Sunday, April 25, 2010
Thoughts for Science
Another subject that has come up a lot this semester is the fact that quite rapidly, that which was once science fiction is quickly becoming actual science. Perhaps not as fast as some authors rashly predicted, but genetic alterations, robots, and cryonics are now a thing of the present even if they aren't yet mainstream. The result has been mass opposition and endless debates over the morality of things like stem-cell research and cloning, and a significant conservative backlash to some of the paths science is taking. Now, whether or you or I personally agree with this that or the other, I think that I can safely say that opposition of any kind, whether they end up being right or not, is in fact a good thing. It is good for people to argue against and reasonably debate the things that many scientists are doing. Why do I say this is a good thing? Because whether or not cryonics or cloning is morally wrong, scientists must sometimes be made to stop and consider the moral implications of what they are doing. And that will only happen if people offer arguments against them. So whether stem cell research ends up saving countless millions of lives or is simply the first step down a long slippery slope ending in human beings as crops (or both), I am just glad that people are stopping to consider the ramifications and proceed cautiously. I think Ian Malcolm put it best in a Sci-Fi movie about the dangers of rashly cloning long extinct dinosaurs..."Yeah well, your scientists were so focused on whether they could, they never stopped to think if they should!"