Does an heirloom tomato have any greater a priori value, strictly biologically, than a genetically altered tomato? Surely there is intuitive benefit to the heirloom tomato, in part at least because of its rareness and the diversity it offers to the tomato plant’s available genetic pool. But as genetic code, does the genetic code of an heirloom tomato offer anything by which we should value it greater than that of a genetically altered tomato?

If we could somehow reintroduced the dodo bird through genetic engineering, would the “new” species deserve endangered species status? If we could reintroduce the genetics of the dodo bird through a dodo-puffin combination, would this new species have as much a priori value as either of its antecedent species? Presumably the animal, even though a strictly laboratory creation, would be covered by animal cruelty laws, so we could not wantonly kick the dodo-puffin as it tried to waddle down the street. But if we had to save the animals of Earth on an ark, would we save the dodo-puffin?

In sum, does the natural world have any a priori value?

I submit that, not to its detriment, nature has no a priori value since value is an inherently human assessment. Mathematical truths may exist without us, but ethical values cannot.