The co-founder of Elon Musk’s Neuralink, Max Hodak, says they could rebuild Jurassic Park “if we wanted to,” so I guess the whole moral of the story was lost on him.
“We could probably build Jurassic Park if we wanted to. wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but (shrug emoji). maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species,” he tweeted, being too preoccupied with whether or not he could that he didn’t stop to think if he should.
we could probably build jurassic park if we wanted to. wouldn’t be genetically authentic dinosaurs but ????♂️. maybe 15 years of breeding + engineering to get super exotic novel species
— Max Hodak (@max_hodak) April 4, 2021
Although he clarified that they wouldn’t be “genetically authentic”, he asserted that the plan would only take about 15 years.
Now, as the world’s biggest Jurassic Park fan, I would love nothing more than to see IRL dinosaurs and a hairy-chested Jeff Goldblum running around. But if the movie (and the four, nearly five sequels) taught us anything, it’s that this is an absolutely terrible idea that nobody should ever attempt.
If John Hammond managed to fuck it up, I’m wholeheartedly convinced that Elon Musk and the Neuralink team will somehow make it even worse.
However, it looks like Hodak’s tweet was referring to us — more broadly as a society — rather than Neuralink. So, Neuralink couldn’t pump out a T-Rex within the next two decades, but society probably could.
Neuralink is more focussed on brain implants in pigs than, you know, de-extinction, so it would be pretty left of field for them to invest time and resources in resurrecting a pterodactyl. Even for Elon Musk, who is more interested in using smartphones at supersonic speed.
First @Neuralink product will enable someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone using thumbs
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 9, 2021
But as CNET reported, even society as a whole would have a bit of a rough time resurrecting any dinosaur species.
In the film, scientists extract dino DNA from mosquitos preserved in amber, then combine this with frog DNA to fill in the missing gaps.
But even if we ignore the whole frogs-changing-sex, life finds a way issue here, we don’t actually have the dino DNA to begin with.
According to Scientific American, a tiny amount of baby hadrosaur DNA was found last year. However, they clarified that the “potential tatters of ancient DNA are not exactly Jurassic Park–quality.”
To put it simply, our chances of ever resurrecting a T-Rex or a Parasaurolophus are essentially extinct.
It is far more likely for us to resurrect a mammoth or giant ground sloth, both of which are far less likely to chase you around an amusement park or rip you limb-from-limb.
As for Neuralink, they’re more focused on trying to help people with brain and spinal cord injuries. So don’t worry folks, Elon Musk hasn’t gone full John Hammond… yet.