Re, Smallpox

Alain Gagn é gagne at CLIC.NET
Sun Aug 4 12:24:44 CDT 1996

I think the problem with Smallpox is that we have two viewpoints. The
first one is an inside species viewpoint: As a species we have the
ethical obligation to destroy our mortals parasites to save lives. The
second viewpoint is an outside species viewpoint: As the ruler species
on earth, we have the ethical obligation to maintain biodiversity.

We have to reconcile that two viewpoints to make the best political

For the smallpox and other human viruses it's not realy difficult. Their
survival in nature is ethicaly impossible because the natural
environment of the human viruses is the human cells themselves and that
imply our death. To keep it in a "ZOO" (a freezer) is too risky, the
possibility of a human error or a human crime is too great. To keep just
the DNA or the RNA is today difficult, that biochemical material was too
unstable in the very long term. But we can keep all informations about
the virus in a computer databank and, that way, you can study it or, in
the future, recreate the whole virus or just one of its protein if you
need it. I think this solution is the best one for all acellulars
organisms because you have just to put artificially synthezised genes in
a culture of host's cells to recreate the whole virus (To keep the virus
biodiversity, you have to save more than just one copy of the virus's
genes in the databank or maybe you can recreate diversity by making
computerized artificials mutations if needed).

The real problem will appears when we will have to decide about to
destroy or to preserve cellulars parasites (bacteria, fungi,
protozoans...) some are as deadly as viruses, just think about Yersinia
pestis (Plague). =

This is a future but a real ethical problem!


Tel le sphinx =E9nigmatique, gardien du voile des t=E9n=E8bres,
toute chose, si humble soit-elle, cache en son intime essence,
tout les myst=E8res du monde.

Alain Gagn=E9,  gagne at
Loretteville, Qu=E9bec, Canada

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