They've been openly talking about this since 2005 and it's looking more and more like it is going to happen. They've solicited zoos for reproductive tissue from dead elephants to fill in the missing links for the cloning process. They're even working on recreating the species' habitat.
What do you think about this? Is this progress? Is this dangerous? Is this ethical? Is this inevitable?
I can't imagine any reason not to. It will allow us to better understand biology as a whole and evolutionary movements. Analyzing skeletons is one thing, to observe an actual specimen will give us great insight.
Also, it will help in researching more advanced cloning and genetic alteration, which could be used for some useful things in the future.
I don't understand the utility of such a project, aside from perfecting cloning techniques. And as perfecting cloning techniques is likely to lead to human cloning, I find it among the most ethically reprehensible human endeavors ever imagined.
I'm in the bad-but-inevitable-so-let's-watch-advancements-closely-and-make-the-most-of-what-we-can camp. FWIW I agree that perfecting cloning is really the scientific community's endgame here and I'm scared that more people are not scared about the implications of such an endeavor. The consequences discussed in this thread are too myopic. I hope the global discussion isn't as well.
"There is no god; there is only us. Savage and fragile."