Should there be limits to scientific inquiry?
The possibilities to what science can do is almost limitless. However, does this mean that we need to put limits on how far we can take science. Many people believe that we need to study and continue to develop as many different scientific methods as we can. On the other hand, some believe that science is useful, but it can only go so far before it becomes too unethical and immoral. While both sides have arguments, there still needs to be limits to scientific inquiry. Without limits, science will eventually control our world. People mention everyday how crazy science has become. Just imagine how much farther and literally crazier science will be in 10 years? 20 years? 100 years? There needs to be a fine line that scientific studies and investigations can not pass.
Scientific inquiry needing limits is demonstrated in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley “I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing in which I was engaged.” (Shelley 166), this depicts when Victor destroys his second creation in fear of the monster causing as much havoc as his first monster, and possibly creating a new race. Rather than thinking about the creation of life and the positives of Victor’s research, he takes into account the negatives of his scientific research and sees the dangers of his research. By destroying the monster he shows that there should be limits to scientific inquiry by using the development of his monsters as an example.
Obviously, the science-fiction classic Frankenstein is much more fiction than science. However, what if we were to create something with the logical and intellectual skill of a human? Advanced AI with thoughts and emotions could be just as much human as we are. We can dream and inquire, but should we force something with the mental capabilities of a human to be our personal secretary? Should we create things that did not wish to come into existence?
There should be limits to scientific inquiry because it can be destructive as it is beneficial. With all of the advancements in these sorts of categories that may turn the entire idea dark. The idea of scientific inquiry is to benefit the whole, but when it’s used to create monsters that ends up looking for revenge, it naturally creates a sense of dread among the community. Not only does this cause a problem criminally, but it causes fear among civilians and this type of fear should not be brought upon by a creation of advanced technology. The only way to officially have safe and easy way to follow through with our advancement into the future is one step at a time.
Limits to Scientific Inquiry
The possibilities to what science can do is almost limitless. However, does this mean that we need to put limits on how far we can take science. Many people believe that we need to study and continue to develop as many different scientific methods as we can. On the other hand, some believe that science is useful, but it can only go so far before it becomes too unethical and immoral. While both sides have arguments, there still needs to be limits to scientific inquiry. Without limits, science will eventually control our world. People mention everyday how crazy science has become. Just imagine how much farther and literally crazier science will be in 10 years? 20 years? 100 years? There needs to be a fine line that scientific studies and investigations can not pass. Cloning specifically can go too far to the point that it can destruct everyday life, which is why there is a need for limits on scientific inquiry.
Cloning is one of the highly debated subjects in science. Science has began to clone animals, with few success rates. Barbara Wexler states “several cloned animals, including two endangered cattle and bangteng died prematurely” (Wexler 6). This is one example of how trying to expand our research isn’t worth it. The end outcome could possibly be good. However, we don’t even know if we'll ever get there. Let alone we don’t know if it will be worth it to sacrifice all of the living animals and money to find the answer. For all we know the answer could be 1,000 years in the future and we will be making millions and millions of sacrifices until then. If we put limits on what science can do now, we will be able to avoid all of the losses before they happen.
The canadian broadcasting communities are very up to date with cloning controversies along with other scientific controversies. They mention that “it is entirely possible to create too many clones” (Committee 4). For example, what if one day clones make up half of our population. At that point, life wouldn’t be natural. This is an extreme example, however, if there are no limits to scientific inquiry then it is possible for a situation like this to arise. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is based around a theme question of whether or not science can go too far. Victor Frankenstein creates a living being to then claim “I can’t be the one to whom it looks for help” (Shelley 96). If there were no limits to scientific inquiry, situations like this would come up quite often. The only way to prevent things like this is to put limits on scientific inquiry.
A person who would argue that we don’t need limits on science would say that if we put limits on science, then we might not be able to make discoveries that can save people’s lives in the future. This statement may or may not be true, but in order to make those discoveries we would be sacrificing other lives and money. In the end, the process to getting to reaching the end goal is not worth it. If science doesn’t have limits, it will begin to be used for entertainment rather than legitimate medical purposes.
In all, our society wouldn’t be nearly the same without all of the current scientific discoveries, however, as useful as these discoveries are, they can quickly turn to be a terrible thing for our society. It will not continue to stay like this if we let science go as far as possible without any types of limits. If there are no limits to what science is allowed to do then it will never stop. When science is unstoppable bad things begin to happen. As of now science is a great thing and it needs to be kept that way and the only way to do this is to put limits on scientific inquiry.
"Human cloning possible but remains 'abhorrent' in minds of public." The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 28 Dec. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
This article explains the controversy between cloning. The article pictures how far technology has come and what we are able to do. There are many benefits to cloning, however, many people have ethical issues with cloning.
"Reproductive Cloning." Genetics and Genetic Engineering. Barbara Wexler. 2011 ed. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Information Plus Reference Series. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 16 Feb. 2016.
This article describes each section of human cloning and animal cloning. The article laid out how/why cloning works. It also stated the problems with cloning along with moral and ethical objections to cloning.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Diana Gibson. Frankenstein. Madrid, España:
Edimat Libros, 2000. Print.
Humans have always pushed the limits of what was perceived to be possible. From the humble fire to the revolutionary transistor, humanity is relentless in its pursuit of knowledge. But when should this pursuit cease? When should we stop our destructive and potentially cruel behavior? There should be limits to scientific inquiry whenever intelligent beings are being harmed against their will.
But what is an intelligent being? Is it a bear? Is it a rat? Are humans the only ones we can consider to be “intelligent”? What even defines a human?
Humans, like other mammals, are created with an egg and a sperm. The result is a human, a being with a brain capable of advanced mental processing, logic, and learning. The human brain is so advanced, that if it was simple enough for us to understand it, we would be too simple to understand. Despite how little we know of the brain, we have still tried to replicate it.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI as it is commonly referred as, is exactly what is says on the bill. It is a human-made being that is supposed to intimidate humans. Common forms of AI include email spam filters, spellchecks for word processing, as well as one of the most well-known Artificial Intelligence programs – Siri and Cortana.
The modern day is full of tales of rouge AI and robot armies. We fear that someday our very creations will come to conquer and potentially enslave their former human masters. We fear about rapidly-reproducing Nano-bots eating all and any organic matter, machines that we trust our lives with suddenly decided to cut the cord, lines of code that determine that humanity is not worth preserving.
But these ideas are not modern, or even new; in fact it harks back to the 19th century with Mary Shelly’s gothic classic Frankenstein. For those unfamiliar with the tale, a doctor creates a “monster” using the body parts from the dead. The “monster” is human in every sense of the way, except for how it came into existence. Despite this, is it treated like a monster and acts as such.
If humans were to create something with learning capabilities matching
Stem Cell Research
Embryonic Stem Cells
There are two types of stem cell adult and embryonic. Adult stem cells are harmless, because they come from the original patient's own body and have plenty of benefits when it comes to repairing damaged tissues. Embryonic stem cells can do more than adult stem cells, because they are pluripotent (Having the ability to give rise to all of the various cell types of the body.), but they are also destructive to the human population. Due to the destruction caused by Embryonic stem cells a line needs to be drawn to limit the destructive research of Embryonic stem cells, therefore limits need to be placed on scientific inquiry.
Scientific inquiry needs to be limited, because if people were able to undergo further research into Embryonic stem cells, there would be the possibility of people being able to live forever by constantly replacing their body parts using embryonic stem cells. The process is very similar to cloning, because a zygote is taken but the original DNA of the zygote is replaced with new genetic information, which is killing off a human who does not have a choice, just to benefit another person. By harvesting these Embryonic stem cells it is a form of abortion, but the dangers of this type of abortion is that it will encourage people to have abortions thinking that they will be benefiting someone, even though as Doeflinger says “We must not sacrifice one class of human beings to benefit another” (Richard Doeflinger) Doeflinger demonstrates the reality of Embryonic stem research and how it could become human sacrifice if scientific inquiry is not limited. If scientific inquiry is not limited than Embryonic stem cell research may take over causing mass abortions and the wealthy will be able to hold their positions of power, making it more difficult to move up the social change, all because scientific inquiry was not limited.
Scientific inquiry is already being limited by the United States government “The U.S. government banned federal funding of certain types of stem cell research under a policy announced by President George W. Bush in August 2001. Adult stem cell research was supported under guidelines, but no federal research funds were to be used on any embryonic stem cell research that necessitated the destruction of a blastocyst and embryo.” (Gale) with the government limiting scientific inquiry they realize the potential disastrous outcomes that could occur if limits were not put on Embryonic stem cell research. By applying limits to scientific inquiry research such as embryonic stem cell research can be prevented, because it a type of research that is just as negative if not more negative than the potentially (Embryonic stem cells have a higher rate of rejection and may not accept the new host) positive impact.
Embryonic stem cell research also needs to be limited, because in theory the research will be able to keep people alive a lot longer. People who are going to be able to afford this medical care are going to be wealthy and powerful. So if a dictator has the ability to constantly replace his body parts “Embryonic stem cells can become all cell types of the body because they are pluripotent” (National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 1), and extend his lifespan. A country will remain under his rain for a longer period of time. Imagine if embryonic stem cell research continued, people could in theory live infinitely and eventually it would be nearly impossible for new people to rise to power, because the social class in control would not change. Also with people being able to live longer and stem cell research supporting the idea of abortion, there would be less youthful members of society, so taxes like social security would be impossible to pay for, because people’s lives would extend so more people would be receiving social security for a longer span of time. The youthful work force would not be able to pay for social security, because there would be more people on social security than people woking. Limiting scientific inquiry is important because scientific inquiry branches out and impacts many events and objects in our daily lives, so by limiting scientific inquiry, events that could ruin the future for many people can be prevented, such as tyranny and possibly overwhelming taxes.
