The Re-Origin of Species, by Torill Kornfeldt


Summary: With a hefty dose of skepticism, Torill Kornfeldt interviewed several scientists who are trying various methods to clone or genetically reinvent extinct animals – mostly for the sake of recovering their ecological purpose (for instance, mammoths knock down trees and stomp down permafrost, passenger pigeons devastate forests with the same (but less threatening) ecological benefits of forest fires, etc.) Kornfeldt briefly describes the science behind each project, but does not go into a lot of detail, so the book is good for someone who has very little science background.

My thoughts: I’m a little torn about bringing back extinct species. My instinct is against introducing potential “invasive species” which might not act exactly the same as the original animals did. There is, also, the worry that creating new animals will somehow create new viruses that can move to humans – though that may be worrying too much. Overall, I think the book was well-written and interesting, though it could have been more engaging at times. I liked Kornfeldt’s mixture of awe and skepticism, which managed to present both sides of the story well. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in endangered species, as it really does provide some interesting food for thought.

My thanks to Edelweiss and Scribe US for an ARC of this book. Their contribution did not impact my review.

3 and half snowflakes

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