Hazards And Benefits Of Science And Technology

1410 words - 6 pages

Walking down a busy street you can see the effects of science and technology at every glace you take. Its in the shoes that you are wearing, the cell phone that you are using to stay in touch with your family and friends, its in the breakfast sandwich and yogurt parfait that was just ordered from McDonalds, its in the headlines of the news papers that read ?Bin Laden Captured Alive?, and its even in the air that we breathe as a public bus drives past us. It is very easy to see that science and technology affect our lives every day and a lot of the time we are not even aware of it. For many people, they do not even know that science and technology are having such a profound effect on their everyday lives. While I do believe that science and technology are very vital to our everyday lives, I do think that there are some areas where the advancements are not always necessary.?Scientists have inserted `antifreeze? protein genes from flounder into the genetic code of tomatoes to protect the fruit from frost damage? (Rifkin 290). To me this small section that riots on about the possible dangers of genetically altering plants to make them more resistant to natural elements is enough to make me question what exactly is being done to these plants. I do admit that I did have previous knowledge of the fact that plants have been altered but I did not know to what extent that this was happening. I think that it is very disturbing to think that ?Chinese hamster genes have been inserted into the genome of tobacco plants to increase sterol production? (Rifkin 291) or that ?chicken genes have been inserted into potatoes to increase disease resistance? (Rifkin 291). In light of this new information I know that the next time that I go to eat a baked potato, I will most likely be thinking about the chicken genes that have been pumped into it.I think that genetically altering plants is not a good idea because of the repercussions that could possibly happen do to the altering. Rifkin also brings this up in his article sighting how the insurance companies warned against letting genetically altered plants out of a controlled area because it could possibly lead to horrible consequences (Rifkin 293). In light of this news it seems somewhat careless for companies to still use these methods, only to better themselves financially. But there are some advantages to being able to plant genetically altered plants. In theory, if the plants are more resistant to disease then farmers will be able to plant the same amount of plants as before but yield a higher output; therefore, one would somewhat assume that with an extra surplus of crops that issues such as world hunger and famine would be able to be aided. This is only in theory and that the farmers or companies would be willing to sell the crops at a reasonable price for everyone and possibly lose profit. I think that the chances of this actually happening are very slim.Jeremy Rifkin?s article is somewhat one-sided when reading...

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