.. ses, which can not be cured effectively, or those for which we have no medicines like A.I.D.S. They could even prove to have fewer side effects and more suitable for the way our body is built. We can even imagine a time when the word disease is long removed from the dictionary. Learning our genetic codes could help us determine the modes of attacks used by pathogens and viruses. Technology could prosper enough to wipe out deadly diseases such as malaria from humanity. Another possible use of this vast information can be marked out in Genetic Screening of pregnant mothers and their fetuses.
Some people see red in this citing discrimination of the less fortunate individuals where though genetically they are at a risk for some disease which they do not even show symptoms of. However, every coin has two sides to it. If the prediction turns out to be right, is it right to put that unborn child through a lifelong agony of pain and suffering, always depending on others to fend for them? The democracy that we live in guarantees its citizens with the freedom to choose. After such genetic screening, all that we would be doing is handing the parents of the unborn child the right to choose life or abortion of their child. After all, they are going to care after him or her for the rest of their lives. Genetic Engineering has for the last decade or so been one of the upcoming fields of Science.
The Genome Project has certainly added a shine to it. Forsenic Department of Police for instance, has benefited a lot. It helps us trace criminals and stop them from terrorizing the world. Thus, it helps set law and order in the nation. For a lot of time, especially the period of the First World War, there had been talks about Eugenesis (Happy Genetics). It is simply a breeding program for humans with certain desirable characteristics for the benefit of humans.
Thomas Murray in his essay, The Growing Danger from Gene-Spliced Hormones tries to point out that tall people are generally preferred in a society. To ensure that their children are accepted, many parents provide them with synthetically prepared Growth Hormone. This simply can be counted as a bad use of this wonderful Science. It in no way implies that any research or discovery in this field is a source of evil. Communications is one more area where Technology has undergone a rapid transformation.
A century ago, telegraphs were regarded as luxuries and one of the few modes of communication with the rest of the world. Today, the scene appears to be quite different. From telephones and telexes to Internet, e-mail and mobiles, technology has connected the whole world into a global village. Technology has helped increased the speed of communication whereas at the same time the costs for such a proposition have greatly reduced. People who are separated from their friends and relative by a distance of thousands of miles can now get their message around the globe in a matter of seconds using technological instruments such as the phone and emails. Computers have often been cited as the greatest boon offered by Technology to humanity. Its entry revolutionized the whole world.
Great pieces of data could be stored with comparative ease. Problems, which would have taken years to solve manually, took a couple of days for the computer to work out. This led to an amazing rate of progress achieved in a considerably short period. For instance without the computer models, it would have never been possible to stimulate extremely slow chemical reactions and predict their outcomes as if they were actually performed. The discovery of the structure of protein has been another major accomplishment in the field of Biochemistry with the aide of Computers. However, with this system, there was one major drawback. The computers were local and could not share data and results with people around the world.
Further in the Cold War world, it had even become dangerous for nations to have their entire bundle of secrets stored on one or two computers. Spying and theft were potential problems. Progress was often hindered. Consequently in the early nineties, the military developed a secretive code for the computers, which could work through and transmit information from one unit of computer to another unit without loss of data. It is now used by millions of people worldwide to share information, make new associations and to communicate.
For many businesses, Internet has become integral to their way of operation. As John Evans puts it, The Internet is like a giant jellyfish. You can’t step on it. You can’t go around it. You’ve got to get through it.
With Internet, people have access to a wealth of information. It not only serves the business community but also acts as a lifeline for many scientific researches and educational inquiries. Practically most of the important journal articles by the well-known scientists and authors are published on the Web. Information about the rarest of the items and happening around the world can be obtained right form the comfort of our computers. Not only that, the benefits of the Internet are not restricted to a selected few but also are widely dispersed. In countries like the U.S., people enjoy things like Online Banking, media reports and even entertainment. Many of our needed amenities are readily available off the web.
We can make use of them with comparative ease and even save a considerable amount of time. By doing thus, Internet is helping us achieve maximum efficiency and results out of our scarce and limited resources. With its uses, Internet is also perceived as a potential threat to our privacy. People are afraid that hackers can sometimes find data such as our bank account numbers and fraud us even without our knowledge. Further critics also argue that people rely too much on Internet and believe all that comes up on their screens. This accusation of media is similar to what Shrader points out to in his essay, The Power Button.
That is true to an extent. We need to be careful in our ways and act with caution while on the net. Several awareness programs have been initiated to counter such effect posed by the Internet Most of the developed nations have made ample use of the Internet and its wonders. However, agriculture forms the base of most of the economies of Asia and Africa. Technology has had some influence on these nations as well. Their agricultural produce on an average is up by atleast a factor of two or maybe even three in periods as short as a decade. Irrigation techniques have helped farmers grow crops in the barren and scorching deserts.
Water is conserved by constructing dams and reservoirs. Pesticides help protect the output from crop-destructors such as insects and other pests. Industries based on Agriculture have incorporated this new technology in form of new and more efficient machines. The total output of such countries has increased tremendously. Science and Technology also helps a nation protect its citizens from any natural or man-made disaster such as earthquake, tornadoes or even war. In such events the people are warned in advance and timely action is taken to guarantee the lives of millions of people every year. Here in the U.S.
weatherman remind us how technology has improved such that we humans can predict the weather of the next fifteen days. Weapons built by the nations for protecting and serving their integrity help bring about peace amongst rival countries as no one in such a case is ready to face the destruction caused by them and thus shrink of a thought of war on an enemy. In my opinion, Technology and Science like most things have both the good and the bad side to it. There are definitely certain ethical and legal issues associated with it. However, looking more closely at our world, we find ethics in most of the disciplines including Religion. People can take advantage of any field if they wish to, but our social and political ties prevent most of us from acting in manners considered as taboos. Some people who yet work in ways to disrupt the social structure are often times rejected.
Further there are laws in place to guarantee that no ones right to freedom of choice is infringed upon. Douglas Shrader tries to explain through the Utilitarianism Principle that if an act produces more good than harms for a society, it can be reasoned out as a right thing to do for the society as a whole. Similarly, if we take a balance and weigh the benefits and costs of Science and Technology, we would find that the case is not even close. The benefits far outweigh any costs connected with Technology and Science. In fact, it seems almost impossible now to imagine a world living without its Science and Technology. Technology.