Tuesday, December 3, 2013

10 Frankenstein monsters roaming in our midst

Dr Abe V Rotor

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Scene of Dr Frankenstein and the monster he created (Wikipedia),
based on the celebrated novel by Mary Shelly in the 19th century

Anyone who has read Frankenstein cannot forget the frightful scenario of a monster created in the laboratory that eventually turned against his master and terrorized the world - a reminder of the unpredictable consequences of science-on-the-loose.

We have revived the Frankenstein monster in many forms, such as these.

1. The invention of the atomic bomb and its subsequent progeny - hydrogen bomb, neutron bomb and cobalt bomb - that are far more deadly and destructive, and their stockpiling into a power keg that still exist today even after the Cold War has ended in 1989.

2. Medical breakthroughs in saving lives and extending life span contribute to the population explosion and demographic imbalance where societies are burdened by too many young who are unproductive and highly dependent, and elderly group, with increasing healthcare-dependent members.

3. Organ transplantation and replacement which is leading us farther and farther to a new frontier called bionics; a combination of the rational being and the robot, natural and artificial intelligence.

4. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) whereby it is possible to combine genes  of organisms outside their kind, irrespective of species - or kingdom, for that matter. Bt Corn carries the gene protein of a bacterium - Bacillius thuringiensis - that parasitizes caterpillars that feed on corn crop. New strange life variations are sprouting defying identity and classification.  They are nameless like the monster created by Frankenstein.   


5. Mega-industrialization that has resulted not only to the demise of natural environments (ecosystems) and many species of organisms, but the destruction of the ozone layer and the gradual and steady buildup of atmospheric gases and temperature known as global warming. Global warming has alarming effects in changing climate patterns worldwide, spawning more frequent and more destructive force majeure from drought to f
lood to  typhoons and tornadoes.  

6. Urbanization leading to the growth of megacities which continue to destroy the homeostasis of rural-urban relationship, spawning poverty and leading to the degradation of human life at the source of migration on one hand, and at the burgeoning centers on the other.

7. Population explosion setting a record of 7.7 billion people today and doubling in less than fifty years if left unchecked - indeed a grim reminder of the ghost of Malthus two hundred years ago (Malthusian Theory), and a proof that the natural laws that govern survival has been radically changed.

8. Consumerism on which capitalism flourishes in the guise of progress and the good life, but in effect creates imbalance of the economy of nations, dividing them into power-wealth categories, and have and have-not, loss of values, and abusive exploitation of resources at the expense of Planet Earth.

9. Gold rush syndrome resulting in the Tragedy of the Commons, a principle that is based on Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale, a story that illustrates that greediness and wanton destruction has always a tragic end, as evidenced today by the declining fish catch in the ocean, dwindling freshwater supply, logged over forests, spent farms and pastures, near exhaustion of fossil fuels, and the like.

10. While ecumenism bridges religions, cultism is divisive and segregative. There is a rise of the so-called hybrid religions which have lost their dogmatic identities, and are gaining popularity as a kind of religious liberation. On the other hand, more and more people around the world are drawn into the world of nones (people who have lost faith in organized religions) - if not the atheism, particularly those overwhelmed by the influence of postmodern living.~


These ten attributes of a modern Frankenstein haunt modern man and his society today exacerbated by his aim at globalization. The shrinking of the planet into a global village so to speak, through scientific breakthroughs, expansion of commerce and industry, opening of new frontiers of human settlement and habitation which sooner or later include the building of cities under th sea and in space, and the proliferation of multimedia making information accessible anywhere in any place of the globe - all these make the avenging monster closer to his creator, and therefore making him vulnerable to its evil intent. Such is the story of Mary Shelley's fiction that has a tragic ending - the destruction of both monster which never bore a name, and its creator - the young genius, Frankenstein. ~

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