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Progress : We can wonder if progress is always for the better ?

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Par   •  3 Juin 2016  •  Fiche  •  935 Mots (4 Pages)  •  1 100 Vues

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Dossier n°1 : L'idée de progrès

Document : - Saviour Sibling

  •                     - O brave new world

                    - Jurassic World

Introduction :

The Idea of Progress is the theory that the different advances in technology, science, and social organization can produce an improvement in the human condition. That is, people can become happier in terms of quality of life (social progress) through economic development (modernization), and the application of science and technology (scientific progress). Progress implies change and evolution  and throughout history most of the advances have been positive. However the rhythm of progress seems to have accelerated over the last few decades and  the technological breakthroughs and scientific developments are causing  some people to question this progress. Today I will talk about the scientific progress . We can wonder if progress is always for the better ?

1 - Saviour Sibling, an article, extract from the telegrah, published on the 7th of may 2011 :

             Explain the case of « saviour sibling », this procedure consist in  transplant the stem cells from the umbilical cord of a baby who is most of the time born by IVF specifically to provide a tissue match and save his or her brother  sister who suffered a genetic diseases. As it is explained in the text, Charlie was suffering a rare genetic condition and his parents have decided to make another baby in order to save their first child and it is how Jamie is born. In this articil it is said that this procedure is illegal in Britain and that the couple had to go to the united states to make it possible. There are 2 different point of vue about this procedure, first we can say that it is a great improvment in genetics because it permits to save children from rare genetic diseases but we can also say that there is an ethical problem about it, that is to say that the baby born by IVF is more considered as a medecine than as a proper child, I think we can talk about a form of exploitation of science on children throughout genetics improvments.


  1. 2 - O brave new world, text extract from the book Brave new world, written by Aldous Huxley in 1932.

              The initial situation of the story :The year is 2543. Babies are produced in bottles and divided into five groups: the top group is the Alphas, while the Deltas and the Epsilon are the lowest groups. In our text, the director of Hatcheries and conditioning explains the « Bokanovsky's process » to students. This process is applied to fertilized human eggs in vitro, causing them to split into identical genetic copies of the original. The process can be repeated several times, though the maximum number of viable embryos possible is 96, with 72 being a "good average". The Bokanovsky Process is such an important instrument of social stability, especially for the lower castes.  By creating people who are completely identical the leaders of the society can make the people as identical as possible.  When people are identical, at least according to the book, they will respond in the same ways and will not come in conflict with one another.  Obviously in this extract, the author attempt to warn us about progress which could enable ruling the classes to manipultae the whole society. He denounces the escesses of a technologie-based society. He anticipated 2 breakthrouhts : IVF (1978) and cloning (1996).


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