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Author: Karl Lackner (Page 2 of 2)

Frankenstein and Self-driving Cars

Victor Frankenstein is a heartful intellectual with a head full of dreams, a profound appreciation of nature, and yet a boundless desire to surmount nature and bend its laws to his genius scientific will. In her novel, Mary Shelley leads us through the problems that Frankenstein faces with his own God Complex, emanating from his own physical creation. As we see the destructive fallout that comes from Frankenstein’s horrible experiment, Shelly inadvertently provides us with an opportunity to look at our current technological circumstances and possibly foresee their potential consequences. Like Victor, our scientists are always yearning to push the boundaries of nature and to challenge what is possible, yet we often don’t stop to realize what dangers may lay in store for us as we continue to play god. In its own ominous way, the book actually warns us of the destructive nature that our pursuit of progress can have in an ever-accelerating technological landscape.

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The Scientific Revolution

The Scientific Revolution was, very roughly, a series of scientific discoveries that occurred primarily in Europe from the Renaissance through the 18th century at the latest. These included breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy, biology, physics, changing the very way that science thought of these subjects and more. The Scientific Revolution marked the beginning of what we know as modern science, leading a paradigm shift for many from an understanding of the world shaped in religion to a more scientific perspective. Continue reading

Dissidence

One thing that continues to perplex me as I develop my increasingly informed perspective of society is the staunchness with which many significant figures in politics, business, or pop culture in general seem to reject the very fundamentals of scientific theory. They often abandon rational and evidence-based thought for dogmatic and fallacious ideals, whether or not they actually believe or they are just appealing to constituents. I believe that, in order for a society to progress as painless and efficiently as possible, its people must have a complete trust in the legitimacy of the scientific method over impulsive irrationalities. Of course, by its very nature, science is not set in stone, and everything explained by science is only ever a theory at best because our knowledge is always changing. While these changes often lead directly to improvements in our health, our economy, or our quality of life, they can also dangerously provide many people, including powerful political figures, with anti-science fodder to make the argument that if science was wrong in the past, why should we trust it now? Continue reading

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