A joint effort by Japanese, Russian and American scientists is underway to resurrect the extinct woolly mammoth by way of cloning. Frozen mammoth tissue in good condition has been obtained from Siberia and new technology provides for the nuclei of its cells to be implanted into elephant eggs in a manner conducive to cloning. If all goes as expected a living mammoth will walk the earth in 5 to 6 years.
Why resurrect the mammoth ?.....
because we can.... because this is the, or at least a, next logical step in genomic research.
Scientists must stick to their amoral high ground.
Yes one must consider the consequences of what one does... but to not do it because of fear someone will use it in not so great ways or it will damage the world if it goes too far is a no go argument in my book;
Take gunpowder as an example. it has killed untold numbers of people, extinct species and maimed many more. But it has also fed the masses, moved mountains and been the great equalizer in many a dispute.
Science expands knowledge period. To not go the next step with the mammoth may not be the end of the earth, but then again maybe the way to save it will come out of the research.
Now we're onto something. The advancement of genomic research in general potentially has positive consequences for society as a whole. I also agree that science must remain disassociated from morality. However, my concern is not so much that cloning of extinct life-forms may be used for "evil" or destructive ends, but rather that resources consumed for such a project might be better used for solving global human problems.
I'll say again that I agree that science, by nature, is separate from morality. A moral purpose behind science would be utterly ridiculous. I'm questioning whether this venture--as I do with all scientific ventures about which I hear--has any application that will ameliorate pressing human problems such as widespread hunger; poverty; anthropogenic climate change; anthropogenic environmental degradation; economic disaster, Sarah Palin, etc. I go further to propose that any scientific project that doesn't have the potential to solve such problems wastes resources that could be spent in improving human quality of life.
Science absolutely does need a purpose; otherwise it's pointless.
I have made no attempt to bring morals into this discourse. I'm speaking from a position of utility.