‘O brave new world, That has such people in’t!’ Shakespeare, The Tempest New scientific developments are changing the world, but whether the world of our children and grandchildren will be the hell of Huxley’s Brave New World or the sheltered paradise described by Shakespeare depends on how we choose to use these developments. That choice will frequently be driven by our appreciation of what human beings really are. In this thought-provoking book Pete Moore presents an antidote to the scientific reductionism that so frequently seeks to narrow any definition of our species by single features, such as our genes or the ability of our brains. This exploration of the nature of humanity reveals the rainbow spectrum that makes us who we are. Through discussions with individuals whose lives help us to focus on individual aspects of our make up, Moore explores the difficult issues that are facing us. This book provides a timely reminder that technology cannot be separated from its impact on real people and how their lives are changed for the better or worse. Medical developments offer tremendous opportunities for good, but if we lose sight of what it is to be human they also have the ability to be used for very dangerous, even evil purposes. We have a chance to influence this future. We should not ignore the challenge. DR PETE MOORE is a medical journalist and an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and the House of Lords. He is the author of Blood and Justice (0470 848421, Hbk / 0470 84844 8 Pbk).
Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. An embodied being. 2. A conscious being. 3. A genetic being. 4. A historic being. 5. A related being. 6. A material being. 7. A spiritual being. 8. A sexual being. 9. A social being. 10. Free to be me. Bibliography. Index.
"…Moore has managed to paint a superb picture of the human being, using a scientific perspective…" (popularscience.co.uk, October 2006)
Dr Pete Moore is a medical journalist and Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Bristol. He is Chairman of the Medical Journalists Association and winner of numerous awards for his journalism, including the MJA Tony Thistlethwaite Award for his most recent book, Blood and Justice. He is an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and private meetings at the House of Lords. He has a PhD in physiology and has held a range of post-doctoral research fellowships with The Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation. He also lectures in ethics.
What does it mean to be human? Recent developments in science have given us the power to create life, to sustain it and to examine the genetic recipes of each individual. Yet, far from improving our understanding of humanity, such possibilities raise ever more complex issues. The tendency is to make life simple by focusing on single aspects of our existence. Defining life and death is no longer a consideration of the holistic nature of a person’s being, but a question of whether the frontal lobes of the brain are functioning properly. Reducing ourselves may be useful for law making, but it reveals only a shadow of the true complexity of what it is to be a human being. In this thought-provoking examination of the complexity of human nature Pete Moore explores different facets of what it means to be human in the twenty-first century. He shows that with this holistic approach we can more appropriately assess the scientific developments that are already impacting our lives.
What does it mean to be human ? Recent developments in science have given us the power to create life, to sustain it, and to examine the genetic recipes of each individual. Yet far from improving our understanding of humanity such possibilities raise ever more complex issues. The tendency is to make life simple by focusing in single aspects of our existence, but whilst reducing ourselves to a single facet, such as genetic make-up or brain function, may be useful for law making, it reveals only a shadow of the true complexity of what it is to be a human being. This book provides a timely reminder that technology cannot be separated from its impact on real people. Medical developments offer tremendous opportunities for good, but if we loose sight of what it is to be human they also have the ability to be used for very dangerous, even evil purposes.
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