Scientists Essay, Research Paper
For many years man has driven himself to make new discoveries to better mankind and himself. We call these
people scientist, they try to make new discoveries or take a scientific look at something and better it.
Unfortunately their discoveries or views and improvements on something is not always appreciated by everyone.
Sometimes even the scientist himself learns what he has done is not morally correct, but what is a scientist to do.
Does he take a moral approach and ,maybe, never advance in progress or does he take an ethical approach and
go too far. Is there an in between. In order to view this dilemma I m going to view Victor Frankenstein and his
creation in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and compare it to cloning and see if its possible to find a
compromise of ethical and moral values.
However, before I go into the moral and ethical views, I m going to take a look at a brief history of
science. All Civilization s have studied science, and worked to better themselves. The roots of science run deep
into man s history. Early man made use of chemical processes suck as fire making and dyeing of clothes. Man
bred plants and animals, and used simple machines, such as the lever and the wedge. Until fairly recent times,
science followed two separate lines of development: Philosophers developed ideas and theories about the
universe and craftsmen made use of scientific processes without understanding these as science. Head and hand
The meeting of the two in the 16th and 17th centuries marked the beginning of modern science. It
marked the beginning of a science that used experiment and observation as well as theories and mathematical
relationships. It forms one of the most exciting stories of human intellectual development, because modern
science strives not only to understand nature, but also to control and change nature. Here is where the debate
comes in, How far are people willing to change nature if at all, and why try and change something when you
might corrupt it in the process. This is were science and society collide.
Much of man s modern way of life is based on science. Human s are civilized people in part because
we have scientific knowledge of the world we live in. The foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the houses we
live in, are products of thousands of years of man s growing knowledge of this world. Science is knowledge, and
as the English philosopher of science Francis Bacon said some 350 years ago, “Knowledge is power.” Now this
statement can be very misleading, as one statement puts it best “Science, especially, is suspect; this idea, which
descends from alchemist stories, develops into science fiction/horror story of our day, in which knowledge or mad
knower destroys mankind of himself rather than helps it” ( Johnson ix ).
Now Victor Frankenstein ran into a moral and ethical dilemma. Ethically, he was using his profession,
so he believed, to help mankind through science, by trying to give ever lasting life. Why he did this there are
many arguments. In the most recent 90 s movie remake of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, he does it so that
people would never lose loved ones again like he lost his mother. However in the book he is doing it so he can
unlock the secrets of nature and by doing so gain the power achieved from knowledge that Francis Bacon talked
of, as one statement refers to, “Frankenstein is in fact, a curiously antisexual work, and the scenes of his daring
experiment are conducted, appropriately, at the top of the house, in an attic, metaphor of derangement or
misguided intellectual pursuit” ( Johnson xii ).
Now after Victor created his creature, he realized what he had done and how it conflicted with his
morals. Why he realized this now, maybe its because now that he has achieved the impossible he s afraid of
even himself and what he con do. Maybe it s because in his pursuit to power or to help mankind he doesn t
realize what he is doing until it s too late. This shows that even one s strongest morals can be changed after
achieving what ethically is right realizing it s moral wrong and the world is not ready for such a thing.
Now I m going to look at cloning, for it greatly relates to the subject at hand. Cloning is almost exactly
what Victor did with his creation, except, His was, for a better lack of words, was made from scratch, however
cloning is coping a life from someone else s. Though in the end your creating a human being. Much of society is
against cloning even the president, however as one writer put it, “But human cloning will happen anyway
perhaps much sooner than anyone thought” ( Lemonich 64 ). So what is Lemonich saying, in my opinion he s just
saying that, its human nature to try and better ourselves, as long as someone believes that cloning is going to
better humanity, then cloning will still be strove for by human s, no matter how much opposition it gets. Much of
the things that humans try to get rid of have a way of popping back up, humans just have to many versatile
opinions. Some one will always think that cloning helps humanity.
Unfortunately most people are against cloning, they believe that cloning is going against god, or trying
to play god. Since 95% of the world believe in some sort of higher being, like god, most of the world is against
the idea of cloning. “The truth is, were not ready for this step, philosophically or ethically, even if science is” (
Carey 32 ). What can science do about this, almost nothing, even the President of the United States cut funding
for cloning because he was against it. As I have always said, “Popular opinion is fact, and unpopular opinion is
wrong” , and as long as a majority doesn t like cloning it will be wrong. Though as I stated science will still strive
to use cloning, either for there personal gain of power, or to help mankind. Even is the have to break the law,
like Victor did, to achieve their goal.
In Final, I think that cloning is just another step in human evolution, and will continue with or without
everyone s approval. I believe that cloning can help humanity in many different ways, just as Victor s creation
could of helped humanity, but if we continue to restrict it, as Victor was, we will end up doing it anyway and
instead of helping humanity it will merely burden it. If you look on how many discoveries have been
controversial, that have helped mankind, why is this one any different .. it is not, unfortunately it conflicts with
religious values and that has always been something that if you conflict with it, you were wrong. I guess in the
end the best thing to do would be to look at it from both points of view and find a compromise.
Works Cited Page
Diane Johnson, Introduction, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, New York,
Bantam Books, 1981, vii-xix.
Excerpted from Compton s New Century Encyclopedia and Reference
Collection II, CD-Rom, Compton s New Media, 1995.
History of Science, 60-76, Science and Society, 77-82, The New Book of
Knowledge, Vol. 17, S, 1966.
Irvine, Martin, “Resources for the study of Frankenstein.” Online, Internet,
6 Nov. 1998, Available
John Carey, “Human Clones: It s Decision Time.” Business Week 10 Aug 98,
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, Aerie Books LTD.