Some remarks on ‘extinction’

I have reasons to think that extinction shouldn’t be such a bad thing.

1. Species change is an empirically accepted notion: not only has it happened, it perhaps will happen again
2. The (generic) notion of species change can happen in virtue of the obsoletion of the species or genus, or the environment they persist in.

i. Consider the betamax; it is, compared to other newer media, outdated!
ii. Some species who are now extinct may have won out to their progeny species in some respects (imagine a fight with a dinosaur); however, they probably wouldn’t survive as the environment is vastly different (consider, most notably, vegitation)

3. It may be cruel to resurrect or preserve a species whom which could never live in the native habitat in which they originally came from. With things like deforestation, climate change, urbanisation, we may keep animals from other environments, but we shouldn’t expect them to be the same once we change their environment, nor is it reasonable to say that we are ‘preserving’ them in a very strong sense (but not to say we are not preserving them at all).

4. Change in species may be inevitable; but there are reasons to think that some species will not change; by virtue of human intervention.



One thought on “Some remarks on ‘extinction’

  1. On the other hand the extinction of species as a result of human interference in nature is a very bad thing as:

    A) It deprives humanity of important genetic information that we could use for bioscience and for our understanding of recent evolutionary history.

    B) It destabilises the biosphere perhaps causing breakdown of the ecosystems upon which our world civilisation depend.

    C) The changes that humanity is making to the environment are quite transitory as our global economy will sooner or later transition to green/renewable sustainable growth (or we will die out). As a result any changes the biosphere ‘makes’ to adapt to out transitory consumption/CO2 style economy will be in vain and will not result in any usefull evolutionary improvement.

    I would say that you are right when it comes to natural extinctions with a small caveat: We should endevour to read the genome of all species currently about to go extinct. We’re near the necessary genome reading capacity now (or will be in a decade or so). We should probably also work on the necessary technology to bring an extinct species back to life from their genetic code plus a little knowledge of their gestation conditions, cultural knowledge and other heritable information.

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