Saturday, January 28, 2012

World: 'Playing God’: What could possibly go wrong?

Jan. 26, 2012: Playing God’: What could possibly go wrong? - ANH

Key Points

  1. A recent UK television documentary covered some of the latest developments in genetic research
  2. The programme was almost wholly positive about the new technology, even though it has many serious potential consequences for humans and the planet
  3. Presenter of the documentary, Dr Adam Rutherford, is a confirmed skeptic and atheist, as well as an evolutionary biologist
  4. We ask whether such beliefs are particularly compatible with the programme’s mechanical view of the world
  5. ANH-Intl believes that genetic manipulation is going too far, too fast – is a total freeze on experimentation the only answer?

A recent BBC Horizon documentary on UK television, entitled Playing God, introduced us to spider-goats, yeast diesel, ‘bio-hacking’ by children and radiation-fighting bacterial implants. Sound interesting to you? If so, although the show itself isn’t available online any more, we strongly recommend that you listen to the accompanying podcast. Both documentary and podcast are hosted by Adam Rutherford, PhD, an evolutionary biologist turned, “Science broadcaster and professional geek”.

And if you feel a little unsettled afterwards, you’re definitely not alone.

Nature: a program in need of upgrading

Playing God
takes us on a jaunty trip through areas of genetic research that are no longer consigned to the Twilight Zone. They even have a soundbite descriptor: ‘synthetic biology’, the main belief of which is that anything nature can do, humans can do better by harnessing the power of science.

Read entire report..

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