I've gotta say I love Michael Crichton. Not so much for the pseudo science, although that's part of it, and I
definitely like the imagination used in bringing monsters to life and
the semi-plausible ways in which to do it. But that's only part of it. I think I really like his writing because he raises some excellent moral quandaries about the place of science in terms of our humanity and what certain scientific abilities mean for us.
One of the quandaries presented in The Lost World is the debatable debate on whether or not extinct animals that have been resurrected would actually count as animals. The idea being that they are technically constructs, created outside of their original time and environment: they no longer have any context in our world. Crichton poses that this would open up genetically revived species to be used in absolutely horrific manners for product testing and likely many other things I can't even think up because I'm not scientist or a sadist.
While I think this line of reasoning probably wouldn't be followed through, I can definitely imagine pharmaceutical companies, etc. raising from the dead our extinct Cro-magnon relatives and touting the advances to be made, if only we can ignore the fact that these beings might feel pain. Even if they aren't used for medical exploitation, they would be used for exploitation nonetheless if they were raised from the dead. How many of us wouldn't want to go to a Jurassic Park to see the giant lizards walk? To know what we were not meant to know and to see the awesomeness of animals we can only imagine.
But then, wouldn't that take away some of the awesomeness of these creatures? I think there is so little left in our world that is truly amazing and awe-inspiring. Let's let the dead rest, and keep our wonderment of the unknown. It's too hard to respect and fear and be amazed by something you're willing to put in a cage or inject with cancer cells.
The best review I've seen on this is from the now defunct blog, Prehistoric Pulp.