Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Divinipotent About Scientific Research

"Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary."
~ Albert Einstein

In an article titled "A Life of Its Own" in the September 28, 2009 issue of The New Yorker, Michael Specter writes about scientists on the front lines of synthetic biology, people who are "combining elements of engineering, chemistry, computer science, and molecular biology" to construct new forms of life, from clean energy sources to disease-free humans.

With that in mind, in Banned Books Week 2009, Divinipotent Daily stops to ponder science texts — works that, unlike literature, can lead to the permanent physical alteration of our world. Some lobby to restrict both scientific research and the information derived from it. But the reality is, Pandora's box is open, and its secrets cannot be recalled. Close observation and what Einstein called "value judgments of all kinds" about science are the only recourse for those outside the laboratory's domain.

"Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me Man, did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?"
~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus)

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