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The Pros and Cons of Science

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Why am I so afraid of science? After all, was it not because of science that advancements in technology were made? Did it not create immunizations for once lethal diseases such as measles and polio? Although science does benefit our lives, it also provides detrimental and destructive results. The automobile was a break through invention, yet, it is also one of the main producers of pollution. Was it not a result of science that the atomic bomb was created thereby, destroying the lives of numerous beings? J. Michael Bishop and Pamela Samuelson demonstrate through their readings that science can be both beneficial and detrimental.

In his article entitled "Enemies of Promise," J. Michael Bishop attempts to defend the creditability of science. As a scientist, Bishop believes that science has "solved many of nature's puzzles and greatly enlarged human knowledge" (237) as well as "vastly improved human welfare" (237). Despite these benefits, Bishop points out that some critics are skeptical and have generally mistrusted the field. Bishop believes that "the source of these dissatisfactions appears to be an exaggerated view of what science can do" (239). In the defense of science, Bishop argues that this problem is not due to science rather, it results from a lack of resources. "When scientists fail to meet unrealistic expectations, they are condemned by critics who do not recognize the limits of science" (240).

Bishop argues that science is beneficial when it is understood. He explains that many critics blame science for the problems that exist in our world today, yet it is society that has ignored the warning signs that science has provided. Bishop demonstrates this point through his statement:

Science has produced the vacci...

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...re needs to be some way in which the destruction and detriment is controlled.

Through their readings, Michael J. Bishop and Pamela Samuelson discuss the positive and negative aspects of science. Science can benefit humans by providing them with solutions to improve their lives, such as immunizations and cellular phones. Yet, the same positive solutions can turn detrimental and destructive when science's warnings are not respected and understood.

Works Cited

Bishop, Michael J. "Enemies of Promise." The Presence of Others:Voices and Images that call for Response. Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford & John J. Ruszkiewicz. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2000. 237-242.

Samuelson, Pamela. "The Digital Rights War." The Presence of Others: Voices and Images that call for Response. Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford & John J. Ruszkiewicz. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2000. 315-320.
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