Science, and the idea of new innovations and discoveries that the word connotes, has often been mounted on a pedestal, held by many as a panacea to many of the modern world’s woes such as poverty and illness. Yet, much as Science has brought, and continues to bring, salvation to many in the form of new technologies, Science cannot create many aspects of the utopia we so crave. A perfect world, some assert, is one in which society is harmonious and all humans have “perfect genes”, bestowing upon them favourable and much coveted characteristics. It is also one where the environment we live in is free from pollution and the environmental crisis we face today is resolved. While I concede that Science may be able to create some of these conditions of a perfect world, to believe so fully and irrevocably would be a dangerous delusion because Science cannot mould the more intrinsic aspects of a perfect society like values and personality. To depend on Science alone to create a utopia would inevitably result in a superficial utopian society, where all appears perfect on the outside, but flawed at its core.
With advances in genetic engineering, we may soon have the ability to create ‘superhumans’ - human beings with all the desirable traits in their genes. However, it is extremely dangerous to assert that Science and the ‘perfect’ genes it creates are all that constitutes an all-rounded, perfect human being. The supposed label of ‘perfection’ might be bestowed on one who possesses a set of DNA that codes for exceptional intelligence, beauty and strength. Yet, exemplary moral behaviour, passion and a strong character cannot be attained simply from genes. In the Hollywood film, “Gattaca”, the protagonist lacked the perfect set of genes all his counterparts possessed. Yet, fuelled by a passion and conviction his peers lacked, he ultimately surpassed them to reach the pinnacle of his career, going on an expedition to space. This exemplifies the fact that the supposed...
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