Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm The One, Natural One...

Yes, the space age is upon us. This story is making news right now: two cloned mules raced against naturally bred mules in Nevada and finished 3rd and 7th, respectively (who the heck races mules anyway?). Pretty soon, however, it will become more normal until it just becomes a part of the "natural" order of things. The scientists who cloned the mules are trying to show the public that a cloned animal is just like a regular animal...which plays into the debate on using cloned animals for food, etc. This is another example of how our concepts of what is "natural" are continually reworked. Did you know that Niagara Falls was conceived, designed and executed by a human being? It is therefore "unnatural":



It is a very tricky subject, this "natural" business....you could make the argument that 1)everything is inherently natural since the human mind (which has created everything that anyone would deem "unnatural") is, itself, a natural occurence, and therefore its products must be "natural", or 2) nothing since human beings came in and started tinkering around is natural since our actions are out of step with the "natural" flow of the universe and permeate the entire earth....both are pretty effective and both skate the surface of extemely deep philosophical oceans, nothing that can be settled in an afternoon of blogging, at least.

The point is: there are some pretty major things happening in the world of science and technology right now and they are going to force us to confront completely virgin soil in our ideas about what it means to be "human", or ideas about the universe, the world, our place in it, our brains, and what is "natural", and so on. It is a very exciting and very frightening time to be alive. Also, the singularity is near.

Related News:

Baby cloning to prevent serious disease?

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