Why Katz is Wrong: A Lab-Created Creature Can Still Have an Ancient Evolutionary History

Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (2):109-112 (2022)
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Katz denies that organisms created in a lab as part of a de-extinction attempt will be authentic members of the extinct species, on the basis that they will lack the original species’ defining biological and evolutionary history. Against Katz, I note that an evolutionary lineage is conferred on an organism through its inheriting genes from forebears already possessed of such a lineage, and that de-extinction amounts to a delayed, human-assisted reproductive process, in which genes are inherited from forebears long dead. My conclusion is that de-extinct organisms can perfectly well have an ancient evolutionary history, contrary to what Katz claims.

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Douglas Ian Campbell
University of Canterbury


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