GateHouse — There are, on the face of it, tons of reasons why cloning a woolly mammoth is a magnificent idea, if not one so awesome you can’t believe that America’s feeble, short-sleeved inventors haven’t thought of already (let me know how it goes with that “high-speed rail,” nerdlingers, while me and 12 friends are riding my brand-new new mammoth around the infield at the Daytona 500). Just think of a glorious, mammoth-filled future, the convenience, the ease of cargo transport, the chance to finally have a huge meaty rib delivered via roller-skating waitress to the side window of your rock car.
But, as it turns out, there are evidently some loser reasons against mammoth cloning, and not just the usual worries about being gored to death, being trampled to death or being trampled to death while being gored by the early, unsuccessful trial-run mammoth clones from the practice machines. God knows what those abominations could have on them — wings, dorsal fins, mouse faces. I’m not sure if you’ve ever given serious consideration to what happens when an entire subterranean cloning facility full of failed, bucktoothed, emotionally unstable almost-mammoths run amok and inevitably slaughter their creators — which obviously happens every time anyone clones anything around here, jeez — but I’m sure the aftermath would be something you’d want to wear the old shoes to mop up. “MAMMOTH DISASTER IN SCIENCE LAB,” the headlines would scream, and on the plus I guess the headlines would pretty much write themselves, leaving copy editors with more time to spend fleeing into the countryside, crazed with murderous fear.
I’m talking about mammoth cloning – I know, again — because it turns out that having successfully cloned every other animal in that Darwin book from the library, and also having fixed every other problem on Earth, Science has decided to try cloning animals that technically don’t even have firsts anymore, calling into question whether the word “cloning” is even accurate here, but whatever, we’ll leave that to the poindexters from the AP Stylebook.
The plan was announced in January by Kyoto University professor Akira Iritani, a man who has clearly never watched any of his native country’s documentaries about the effects that unregulated, hubris-driven Giant Animal experiments can have on nearby metropolises, particularly as it pertains to their inevitable smasheriness.
It’s not the first time this has been tried, mind you. Previous cloning attempts took place in the ’90s, but failed because available tissue samples had been damaged by cold and also because cloning a mammoth is really hard and why don’t you try it sometime, smart guy.
Actually, it’s especially difficult because mammoths died out 5,000 years ago — or, for our creationist friends, in August 1979. In either event, tissue needs to be really, really cold for this sort of doomed insanity to work, and the large-mammal refrigeration units of the mid-4,000-BCs had notorious wiring problems. Scientists, however, say that they now possess a mammoth cell that was frozen 4,500 years ago in Siberia and discovered by Dolph Lundgren during the filming of “Rocky IV;” it will be implanted into the uterus of a female elephant, who will be told that they’re just checking her cholesterol and it’s totally a routine thing.
Of course, this is probably an outrage, likely having to do with the “greater social good,” and I’m sure someone’s whining about stem cells somewhere. But I submit that mammoth cloning is a lame idea for an entirely more important reason, which is this: If it’s possible to revive huge, extinct beasts from a long-extinguished time period, why would we remotely go with a lumbering snuffleupagus instead of something awesome, like one of those flying dinosaurs with the razor-beaks and ninja throwing stars?
I would happily re-dedicate whatever time is being directed toward making sure the tusks sprout in the right head-quadrant or whatever to doing a little more shoveling in the dirt for viable microraptor DNA (we could do something larger too, but I’m having an extremely satisfying time envisioning what happens when I unleash a canvas sack of microraptors inside the health insurance company).
Because, frankly, we have mammals. We have a planet full of them, and let’s be honest, a lot of them are no great shakes, and yeah I’m looking at you, deer of America. In today’s overpopulated, oversmogged world we really don’t need more crowded warm-bloodeds taking up valuable development space, let alone ones that need to eat like six goats a day or whatever. So join me, America, in calling for a ban on mammoth-cloning, at least until we can solve the world’s few other problems, or at least fix Dolph Lundgren.