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Monday, January 29, 2007

What is Next?

I just finished reading the latest Michael Crichton novel. It's called Next. I am a pretty big fan of Crichton's books but this one was disappointing. It deals with the dangers of genetic engineering and gene therapies of the possible future.

His other recent cautionary tale, Prey, about nano-technology, was quite a thrill ride. And his politically incorrect, State of Fear, about global warming deserved every bit of controversy it generated, to my delight.

To its credit, Next does bring attention to many of the troubling ethical and dangerous scientific implications of advancing genetic technologies. Crichton does not represent the religious concerns that many share, but he does highlight devastating potential abuses.

These issues sharpen even further when you understand human life to comprise more than just a random jumble of minerals and chemical reactions. A Christian author would see a much more three-dimensional problem with the current research trajectories. Nonetheless, it is useful for a secularist to observe many of the same problems and come to similar conclusions.

My problem with Crichton's latest book is not philosophical or theological. It's just not that great of a story, esp when compared to his other works. The characters are under-developed. The plot is uncertain and confused.

For a thoroughly Christian work of fiction asking very similar questions about science and human life, see instead P.D. James'The Children of Men (The book, of course. Not the film.).

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Anonymous said...

Have you seen the film?

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the film?

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