Cloning And Jurrasic Park Essay, Research Paper
The Reality of Jurassic Park
Imagine flipping through the channels on TV one afternoon, and you stop because you see Einstein sitting there, in color, talking and to Oprah no less. You re thinking to yourself, how in the world is this possible, Einstein died over 40 years ago. Oprah is also sitting there talking to him, calling Einstein Al, as if she has known him her whole life. It s surprising also because Einstein is also sporting a new pair of cargo pants, fresh from Abercrombie and Fitch, and a slicked back Pat Riley haircut, not the typical wavy uncombed hair that you are used to seeing in all those posters of Einstein.
After watching this for several minutes, you finally realize two things. The first thing is that somehow scientists have found a way to clone Albert Einstein from using his DNA. Second you have realized that even though Einstein has been dead for over 40 years, somehow he has managed to evolve by conforming to things that are hip in today s world.
The first big fuss over cloning started when director Steven Spielberg and writer Michael Crichton came out with the movie Jurassic Park in the summer of 1993. The film raised my new issues that had not really been brought to the public s attention. What would be a better way then a high budget, special effect filled, dinosaur movie to bring everyone and their sister to the movies to see this film and make them aware of these ideas. These ideas are biotechnology, science and evolution. Now everyone thought that scientists had the power to clone and create extinct dinosaurs from over 150 million years ago from little insects found in 150 million year old amber.
Jurassic Park did its job in informing almost all of America of the dangers of biotechnology first of all, but also science in general. The author Michael Crichton made this comment in a Newsweek article, Biotechnology and genetic engineering are very powerful. The film suggests that science s control of nature is elusive. And just as war is too important to leave to the generals, science is too important to leave to the scientists. Everyone needs to be attentive. (1)
Spielberg was quoted in the New York Times describing how disturbing this film and the ideas of this film were to him, Science is intrusive. I wouldn t ban molecular biology altogether because it s useful in finding cures for AIDS, cancer and other diseases. But it s also dangerous and that s the theme of Jurassic Park (2)
The film Jurassic Park openly attacked the scientific institution. Ian Malcolm, the mathematician brought to the island of Jurassic Park voices many concerns relating to his chaos theory and how most of what he has seen at Jurassic Park, directly relates to his theory. During the lunch scene, right after the group has witnessed three velociraptors devour an entire cows in only a few minutes, Malcolm starts giving his views on how he sees things for Jurassic Park. He says, The scientific power didn t require any discipline to attain it So you don t take any responsibility for it. The word here that should be italicized is the word responsibility. He believes that the scientists who created these monsters have no idea what kind of responsibility they are in for.
Later in the same scene, Malcolm continues, Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet s ever seen, but, you wield it like a kid that s found his dad s gun. He s saying that the scientists have stumbled upon something so great, they don t know how to properly go about using it. Malcolm adds to his analysis in this scene by saying, Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn t stop to think if they should. Much like a kid with their dad s gun. They have found this new awesome thing, and all they want to do is use it, not question whether or not they should and the consequences that may follow the usage.
The whole question of evolution is brought into this film also. In the scene in the biology lab, the group views the newly hatched egg of a velociraptor. Malcolm once again puts in his two cents about evolution. He states, If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it s that life will not contained. Life breaks free. It expands to new territories, it crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is! I m simply saying that, uh, life finds a way.
He s saying that nature works in it s own way. The human race should not be going around and confusing nature by bringing back animals that were extinct millions of years ago, just for amusement. No one will ever know what mother nature, or even God will have in store for new life, and life that exists right now for that matter. Malcolm further illustrates this point shortly after the tour of the Jurassic Park commences, and before they have even seen any of the dinosaurs. Malcolm says, God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.
Malcolm is noticeably presenting his idea that the scientists have pretty much taken over the role of God, and just taking on his idea s as if they were now in charge with all life. They didn t take into account that possibly these animals were taken off the face for a reason. They disregard this idea, therefore disregarding God himself. They decided to image God, and perform a task of creating life, which up until this point in all history has only been done by one individual, God. Therefore God is no longer needed.
Before this movie was released into theaters in 93, magazines and newspapers were filled with speculations regarding the actual reality of cloning dinosaurs. Steven Spielberg and Michael Crichton were the ones fueling these speculations. From the official Jurassic Park Souvenir magazine Crichton said about his early research, I began to think it really could happen. (3) The magazine went on further to say, The story of Jurassic Park is not far-fetched. It is based on actual, ongoing genetic and paleontonic research. (3) Steven Spielberg went on to say, This is not science fiction; it s science eventuality. (4)
All this talk from the two main guys must have been more of a selling point of the movie because in actuality none of this is close to being possible. According to the Dallas Morning News, it says, You re not likely to see Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Dallas Zoo anytime soon. Scientists say that reconstructing any creature from its DNA simply won t work. (5) Newsweek went on to support this by saying, Researchers have not found an amber-trapped insect containing dinosaur blood. They have no guarantee that the cells in the blood, and the DNA in the cells, will be preserved intact. They don t know how to splice the DNA into a meaningful blueprint, or fill the gaps with DNA from living creatures. And they don t have an embryo cell to use as a vehicle for cloning. (6)
DNA has been found from insects sheathed in amber from deposits as old as 120 million years. (7) Even though the amber did seem to maintain a good portion of the biological tissue very well, but only a few remains of very little individual genes were extracted. Not much could be done with the small remains that were had, not even close to enough to form a whole genome. Without the whole genome, with the chromosomes prearranged into the right order, it is just about unfeasible to rebuild a whole organism from just the remains that were found. (8)
The scientists in Jurassic Park used the DNA from a frog to fill the missing gaps in the DNA. This is nothing more to add to the story of Jurassic Park, so in fact the dinosaurs could eventually change their sex, and evolve, just like some frogs are known to do. If they wanted to continue with the story, they would have used bird DNA, for one of the main themes of the film was that dinosaurs are somehow related to birds.
The final thing that would make it impossible for the scientists at Jurassic Park to make a new dinosaur, would be what would they put it in? You would need an actual dinosaur egg for the embryo to grow. It would be impossible to grow a healthy dinosaur in the egg of a crocodile or in the egg of an ostrich. It just wouldn t grow in those types of eggs. (8)
While this film created a huge shake up in what people actually believed scientists could actually do is really far fetched. Most of the comments made by Michael Crichton and Steven Spielberg were just made to sell the movie. What the movie did do was show to everyone that science is almost getting to the point where there are no boundaries. Everyone needs to get involved and stay informed of what is going on in lab all over the world. Such studies need to be monitored as illustrated by the chaos that was created as man tried to play God, and create his own controlled world. No man can fully control life other than the big guy upstairs, God himself.
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