What Science Is Good Science??
As time passes, humanity seems to know no bounds when it comes to our scientific aspirations. Hundreds of years ago we fell victim to plagues that we have now eradicated and scientists of that time could only dream of the achievements we have accomplished in the modern-day. As we continue to advance in this area though, we have started to reach levels of science where the ethical decision of how far we should go has started to come into question. The reason I say this is that the further our technology advances, the more significant the achievements we are able to accomplish. An example of this can be easily seen by thinking about the very computer you are reading this post on. Only 50 years ago, the computing power we so casually use for surfing the web, checking emails, etc. that is small enough to place on your lap would have taken up your entire living room, but as we understand more and more, the technology advances at a faster and faster rate. this brings me to the topic of this post, that being how far is too far? Human beings are, by design, mortal beings and in many cases, we worship deities capable of almost magical things as far as our beliefs go but what happens when our abilities begin to equal or even surpass the very gods we worship? Take a look at a few of the technological advances now being studied by our government and you will realize that our science has entered the realm of powers and abilities once only reserved for the movies.
Invisibility– Though still far from being perfected, universities and government labs have been working on the ability to “cloak” an object from sight to the point that the object cannot be seen by the human eye. Using various methods of “bending” light away from the object, sometimes using heat in the very same way a mirage works, science is getting closer and closer to being able to develop a cloak that when worn, would render the wearer nearly invisible. While the military applications are endless, one has to wonder that if this technology is ever perfected, exactly how dangerous the world could be when governments have the ability to turn their operatives and their vehicles basically invisible. If it is a technology possessed by only one government, it could mean military dominance far greater than ever seen before. If it becomes commonplace, you can only imagine the instability this one accomplishment could fuel. If you think it is hard to spot a terrorist now imagine if technology such as this fell into the wrong hands.
Teleportation– From the moment Star Trek hit our televisions back in the day, people have at least wondered about being able to teleport,and you may be excited, or disturbed to know that it is slowly becoming a reality. By separating small numbers of molecules, shooting them along a beam of light and then reassembling them to their original form, some labs have actually teleported small bundles of molecules two to three feet already, and are working hard to increase both the size of what is being teleported and the distance they are able to send it. This again raises an ethical question about a technology that could seriously affect the stability of the world. Imagine, for all those people out there that fear a nuclear bomb falling into the wrong hands, a technology that would allow someone to just beam a nuke to wherever they want. Again, we are a long way from anyone actually being able to do it but much like our computers, once a technology is fully understood, it is only a matter of the years going by before it becomes accessible to everybody. Do we really want all countries to be able to teleport things wherever??
Cloning– Cloning has already been perfected. Depending on the country you are discussing, there are different laws based around what is legal and what is not. There is a company outside the United States called Clonaid(it’s outside the states because what they do would be illegal here) that claims to have already cloned over 30 human beings. Thirty complete human born in a laboratory. The really scary thing is that because opinion on this differs from country to country, it is hard to establish how far this kind of science has actually gone. The biggest question this brings to my mind is this; isn’t this planet overpopulated enough with regular people being born without us growing more artificially?? This brings us to our next topic…
Stem cell research– Another science that has become a point of contention in our society, this involves being able to regrow virtually any kind of human tissue in a lab. Again, at least to me, this seems like another invention that could unnaturally extend the lives of people on a planet that is grossly overpopulated already. Also, for those of religious belief, at what point are we beginning to try and replicate the power of God? Are we on our way to humans living hundreds of years through the science we have created?
“The Singularity”-This line of thinking is, to me , very creepy. It revolves around a basic theory that in the near future, human beings will reach a point where the processing ability of our technology could surpass that of the human brain. Factoring in that, and the fact that there is more and more research and thought being done concerning integrating technology into the human body far beyond the point of what we are able to do now(pacemakers,etc.) that eventually we could reach a point where human technology transcends biology and we are able to become an almost higher life form, one comprised of biological and technological combinations. This is a good example of what i mean in this post. As the technology advances, it adds to the speed the next level is reached. If humans are able to understand the brain to the point where they have actual science to identify how the mind truly works, then it is only logical to assume that the mind could be replaced, or even moved into a piece of technology stronger than our brains.
The Hadron Collider-This, to me, is the most dangerous item on this list. designed to smash particles together in the constant quest to find the smallest building block of reality and physics, we often are slamming particles together in the hopes of finding even smaller ones. the thing is though, a lot of this science is far from perfected and one needs only look at the reaction of a nuclear bomb to see what can happen when particles are properly manipulated. There have been theories that the collider could do everything from nothing to creating a black hole, and many scientists believe it will actually create black holes but they will be small enough to actually just pass through our planet and just fade away. Just seems to me ya might wanna be careful with this one huh?
In conclusion, it seems the human race is doing all it can to advance our science to the point where we are virtual gods and you have to wonder if there is a point where we should be asking whether we should do something as opposed to whether we can.