Essay about Metaphors of Fear

Essay about Metaphors of Fear

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Metaphors of Fear


“Resistance to science is born of fear. Fear, in turn, is bred by ignorance. And it is ignorance that is our deepest malady.” (Lunsford 241) This quote from “Enemies of Promise”, by Michael Bishop, clearly illustrates why people are so opposed to scientific progress. The fear of the unknown causes chaos, and begins people on a downward spiral of misinformed conclusions opposing scientific discovery until no logical thought remains. Leaving nothing but pure fear to cause people to blurt out phrases such as, “those people are bringing DNA into my neighborhood.” People’s fears are unfortunately a very profitable target. Throughout history Hollywood film makers have capitalized on fear of humanity to make a very comfortable living. Doomsayers and pessimistic authors publish book after book, and essay after essay, feeding people’s paranoia that the end of the world is approaching, and if there is any chance for survival, we most stop those scientists. The arguments from these authors lack concrete details and logical thought processes. Instead arguments are illustrated through weak metaphors and unqualified conclusions. In Biotech Century: Playing Ecological Roulette with Mother Nature’s Designs, Jeremy Rifkin gives us an example of how a doomsayer strikes fear in the hearts of people around the world without using a single bit of concrete evidence or a complete logical thought. If studied closely the comparisons and arguments Rifkin creates, further illustrate that many arguments against scientific discovery are “born of fear.”

The first metaphor in Rifkin’s article suggests that genetic alterations are tantamount to a, “Second Genesis.” (Lunsford 245) First, the Genesis was the beginning or ori...


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...er and disease? Perhaps this is gods way of making right all the mistakes made throughout the course of evolution? Somewhere in evolution humans developed a gene that made them more violent. If we can find that gene, understand it, and find a way to remove it from human existence, then we will be able to rid the world of violent people. The possibilities good and bad are endless. However, one thing is certain, once genetic engineering is a commonplace in every day life, man-kind will experience a change in society which will make the technological revolution look like an elementary school science project.

Works Cited

1. Lunsford, Andrea A. and John J. Ruszkiewicz. The Presence of Others. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.

2. Platt, Charles. “Evolution Revolution” (Jan 1997) http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.01/ffgenome_pr.html (Dec 2002)

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