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The Competition For The Secret Of Life

971 words - 4 pages

With a competitive spirit, people are driven to act in ways that they would not otherwise and the results can be drastic. In the case of James D. Watson and Francis Crick, in Watson’s novel the Double Helix, this sensation of competition leads to one of the greatest discoveries in biology. But the actions of Watson, Crick, and their competitors may or may not be justified for the results that they yield; the powerful conflict of rivalry has beneficial, detrimental, and questionably moral consequences that shaped the pathway to DNA’s structure.
At times, regardless of the setbacks, rivalry can be advantageous by giving people the inspiration to continue. Debating on whether to give up the ...view middle of the document...

What could have been a successful collaboration becomes a large setback for Watson since he and Crick now had to basically start from the beginning. As the search continues, each scientist in this rivalry is finding a possible solution but then being disproved by another since they suspend crucial pieces of the puzzle from each other. Although Franklin places them in a state of near defeat, Watson and Crick find the information they need in a questionable manner.
As Watson and Crick become a few steps away from discovering DNA’s structure, the actions they take are arguably justifiable and they realize the significance of this rivalry. After Maurice Wilkins, who works in the same lab as Franklin, gave away Franklin’s work to Watson, and notes: “…that if we could all agree where science was going, everything would be solved,” (170). Maurice brings a good point; if they worked together, DNA’s structure could have been discovered sooner as well as other important mysteries of science. However, certain events would not have occurred and there is an equal chance nothing would have been uncovered. As everything falls into place, every action taken in order for Watson and Crick to reach the answer is reasonable considering that it lead to biology’s greatest structures. In the end, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins receives the Nobel Prize but the reality of what they did to get there is not as straightforward.
The race for DNA’s structure was full of twists and turns but Watson and Crick were the victors. However, it was there competitors that truly led them to victory. Pauling ignited their competitive spirit and inspired them to continue, Franklin imposed major setbacks as she developed new research to prove them wrong, and Wilkins...

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