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Pleistocene Park

I am fascinated by the effort to clone a mammoth, and yet I’m a little flummoxed about it, uncertain of the need. I know we’re humans, and we do many things because “we can”, but I’m not certain we can clone a mammoth.

We have yet to clone a dog. Cats, yes, dogs no. Is mammoth DNA that much simpler than a dog’s?

Plus, mammoths went extinct not due to humans but due to natural causes. Is it morally right to bring back something that can’t live in this world, just so that we can ooh and aah over it?

 

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2011 in Science

 

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (3)

The heart break of Never Let Me Go is the delusions the children carry with them into adulthood. They never get to enter the real world. They go from boarding school to a few brief years of freedom living with others like them, but they never get to really interact with the real world.

They believe the rumor that if two of them are truly in love, they can defer their donations, put off “completion” and live a happy life. When they are finally forced to confront the truth, the experiment that was their childhood, death is the only conclusion.

 

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2)

One of the secondary concepts expressed in Never Let Me Go that I find most interesting is the idea of using the ability to create art of any sort as a measure of someone’s soul. The children are encouraged to create- paintings, poetry, anything. The children put a lot of store in it because the adults around them do, to the extent that they ridicule a child who doesn’t create.

The children, of course, don’t realize why the teachers and administrators want them to create art. The overheard conversations that speak volumes to the reader float over the narrator’s head.

 
 

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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (1)

I read reviews of Never Let Me Go when it first came out and thought it sounded fascinating, though I’ve never been a fan of “literary” fiction. Still the concepts behind the story interested me.

If you’ve never read the book, don’t read the rest of this post. The story is about children who are clones created for medical purposes. Their sole reason for existence is to serve as organ donors for “real” people once they reach adulthood. The children know this from the beginning and are raised to believe that being a donor is the highest calling in life.

 
 

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