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I just heard a story on the radio that mentioned the cost of the Human Genome Project. I was amazed at how cheap it sounded compared to some other things our country spends money on. I thought it sounded like less than we spent on war over any given weekend. Sequencing the human genome will have a lasting impact on the well-being of humanity from here on out. In a few years getting your DNA sequenced will probably be a regular part of visiting the doctor and will provide insights into your health that we can barely imagine now. I'm proud of our country for leading this groundbreaking effort.
I also thought about another of my favorite scientific endeavors, the Hubble Space Telescope. It is one of the most powerful scientific instruments that humanity has created. With it we've seen back in time to the infancy of the universe. Hubble has shown us how vast and full our universe is. It's opened up new areas for us to discover and, like the genome project, its cost is minor compared to what we spend on killing people and breaking things:
How much could we learn and how much could we improve the lives of all humanity if we spent that money on science rather than war?
I appreciate the sentiment, but if the Taliban is ruling the world, I don’t think they will be spending money on telescopes or scientific endeavors of any kind. They don’t seem like the type…just saying.
I’m totally agreeing with you there…lets not have any fundamentalist group rule the world…
What do you think a better tool would be to “stabilize” the region?
I’m of the opinion that freedom from the social oppression going on there, especially of women, would be on par with, say, a cure for cancer.
How do you propose getting this aid into the country, enforcing sanctions, getting education into the country, convincing people that they should look at things critically?
Fascinating site. In reference to the present post, it is ironic that it is Science that has made modern war as deadly as it is.
Indeed, Science has made it possible to virtually exterminate humanity and poison the earth for millenia. And the final battle does not have to be over religion, as Dawkins and others claim. It could be over some variation of the old Communism v Captitalism fight or some strictly secular issue. Indeed, atheists can go to war with each other.
Of course, you can say that is not the fault of science, but if you put weapons into the hands of waring gangs simply ignoring the consequences does not absolve you of reponsibility.