Discoveroids: Frankenstein & the Evil of Science

There are a number of false memes that have followers and influence in the world. The one that concerns us here is the fantasy of the Mad scientist. We’ve written about this a few times before — see, e.g.: Mad Scientist or Mad Creationist? As we said there:

We’re all familiar with the literary cliché of the Mad scientist. For two centuries, from Victor Frankenstein to Dr. Strangelove, the public has been exposed to a number of characters who explore things that “man was not meant to know.” They often seek world domination.

The problem is that one has ever met such a scientist in real life. If you know of one, we’d like to hear about it. On the other hand, dangerously depraved behavior is all too common among those who imagine that they’re on a divine mission.

[…]

But with all the genuinely insane and truly dangerous people running around in the world, the myth of the mad scientist is the one that persists in literature. Why? Think about it.

Then, in The Discoveroids and Frankenstein’s Monster, we said:

Ever since the 1818 publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, we’ve seen frightened people and their preachers screaming about scientists who dare to “play God” by meddling in the unknown, experimenting in their infernal la-BOR-a-tories, and attempting things that man was not meant to know! And here we see the Discoveroids feeding the fears of the ignorant, playing the role of science censors, and longing for the power to launch a new Inquisition.

And recently, in The Discoveroids and Human Cloning, we said:

The creationist objection to human cloning is just another example of the ancient fear of man trespassing on things that are the domain of the gods. It’s “scientists playing god.” It goes back to the Tower of Babel. A more modern version is when Dr. Frankenstein “went too far” and created his monster. To the simple mind, there are “things man was not meant to know.” The humorous flip-side of this is when a creationist tries to play scientist.

Okay, that was a long but necessary introduction. Now let’s talk about the latest post at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog: Frankenstein 200 Years Later: Have We Heeded the Warning?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What a title! What “warning” are they talking about? What about the warnings in Alice in Wonderland or Pandora’s Box? The post was written by Discovery Institute “fellow” Richard Weikart, author of From Darwin to Hitler, so he’s no stranger to fairy tales. We consider him to be the intellectual godfather of the Discoveroids’ frequently-repeated malicious mantra: “No Darwin, no Hitler.” Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Two hundred years ago this month Mary Shelley published her famous novel, Frankenstein. It warned against the possible horrors that could come about through our scientific hubris. In the novel the scientist Victor Frankenstein worked diligently two years to bring life to a dead body. He succeeded, which should have caused him to celebrate. Instead, he was revolted by his creation.

Take heed, scientists, or you too will regret your godless works! Then he says:

Biotechnology has brought us many good things, such as medical therapies that regenerate damaged tissues. However, it has also brought us techniques that seem more troubling, such as cloning.

[…]

Frankenstein, of course, had the best of intentions. He foresaw nothing but happiness and bliss, once he had mastered the technique of animating dead bodies. While working on his experiment, he exulted, “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. A new species would bless me as its creator and source; many happy and excellent natures would owe their being to me.”

His utopian vision evaporated, however, once his creature came to life. He quickly recognized his tragic mistake. He admitted, “now that I had finished, the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my heart.”

Poor Dr. Frankenstein. He learned his lesson, but it was too late! And what was that lesson? Weikart explains:

Shelley seems to be reminding us that raw scientific pursuit, carried on without love and without considering our moral responsibilities, may come back to haunt us. It may even destroy us.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Weikart ends his post with this:

Shelley’s novel still resonates today. It sells over 50,000 copies per year in the U.S. However, maybe the reason it is still so popular is because we are still terrified by the prospects of technology run amok. Are scientists today still so concerned about advancing knowledge that they ignore the consequences for humanity? Are they so focused on knowledge that they forget about love? Perhaps we still need Shelley’s novel as a reminder.

Well, dear reader, will you heed the warning? Or, like Dr. Frankenstein, will you peruse your godless work to its inevitable end?

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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9 responses to “Discoveroids: Frankenstein & the Evil of Science

  1. “If you know of one, we’d like to hear about it.”
    Cracked has documented a few hilarious examples, but I’m too lazy now to look them up. And there was Josef Mengele and co of course. But none of them demonstrate that the evil genius fantasy is more than that. Of course the James Bond franchise has made use of it extensively, but taking JB seriously is almost as stupid as scientists debating creacrap in public.

    “techniques that seem more troubling”
    Really, they truely deserve the name IDiots. Why for Darwin’s sake refer to a piece of fiction if reality is horrible enough? Two worldwars, the Holocaust and of course two nuclear bombs provide far better and realistic examples of troubling techniques. And of course global warming very well might go out of hand. Why discuss Frankenstein and cloning if we have this?
    Yes, yes, I know – IDiocy knows no boundaries.

  2. What a load of BS! Shelley not showing any of the crap they talk about, she was showing that father’s are responsible for the raising of their children. And when they fail, bad things can happen. There are NO questions that science should NOT ask and to seek the answers.
    And yes there have been questionable scientist, being a scientist does not make you good or bad, any more then being xtian makes you good or bad.
    And whats wrong with cloning? Once born it is what it is, it is NOT a perfect copy! Only dimwits that do not know biology would think it was!

  3. Michael Fugate

    Dr. Faustus? God’s magic v. the Devil’s magic?

  4. As I recall,Frankestein’s “monster” was not evil. The bad things were reactions by ordinary humans to the appearance of the monster. For example, an early interacton between the mnster had the monster helping, anonymously, a group of humans. The monster introduced himself to a blind human, who didn’t see the monstrous appearance and there was no problem in their interactions. Not until sighted humans saw the monster were there any problems.

  5. Well that book report gets an F.

  6. I can’t take Richard Weikart seriously because he did not even mention the far worse overwhelming problems with the satanist illuminati or the “greys”.
    https://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/lady-gaga-the-illuminati-puppet/
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/849208/aliens-roswell-ufo-crash-50-shades-of-greys

  7. The problem was traced back to Igor, Frankenstein’s assistant, who substituted a defective creationist brain that the good Dr. Frankenstein mistakenly implanted in his patient’s skull, thus ending up with an impaired human specimen. Sadly, there are many more Igor (creationists) running around today trying to implant defective, anti-science notions into people’s brains to the detriment of society.

  8. @Zetopan; vigilantcitizen, wow, that’s industrial bat [bleep] crazy.