Controlling the Natural


This weeks’s reading included an insightful quote by Pierre Curie which reads, “And here the question can be raised whether mankind benefits from knowing the secrets of nature whether to profit from it, or whether this knowledge will not be harmful for it.”


He speaks about nature’s amazing capacity to be manipulated and exploited for human need. Although exponentially helpful, it can quickly lead to negative outcomes when people take advantage of nature’s benefits. 


This article speaks about the beginnings of an ability to manipulate cells and the DNA which they carry to store information. Scientists have essentially found a way to control a cell and “program” actions not unlike a computer. Although this breakthrough has many benefits, one can only hope that this new discovery isn’t used for evil. Because as helpful as these processes are, they can also be abused. 


In a way, scientists are now on the verge of designing basic organic structures and controlling them to their artificial specifications. As “design” now orients itself in a biological way, we must be cautious to carefully examine the consequences of forcing the artificial on the human.


– Stephanie Lin

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One Response to Controlling the Natural

  1. Barbara says:

    Stephanie, Your point about design proceeding with caution it apt. Let’s discuss this in recitation. The conundrum you present is a clear concern in Lauren’s book–it would be great to follow up on this.

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