Limits of Scientific Inquiry

Cameron Welt P.4

Should there be limits on scientific inquiry?

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"Hacking" - The effect a product of science could have in the world around us


In this day in age, it is no secret that humans twist and manipulate everyday ideas in order to advance them alongside new found knowledge. Whether or not these edits to society's fundamental blueprints are beneficial, is entirely dependent on how they are orchestrated. From the seemingly ancient land lines, to phones possessing the capability to start a car, the idea of science when pointed in the right direction can benefit most everyone; in other cases, it can do just the opposite.

In today's day in age, hacking is considered a felony and is a direct offense to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (Ball) created in 1986. When the issue of hacking and sending modified viruses to the hardware of other computers first arose, it was nothing more than sport, instituted out of boredom. As time led its course, human's evolved, society evolved and technology evolved as direct result. With this idea, came new viruses, new DoS attacks and a highly increased motivation to release these attacks.

Flaunting the irony, government nation's like the United States, started to utilize these men and women in an attempt to deploy attacks on "key government services or infrastructure" (Gale). Trying to keep this secret to the citizens of the country, massive cyber based retaliations took place. After just a short while, many countries had both willingly and unwillingly invited themselves to a cyber war between nations. This, is when science had gone too far.

Sometimes the fate of others and obstruction of morals is overlooked by selfishness. Many times the government makes decisions based on their own beliefs not taking into consideration the millions who could potentially be affected along the way. Many nation's seem to think that the ripple effect on their country is "but a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge" (Shelley Letter 4). In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Victor is a man who grew up around science; it's something that coursed through his veins while also acting as the bane of his existence. Victor created an entity that was eventually labeled as a "monster". After a distasteful abandonment, his creation started to act out of spite and ventured out to wreak havoc on everything close to Victor's heart. This seemingly atrocious being was the product of science; something that had been created to make a statement, but had been indirectly manipulated into a creature of harm and destruction.

Just like the miniscule act of hacking, both grew into something that was opposed to the greater good and had been prompted to harm others out of intentions related only to themselves. With that said, science should have limits. These limits should make it so the "citizens" of the United States actually feel safe knowing they're protected and bound by their constitution and federal laws. With the government passing these bills and declaring these laws, it seems difficult to build trust as a nation if these laws are being broken by government officials with no consequences. Science should be used as a tool and a stepping stone into a more comfortable and industrialized society; it shouldn't be used to make threats or brandish superiority.
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Humanity: A Test (Editorial)

Humanity: A Test

Whether it be abortion, the election, or the amount of oil the United States has access to from foreign nations, conflict has, and always will arise as time sets its course. Laying the pavement for the technological era, this generation has been utterly fascinated with the idea of advancement in many different forms. This fascination could be found in modern technology such as the iPhone. With a new version being released every year with minor tweaks and more compatible features being added, it seems as if evolution through society's lens will never flatline. This could potentially be true, but the question still remains, does science have limits?

Utilizing the internet as vault for important personal information; people in today's society have not only learned how to retrieve this info through use of different software and viruses, but conceal themselves in identities far from their own in an attempt to live a double life. Once hacking started to abandon its previous roots of being thought of as sport, the evil started to ensue. Governments were hiring men and women from across the nation to breach the mainframes of multiple different sources throughout the world in attempts to retrieve vital information anonymously that could offer them leverage in the long run. This addiction soon turned into a cyberspace war and governments who functioned off legal precedent which bound them to their country started to not recognize this fact. Some may think a war like that is "but a small price to pay for the acquirement of knowledge" (Shelly Letter 4) when in reality, the sole purpose of the internet had been manipulated and twisted into something resembling a weapon.

Next, comes something moderately harmless with its central power being concentrated toward the greater good, genetically modified organisms. The idea of GMO's is so instead of waiting throughout different seasons for a food's stock to replenish. "Scientists can reach the final outcome more quickly by removing or adding certain genes" (Gale). Whether for commercial and advertising purposes, or to end world hunger, these modifications to an object's genetic coding serve as a bridge into helping society have access to a far more superior and heavily abundant food source.

Next, as admired by many different oscar nominated movies, Artificial Intelligence is something that is in the works within modern day civilization. The idea of an entity that functions primarily off different flexible scripts of coding and universal knowledge algorithms can be thought of as just a dream. Thinking that a human brain "works like a computer and that it would be a straightforward" (Gale AI) was an idea that upon further realization was completely illogical. Scientists discuss the different complications and conflicts that go into making a mind that can match or even surpass the wickedly diverse human mind. Maybe this task seems so hard to seek out because it's not meant to happen. If society created a civilization around their families of genetically altered robots with their sense of emotion being linked to their robotic cortex would that be taking science to far?

Lastly, the pinnacle of science and one of the many actions that results in the question "could this be taking science to far?", cloning. Cloning is something that has been traced back since the early 1990's and is being tested, analyzed, and improved upon with each passing day. It started with "a sheep called Dolly, the first successful clone of a mammal" (Gale Cloning) and from then on has led to many different cloned animals. After this frightful procedure, the elephant in the room was addressed, "will humans be next?" (Gale Cloning). This thought challenges a multitude of different "scientific, legal, and ethical issues" (Gale Cloning). If society came together to create someone who was identical in every way possible as someone else then would the fundamental roots and meaning behind what it means to be human gradually start to dissolve? Time could only tell.

Works Cited

Works Cited


- "What Is Cloning?" What Is Cloning? N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

- Clone picture: E00000578-3341271-image-a-18_1448983601217

- Hacker picture: hacking-and-you-various-shades-hackers.1280x600

- Ex Machina picture: ExMachina4

- Hacking:

GMO's: "The Battle Over GMOs." N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2016.

Artificial Intelligence: