"africanized bees" (Re: Insects not "lower animals"?)

Neil Jones Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 24 14:29:37 EDT 1997

In article <19970917114001.HAA15260 at ladder01.news.aol.com>
           gitanomad at aol.com "Gitanomad" writes:

> In article <b03c38bd010210049664@[]>,
> dyanega at mono.icb.ufmg.br wrote:
> >If this sort of thing was an
> >inevitable result of information and technology, we'd have had a lot more
> >"teen chemical hackers" blowing up themselves and their houses
> >experimenting with explosives, burning themselves to cinders, or poisoning
> >themselves with nerve gases and the like for the last several decades.
> Uh, I hate to tell you, but we've had about three incidences of such
> explosions caused by experimenting teenagers over the last decade or so
> here in the Washington, DC area.  An explosion such as that is a one-time
> incident; a genetic experiment gone awry has the potential to replicate
> itself ad infinitum.  Not that I believe it's likely, mind you, but would
> you have predicted teenagers on internet newsgroups fifty years ago?

It may be that genetic hackers are unlikely but it was probably my own
personal experience that led me to suggest it. I had one of these teenage
experimenters in my class in school. He would brag how he made nitroglycerine
in his garden shed. I remember one of his neighbours complaining to my mother
that he kept letting off bombs in the garden and blowing holes in the lawn!
The worst incident was when he created a concoction in the chemistry class
which gave off significant quantities of chlorine. Several of my classmates
were taken to hospital and one spent several days there recovering.
I have vivid memories of a bubbling vial of purple potassium permanganate.

Neil Jones- Neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk "The beauty and genius of a work of art
may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a
vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last
individual of a race of living things breathes no more another heaven and
another earth must pass before such a one can be again." William Beebe

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