Human Control over Nature

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Human Control Over Nature: The Computer Revolution and Medical Research

Throughout history, human beings have struggled to achieve control over nature. Now, in the twentieth century, with all of the scientific advances in computers and medicine, humans have come closer than ever to reaching this ultimate goal. However, along with the benefits of these new and rapidly increasing scientific advancements come moral, ethical and social issues that need to be given consideration. The Computer Revolution has not only vastly improved communication and produced amazing amounts of information, but has raised questions of human rights, privacy and social implications. While medical research has achieved medical benefits not even conceivable in the past, it has also raised major ethical and moral issues. Humans must consider all of these things when making decisions or judgments about human control over nature.

Computer technology is advancing at rapid rates. More and more information is found and processed every day. According to Linowes, More information has been produced in the last thirty years than in the previous five thousand.1 This information that is rapidly becoming available has produced many benefits to the human race. It has given humans more and more control over nature. It has been stated that the computer has opened up new dimensions in communication, architectural design, engineering, medical analysis, and even artistic expression.2 People thousands of miles away can do more than simply talk over the phone, but see each other while talking on their computer screens. Architectural structures are planned three dimensionally on the computer. This is much faster and easier than using blueprints. Humans are even considering education through computers. Students would not have to leave the comfort of their own home to go to school. Linowes states that instead of confining formal learning to the classroom, students would be taught wherever they might be by giving them access to centralized information networks. 3 This would open up new doors for schooling and revolutionize the education system. Tasks for almost every profession and area of interest are done faster, more efficiently, and with less effort on computers.

New advancements make it possible to not only program computers to do what people tell them to, but to think for themselves. Linowes also states that computers are being programmed to duplicate the decision-making process of leading experts in given fields.4 This is not yet fully developed, but is being explored. This type of advancement would make many aspects of life more effortless. It would revolutionize the way society is set up.

As good as all of these advancements may seem, they do have some negative aspects. First of all, individual rights to privacy are put in jeopardy. According to Linowes, We [in the U.S.] do not have adequate national public policy privacy protection legislation designed to minimize intrusiveness in the collection of personal information.5 Information is found on almost any matter of a given individuals life with the touch of a few computer keys. Human beings must consider whether it is better to have all the technology or to secure their individual right to privacy.

Due to the fact that people now have the ability to access all kinds of information, humans must question the validity of this information. Linowes says that information has become far easier to collect, store, manipulate and disseminate.6 The internet, for example, provides a way for people to access immense amounts of information. However, not all of the information found on the internet is valid and true.

The notion of education through computers also raises questions. School does more than simply provide children with an education. It teaches them valuable social and communication skills and encourages involvement in...
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