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comment by goobster
goobster  ·  76 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A New Company With a Wild Mission: Bring Back the Woolly Mammoth

I'm all for unextincting various things. But mostly big things... no bugs, or things that can easily escape. Big, fuckoff wooly mammoths? Sure! Do it!

Because, in the process, we are going to learn a lot about biological processes we don't have a grasp on today. Heck, even the reproductive systems of elephants have barely been analyzed!

And, if the chance-in-a-billion happens and a wooly mammoth walks the Earth again... then science is going to have to finally come face to face with the harsh and icky reality of psychology. So much science operates in the biomechanical realm, and shies away from the psychological impacts of what it does.

But when the baby mammoth dies of depression because it hasn't got a momma, science can no longer shirk the responsibility it has for the mental well-being of its subjects.

And I suspect that timeline will coincide nicely with the one where the first glimmers of true AI come to light/life... and the geeks will be beset on all sides by squishy icky gooey feelings.

That collision needs to happen sooner rather than later. So I hope they make a mammoth soon.

OftenBen  ·  76 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I feel like it wouldn't be that difficult to provide a surrogate mother to a newly... hatched? De-podded? Unextincted mammoth.

Agreed on all other points.

More scientists and engineers need to devote some brain power to the ethics of the things they are asked to do. There is a difference between ethics education in the sciences as a continuing education requirement and as something that is enforced in more than letter.

goobster  ·  75 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I suspect they'll use an Asian Elephant female as a surrogate. The problem is finding one that is pregnant or just had a baby, right at the precise moment the "mammoth" is born, and then the Asian elephant connecting with the mammoth baby, since elephants only have one baby like every 7 years, or something crazy like that.

If she doesn't have the recent-birth hormones coursing though her, will she identify as the mother of the mammoth? And if she has recently given birth, can she mother two offspring at once? Or will they take away her "real" baby and hope she connects with the mammoth as hers? And what happens to the "real" baby...?

It's ethical questions all the way down...