Good Science Essay

1700 words - 7 pages

Good Science

Science has helped to improve the lives of people around the world. Today, science has improved human health and medicine to help people live longer, and help people live with diseases people had little hope of living with a few decades ago, such as AIDS. While our scientific advances continue, ethical questions arise about how science should advance, such as stem cell research. Mary Shelley, author of the novel Frankenstein, and Michael Bishop, who wrote the article Enemies of Promise, have different views about how scientific knowledge affects humanity. Mary Shelley was born the daughter of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and political theorist William Godwin. While on ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, scientific experimentation is not worth the negative effects the experiments have on the human mind. Eventually, Frankenstein accomplishes his goal, but his creation does not turn out like he expected. After giving his creation life, Frankenstein is horrified and leaves his home. Frankenstein concludes Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to be greater than his nature will allow (231). Frankenstein wanted to have the knowledge to create life, and when he final had the knowledge to create life, he did. After he created life, he was miserable. Therefore, humans cannot be God and create life because their nature will not allow them to be like God, and those who try to create life will be miserable, unlike those who do not seek dangerous knowledge. Michael Bishop is a professor of microbiology at the University of California, San Francisco. In his article Enemies of Promise he warns about the misconceptions people may have about scientific advances. Bishop states science has sounded the alarm about acid rain and its principal origins in automobile emissions, but our society has not found the political will top bridle the internal combustion engine (239). Science has helped to improve the quality of life of people by discovering the cause of acid rain is from car emissions, and the reduction of acid rain could result from better emission standards. Science is not to blame for helping to create the internal combustion engine, but the lack of government funding to find other means to propel automobiles should be blamed. Bishop says Resistance to science is born of fear.

Fear, in turn is bred by ignorance. And it is ignorance that is our deepest malady (241). People fear science because they do not understand how science works, and the purpose of science is to better mankind, not to recombine DNA to create a deadly virus, or mutations. If people are educated, then they will have a better understanding of science, and will no longer fear science. Once all people understand science, and no longer fear science, mankind can move towards new goals, and improve the lives of all people. When scientists perform experiments, the scientists are trying to solve the mystery of something they do not understand, such as stem cells. Bishop believes scientists take things apart in order to understand the whole, to solve the mystery an enterprise that we regard as one of the great ennobling tasks of humankind (238). Scientists experiment to better understand the world around them, and all the things in the world, as well as the relationships between different parts of the world. Scientists do not take things apart just because they can, but scientists have a purpose for their actions. The experiments to understand the world around us, Bishop believes to be a noble task for mankind, and...

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