoric monsters and science. Either way if it works, it's going to be awesome, Toho awesome.

The plan (partially according to the article, I had to fill in some blanks myself) goes something like this:

Horton Hatches an Abomination
Step 1: The Enclonening
Wrap a modern elephant's egg cell around some mammoth DNA, cover it in chocolate (I assume) and shove the whole genetic Cadbury into some unsuspecting pachyderm. Wait 10 months and presto: Woolly Mammoth. Some people might deride this as playing god, I am going to laud this as playing god. If you're going to spit in the face of mother nature, you might as well make it a loogie.

Behold: our bleak future.
Step 2: Startling Revelation
Obviously the first thing the research team is going to do after bringing an extinct species back from oblivion is hold a press conference. They'll discuss their findings, answer questions and laugh at the fools who said it couldn't be done. This is also where they'll likely list their demands. After all, they will soon command an army of mammoth clones, who are we to stand in their way? Nobody, that's who.

Why not just build this and cut out
the middle steps?

Step 3: Kill It
Of course before the mass cloning and crushing can begin, the mammoth will undoubtedly get loose and run amok forcing us to destroy it and once again prove that, in the end, the real monster is man. Since this is Japan we're talking about, we can expect the final battle to involve some sort of robotic mammoth created in secret and piloted by some dude in color-coordinated spandex and a bike helmet.

Suck it, Darwin.
So there it is. Still think this idea is a crime against god and nature? That maybe un-extincting a species goes against the principle of natural selection? Well, you're probably right. On the other hand, it's possible that we (humans, not you and me specifically) might have driven them to extinction in the first place. What better way to say 'we're sorry' than to resurrect them for our own amusement? And who says it has to end badly for the mammoths this time? What's that? I did? One paragraph ago? That doesn't sound like me...

Behold: our bright future.
Well, in any case, things can be different this time. Instead of killing them for food and skins, we could incorporate mammoth clones into our society. Think of it: a utopian world where man and mammoth, once mortal enemies, work side by side for a better tomorrow. Of course a more likely scenario is a world where the super-rich hunt on game preserves stocked with cloned wild-life.

I mean, that's probably where this is going, some sort of Jurassic Park for douche bags. What's worse is that after a while, the novelty of shooting run of the mill mastodons, saber-tooths and giant sloths will wear off and scientists will have to come up with hybrid creatures to hunt, like Sharktopus.

But that's years down the road. For now let's just enjoy the fact that the mighty woolly mammoth might once again roam, well probably a lab and then maybe a zoo or something.
"Soon, my icy throwback, soon..."

No comments:

Post a Comment