In awe


We human beings are an incredible species. From conquering disease starting in the 19th century to driverless cars in the 21st century, human ingenuity has never failed to impress.  From the discovery of the DNA structure to personal genetic tests in our quest to exert control over our destiny, we are invincible.  Just when we think everything that can be discovered has been discovered, a new generation comes along to challenge the previous generation. The result is a new wave of discovery and innovation that has at its root the strong fundamentals laid down by the past generation. Since learning about Mendelian genetics in school, I have been mesmerized by the power of human observations and logical reasoning, both of which form the core of human ingenuity.  Without our ability to observe and form deductive and inductive reasoning, none of our achievements would have been possible, and life as we know it would probably look very different.

As a former science student, I am naturally drawn to human achievements in the area of genetics.   I strongly believe that this is one of the best examples of  human ingenuity, something that all of humanity should be proud of at how far we have come.  Genetics is an area that has made a remarkable progress since Watson and Crick solved the DNA structure in the 1950s. Since then, genetic research has moved at lightning speed. DNA information has become a marketable area that has inspired a wave of personal genetic testing companies to help consumers identify diseases in order to help them make informed decisions about their health.  What’s more, as technology moves further along, scientists have discovered gene therapy and also a new genetic technology that can remove harmful genes.  What was once only science fiction is now reality.  For decades, we have always depended on small-chemical drugs to restore our health, but the new century brings a set of new tools all thanks to the power of genetic research.

There is every reason to believe that human ingenuity will solve every human problem or every major crisis.  I am definitely an optimist in this sense.  As much as it is a gift, human ingenuity could also be used to wreak havoc on the world. That is dangerous. What to do with our ingenuity is completely up to us.  But based on what scientists have done so far, despite the ethical challenges that come with new tools, we are on a good trajectory.  That is because most people are genuinely interested in bringing benefits to humanity.  That truly is awe-inspiring.


In response to the daily word prompt – Awe