Bio-Techno-Fear (or Re: Genetic engineering?)

slavemaster un691cs at
Mon Dec 2 06:16:43 EST 1996

In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.961201173249.9870I-100000 at>, sten0013 at 
>I have recently developed an interest in the emergent biotechnologies, 
>specifically genetic engineering....


>The debate has reached all the way to the Pope 
>regarding in vitro fertilization particlularly when applied to gene 
>screening (=selection), prompting scientists to consider that filthy word 

Sorry ? I am a scientist, and morality certainly isn't a filthy
word to me.

>This is very abbreviated and I will put forth a larger effort by the end 
>of the week as regards my interest.  I hope to promote a thread specific 
>to this interest in the mean time.

>In researching the subject, I have found that much of the literature has 
>difficulty concealing a bias towards biotechnology with a flavour of big 
>business.  The trend is to accuse public ignorance for a strain of 
>techno-fear which in this case would be bio-techno-fear.

May I cite your first sentence ? (see above):
	"I have recently developed an interest in the emergent biotechnologies, 
	specifically genetic engineering...."
Why only RECENTLY ? doesn't this mean that you simply didn't care before:
"public ignorance" ? Its not that I HIDE the information....

Alas, your slightly 'coloured' mail makes a discussion of this topic pretty
hard to start with.  
But I have 2 interesting thoughts for you. IMHO, science is always moving faster
than society itself. Thus moral standards of society as a whole are usually
lagging behind the inventions that are being made. Individuals naturally
can not keep up with novel developments. Therefore there always will be,
and was in the past, an interesting conflict between science on one hand,
and society on the other.

Secondly, I think the press is too blame for a lot of the misunderstanding.
Journalists do not want to teach the reader anything. News is a product,
and only sensational news brings satisfaction. The amount of waste that has 
been written about genetechnology is unbelievable ! As long as journalists believe
that 'dog bites man' is less interesting than 'man bites dog' (whereby example one
happens much more often, and is certainly more relevant for our lives),
forget it brother !

Anatomy III
Heidelberg, Germany

>Jarrod P. Stenberg
>sten0013 at
>St. Paul, Minnesota  --  U.S.A

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