This doesn’t have much to do with The Controversy between evolution and creationism, except by way of contrast. Some scientists are embarked on a fascinating mammoth-cloning project. It’s real science — the sort of thing creationists never do.
Rather, creationists dwell in their shacks, review press reports about what genuine scientists are doing, compare that to their primitive understanding of scripture, and shriek “Blasphemy!” while condemning the “Darwinists” to the Lake of Fire.
We read in London’s Daily Mail that Japanese scientists ‘to resurrect extinct giant from frozen DNA within five years’. A few brief excerpts, with bold added by us, will be sufficient to give you the general idea:
Japanese scientists are behind an ambitious project to bring the long-extinct mammal back from the dead. The revival requires a sample of intact DNA for cloning purposes and an elephant to act as surrogate mother, donating an egg and her womb.
Neat, huh? We fear that the newborn’s appearance is going to be a shock to the mother elephant, but they’ll probably be watching for that. Let’s read on:
Taking into account the 600 or so days needed for the pregnancy, the first baby mammoths of the modern age could be born in four to five years.
Six hundred days? That’s twenty months — a long time to be pregnant. We continue:
The Kyoto University researchers are planning an expedition to the Siberian permafrost this summer in search of a flash-frozen specimen still rich in DNA.
It’s an old-fashioned mammoth hunt! Well, almost. Here’s more:
DNA from the mammoth’s cells will be injected into an empty egg, taken from an elephant, its closest living relative.
The egg is then zapped with electricity to trick it into growing and dividing, like a normal embryo. It will then be allowed to mature in the lab for a few days, before being inserted into the womb of an elephant that will act as a surrogate mother, in the hope that she will eventually give birth to a baby mammoth.
Inserted into the womb of an elephant? Egad! Who’s going to volunteer for that job? Moving along:
This related story in National Geographic informs us that the leader of this adventurous project is Professor Akira Iritani, chairman of the genetic engineering department at Kinki University in Japan and a member of the Mammoth Creation Project.
We hope this project succeeds. Our ancestors apparently thrived on mammoth meat, and we’d certainly like to try some.
What will the creationists say about this? Probably that it’s evidence of intelligent design. But then, everything is evidence of intelligent design, which is why ID is such a handy theory.
Update: See ICR Comments on the Mammoth-Cloning Project.
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