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A Comparison of Shelley's Frankenstein and Rifkin's Biotech Century Essay

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Shelley's Frankenstein and Rifkin's Biotech Century


     Human beings are created by God, who intends that they reproduce and flourish amongst themselves.  However, with the accomplishments of science, ideas that were thought to be impossible are becoming possible inside experiment labs; for example, scientists have found a way of creating life without requiring sexual reproduction.  Further more, scientists are now experimenting with cloning other living things.  Jeremy Rifkin explains in "Biotech Century [ . . .]" that science offers "a door to a new era of history where the genetic blueprints of evolution itself become subject to human authorship" (245).  One may argue that scientists are now assuming the role of God by manipulating science and leading humankind to a biotech century.  While this may seem to be a success to most scientists, they must be aware of the harm they can cause human life and be prepared to take responsibility; unlike Victor Frankenstein, in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, who "uses his knowledge to assemble a grotesque manlike creature [. . .] horrified by what he has done, abandons it the moment he brings it to life" (Ruszkiewicz 231).  Because he sees his creation as a failure and refuses to accept responsibility for his actions, the monster turns destructive, killing people close to Frankenstein.   Although both Rifkin and Shelley's writings stress similar concerns, they differ in certain aspects.   

 

      One difference between Rifkin and Shelley, is that Rifkin looks at science as being partly a positive contribution to society, involving huge amounts of money (246).  He also believes that scientists can continue to use science for a more positive way, if and when...


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... Dolly."  CNN.com.  9 Dec.  CNN Health.       <http://www.cnn.com/NATURE/9905/26/dolly.clone.02/index.html> .

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  A play by Nick DiMartino, Direct.  Moses Goldberg.  Narr.  Professor McNamer.  Global Stage Production.  WLIW21 Presentation.  Class Movie. ZRB 1201.  Fall Semester, November 25, 2002.

Kahn, Jeffrey P.  "Choosing Our Children's Future or Choosing Our Future Children?"       CNN.com.  25 Nov.  CNN Health.       <http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/03/04/ethics.matters/index.html> .

Rifkin, Jeremy.  "Biotech Century." The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed. Andrea A.   Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: St. Martin's, 2000.  244-245

Shelley, Mary.  "Frankenstein." The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed. Andrea A.       Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: St. Martin's, 2000.  231-232

 


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