Sunday, July 2, 2017

Steven Pinker: 'Solutions Create New Problems'

By Alex Berezow — June 22, 2017  
The Breakthrough Dialogue is an annual meeting of a politically diverse group of scientists, professors, journalists, think-tankers, and others who discuss technological solutions to environmental and social problems*. Referring to themselves as "ecomodernists," they represent everything environmentalism should be: pro-science, pro-technology, pro-human, and bipartisan.

One of the featured speakers at this year's Dialogue was the preeminent Harvard scientist Steven Pinker. He is an optimist who believes that, in general, the world is getting better. (Sadly, only 6% of Americans agree with him.) Dr. Pinker concluded his talk with the following insight:
"Problems are inevitable. Problems are solvable. Solutions create new problems."
How profound. It is worth examining this in the context of biotechnology.........If we don't solve them, we die. If we do solve them, we will eventually face a new set of problems. This pattern repeats indefinitely.........People died of bacterial infections. To overcome that problem, we discovered antibiotics......Bacteria developed resistance to antibiotics. We responded by finding and synthesizing new antibiotics. But the bacteria persisted; we now have bacteria that are resistant to most or perhaps all antibiotics.  Does that mean we give up? No! We keep looking for new antibiotics...............To Read More....


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