Thursday, September 18, 2008

Editorial - "Right to Live v. Right to Know" in the 15 September 2008 issue of LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Vol. 4, Part 2, No. 17


That the entire biomass in this static-dynamic cosmos (akhila charaachara viswam loni samasta praanikoti) is to be viewed with due care and respect is our ancient wisdom, occasionally noted but often flouted. We humans acted with impunity and cruelty to cause extinction of innumerable biospecies. Our superiority complex as also the arrogance about the uniqueness of our intelligence leading to novel scientific, techonological advances and tamperings with nature are some main causes; and the same now drive us toward a perhaps inevitable danger of annihilation. In our thirst for knowledge and greed for power we have split the atom, generated vast energies, committed genocides as also created dangers of a nuclear holocaust. Now we are on the brink of creating black holes, which Dr. Otto E. Rössler fears may eat up our entire earth in a matter of years if we are unable to cope with them – all this in the name of the biggest scientific experiment in world history to know the secrets of the universe. Are we unwittingly behaving like ‘Bhasmaasuras’? Doubts crop up though the spirit of enquiry tends to belittle all that as mere gibberish. Dr. Rössler and others have even approached the European Court of Human Rights, saying: “CERN itself has admitted that mini black holes could be created when the particles collide, but they don't consider this a risk. [But] … it is quite plausible that these little black holes survive and will grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside. … We submitted this application to the ECHR as we do not believe the scientists at CERN are taking all the precautions they should be in order to protect human life." Not only the human but the entire earth should be protected. Hitherto, we are accustomed to respect the right to know as an integral part of the right to life, but now comes the juncture of a calamitous conflict between it and the very right to live. Let us hope the time has not completely run out and human wisdom prevails in the end to thwart any possible dangers to our geo-bio §§§