Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Harmful Curiosity

There was once a man in Miri, Sarawak, whose curiosity got the better of him—he wondered if it was possible to fit his wedding ring onto his penis. Where and how he got the idea to do that, only God knows; and why the penis of all the organs in the body? It’s mind-boggling when you think of it even though that news article must have been over 20 years ago. Sometimes, you just can never forget the things that are outrageously stupid, if you know what I mean. 

Well, what d’you know, he was able to slip the ring onto his penis somehow. I must admit that that was quite a major achievement in itself. I can only think of 2 obvious possibilities; it’s either because he had an extremely thin penis or because it was an unusually huge wedding ring. But still, why the penis, for crying out loud? 

Anyway, the tip of his penis immediately swelled up, thus making it impossible to retrieve the ring. Soon after that, the pain was becoming unbearable. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, the ring cut and his penis was saved from permanent damage; and his story made the headlines in the Borneo Bulletin for all the wrong reasons. 

Such is the story of human nature—they often fall victims to curiosity, and the lust of wanting to know if something is possible, which in turn frequently ends up with disastrous outcome. 

I read with interest the recent discovery of the preserved body of a 40,000-year-old woolly mammoth from Siberia, and the ambitious plan of cloning it. The thing is, I have faith in human abilities. I’m convinced that it’s just a matter of time; sooner or later, we would be able to bring back the woolly mammoth from extinction. After all, we have successfully cloned living animals. It seems not too far-fetched that we’re gonna be able to do the same for dead animals too. Granted, it may not happen during my lifetime, but I’m sure it will happen eventually. 

But why bring back the mammoth from extinction? Are we bringing it back just because we can, or has it got other benefits for the human race? I mean benefits other than having something unique and exotic in our zoos? 

Because of its size, I can imagine that the mammoth must have been one of the dominant species that roamed the earth eons ago. It may have been driven to extinction due to over-hunting by humans; or perhaps because of the change in the world climate. Whatever it was that caused its extinction, I think the mammoth has had its time in this world. If our scientists are so obsessed with wanting to clone animals, then maybe it’s much better to start cloning recently extinct species; or even species that are currently at the brink of extinction. We have plenty of those, especially when considering how quickly we’re destroying the jungles wherein these animals are living. 

Like I said, I’m sure we have the brains and means to clone the woolly mammoth sooner or later, but let’s not do it just because we can; or because we’re curious to learn more about the animal. Maybe it’s not meant to be; we’re trying to be too smart for our own good. Let’s just let it go; let’s put to good use the lesson that we’ve learnt from the man in Miri.

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