Scientist creates monster that eats him (or her). While there is no doubt this premise will make for a wonderful movie, it somewhat lacks in originality. That theme is probably quite familiar to many fans of sci-fi though. Which of our marvellous inventions will wipe us all out one day? AI? Or homo sapiens v2.0?
For many people, science is the answer to everything. Through diligence in this particular discipline, we will one day (it is thought) find answers to life, the universe and everything (unlikely to be 42). So we experiment.
One that received some press last week was the whole concept of gene editing. It is really quite exciting. For many people, the idea of having children comes with great fear. This is because some of us carry faulty genes which will manifest in our offspring in all sorts of sad and tragic ways. We can fix this now and that brings great hope.
For some ethicists though, it also brings fear. While the technology is still in its infancy, there is debate about the ethics of gene editing. If a nation (China or North Korea for example) decided to use this technology to develop a generation of children who would grow up to be smarter, faster, stronger, tougher etc, how would the rest of us fare? It is a truth universally observed in nature that big animals eat small animals. This is how evolution works. Christianity of course turns this all on its head. The Bible teaches that God cares for the weak and vulnerable and this teaching has impacted Western civilisation in more ways than one.
Science is great and has done much to improve lives everywhere, but it is important to know where its limits lie. As Oxford Professor of Mathematics John Lennox wrote, “Science can tell us that if you put strychnine in your grandmother's tea it will kill her. Science cannot tell you whether you ought or ought not to do so in order to get your hands on her property.”
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