Matt D From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 9502 posts, RR: 43 Posted (10 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2392 times:
Let's indulge in a purely hypothetical for a second. Judging from some of the posts I've read here over time, some of you are really, REALLY wishing for a few things. What would happen if you really got your wish? Would we finally be a step towards a global Utopia, or would we create far bigger problems then we would solve by trading one headache for another?
It would be great for everyones health, no second hand smoke, used butts, etc.
Who wouldn't like that?
BUT as much as smoking has been demonized over the last 30 years, some governments (such as New York and California) rake in billions and billions of dollars every year in the form of various taxes levied on tobacco.
If all of these governemnts really are suffering from a cash crunch (and all of them say they are), where is that money going to come from?
Suppose everyone started obeying the speed limits tomorrow. Accidents would drop by at least a half. Insurance claims would go down. Road rage would certainly diminish.
Who could possibly argue against that, right?
But aren't these same "Please drive safely" police departments essentially propped up and kept alive by revenues derived from those very same speeding tickets they are trying to tell us to avoid? Nearly everything from officers salaries to new patrol cars to clerks salaries to desks and staionery.
And it snowballs from there. How many people buy new cars because they wrecked their previous ones? What would happen to sales of Hondas, Fords, etc if suddenly there were a hundred thousand fewer cars bought each year? What about auto repair shops that depend on bad drivers and fender benders to stay in business? How about auto insurance companies whose racketeering pricing (and profits) depends on bad drivers?
What if cures for cancer and AIDS were discovered?
No more bald headed kids wasting away their years in hospitals. No more images of walking skeletons in Africa or San Francisco.
Again....how could any person with a heart not want to see that?
So what would all of these people with biochemistry degrees going to do for work now? What about all of these pharmeceutical companies-and their staffs-from CEO all the way down to front desk receptionist going to do once, overnight, their reason for being in business evaporates?
How in the world are fund raisers-such as Jerry Lewis and red ribbon (or whatever color it is) and other "Let's Find A Cure" "non-profit" organizations going to survive?
A lot of people have gotten very wealthy (and employed countless thousands) by "searching for a cure".
Can you imagine what would happen if these things actually came true? As noble and altruistic as they may be, one cannot help but wonder if by solving those problems, we would trade them for a new set-namely skyrocketing taxes and massive, and I do mean MASSIVE unemployment and thus-chaos.
Maybe if some of our leaders were honest, they'd go out and tell us to light up, speed up, and forget the condoms once in awhile to save our economy from another deep recession.
So what would all of these people with biochemistry degrees going to do for work now?
No offence, but...
You can of course not be supposed to have a clue and you'd probably laugh your butt off at questions concerning your job, but: that question is funny! It's also a bit sad because it illustrates how little of a clue the general population has about science.
So please give my a chance to try and share some of my - also greatly limited - knowledge and maybe answer this question of yours.
First of all, I'd call cancer a special class of disease. Basically it is caused by genetic mutations that themselves can be caused by an endless list of external factors. Once a cell has suffered one of a large number of genetic mutations, it can - theoretically - proliferate and cancer can develop.
Usually, your body will "kill" cells that have suffered a mutation, but like everything, the system can't be perfect.
Why am I typing this? It is because I'd like you to understand that cancer cannot be compared to infectious diseases, and there is no single type of cure that could solve all cases of cancer known. Speaking from a strictly scientific point of view, cancer is fascinating and a truly great challenge.
So if a major breakthrough in cancer research is reached, there will still be tons of research to be done.
And if a cure for every cancer we know was found? Well, the human body is so fascinatingly complicated, and you can't take biochemistry out of any equations, there will always be something to be found out about; for longer than the foreseeable future.
As for AIDS, which is of course a completely different issue: I think no one in science would honestly regret temprarily losing his job if an effective cure was found. Altruism would be more important than personal gain in this case. But then again - the HI virus could probably adapt to the new drug (much like influenza can), thus making further research necessary.
Again, please do not take personally.
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.