Twenty one years ago, Michael Crichton released a novel called Jurassic Park. At around the same time, in a completely unrelated situation, everyone in the world agreed that dinosaurs were the coolest creatures that ever lived on the planet. As a child, I read the novel hundreds of times, and then watched the movie just as much. I assumed that someone, somewhere, must be developing the technology to bring dinosaurs back. But apparently, I was wrong.
That's right, scientific community at large, I'm calling you out. What's the delay? We've cloned a sheep, and I think we can all agree that sheep are way less cool than giant monsters from the past. In fact, we have tons of them. So why make more? I morally object to living in a world where wool is a more important resource than wholesale slaughter.
"Sheep suck." – T-Rex
So what's keeping us back from turning the greatest theme park in the history of fiction into a bona fide reality? I'm actually quite curious myself. I mean, the science has obviously been there for more than two decades. Michael Crichton described every step slowly and carefully in the book. Heck, there was even a colorful cartoon breakdown of the process in the film. The instructions seemed so simple that given the resources, I could do it.
Find the remains of ancient mosquitoes preserved in tree amber. Drill into tree amber to extract the DNA from mosquitoes. Complete DNA sequences with genetic information from modern species with similar genetic makeup. That's less intricate than most IKEA building manuals. And you're telling me that scientists won't put the same effort into bringing dinosaurs back that they put into their home-shelving solution?
"You are so right. This really wouldn't be that cool." – Sarcasm
Considering the science is so clearly both possible and easy, I feel like there must be another reason why I can't buy a ticket to a prehistoric wonderland. When I first found out that dinosaurs had feathers, and were apparently more similar to birds than lizards, I thought maybe that was it. They had dinosaurs, but refused to introduce them to the public for fear that the public outcry against feathered dinosaurs would be too much. But we all went and saw the exhibit, came to terms with the massive historical retcon, and accepted 'birdosaurs' because they're still ancient killing machines with massive teeth and claws.
The thing is, it's even been more than a decade since that revelation. In fact, I think it's come to a point where we all scoffed at it, then accepted it, then promptly forgot it. Now, if they do the big dinosaur 'relaunch', people will get thrown off by the feathers again because they waited too long. It's no longer a part of the human subconscious. You've lost your momentum! Now it'll be an uphill battle toward profit whenever you do manage to do your freaking jobs and create a theme park full of extinct animals.
"Please?" – Me since I was seven.
One last thing. It's unlikely, but one of the snags may have been the fact that in the book and movie, most of the characters die horribly and the theme park itself is a fiscal disaster and an ethical quagmire. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but I think that could have lead to some hesitation from the scientific community. I mean, both the book and the movie are pretty brutal. Are you guys afraid you can't handle a few giant monsters? Wimps.
Look, scientists. Jurassic Park is a work of fiction. It's not real. You guys don't have to worry. The book was a metaphor for the consequences of messing with nature. It's not like actually bringing dinosaurs back would be dangerous at all. It's not like Ian Malcolm and his 'Chaos Theory' have any basis in reality. I mean, you're scientists. You should be pretty good at telling the difference between reality and fiction. Now that it's cleared up, though, I hope you guys will start working on making Jurassic Park a wondrous reality. And I expect a free lifetime pass for helping you guys get there.