October 24, 2004

Fold And Learn: The End of Extinction

The title to this blog post is partially stolen from an actual learning group in Jerusalem called FOLD AND LEARNI have no idea what is being folded and what is being learned, but the image of dozens of mommies sitting in a lecture hall listening to a discourse on the weekly Parsha (Torah portion of the week) while they fold socks and shirts, invariably runs through my head.

However, for me it meant folding my laundry in front of the T.V. while I watched a program called entitled THE END OF EXTINCTION (the other half of my blog title) as I learned about the Thylacine; a now extinct animal from Australia and the attempts by a group of scientist to bring it back to life. As the animal only became extinct a few decades ago, there is a chance that, 1) there may still be a few remnants of the animal alive in areas generally inaccessible to humans 2) their habitat is more likely to still exist or be more easily recreated. (as opposed to bringing back the dinosaurs).

Of course there is the usual controversy; can it be done? Should it be done? Money issues are in the forefront the minds of many of the scientist; not only is it nearly impossible to recreate the creature from preserved flesh (as the DNA chain must be recreated) but the financial cost, the lack of parental teachers, etc. etc. would make this venture a fools errand. Other's fear it would make thwart conservation animals; people would think, so it goes extinct, so what? We can just resurrect it." Even if we could resurrect some, we may not succeed with every species.

But say they could do it; animals, at least some, could be brought back to life. What animals would you like to see roaming the earth once more? (No T-Rexes!)

Before I chose to rebirth an animal I'd like to save the ones currently facing death (and their environments, one of the main reasons their lives are being lost) the Koala; the Blue Whale, the Tiger and the Snow Leopard come to mind. But if I had to resurrect something, truthfully I don't know what I would bring back. Two animals have already become extinct in this millennium; the Pyrenean Ibex and Miss Waldron's Red Colobus Monkey (though there has been a possible sighting of the last. I guess I would start with those.

The whole topic makes me sad. I remember the warnings when we were young with a little girl asking her daddy "What is a tiger?" Is this really going to become our future? I hope not.

Anyway, what animal would you preserve first? Which animal would you bring back? Or do you see the whole conservation effort as unnecessary?

Posted by Rachel Ann at October 24, 2004 11:25 AM

I am not sure what I would resurrect, if any. I would want to spend that money and time on cleaning up the feral animals from our environment first, the habitats and reducing the pollutants which affect the native animals also. We need to learn to conserve what we have here and now before we think about bringing back what is already gone. Plus, who is to say that God want's them brought back anyhow.

Posted by: Judith at October 24, 2004 11:51 AM

I think they are talking about folding the Torah Tidbit newsletters put out by the NCSY Jerusalem Centre on Keren HaYasod. Ciao! YBA

Posted by: YoelBA at October 24, 2004 12:51 PM

i guess there may be a reason why certain animals went or are going the way of the dodo. and i'd rather that they remain as such instead of being resurrected. one would never know how they'd turn out, and most importantly man shouldn't play god.

much attention is focused on certain animal populations that are dwindling fast, but there isn't much fanfare on new species that we have never even heard of or seen before. and the rate of such being "accidentally" found by man is astonishing - especially the area around the tasman sea and even in the amazon jungles.

Posted by: the letter b at October 25, 2004 02:16 PM
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