Playing God


[[http://www.guardian.co.uk/|The Guardian]] reports that NASA scientists are [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article/0,14493,1407176,00.html|proposing]] to release chemicals in Mar’s atmosphere to heat up the climate, eventually to make it colonizable. Is humankind getting closer to playing God? Many many years ago I had read a story by Asimov (I don’t remember the title, if anyone does, please do let me know!) that looked at mankind’s progress from an entirely different perspective.

The story is about a period in our future where we are just about to discover hyper-spatial travel. Asimov compares humans to bacteria growing in a culture. We grow and infact encourage growth of bacteria in our petri dishes and watch them closely. But when the bacteria grows out of control and starts to break the confines of the petri dishes, then we usually destroy that culture.

Asimov speculates what if the human race is just like that bacteria culture to some higher, superior race, far far advanced than we are. Is it not possible that humanity would be crushed just as easily as the bacteria cultures in our petri dishes? I was quite intrigued by that story, and I still think about it often.

With all the talk about cloning, stem cell research and prolonged life, how far is the day when Man really starts playing God, and steps out of his petri dish?

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