It’s interesting how Science Fiction often predicts future technologies and trends. For example, this morning on CNN they were talking about a research group that is trying to switch on the gene in humans that would cause limbs to regrow. Apparently they haven’t seen what happens when you do that (I say tongue-in-cheek). Peter Parker’s favorite professor was trying to regrow his arm and his technique, which I believe involved splicing reptilian DNA, turned him into one of Spiderman’s fiercest foes, The Lizard.
While the comic book is an extreme possibility of this research created in the 1960s and for the purpose of drama, I think that it shows (along with the basic theme of the series) that blind belief in the powers of science can have dire consequences. This appears to have been a central theme of other Marvel stories as well, such as The Fantastic Four. I think it’s time for a little bit of 1950s-60s suspicion about the claims of science. After Vioxx and the other recent revelations that drug companies are shoving drugs through the FDA, we need to take a look and see whether we can find a balance. We don’t want to reject all new technology, but we need to stop what some think is the inevitable march of progress. More testing needs to be done on our meds and therapies before releasing them to the public.