Science is the accumulation of knowledge in a systematic method to create general truths on the operation of the universe, most commonly referring to “the physical world and its phenomena, the nature, constitution, and forces of matter, the qualities and functions of living tissues.” (Webster’s)1 In this debate it can be understood to be the development and utilisation of new technology and the expansion of human knowledge in the modern era, though it should be noted that not all technological advances are from rigorous scientific analysis (such as the industrial revolution) and science has only significantly influenced technology in the last two centuries.2 What it means to be human is itself another debate, but here it can be understood to be both the collective entity of the human race and the defining features of humans which make them distinguishable from other beings.
Advancements in science have occurred for thousands of years as far back as the Ancient Greeks (who many believe invented scientific principles),3and their effects are becoming ever more pronounced. Production has shifted to mechanized factories and even killing in warfare is being replaced in parts with unmanned drones. The boundaries of medicine are being expanded with possibilities of cloning and stem cell research. Science has allowed acts that would otherwise be impossible for humans to consider undertaking. It has created previously unknown abilities to heal the sick or destroy all of humanity with Weapons of Mass Destruction.
This debate questions whether or not being able to undertake those acts is a benefit, and whether science does more to improve lives or harm them. Whilst this debate is on the principle in question, a proposition could practically propose that society hold public debates about the implications of issues such as genetic engineering, with possible moratoriums following.
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