Monday, May 23, 2005

The (Science) Corner

Over at The Corner, Jonah the Nutty Professor suggests that embryonic stem cell research has all the scientific validity of alchemy and making dreams come true, and that scientific curiosity leads to nothing but bad writing and bad television acting:

One of the things I think is interesting in a way I've never really thought through is how we've been fascinated by certain things long before science has caught up (by "we" I mean us humans). My dad always used to point out articles that dealt with science's efforts to make alchemy a reality. We've always wanted to transform lead into gold, Paul Krugman's column into genius etc. Science isn't completely there yet, but tinkering with molecules and whatnot to make X into Y still fascinates. And we do make our own diamonds already.

Humans have been looking for other dimensions, planes, realms ever since we were convinced dreams might be real. Physcists have been working hard to put meat on the bones of this instinct.

Something similar goes for cloning. We've been fascinated by dopplegangers, doubles, twins, clones for centuries. Science fiction drips with plotlines involving doubles, bodysnatching, lifelike replacement androids and the like. How many Star Treks involved doppleganger Captain Kirks? (I had to get that in there).
I think that's one of the problems the anti-cloning forces will always have to contend with. There's just something about the idea which titilates as much as it horrifies.

Unusually insipid, even for him.


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