Neat! While this doesn’t mean something like X-men type superpowers (we all still wish), it is pretty neat to think that this does occur naturally in some form. Perhaps something can indeed be learned from it.
A very nice explanation of what a scientific theory is, courtesy of my friend Tom via Facebook.
Somehow, the opponents of fact and truth have done a good job of convincing a large chunk of the public that the Theory of Evolution is not that developed. Or perhaps the scientific community has not done an adequate job of defending their truthseeking because they just view these opponents as crazy (which they are). Either way, I think it’s about time that the scientific community banded together to put an end to irrational challenges to the Theory of Evolution.
It is a WIDELY ACCEPTED theory based on REAL EVIDENCE, both observed and gathered through experimentation. The theory is very mature, in the Thomas Kuhn sense of the word. Evolutionary Biology is similarly a paradigmatic scientific enterprise. As the graphic states above, there is always room for further refinement, but the evidence is so vast and detailed that the theory itself will most likely never be replaced.
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY AROUND THIS FACT. Creationists refuse to accept this because they cannot reconcile the fact that their basis for argument, the “information” they’ve been forcefed through their religious beliefs, can be wrong (and IS wrong in this case).
That’s really the issue here: Religious people destroy the concept of faith by insisting that irrational ideas are actually rational fact. They aren’t. By their own definition, they aren’t. The tales in the Bible/Old Testament/Any other religious text are METAPHORICAL PARABLES, and in NO WAY should be used in place of observable, measurable FACT. It’s disgusting that anyone would even WANT to replace observable, measurable FACT with something that was simply told to them and has been around for a long time. Longevity has nothing to do with truth. Only EVIDENCE does.
Woolly mammoth cloning deal signed.
A joint research deal was signed yesterday between North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic in Russia and South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, marking the beginning of a project to clone cells from woolly mammoth remains recovered from Siberian permafrost.
As previously reported here, a mammoth could be born in five years if successful. The team will replace the nuclei of Indian elephant egg with the cloned mammoth DNA. The fertilised egg will then be placed in the womb of the Indian elephant for 600 day gestation period and birth.
While cloning extinct animals is controversial enough already, the team also includes Hwang Woo-Suk, who was found to have falsified data in a past stem cell research “breakthrough”.
This is pretty awesome—not necessarily that they’re doing it (even though that is also still awesome), but moreso that they CAN do it.
A lot has been said over the years about the morality of cloning and whether or not this is something that should be pursued, ever since they cloned that first sheep (named Dolly). Many of these arguments have been really silly, but my favorite (and perhaps silliest) is that if we clone a person there are dangers to suddenly having two identical “yous” out there.
While certain aspects of this are true—like DNA testing for crimes, etc.—there is absolutely no reason to believe that the situation of cloning a person will result all of a sudden in a second identical person standing next to the first person, completely indistinguishable from the first. In short, if a person were cloned, it would have to “grow up” again. It would have to both physically and mentally develop, all of which would result in something completely different from the source person. Education changes over time, as do things like nutrition, environmental concerns, social experiences and circumstances, world events, and just about everything that goes into the sum total of who a person is. If a clone was birthed and had to grow up, I would say that the only similarity between it and host person would be that the clone would look somewhat like the original did X number of years ago. That’s it, really.
But anyway, this was a thought experiment. I still don’t think there’s a good reason to go ahead and clone any person.
This Mammoth thing, however, is real, and I think it absolutely SHOULD go on as planned and is a fascinating scientific endeavor. It would do wonders to further our knowledge about prehistoric creatures, biology, paleontology, biology, cloning, genetics, and a host of other fields and sub-fields.
The morality of such a situation rests in the motivation for the action, as far as I’m concerned, and there’s nothing immoral about cloning an extinct Wooly Mammoth for scientific reasons. It’s not like doing so will rip a hole in the space-time continuum or something. :P