Biotechnology is one of the most important—if not the most important—area of human ESE activity. Biotechnology and the associated economic, political, ethical, and cultural issues provide a lens through which the complexity and challenges of ESE can be clarified.

NOTES

1  

I am indebted to Professor Max Stackhouse of Princeton Theological Seminary for this insight.

2  

This is not to say that all concerns about biotechnology are inappropriate, or that ideological opposition is necessarily wrong in some way. The fact that societies that turned their backs on powerful technologies in the past have been overtaken is not a normative judgment but an objective observation. One need only compare China, where many technologies were discovered but not widely used, and, hence, a technological society never evolved, with Europe, where the Industrial Revolution flourished (Needham, 1991; Noble, 1997).

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