dhwillis at aol.com
Fri Jan 26 19:58:20 EST 1996
The major arguments have all been heard. Bottom lines:
1. Extinctions occur on a daily basis world-wide -- for better or ill.
2. This is a simple organism which has been completely sequenced, thus
its critical component could be recreated at any time.
3. This is a serious pathogen. No one considered making it extant in the
wild a serious problem. Why are the moral issues related to its
extinction any more powerful?
4. Doing away with _all_ stocks would make its use as a biological weapon
unlikely. Of course the big concern is that it is _easy_ to squirrel some
away. Used on an unvaccinated population, the results would be devasting.
Counter argument -- we learned to live with the nuclear threat, with the
US being the only nation to use those weapons in war. I would be more
concerned over the possiblity of a lab accident (the only smallpox
infections to occur for a long time) or selling of stocks to terrorist
organizations. Put simply, getting rid of the stocks can reduce or
eliminate many of these dangers.
My opinion -- get rid of them!
Dave Willis, PhD
DHWillis at aol.com
Senior Scientist, Meridian Diagnostics, Inc.
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