De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

Watch the 2017 Asimov Debate from the American Museum of Natural History. It was a great one. I did not expect the answer to the question of whether we can do this. No spoiler from me. Settle down for a couple of hours with a good drink for this one.

This debate discusses a wide variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms, agriculture, environmentalism, extinction, quality of DNA from preserved extinct animals, morality, animal welfare, legal issues, etc.

For a sample, just consider the question, if we brought back a mammoth (or mammophant) from extinction, is it automatically an endangered species? What is its “natural range”? What are its natural habitat and food? Is it moral to bring back a species adapted to the arctic in an age of climate change?

P.S. Neil is a bit out of his element on this first Asimov Debate that is NOT related to cosmology, astronomy, or astrophysics in any way. But, as he points out Isaac Asimov wrote about a variety of sciences, some of which did not even really exist at the time he wrote about them, such as robotics. So, de-extinction is perfectly within lines to honor the late Isaac Asimov who spent many hours at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


4 Responses to De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

  1. Accremonious says:

    Thanx, I will later when I am more comfortable! I appreciate this post as I am a fan of the American Museum of Natural History
    On a related subject: This week in the news there was a brief item about researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that virtually all cancers are caused by mitosis DNA copying errors! And not from inherited factors! That is an astounding statement when certain families have numerous members who come down with a type of cancer as if it was a genetic factor!

    • My father had colon cancer. So did my maternal grandmother. Until this is proven with a whole lot more certainty, I think I’ll take my need for colonoscopies seriously. I’d feel kind of stupid dying of something so easily detected early and with such a high success rate for treatment.

      So, with luck and a bit of forethought, I will die of something completely different.

  2. Accremonious says:

    I have had one colonoscopy! As I was waking up, Dr. Oravec ? said you are all OK! Don’t bother coming back for a decade! I groggily said, will you still be practicing then, and will I still be alive? To which he and his anesthetist did not reply!
    Well at least he did not say I am a perfect asshole!

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