New Book on De-Extinction of Lost Species

03 September 2018

A new book on the philosophy of de-extinction, Resurrecting Extinct Species, co-written by Dr Doug Campbell (Philosophy) and Patrick Whittle, has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Huia - Buller

A new book on the philosophy of de-extinction, Resurrecting Extinct Species, co-written by Dr Doug Campbell (Philosophy) and Patrick Whittle, has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book deals with two main topics. The first is about the authenticity of de-extinct organisms. If we create genetic copies of organisms that went extinct, then will these new organisms truly be members of the extinct species, or will they be mere ‘fakes’ or ‘simulacra’? In other words, will we have succeeded in reversing the extinction of the species, or will we merely have replaced it with synthetic lookalikes? The second topic is the ethics of de-extinction. Is de-extinction something we should do, or not? The book discusses New Zealand examples—especially the huia—and also considers the cases of the European aurochs, the Siberian woolly mammoth, and the American passenger pigeon.

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