Is Extinction Extinct?
De-extinction is the idea of cloning animals and plants from preserved DNA, and it’s the subject of an increasing number of conversations about climate change. As we move into an era where prevention may not be possible, de-extinction is being offered as a solution to trying to protect wildlife and ecosystems. It’s a viable option, and is worth a shot. If extinction happens at our hands, we ought to try and do everything we can to revive a given species.
The challenges are big. Reintroducing an extinct species into a new or different ecosystem has all the potential for disaster as introducing an existing species. And we wouldn’t want to grow a societal feeling that we wouldn’t have to worry about extinction because we could ‘just bring it back.’ But bringing back a species isn’t ‘playing God’ any more than enforcing our will generally in any number of other arenas of science and society. There would be mistakes along the way, but rehabilitating a failed ecosystem is worth it.