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On Planetary Scientific Ethics

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2001 by RDFollendoreIII

November 29, 2001

We need to discuss the concept of planetary Scientific Ethics.

Deep in the heart of Mexico and away from advanced technology is the place where the wild corn grows.  It is the reserve of our planet's genetics for this important food crop.   But scientists have recently discovered that something appears to be terribly wrong there.  The ancient gene pool appears to be changing.  It is changing because of man.  Genes modified by scientists in other places have suddenly appeared within natural varieties.  Apparently the experts don't understand why or how this is happening.  

The Scientific community does not actually understand the complex process of how plant cells interact and transfer genes, yet they have been allowed to release genetically modified species into our natural ecosystem.  Perhaps it is time for mankind to step back and rethink what we are doing.  Something is inherently wrong with our perception of policy.  In this particular case, the mutation of wild corn may not seem like much, but it is corn that sustains much of this world.   

Moreover, our current policies regarding the release of laboratory modified genes into our biosphere has far reaching consequences which are at the very least, just as important as the proliferation of thermonuclear weapons to humanity.  In the 1940's the Scientists that exploded the first nuclear bomb had a bet that it would burn up the atmosphere.  Had that bomb detonated the atmosphere, a million American deaths in the invasion of Japan would have been insignificant. What sense of power gave Scientists the right to play Russian Roulette with the existence of all mankind? 

Science does great good, but it is also capable of great harm.  In my most humble opinion, the physicians code "First do no harm", should be incorporated into the ethics of all Science.  

Perhaps the Scientific creed should also include:

"If Science can not protect nature, then it should not be allowed to manipulate nature."    




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved