Posts Tagged ‘science’

By R.C. Seely

IT’S A STORY THAT HAS BEEN told from history–“it was a dark and stormy night in 1815, when Mary Shelly and her hosts started telling ghost stories, that night she had a dream which inspired her take and the book Frankenstein was born.”

    That’s not all there is, however. One thing that influenced the story was her activist roots. She was rather born into it, her parents being suffragists and her father making sure she lived up to those feminist ideals of her mother who died in child birth.  Oh great he’s going to go into another anti-feminist rant. Actually no, she was a feminist in the same vein as Lucy Ball and Camilla Paglia, not Gloria Stenim. But her activism is cause for concern. 

    She wasn’t just a feminist, she was also against the age of enlightenment, specifically when it came to Medical technology. Basically she had a similar attitude then as those who still oppose Medical marijuana today. It doesn’t matter if there’s a benefit to people or they should have the option of utilizing a treatment, it’s said it could be harmful so it’s not worth the risk.

    The monster was an analogy of the idea of technology unrestrained but it was a fear that has always been unfounded. There have always been ethical concerns and debates in medicine and as the technology improves so do the debates. Did Mary Shelly have anything to do with that? Maybe, but not intentionally, she didn’t want the technology to exist at all according to the history books. 

   And think she would be appalled with how pop culture has adapted her story. The 1931 Universal Pictures classic adaptation of Frankenstein, altered the monster from a homicidal killer without remorse to a victim. The victim notion opens up the debate of whether the technology still is valid for research. It was simply as mistake that time maybe if it’s repeated it could be done right. 

    The 1935 classic Bride of Frankenstein also makes an odd prediction of the future of the technology. The doctor to enlist the assistance of Doctor Frankenstein in his experiments, explains that he grew his miniature people from “seeds” rather than stitching them from corpses. These “seeds” that he was discussing sounds like a rudimentary understanding of stem cells and genetics technology. We are seeing the early stages of this science right now, as it develops we will have the option to routinely use the cells from our own bodies to grow healthy replacement organs for transplants, guaranteeing a successful surgery. And no need for the donors to put themselves at any risk at all.

    The concept that makes more sense came from the late author Dr. Micheal Crichton. He claims in his books that while treading carefully would serve most prudent, research into the Medical technology and sciences is still best for all mankind. And he does have a little more knowledge on the subject.

    While authors such as Stephen King and Mary Shelly sit back and postulate the most outlandish and unlikely worst case scenarios to dissuade their readers from supporting possibly life saving sciences, those who understand it best says proceeding tentatively is the right course. Who ends up the real monster then?

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.