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Noah's Ark


Noah's Ark

by Kenneth Lyen

When Noah announced that he was going to build an ark to save the world’s living creatures that will be annihilated by an impending flood, nobody believed it and they all laughed at him.

So when Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens announced that they were going to build a frozen ark, to store samples of the world’s DNA and tissues at minus 80 Celsius, I kept quiet. I did not want to be a sceptic. At least not a sceptic in the wrong. After all, inspired by the film Jurassic Park, I can appreciate the tremendous potential of having such a store of genetic material for resurrecting extinct species.

But now the European Space Agency chief has made a comment on BBC News that the frozen Noah's Ark should be located on the moon. I really cannot hold my laughter any longer. He meant it quite seriously, because in the interview, he told the BBC that "his thoughts on matters lunar should be taken seriously."

Heck, I know I run the risk of being classified as one of those stupid morons who pooh-poohed Noah. But I think enough’s enough.

Yes, the reasoning for siting the frozen gene bank on the moon makes good sense, at least superficially. Mankind will probably wipe itself out sometime in the future, and there will be nowhere safe on earth to store these precious genetic materials.

But the moon? Is the moon any safer? Who will send it to the moon? Who will look after the bank? And if mankind has destroyed itself on earth, will there be survivors going to make a withdrawal from the moon? And what about ownership? Are rival surviving groups going to fight on the moon to see who gets to own the contents? And what if the signatures do not match?

Well, maybe I should not betray my ignorance, and I will shut myself up. Wittgenstein said: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent."

But before I do that, please allow me one last squeak: do you know the etymology of the word "lunatic?"

(Offstage: howls of laughter)