The Cartesian project of the mastery and possession of nature—now embodied by CRISPR—would recognize no boundaries of a Stoic “Nature.” The prospect of vast amounts of money to be earned and power to be gained from procuring and selling CRISPR technology impels many no less vehemently than the prospect of ending human suffering, disease, and aging itself. So where will the limits be?
If science cannot be the only type of certain knowledge, why is it so commonly taken to be such? This disposition to accept science, without discretion, as the sole or ruling source of knowledge is a common malaise. It is street-level scientism.
Street-level scientism is the philosophy that the everyday person, and persons every day, adopt in an unreflective manner. It is not an explicit theory, but rather a practical attitude. Indeed, it even afflicts scientists themselves insofar as they are similarly situated to laymen with respect to those sciences that are not their specialty.