Nonprofit journalism dedicated to creating a Human Age we actually want to live in.

Classroom Resources: Second Chance

By Cynthia Mills
October-December 2006 (Vol. 7, No. 4)

Read the article >>

Discussion Questions

  1. The author contrasts the views for and against cloning as being associated with technophile and technophobe philosophies, but then goes on to say that “Even restoration ecologists admit we can no longer reasonably hope to separate human impact from nature.” Is it sufficient to characterize a technophobe attitude as being about the issue of what is “natural”?
  2. With respect to the potential conservation gains from all kinds of different conservation strategies (e.g., cloning, land protection), what are the trade-offs associated with an investment in cloning?
  3. What characteristics of a species would make it a good candidate for the use of cloning as a conservation tool?
  4. In reference to thoughts against cloning expressed by environmental philosopher Eric Katz, the author states “Nature, inherently, cannot be recreated by man.” Does this line of reasoning suggest that other forms of ecological restoration, such as replanting trees, are also philosophically problematic? Why or why not?
  5. Cloning is not the only emerging technology for which there are conflicting ethical views. Other examples include stem cell research and gene therapy. How should society go about deciding which technological possibilities should be allowed in practice?

Websites for Further Information

Cloning and Conservation in the News

Peer-reviewed Literature

  • Ryder, O. 2002. Cloning advances and challenges for conservation. Trends in Biotechnology 20 (6): 231-232.
  • Lanza, R.P., Dresser, B.L., and Damiani, P. 2000. Cloning Noah’s ark. Scientific American 283 (5): 84-89.
  • Swanson, W.R. 2006. Application of assisted reproduction for population management in felids: the potential and reality for conservation of small cats. Theriogenology 66 (1): 49-58.

Key Concepts

  • Cloning
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • Restoration
  • Extinction
Share This