One of my biology professors at college was not only a good scientist, but a good artist as well. When he was in graduate school he made a beautiful oil-on-canvass painting of a rainbow trout. The first time he unveiled it was during a presentation in front of his fellow scientists. He explained to them that it had taken him a lot of time and skill to make such a striking, life-like picture of this beautiful animal.
But then, to everyone’s surprise, he ripped the canvass into pieces in front of their very eyes and threw it into the trashcan. The audience was shocked. How could he do such a thing?
“We all do the same thing all the time,” he explained to his fellow biologists, “when we allow an unique species of life to go extinct. I have simply destroyed a painting of a rainbow trout. But it is not as bad as actually eliminating the rainbow trout species. Humans every year destroy many unique species that will never exist again. What I have done does not even compare to what some are doing to the environment around us.”
My professor was right. There are only a finite number of species of all kinds of life that exist in this world. Each one should be carefully guarded, because once it is gone it is gone.
However, I believe in the value of each species even stronger than my professor does. My professor was an evolutionist. He believed that all life, including a rainbow trout, was created by a long series of random mutations guided by the destructive force of natural selection. According to his beliefs new species are developing rapidly to replace the old ones.
But I believe that the DNA in the rainbow trout was created directly by God at a time in the past. Replacements for it are no longer being made. Therefore, to wipe it out of an existence would be to destroy the work of the greatest artist there is.
This story is just a paraphrase. I do not remember all the details of the story, nor my professor’s exact words.