Credit: iStock/aleks1949

Should we bring back the Woolly Mammoth?

April 26, 2018

As scientists get closer and closer to being able to bring extinct animals back to life, big questions emerge. What led to extinction in the first place? What would be the impacts on other species or the environment? Just because we can do it, does that mean we should?

To help answer these questions and celebrate the inaugural year of the UC San Diego Institute for Practical Ethics, guest speaker Beth Shapiro — a world-renowned professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz — spoke to a packed house of researchers and students from across campus and the greater community on April 19.

She quickly cleared the air about the possibility of bringing back the Woolly Mammoth.

“Just to clarify,” she said, “de-extinction is still not possible. We cannot bring something that is extinct back to life,” including mammoths, passenger pigeons, Neanderthals, the dodo, dinosaurs or any other extinct species — at least not 100 percent.

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