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Idea of progress: is scientific progress always a progress?

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Par   •  1 Mai 2017  •  Fiche  •  833 Mots (4 Pages)  •  989 Vues

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Idea of progress

I'm going to talk about the notion idea of progress.

The idea of progress can be defined as an improvement, a development or a change – a technical, scientific or social advance which contributes to making the world a better place. Yet, this evolution is not ameliorative for all. Progress is also marked by excesses, risk-taking, social and economic imbalances ... Some progress are also questioned because they are sources of nowadays most concerning issues (like global warming). Hence, we may wonder scientific progress is always progress?

In order to illustrate this notion, I have chosen two documents which treat about genetic selection and one which treat about cloning and I’m going to speak about positive and negative effects of this scientific progress.

        Since the invention of the vaccine by Louis Pasteur, medical progress does not cease to increase. Thus, through the article "family uses genetic selection to have a baby to save their other child's life" of the web site, I will speak about genetic selection. In this article, the parents decided to have another child to save their daughter who was affected by a lethal illness which is caused by a lack of healthy blood. She needed a bone marrow transplant that's why parents had to have a child conceived outside the womb in order that they can choose the fittest embryo among the 40 embryos to have stem cells from a close genetic match of their daughter. When the baby was born, the doctors transplanted the blood from his umbilical cord from her bone marrow. Thus, the genetic selection of the embryo saved a life.

Genetic selection is beneficial and saves lives however it can be misused and can lead to harmful aspects to humanity.

        However, the genetic selection also makes it possible to choose the characteristics of the baby as in the audio report "choosing your baby". In this report the journalist who is in the clinic of fertility of Los Angeles explains and denounce that this clinic allows to choose the characters of the future babies. At the beginning this clinic practiced pre-implantation diagnosis to avoid genetic diseases but now the clinic plans to allow parents to choose the sex of the baby, the colour of his eyes etc.... Two women discuss and find that science should be better used as to fight against cancer, moreover they find that choosing the characters of the baby is unnatural, not necessary and that if everyone did it would have big repercussion on the humanity because some societies are still patriarchal and estimates that more men than women like in China or India. Thus, the genetic selection could have harmful effects as it happens in China where within five years one in five men will not be able to marry due to the lack of women.

Genetic selection can quickly become genetic manipulation as well as cloning.

        Genetic selection can lead to genetic manipulation and therefore to cloning. As in the "dolly the sheep" report from the newspaper, the presenter announces the death of Dolly, the first cloned mammal in 1996, the result of many years of research. When cloning was revenled to the public a lot of questions and speculations have been raised. So, people are wondering if after the animals, the scientists would clone humans. If cloning is well used it could save lives by cloning sick organs but on the other hand if it is misused (that is to say if cloning is in the hands of evil people) it could be used to create a type of specific people known as eugenics, such as the Nazis tried to do with the "Aryan race".


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