Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Mystery of Change

On this day in 1978, The first baby conceived by in-vitro fertilization, Louise Brown, was born in Oldham, England. I still remember what a controversy this baby caused at the time (I was thirteen). People were somehow fearful that this would change the world, and not for the better.

Now Louise Brown (who also has a sister conceived by IVF) is a grown woman with a child of her own, and the world in general seems the same. Science, however, continues to expand its boundaries, and in vitro fertilization is no longer a shocking concept.

This raises an interesting question about change and the future. Louise was conceived almost thirty years ago; what will seem commonplace in another thirty years that is considered shocking today? Cloning? Robots? Choosing a baby's gender?

The only thing certain, as some famous person once said, is change. The mystery is why we fear it so much.

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