Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rerun Article: Return of the Mammoths

I experienced my first really cold day since winter ended just yesterday. Let me tell you, the temperature dropped fast. Just a week earlier, it was well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Anyway, there isn't much to report on today, but I do have an interesting blog article to share back from my earlier blogging days. I wrote it in 2012, so I figured it was high time to "bring it out of the garage" so to speak.

Days till:
It is: 10 days till Columbus Day
It is: 28 days till Harvest Day, usually referred to as "Halloween"
It is: 31 days till Daylight Savings Time Ends

In the Spotlight:
Unfortunately, there wasn't really anything for me to report on this week, but I did find this picture from the shooting of the upcoming movie Jurassic World:

In this picture, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) appears to be looking at something (a dinosaur?) through a window. Anyone's guess what.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Now, when most people think of mammoths they think of Woolly Mammoths, but there are many types of mammoths and they have living relatives: the elephants. The elephant family tree is HUGE! As a matter of fact, there were well over 600 species of elephants roaming the globe thousands of years ago,  but today, I'll stick to the mammoths. Here are just a few species:

Columbian Mammoth

Southern Mammoth

Imperial Mammoth

Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammoths are the mammoths that are normally depicted in popular culture around the world in movies (such as Ice Age 4), video games, computer games, books and etc. They went extinct at the end of the Ice Age about 3,500 years ago, about 500 years before Moses (and the Ice Age fits perfectly into the Biblical world-view). These behemoths roamed the snowy plains of Northern Siberia, Asia and North America. While there are still rumors floating around that mammoths still survive somewhere on the planet, the most likely conclusion is that they are extinct. And unfortunately we will never get the opportunity to see one . . . right? Would you be surprised to see a Woolly Mammoth walking in your backyard? What if I told you extinct doesn't have to be forever? Well, some scientists are thinking seriously about bringing the mammoth back from the brink by cloning them! How can they do this? You see, unlike most extinct animals, mammoths left a lot more than a few fossils to prove their existence. When these animals died many years ago, they were quickly covered, many probably were either buried in dust storms or sunk in sticky mud in lakes or ponds. After the animal drowned, they didn't have time to rot and so today, we actually find mammoths underground in the permafrost of the northern regions of our planet, including the fur and flesh! They are practically frozen in time! After excavating these mammoths and bringing them to labs, scientists have been able to actually extract DNA from these creatures. But there's one problem: just having DNA won't help, because in order to clone something, you also need a way to get a baby animal. However, mammoths have living relatives: the elephants! Scientists have many possible methods to hopefully clone a baby Woolly Mammoth. These methods can get very confusing, even for me, so I'll go through one of their less complex methods:
  1. First, they extract reproductive "stuff" from a frozen male mammoth (I won't explain what exactly because some of our readers might not be ready for it)
  2. Then they implant this "stuff" in a female Asian Elephant
  3. Hopefully, the embryo will grow in the mother elephant and she will give birth to a half mammoth, half elephant calf aka a "mammo-phant"!
  4. After breeding many other baby "mammo-phants", they will breed the calves that most resemble their ancient relative and over time, their offspring will resemble a baby mammoth and they won't be extinct!
"But wait a minute," you say, "wouldn't an "mammo-phant" turning into a mammoth be evolution?" Well, no it's not. Being a born-again Christian, I don't believe in evolution and millions of years. Instead, I believe that the Bible is to be taken literally when it talks about Creation. The Bible says God created ALL land animals on Day 6 of the Creation week. Well, when God made elephants, he didn't make Asian Elephants, African Elephants, Woolly Mammoths, Columbian Mammoths and etc., etc. all during that Creation week. No, God probably only made a particular type of elephant or mammoth. And this mammoth or elephant carried the DNA for all other elephants and mammoths that would later rise from natural selection. Natural selection is NOT evolution, as evolutionists would like us to believe. Instead of an organism rising out of . . . well . . . nothing and gaining more "genetic information" over millions of years as evolution teaches, natural selection is when an organism loses "genetic information" over time instead of gaining it. So if elephants "naturally selected" from mammoths, an elephant couldn't "naturally select" back into a mammoth (we don't really know if elephants descended from mammoths or not, I just used this example so you could understand better). So no, a "mammo-phant" turning into a mammoth is not evolution. See these articles on Answers in Genesis for more information: Cloning the Woolly MammothZonkeys, Ligers and Wolphins . . . oh my!

So back to the cloning of the mammoth (and by the way, there are other possible cloning methods that would not involve a "mammo-phant". Instead, they would give us a 100% Woolly Mammoth). I am quite excited about the possibilities of seeing a real, live Woolly Mammoths. Scientists expect to bring the mammoth back from extinction within another five or six years! I hope they succeed, don't you? After that, what's next? Tasmanian Tigers? Dodos? Saber-Toothed Cats? Tyrannosaurus rex? The latter isn't likely any time soon, but hey, you never know! The possibilities are endless!

DisclaimerMany (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

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