In the novel Frankenstein, Victor had some horrible scientific discoveries and advances with consequences. Consider some scientific developments in modern times. Are the ideas about dangers of scientific advancements in the novel relevant today? Why or why not?

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Some years ago, scientists successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly. A typical sheep of the same breed as Dolly usually lives to be around twelve years old, but Dolly only lived for six years. She was put down because she developed a lung disease that would only worsen as she aged, as well as terrible arthritis (at only about half a typical life expectancy for her breed). Clearly, her being a clone produced some unintended and unexpected negative effects. Dolly is a good example of how we cannot completely understand all the possibilities when we tinker with creation and nature.

We might also consider the breeding of pure-bred dogs: often these dogs develop serious medical problems or severely shortened life spans as a result of the "purity" of their line or the fact that family members have been bred together to produce certain traits. Mutts tend to live a great deal longer than pure breeds do, and they are often healthier too.

When we become involved in the cloning and even the breeding of other creatures, unexpected effects and consequences seem to arise, and these could be dangerous. It, perhaps, ought to make us wonder if we, like Victor, are overstepping our role in the universe. Do we have the right to breed dogs to our particular specifications, even when that means that their quality of life, as well as their quantity of years, becomes significantly less? We must have a sense of ethics when conducting these experiments, but there is such disagreement about what is appropriate when it could potentially lead to medical advancements (because those same experiments could also have unintended negative consequences).

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