Social Development

Gould provided an extremely interesting discussion on the genetic progression of humanity, and how it’s development goes far beyond the alleles being passed through generations. This is extremely evident in recent years, as those who may not be the most fit to survive live long lives and reproduce because of technological support. The social aspects of evolution are now an extremely crucial element to the field. Understanding humanity on a level that isn’t purely empirical makes it more personal, and I believe beautiful, because our species exhibits a factor of emotional and interpersonal connection which must be considered in our tools for basic survival. Seeing social evolution in science also uncovers a variety of truths in our perceptions of the field which prove to be quite uncomfortable; since social factors are so heavily intertwined in even the state of our DNA, then “all science is imbedded in cultural contexts, and the lower the ratio of data to social importance, the more science reflects the context” (Gould 15). This balance challenges our ability to properly interpret evidence of evolution itself and how it occurred, as the traditions which define many aspects of our worldview also infiltrate our quest to quantify those principles which got us to this point.

 

Genetic tampering has proven to be helpful to a variety of species including our own by removing traits that are intrinsically harmful to humans when transmitted, and I believe that this area of genetic development can provide a variety of beneficial solutions in the future. Not all aspects of this issue are so simple, however, as in the area of reproduction and the choosing of admirable traits; some fear we will lose our humanity in a quest to become better by establishing a genetic foundation before one can be naturally produced. This crosses an ethical line which is extremely difficult to place, as knowing when is “too far” has not been humanity’s strong point (Harris 3). Personally, I think genetic studies should continue to be pursued, but directly adjusting non-medical traits takes the power of this field to an unhealthy and dangerous level.

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