Summary Of Ethics And The New Genetics By Dalai Lama

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The capacity to learn is a construct familiar to all animals and some plants, so what makes us so special? There is an advantage to trees being tall and supported by rigid and woody vascular systems. The advantage is simply that most plants grow towards the sunlight to ensure a constant rate of photosynthesis by avoiding obstruction. The tallest tree in the forest never gets outshined, or rather out shadowed, by other trees. Thus, over millions of years natural selection has allowed for coniferous trees to reach heights up to fifty feet, since most of the areas that they inhabit tend to be low on the ultra violet index. Our brains are no different from the trees, with the exception that hundreds of years don’t have to pass for us to demonstrate our learning like it does for trees to grow. Unlike other mammals, humans exhibit sufficient cortical space for exponential learning; however, that ability to limitlessly retain information comes at a price. “The higher the level of knowledge and power, the greater must be our sense of moral responsibility” (Dalai Lama 63). As the Dalai Lama dictates in his essay Ethics and the New Genetics, knowledge is power and large amounts of knowledge ascertained, as capable by humans, is paralleled with moral responsibility.

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