De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

April 1, 2017

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.


Gilded on Reddit: A Christian Asks Atheists 4 Questions

October 19, 2014

This isn’t really a big deal. But, I thought it was kind of cool. I had been on reddit for about 10 months and had just broken the 1000 mark in my karma. Then I happened to respond to a Christian’s questions on the atheism subreddit. That thread got a lot of traffic. My single response more than doubled my karma. And, someone gave me reddit gold, which I had never had before.

So, I’m kind of pleased with the external validation and thought I’d share the post here.

[edit] For any who are unaware, reddit gold actually costs money. So, when someone threw gold at me, they were actually putting their money where their mouth was … so to speak. The thousand plus karma points are a big compliment to me, but clicking upvote on a post costs nothing. The gold was a real thrill. A month of reddit gold is $2.50 by the year or $4 by the month.