- Intentionally creating a life from incomplete DNA which may not end up producing a complete, healthy, and happy animal.
The whole point of the article is they're optimistic about extracting enough samples to get the complete DNA, so that's a non-issue.
- Then using that animal for an endless barrage of scientific testing throughout its life.
You phrased that to be inflammatory, while ignoring the realities of the situation. Elephants in zoos aren't subjected to some ridiculously invasive regimen and a mammoth wouldn't be either. They are very large, very powerful animals. You don't casually stick a needle into one of them. Invasive testing is something you keep to a minimum, because the animal is in a position to object when it's conscious, and sedating it is difficult and dangerous. So the "endless barrage" in question means a whole lot of stool and urine samples, and not so much with the vivisection.
- Creating an animal that normally lives a social life and forcing upon it total isolation from its species.
One hopes they would make more than one. And if they don't, the question becomes, how accepting of visibly different but roughly the right shape members is an elephant herd? If the answer is "accepting", then that's no problem. (And I'm curious to know the answer to that question.)
- Forcing an elephant to give birth to another species and all the potential health/safety and emotional problems that could cause for the elephant.
Either you're underestimating the power of motherly love, and she will accept her offspring regardless of its appearance, or you overestimate the attachment elephants have for their offspring, and she will reject an apparently "defective" offspring without trauma. I suspect she would accept her offspring. Baby elephants are actually quite hairy, as babies go, and get less hairy as they get older. If instead her baby gets furry, I don't think she'll object. As for health/safety, she'd be the best cared for pregnant elephant in history.
Unless there's real, valuable science that can be done that will justify the potential traumas that could be caused, it seems like a dumb idea.
This strikes me as one of those experiments that falls into the category of "we don't know; let's try it and find out." Is it real, valuable science? We have no idea. We might learn any number of things about genetics, gestation, fetal development, and a raft of other complicated biological things. Or we might learn nothing much. We won't know until we try it. I suspect developing elephant ultrasound will be useful elsewhere, if nothing else. Somebody will learn something, even if it's just engineering.