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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  439 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

The book was much clearer on this: Jurassic Park did their gene splicing on Xenopus frogs, whose principle "tell the kids about it" trait is their ready ability to change sex. I mean, Edmund Scientific sold their eggs as "X-Ray Frogs Mysteriously Change Gender" in the back of Boy's Life and Popular Mechanics for fifty years. They're great for research because you don't even really need to worry about breeding them as they pretty much auto-select. That whole "Nature finds a way" thing was David Koepp blithely erasing the bit where Jurassic Park failed through abject stupidity because it stretched credulity that scientists could simultaneously be so brilliant and so bone-headed.

At least it did before gain-of-function research on highly-contagious pathogens.

b_b  ·  439 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Some of the dumbest people I know are highly accomplished surgeons. The longer I've been in science the more I've come to think that scientists are as fucking dumb as everyone else. If you ever want a very dull but informative read, the Mismeasure of Man is a great one. It chronicles the saga of trying to use science to keep the whites on the top of the heap after the fall of slavery (proto-eugenics, say). This science was done by the greatest luminaries of the time, led by the chief of zoology at Harvard.

Science, fact gathering, knowledge, etc, are very often used as the basis to do really nefarious and dangerous stuff, but they know how to couch their actions in such esoteric language that makes it seem as if it can't be captured in simple terms such as "torture an elephant in hopes of torturing a mammoth."

People love to mistake "science" for "truth", when in fact science is nothing more than a systematic way of asking and attempting to answer questions. It's a tool. Period. One can use one's hammer to build a house for the homeless, or one can use it to smash skulls. It isn't the hammer's fault either way.

Note that I say all of this as someone who makes a living torturing small animals in hopes of making medicines that will end a lot of grief for a lot of people. It would be very easy to construct an argument that I'm the bad guy. It's a matter of perspective, values, and relative value of, say, mice vs. humans.