There won’t be much money left to fund crazy stuff like this:
A group of scientists is pushing to publish research about how they created a man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out civilisation.
The deadly virus is a genetically tweaked version of the H5N1 bird flu strain, but is far more infectious and could pass easily between millions of people at a time.
The research has caused a storm of controversy and divided scientists, with some saying it should never have been carried out.
I would have to agree with that last sentiment. There’s been far too much fooling around of late with things that I’ll officially call Really Bad Ideas. Like the Dr. Moreau-ish human-animal hybrids, and to a lesser extent, the dinosaur reverse-evolved from a chicken.
Now I’m a big fan of scientific advancement and its subsequent benefits to modern life. You know, really important things like life-saving drugs, HDTVs, PCs, iPods…
But is there really any good reason to be intentionally monkeying with things that could lead to a great deal of ugliness if only one or two people got careless? To my mind, this isn’t like the CDC keeping live samples of smallpox or polio because those are viruses that already existed in nature. It’s probably not smart to think they’ve been completely eradicated. Certainly, nobody’s turned them into civilization-killing superbugs yet.
No doubt there are more scientifically astute people than I who can explain the rationale for this, but it’s hard to see what that might be. Where does a society draw the line on morality or common good when we don’t share a common moral framework?
Kind of like the weather: everybody talks about it, but nobody ever does anything.