Essay, Research Paper
Is mankind destroying the delicate balance between humanity and nature and endangering survival of all species?Throughout history we have been forced to adapt by perfecting ourselves socially, technologically, and physically to ensure continued existence. In the struggle for survival there is a delicate balance between nature and humanity crucial to all species. We are slowly shifting this balance in order to control nature. In doing so we are putting the well being of all species at risk.Nature is a dynamic presence that demands balance. It has a harmonious arrangement that sets up and maintains a state of equilibrium . Nature is generally thought of as the physical world and its living organisms. Some say it is inexhaustible and expendable, some that we can use but must replace, and others that we can look but not touch. Although opinion on nature’s definition varies widely, the majority of people concur that we are part of nature and thus depend upon it.According to the Christian religion, Nature displays the character of God, in its goodness and strength, consistency and concern to sustain human life (Job 12:17-9). It also states that man is created from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7). If Man is made from nature and we tamper with it, we are tampering with ourselves. Therefore if we modify the world around us then it will modify us. Scientists are currently modifying nature by genetically altering a variety of species with the use of a relatively new process called genetic engineering in the field of biotechnology. Genetic manipulation is the transport of one or more genes from one species to another in order to give an organism new characteristics. The purpose is to create species that are more productive and resistant to disease. Some people believe this new technology can be beneficial to mankind by curing disease, improving health, benefiting agriculture, and reducing world hunger. Their argument is that in order to survive we must eat healthier, hardier foods and combat diseases with the techniques available to us. It is survival of the fittest. At the same time, we have to recognize that the use of new technology in other fields has caused more problems than that which it has solved. There has been damage to the environment: a hole put in the ozone layer, polluted water and the killing of many species. Before we advance and start using genetic engineering, it is our responsibility to study possible after effects.Supporters of genetic engineering say that we have used genetic manipulation throughout history in processes such as grafting, cross-pollination and crossbreeding. In reality, we have used natural (not technologically invasive) breeding techniques, mainly with individual organisms, and only now are we beginning to understand the details of why and how they work. Before creating a new organism we have to consider how complete our knowledge is of how the system works.With genetic engineering we are penetrating and manipulating the very structure of our existence (DNA) in ways that could never, under any circumstances whatsoever, occur in nature. Through this process of implementing irreversible alterations into the code of life we are providing new information and instructions never before seen. We do not know how it will affect nature and how nature will react back upon us. There has been no long term investigations into any side affects of deliberate gene manipulation.Breeding new species to carry specific traits can be beneficial (a longer growing time, larger fruit, resistance to pests) but it also creates uniformity in the species’ genetic profiles. This causes ?genetic erosion? . As well, we do not know what unknown characteristics, viruses, and diseases might be brought forth by a new combination of genes. The effects of reinforcing a particular characteristic in terms of the overall balance in a species, or what happens when a genetic experiment fails, is also unknown.Biotechnology does not only alter plants and animals but humans as well. It is quite possible that we could be capable of obtaining genetic information and partaking in genetic selection. One day this could open up the possibilities of eugenics to engineer our own children.The repercussions of engineering humans could be astounding. A child artificially engineered would likely see their life in a different way, undergoing a severe identity crisis causing everlasting emotional damage. Where did they really come from? What, if any, characteristics do they share with their parents and family? In addition, are they natural or artificial?We do not know the effects of what is being done; yet we are continuing to proceed anyway. We are taking the dynamics of creation and, through pride and an egocentric attitude, converting it into a central motive of power in which everything revolves around ourselves. Instead we should be creating unity and protecting the precious balance of existence.We should use science where we depend on our experience and proper research to guide us. Using an empirical knowledge base, instead of a strictly theoretical one, science could facilitate growth, providing wisdom. Then science could contribute a better insight into our survival and stop mankind from destroying the balance in the environment that we are depended upon, thus aiding us in the struggle for survival.BibliographyGENETIC ENGINEERING OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS, William Dudley, Greenhaven Press, Inc, San Diego, CA, 1990MICROSOFT BOOKSHELF 99SHAPING GENES, Darryl R.J.Macer, 1990
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