Can Science Go Too Far?Updated: Nov 9, 2016
Science is defined as the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. In other words, science serves to bind all living beings together, in a sense bettering our understanding of the world and of each other. But it goes too far.
Science Has the Potential to Destroy Us
Our lifetime has seen amazing feats in science and technology. We can video-chat with people continents away; cars are driving themselves, and we can check our email on a phone in the remote wilderness. In general, science has improved the world, mostly human-to-human communication, but in several other ways, too. It can be said it’s been a tool of goodness. But unfortunately science can also go too far in the other direction: It can perpetuate evil, wrongdoing, and oppression. Take one look at three scientific endeavors that argue this case, that science can – and has gone – too far in the wrong direction: biological warfare, cloning, and artificial intelligence.
To begin with, science is defined as the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. In other words, science serves to bind all living beings together, in a sense bettering our understanding of the world and of each other. But it goes too far. Science is also used to tear people apart, kill entire populations of people, and start wars. Without science, there would be no biological warfare – the use of toxins of biological origin or microorganisms as weapons of war: airborne illness used to damage the enemy or its people, for example. This is one instance where science goes much too far – and also too far in the wrong direction. It is using the understanding of the human body and science to then impose massive, deadly illnesses on a city. This is not what science was meant to do; the complete opposite, actually.
Secondly, science goes too far in human cloning, too. Cloning is when an organism or cell, or group of organisms or cells, is produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical. It is taking the DNA of one organism and replicating it – sort of like making a twin. Not only is it unethical to clone people, even animals, it is going against nature – the nature that decides what is made, what dies, and what is reborn. It is essentially science playing God. But science is not God – it is the study, and practice, of dissecting and better understanding of God’s work. And it goes too far when it puts God’s work in its hand, taking responsibility for what Nature has created – the way things will always be and have been. To think otherwise is asking for a defeat. Nature has survived wars, ice ages, and extreme weather – it will never back down, it always wins.
Lastly, another example of when science goes too far is in the creation of artificial intelligence. It is the theory and development of computer systems that are able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making and translation between languages. Robots may one day be able to destroy or govern mankind. Robots can be made less vulnerable than humans, less susceptible to diseases and injury, but can mimic humans and perform the tasks they perform. How is this going too far? Well, for one, by potentially making humans obsolete. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to rise up against humankind, in turn destroying the human race. This is bad because of the Human Race, whether we want to believe it or not, is home to planet Earth – and we are part of the ecosystem, as well. Without us, nature would be missing a key ingredient. This could then potentially end the Earth.
In concluding this argument, it’s important to consider the future. With the way humans are depending more and more on science to live our daily lives, our species will surely not exist a couple hundred years from now. Science will not only go too far in the near future, it’s already going too far. And it’s frightening. Surely scientists themselves must know this and realize the depths of this potentially disastrous situation we may soon found ourselves in. Also, there’s more to worry about than just biological warfare, cloning, and Artificial Intelligence – there're tons of ways science goes too far. It used to be that oil industry fueled the cars for people to get around where they needed to go just a bit faster. Now it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. Countries go to war and kill innocent people for it. Science went much too far on that one.