Essay about Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen

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Silver’s Remaking Eden and the Silver Screen

In Remaking Eden, Lee M. Silver asks three central questions: Who controls life? What counts as life? And what will human life look like in the future? The question Silver does not ask is whether or not human life as we now know and define it will change. Silver sees the advance of genetic engineering as inevitable, due to consumer demand for it as a technology and the unrelenting curiosity of scientists. Power resides in science, according to Silver, and that power is “enormous.”
In the closing chapter to Remaking Eden, entitled “Tomorrow’s Children,” he recounts how “a single eccentric scientist named Kary Mullis” obliterated all “preconceived notions of scientific limitations” with
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But then, before telling us that Mullis received the 1993 Nobel Prize for chemistry “in recognition of the enormous impact” of his discovery, Silver tosses out, almost casually, a reference that caught my attention. He writes: “The real-world recovery and analysis of DNA from Jurassic-age bugs trapped in amber was the premise on which Jurassic Park is based” (241).
If scientific advancement depends upon both consumer demand and scientific curiosity, then the attitude consumers have toward genetic engineering and cloning must be weighed and examined. Therefore, the question arises, “How do consumers form their opinions about cloning?”
As a Communications major, I am aware that popular culture is one powerful way that ideas about controversial topics are communicated. Therefore this question becomes more specifically: What can popular movies (like Jurassic Park) tell us about people’s attitudes toward cloning and the forces shaping those attitudes? Once this question is answered, we may be able to judge more accurately
Silver’s claim that consumer demand for genetic engineering will inevitably support scientific advancement in the field.

Cloning has long been a topic of the popular media, including print fiction and especially film.
Recent examples include 1997’s The Lost World: Jurassic Park, 1999’s Austin Powers II: The Spy
Who Shagged Me, 2001’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, 2002’s

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