Another example of scientific inquiry needing limits is demonstrated in the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley “I thought with a sensation of madness on my promise of creating another like to him, and trembling with passion, tore to pieces the thing in which I was engaged.” (Shelley 166), this depicts when Victor destroys his second creation in fear of the monster causing as much havoc as his first monster. And possibly creating a new race. Rather than thinking about the creation of life and the positives of Victor’s research, he takes into account the negatives of his scientific research and sees the dangers of his research. By destroying the monster he shows that there should be limits to scientific inquiry by using the development of his monsters as an example.
Due to the destruction caused by different types of scientific inquiry, specifically embryonic stem research in this case. There must be limits applied to scientific inquiry to prevent disastrous outcomes that could lead the whole human race and earth into a downward spiral.
Hacking is a concept that has boggled the minds of many researchers for many years. Not only does it create an easy way to not only recover intel, but steal it entirely. For those who don’t understand hacking, it can completely overturn someone’s will for either good or bad; more bad, however. With the events occurring in the world currently, it is hard to imagine anything that isn’t out of the ordinary. For example, many people hack into computers to recover personal information and various amounts of intel. Regarding the world today, hacking has become a problem that has to be resolved by enhanced security and even hackers on either side, but what about the inventions led on by hackers? This leads to the inevitable truth of human nature and how easy it is to act in control. Hackers can only be as dangerous as they are set out to be.
By the time this generation gets to the later stages, technology will become even more of a problem than it is now. With all of the advancements to science lately, it’s hard to imagine normal life without the access of anything electronic. Of course, in the 21st century, it’s hard to imagine anything that won’t make simple tasks easier, which is unfortunate. After the World Wars, many countries sought to become the best by different scientific research, whether it be weapons, computers, or even agriculture. This eventually led to the inevitable development of nuclear weaponry and other game-changing trump cards, including advanced technology. Brilliant minds came along to adjust the playing field with the ability to hack into enemy computers, satellites, and firewalls to steal important information. Most earlier computers were much easier to access than modern day supercomputers, but were also limited to a smaller scale of equipment which made tasks appear harder than they actually were. For example, how easy would it have been to have seen the plans of Hitler during World War 2 and what would that have meant for the war? Different outcomes are the reasons why most scientists studying into new technology discover so many solutions brought upon by their research. Repercussions were the result of failing to hack into an enemy computer system. Modern day consequences are immediate prison time as well as a hefty fee. Police try constantly to reprehend these criminals, but “In some cases they caught people they were after...” (Adam, 8). Testifying only shows the slight trait of innocence of the defendant. How could “One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought…” (Shelley, 4.21) be a good excuse for bringing out the worst in people for a certain set of information? The only thing stopping people from hacking right now is that there isn’t really a lot to hack in the first place without getting caught. Consequences aren’t really that effective when the officials can’t identify the source. However, thanks to “Tim Berners-Lee, the man behind the World Wide Web” (Beattie, 6), it is easier to suggest that hacking has been used to invent amazing things in society today. Mary Shelley may have introduced the idea of giving life through technology, but what would happen if she went had known everything there is about computer science? She would most likely have changed Frankenstein immensely from what it is now because of how much more she could have added. Nonetheless, it’s an old book and technology like that wouldn’t have been necessary or even thought of.
The only problem with hacking is the people that use it negatively. The modern era can only describe hacking as an issue due to all of the negatives brought upon by it. Imagine a world where pandemic issues were solved by a simple reset and how easily that would make progressing through life. Hackers can only be as dangerous as they are set out to be and this statement is what allows people to have more freedom to accomplish tasks online.
King, Stephen : with an Introduction by, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Robert Louis.
Stevenson. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print
"Flashback Universe Blog: Is Frankenstein in Public Domain." Flashback Universe Blog: Is Frankenstein in Public Domain. Web. 04 Mar. 2016
"Tech Entrepreneurs Launch $1 Bn. Non-profit to 'solve AI for the Good of Humanity'" ZME Science. 2015. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
Liese, Peter. "Embryonic Stem Cell Research Reaching It's End." Eurofora. N.p., 17 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
"The Matrix- Smith Clones." Redhector Blog Spot. Web. 17 Nov 2009.
Adam Dachis. "Why We Hack: The Benefits of Disobedience."Lifehacker. N.p., 26 Oct. 2010. Web. 10 May 2016.
Beattie, Andrew. "5 Reasons You Should Be Thankful For Hackers."Techopedia.com. Andrew Beattie, n.d. Web. 13 May 2016