Running on Air

Governments and religions do not need to fear air pumps and electrical machines. Governments and religions have to fear what these two inventions can lead to future innovations. The air pump allowed Priestly to conduct his experiments on oxygen. Another part that helps strike fear in governments and religions is the change in energy source, especially with coal for the Industrial Revolution. With a change in power source that could be easier to obtain, the people in power with the old source will be pushed out by the new power holders.

I feel like that Johnson does shed light on current research. One that will play a major role is DNA modification in humans. Being able to modify genes with CRISPR technology can help humans understand the role that DNA plays a part in diseases and disabilities. With the CRISPR technology, scientists could find a better cure for cancer, find ways to combat inheritable diseases, and find more answers about chromosomal disorders. However, humans could use that information and “design” their offspring to look a certain way. This issue, I believe, will play a powerful role for society and politics because of the implications of having designer babies. Politicians could be elected based on their stance on this idea. Society could change views based on what is considered handsome/beautiful. Society could also change to have a greater gap between the social classes. Those that have money to design their children could give them a leg up in the new world. Those that do not have the money to do so will have an even harder time to succeed.

1 thought on “Running on Air”

  1. You did well giving a couple reasons why governments should fear machines. I like your application of the text to the current science of CRISPR technology. I didn’t think of that and I think it’s a great example. I agree that this new technology holds a lot of potential for influencing politics, and in a way it already has. It’s already a conversation about whether the technology should continue to be developed and who should gain access to such technology given the potential risks. It’s likely in the near future that this conversation will become politically prominent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many religions protest against designer babies in particular for interfering with gods work. Very thought provoking!

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