Monday, January 24, 2011
How Much Is That Woolly Mammoth in the Window?
I guess there's a news story going around about how scientists are going to try to clone a woolly mammoth. To this I say, "Excellent. Do it."
Some people might cringe and ask if we didn't learn any lessons from Jurassic Park. Well, no, I don't think we did. Jurassic Park was just a movie. A book first, then a movie, and as we all know, morals went out in the thirties. The point of any story nowadays is merely to entertain. And Jurassic Park was extremely entertaining.
Besides, real-life isn't subject to the same laws that stories in books are, which is to say, just because things happen in a book—like, that everything that can go wrong will go wrong—doesn't mean the same will occur for our modern scientists who simply want to clone a gigantic hairy elephant.
I've seen the skeleton of a woolly mammoth up close. They're not that scary. Or tall. And I think they'd be fun to tame for riding purposes, like a horse.
So I say go for it. I would LOVE to drive through the plains and watch herds of woolly mammoths grazing peacefully on the range (they're herbivores, aren't they?), or hike up into the Uintahs and spy a woolly mammoth splashing around in a small pond in the forest, bathing like a cherub out of a renaissance painting—depending, of course, on which habitat this friendly creature will prefer.
Honestly, I think it would be extremely awesome if we could bring back ALL the dinosaurs. I've held the secret belief for some time now that earth-life has been stuck in a cycle: humans reach a technological singularity where they have the bright idea to clone the dinosaurs that died out years ago. Success! The dinosaurs are brought back, but refuse to cooperate with the boundaries we place on them ("Come on, Mr. T-rex. Keep your teeth to yourself and stay behind this Invisible Fence®. Geez!"). They leave the very nice preserves we set aside for their grazing and carnivorous needs, rampaging across the globe, slaughtering all the humans. Then an asteroid. Then, humans manage to come back. Then the humans reach a technological singularity and decide to clone the dinosaurs that died out years ago. Success! The dinosaurs are brought back, but refuse to cooperate . . . and so on.
Which came first? Dinosaurs or the humans? It's really a chicken/egg question. There is no right answer.
And when I think of it, there are only a few glorious deaths I can reconcile myself to if I can't have the luxury of going in my sleep real nice and easy. One is to experience an end-of-the-world disaster movie situation. That would be just fine. I watched the terrible 2012 last night and I'm of the mind that I'd rather die than try to survive the bull crap that movie toyed around with, because really, who'd want to survive with all the jerks on the (spoiler alert!) arks?
My other preferred glorious death would be to survive long enough to have a full menagerie of cloned dinosaurs on the loose that could wipe out the entire human race. That would be kind of fun. So bring on the woolly mammoths!
Seriously. Right now.