Tuesday, 6 August 2013


Science makes discoveries ... and the list would be interminable. The underlying question is: what use do we make of these discoveries? In some cases, it's a political issue - look at the huge number of scientists concerned with developing the atomic bomb who begged Truman not to actually use it to destroy cities. (Why were they developing the bomb in the first place? because they thought that Hitler had much of the necessary knowledge and wouldn't have been so conscientious about how he used it). In other cases where you could say that the findings of science may have been misused, it'll be either because they haven't yet extended their research - DDT did a brilliant job of eliminating malaria, saving milions of lives, and only later did people like Rachel Carson point out the collateral damage. And there are commercial players involved now - so that many genetically modified agricultural products that have been bred to be disease-resistant have also got an added twist that means that the farmers have to buy new supplies each year.

Science doesn't harm people--people harm people.

Take the gun, for example.  If you added up all the people who were killed by guns, it wouldn't even come close to the number of people who were killed with rocks and sticks and bare hands before the gun was invented.  While it's true that the homicide rate is much lower in nations like Japan and England where gun control is practiced, the higher homicide rate in the U.S. is as much a product of our proclaimed love affair with freedom as it is a product of high rates of gun ownership.  At any rate, the science behind the development of the gun--chemistry, ballistics, metallurgy, basic physics--has produced as many strictly beneficial technologies as it has questionable ones.

On the balance far more good than bad...

...but I understand where the question comes from.

Sometimes these days it seems like science and the things we can now make are becoming a bigger threat than they are worth.  Sometimes the simple life of a century ago is rather attractive when considering the crowded, polluted cities of today, the threat of global disaster from nuclear war or a biological weapon.  There have been times when I have seen a picture of an Amish carriage making it’s way across a rural landscape and thought maybe that isn’t such a bad idea.

Every scientific advancement is a tool for development. That development can be for good or for ill.

The same explosive that is used to cut a road through the mountains to bring goods and services to isolated villages can also be used to make a bomb to kill people.  The same electricity that powers an MRI machine also powers the electric chair on death row.  Nonetheless, I believe the advances of science have allowed an improvement in humanity, a positive effect on our quality of life.

Science has done more good then bad.

Science is a double edge sward it can bring great good, ie vaccines cures, technology that makes life easier but if abused it can cause great harm like atomic bombs, chemical warefare war planes boats etc. Environmental damage.

Even science put to bad use can bring good. Better materials to fight a war like WWII was a good thing I do not think you would want to be living under the Nazies.

Shailesh shukla

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