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The Perpetual Question

In Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, the desire for science is tainted by moral and ethical

dilemmas that plague Viktor Frankenstein and his regret for the creation of his monster. Although

the story is fictional, the overarching theme of the novel is not; science in the past, present and

future is always riddled with the question, Can you do it, or SHOULD you do it? Scientific

ideas must always be tested before they are labeled as immoral or unethical because you cannot

declare something is non-beneficial to humanity before you see it in its entirety. Only by

thoroughly delving into science can we hope to increase the quality of life for present and future

generations, destroy diseases, and evolve the human race.

Using science to help us survive has been a core part of human life, and although not all

of it is considered morally right, it has allowed us to survive and grow for over 200,000 years.

The different accidents of life are not so changeable as the feelings of human nature (Shelley

43). Frankenstein states that though nature may be imperfect and bring upon many undesirable

situations and events, human nature persists through it to understand and eventually attempt to

control the aspects of life that they once surrendered to. According to scientist Paul Diehl, As

we learn about genetics, many more modifications will become possible (Diehl). Diehl explains

that as we learn to cultivate and learn from nature, we can adapt, preserve and improve human

quality of life for all proceeding people. Once we have a grasp on what destroys us naturally, we

can artificially protect ourselves in the form of vaccines, better technology, sustainable food, etc.

Throughout history, nothing has been a larger limiter of human population than disease.

From smallpox killing nearly 400 million in the 20th century to the Black Death killing almost

half the human population in the 14th century, diseases dwarf the deaths from wars, natural
disasters and famine combined. Infecting the tumors with polio - the virus that has crippled and

killed so many (UCL). The video mentions how We are coming up with new solutions to

curing the disease (UCL) which highlights human nature to remove adverse sides of nature.

Humans have evolved from using natural herbs and other methods in the past that simply slow

down the rate of diseases to completely destroying them with vaccines and antibiotics in the

modern age. However, these advancements are not created without failure and sacrifice. Many

people (and animals) have been killed throughout history from scientists seeking remedies for

disease without regard for basic rights. But due to sacrifices, which are made for any sort of large

progress, it has allowed these cures and treatments to become safe for others.

Evolution is a natural process, often taking hundreds of thousands of years to occur. Due

to human development through the years however, we have compacted this phenomena into an

infinitely smaller period through manipulation of genetics. According to scientists at UC Irvine,

Genetic selection is the next step of evolution (Long) which means that by utilizing genes, we

can modify human genetics for the better by phasing out any genes that cause us to not have

useful/desired traits at birth. By passing the limits of what is naturally possible for humans to be

born with, we are forcefully evolving humans that suit our constantly changing world. Most

animals on the planet that have gone extinct have been because they could not adapt to changes

on the Earth in time while others lived through them. If humans are modified to the point where

environmental disasters, disease and other common causes for death are repelled due to superior

genetic makeup, then we are evolving as a species into a whole new type of human.

Overall while there are certainly ethical and moral problems with scientific progress and

the sacrifices required, the benefits given to both the current and future generations shadows it in

comparison. Not only can humans achieve a more enjoyable life by using things such as viruses
to create vaccines to fight against diseases, but they can alter the makeup of the human body

itself to ensure we survive as a species. Humans have survived because they constantly find new

ways to adapt through science even if the methods of gaining the techniques or knowledge arent

always ethical or moral.