Personally I’d like to see what a real mammoth looks like.
That said, there are of course other reasons why we should be interested in the reports recently published about the continuing attempts to clone a mammoth – more of that later…
This is also an occasion to reflect on commenting to blogs and reports like this. For this I’d like to draw your attention to the report on this on the http://singularityhub.com/2011/01/19/japanese-scientist-wants-to-clone-a-woolly-mammoth-in-the-next-five-years/ blog. As an example of information providing, this is a very informative article on the subject with links to where you can find more information about the research and the scientist – which is very important in a blog (hence why I linked this article as a source). Now, I’m not in the business of teaching one’s grandmother how to suck eggs, as it were. My grandmother (on my father’s side) was a very forceful woman who would have been just as likely to throw the egg at you for trying to do such a thing.
No, I wanted to comment on the comments or on one comment in particular – the one by Max!
Max was so kind as to tell the posters of this article that they were officially the last source to cover this story. Now here is where it is important to provide sources for information, not just in blog posts but in the comments as well. How, for instance, do we know that Max has the authority to make this claim? Where is the link to the source that shows that they were in fact officially the last? Max didn’t even bother to respond to the reply from the person who runs the site – can we assume that Max had gone off to another site to make a similarly obtuse comment? I don’t know… if I was to say that for definite, then following on from my own argument I would have to provide the source – and as much as I like reading blogs, I have no wish to end my days trying to track Max down on every blog he may have commented on.
So, interesting stuff, I guess you agree… not the mammoth story, the Max story. Of course I have no wish to discourage those who comment on blogs. I just love seeing that I have got a new comment on one of my blog posts and am always disappointed to find out that it is just an advert for shoes or some kind of knock-off copy of a well known vasodilation drug. I just worry that with all the information in that post, and all the links to other sites, all Max had to say was that they were officially the last to cover it.
Now, back to the reasons why it’s important to see if this can be done.
It will teach us much about the cloning process; if successful, it will allow us to investigate why this mammal became extinct ([whispers] some say it was due to climate change); it might prove to be an animal which is easy to breed and could provide a novel and interesting new food source.
So there are several reasons why it’s important but I like the Max story more – if he was extinct, I wonder would we consider cloning him?
And of course, I’d like to see what a real mammoth looks like.
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