Science should work in harmony with nature.
In the news this week a farmer had to kill some cows bred by German Nazi scientists due to their extreme aggression. Based on the extinct ancestor of the domestic cow called the auroch, which appears on ice age cave paintings, the “Heck super cows” expressed homicidal tendencies towards anyone near them. The farmer had to use an athletic young man as bait to get the cows into a trailer and off his farm.
There has been talk in recent years of bringing back into existence the wooly mammoths from the Ice Age, though in my opinion this is another expression of human hubris of acting against nature. In the Ice Age the focus of animal genes was on strength, aggression and size, in harmony with an environment which contained abundant food and a hostile climate. To bring back an animal that genetically is out of harmony with the modern-day environment is cruel to the animal and perhaps problematic for other species.
Despite humanity most species of plant and animal become extinct because genetically they are unable to cope with changes in their environment, those that do survive have changed to stay in harmony with an ever-changing climate. Similarly attempts to bring back species of animal such as bear or wolf to nations such as Britain where they have been gone for hundreds of years is unfair on both humans and the animals in an environment that has changed making it unsuitable for their return. Colchester Zoo shot three of their wolves dead for instance that escaped from my town zoo in 2013 for public safety reasons.
If there is a lesson from the homicidal cows of the farm in Devon it is that scientists need to learn some humility and work in harmony with nature in their work on behalf of humanity.
“Since they have gone it is all peaceful again. Peace reigns supreme on the farm.” – Farmer of homicidal cows.