독서리뷰2014.02.03 21:26




A book that is probably more famous for its Spielberg-rendered film, Jurassic Park first caught my attention when a friend of mine was reading it in a cafe, who described the book as "quite philosophical." Thus when I started out reading this book, I might have given it unfair expectations, which is why the book was more or less a sound disappointment for me. To be precise, I would label the book as something that raises questions about bioethical issues unusual for a thriller book. 


I wasn't too impressed with the shallowness of the characters. Dr. Grant is the everyman's hero, keeping it calm in times of trouble and taking good care of the kids; Hammond a man blinded by the visions of how he can change the world with money, and obnoxiously denying reality when things began to go wrong; Tim the secondary hero who saves the day by fixing the computer that runs the island (the kids would swoon with excitement reading about Tim's exploits). 


A character who is more interesting is Malcolm, a mathematician who ardently believes in the chaos theory; it is through him that questions about bioethical issues are raised. Predicting that the whole project was bound to fail from the starts, he argues that however humans try to meddle with nature, their endeavours will ultimately end in failures, so you better leave nature as it is. His predictions come true, but only because it was Hammond, the senile nincompoop, who organized the whole thing. You get the feeling that Malcolm and his chaos theory is receiving undue credit. It would have been more interesting if Hammond or Wu, the geneticist, possessed better principles and logic behind their belief in genetic modification.


However, Malcolm also raises a point about power that is more worthy of thinking about: power without due sacrifice results in unwise actions. A Karate black belt has put a lot of time and effort into earning his belt, but at the same time the sacrifice has made him mature enough to use his power wisely. However, scientific power is easily gained by reading the works of others, which makes a scientist rather arrogant in the face of the complexity of nature. The resulting lack of discipline causes scientists to act unwisely. Like making dinosaurs. Or atom bombs.


Indeed, some lethal technology falling into the wrong hands could cause disasters. North Korea stands out as a tragic example in the contemporary world, defending itself with nuclear bombs while torturing its people. And how much has technology helped humanity? In Malcolm's opinion, nothing has changed since the invention of the washing machine and the resulting emancipation of women. And we could go on debating about the benefits and the downsides of nuclear energy, computers, internet, etc. But what's important is that technology opens new doors for us to live fuller lives as humans, although it doesn't ensure fuller lives. It is up to us to be more conscious of what we are capable of and constantly ask ourselves about the right thing to do. 






Posted by 이머츄어