Can you picture it? You and me at Spiaggia sharing a Florentine pasta and a bottle of vintage Valpollicella with a well dressed member of the long extinct European Neanderthal?
We needn’t make any reservations just yet; still, modern biology is excited about their latest accomplishment: De-extinction. Researchers around the world are working on ways of using recovered DNA cells to re-create such long extinct species as the woolly mammoth, the saber tooth tiger, passenger pigeons, the goat-like Pyrannean Ibex and maybe even a member of the long gone Neanderthal.
To my knowledge no one has yet asked whether these species would like to be resurrected from the evolutionary dead, but these days if we can do something we feel instantly entitled to do it. You know like botox, enhanced breasts, enhanced energy, enhanced muscle development, enhanced IQ, plus the usual assortment of handy, pocket-ready uppers and downers to accommodate our every need and whim.
I always remember Julia Child dismissing the diet aficionados: “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” Likewise, maybe the only time to de-extinct past species is once our present species has learned more how to live the full life. You know, all those pithy pieces of good advice we hear and then politely ignore,,,
…such as taking the time to really taste our food, to smell our springs, to once more lie on our backs on summer days, to make a snowball in winter, to giggle with our children and our friends, and to dream so darn hard that we can almost feel them coming true.
If we can do any of that, then we might have something to boast about with our Neanderthal friend.
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