A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. When is knowledge enough? And can a lot of knowledge be a dangerous thing, too? Whether little or much, knowledge without ethics empowers evil.
- Imbalance in India: Ultrasound is a wonderful invention that allows images inside the human body. In India, however, where culture and economics puts a premium on the male sex, its use has had devastating consequences. PhysOrg reported, “In Indian families in which the first child has been a girl, more and more parents with access to prenatal ultrasound testing are aborting a second female in the hope that a subsequent pregnancy will yield a boy, said the study, published in The Lancet…. Between 1980 and 2010, they estimate, four to 12 million girls were aborted because of their sex.”
The government has tried to stop the practice, but in a country where corruption is rampant, laws are easily set aside. “A 1996 government regulation designed to prevent the use of ultrasound for prenatal sex determination is widely flouted, the researchers say, pointing out that few health providers have been charged or convicted.” A little bribe goes a long way. This could not have happened before science brought the technology to know the sex of an unborn baby, but where does the fault lie?
- Imbalance in China: The Three Gorges Dam was a monumental engineering effort in China that worried environmentalists and ethicists because of potential damage to the land and its people. Now that the reservoir is full, New Scientist reported, those worries have been realized.
Landslides, pollution, and economic upheaval with dire consequences for many displaced people are the result. The BBC News added that 1.3 million people were displaced by a project that was the “contentious scheme even before it was approved.” Ignoring warnings that it would cause an “environmental catastrophe,” the government went ahead with the project.
Last week, in an unusual move, the government admitted “that the Three Gorges dam has caused significant environmental problems.” But they remain unfazed by the consequences. In fact, they are going to build more dams.
- Endangered species: The Endangered Species Act has impacted many businesses and homeowners, depriving property owners of rights to use their land in freedom because of the claims of scientists that certain species would be adversely affected. “For more than 40 years,” Science Daily reported, “the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published the Red List of Threatened Species describing the conservation status of various species of animals.”
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