July 17, 2024

The Ethics of the Creation of New Life: An Evaluation of Frankenstein and Jurassic Park

In the book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley there is a theme of the battle between science and the existing natural world. Victor Frankenstein creates a monster through breaking the natural order of the world and creating life from dead body parts. Not only does Frankenstein create the monster, but he also does so completely alone. Frankenstein then spends the rest of his life suffering the consequences of the creation of the monster from the death of his brother and beloved fiancé, ultimately to his own death as he dies trying to seek revenge on his creation. The movie “Jurassic Park” similarly shows that if we bring extinct creatures such as dinosaurs back to life they will not be containable and will fight to break free of human captivity. Frankenstein parallels the movie “Jurassic Park” as both show how science can become evil when it goes unchecked and we evaluate the ethics of our decisions after the creation has been made.

Advancement of science cannot be done under solitary conditions without first reporting the individuals or teams goals to an ethics committee. Humans should not have the power to recreate life as we see occurring in both Frankenstein and “Jurassic Park” and if an ethics committee were evaluating the science that Victor Frankenstein was doing or the research that John Hammond was facilitating in his private island on Isla Nublar neither would be seen as ethical. Thus, only until the discoveries were made did the scientists realize that their work was unjust and presented and evil to the greater society. In “Jurassic Park” when scientists are brought in to discuss the creation of dinosaurs in our 21st century society they argue that we have no idea the type of ecosystem that these dinosaurs used to live in and how they will act in our present day ecosystem; Dr. Ian Malcolm says that, “But you were so focused on if you could, you didn’t stop to think if you should”. We have to stop and consider the implications of great scientific discovery before we devote our time and efforts into them.

Both Frankenstein’s monster and dinosaurs created in “Jurassic Park” were not meant to live in modern society. Frankenstein’s monster must grapple with the reality that he is the only one of his kind. He is completely alone in the world without any companion, even his creator chooses to neglect him and refuses to make him another female mate. Humans also refuse to talk with him because of his off-putting appearance. In “Jurassic Park” we also see that dinosaurs are not meant to be caged up on a private island for the entertainment of humans. They are meant to run free in a wild life ecosystem, and even then the ecosystem that they lived in during the Mesozoic era is not similar to the ecosystem the we live in today.

Ethics, and specifically ethics before scientific breakthrough, is a pivotal part of scientific research. Great scientists such as Victor Frankenstein and the researchers at Jurassic Park should have recognized that bring back life from the dead or from species that have been long extinct is ethically wrong and leads to anguish in our society. Science must be done under moral and ethical principles to ensure that we are not left wishing we could take back our scientific breakthrough.

Sources:

Image 1: https://www.amazon.com/Jurassic-Park-Movie-Poster-Classic/dp/B07CG9BYV3

Image 2: http://rebloggy.com/post/dinosaurs-chris-pratt-jurassic-park-velociraptors-paleontology-feathered-dinosau/122097090289

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