Science Then and Now Essay

Science then and now if taken for consideration introduces many problems. Truly it suggests, imagining the presence of two periods. There should be a distinguishable anvil between then and now.

By common experience, it is not difficult for us to imagine: the probable anvil. Aptly, it is the period of renaissance. In times before this, though they were not totally unscientific the accumulation of scientific ideas was far slower. But suddenly it was. accelerated and we made incredible progress.

When we start discussing so complicated a matter as this reality we are attempting to discourse the one what is dynamic. What is expressed now, cannot have the same impetus a few days after, appreciation of achievements of science by man may not be well supported when nuclear war is likely to start. Other than so many materialistic changes, purely psychological changes have added to the confusion of the topic.

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Imagine a man ignorant of the use of fire, incapable of counteracting diseases, slowly moving from place to place like a caterpiller eating raw flesh, cruel to his own fellow beings, with a low protruded forehead, dark eyes hairy all over, always exposed to the varying environment, and compare him to the modern man bumping himself towards unpredictable goal, the difference is really enormous.

As one professor rightly put ‘MAN’ means Meaningless Archaic Non entity. Science ever since the time of Arabs has had two functions:

  • To enable them to know things;
  • To enable them to do things.

The Greeks, with the exception of Archimides, were interested only in first of these. They had much curiosity about the world but since civilized people lived comfortably on slave labor, they had no interest in scientific technique. Interest in the practical use of science came first through superstition and magic. The Arabs wished to discover the Philosophers’ stone’, the ‘elixir of life and to transmute base metals to gold. In pursuing investigations having these purposes, they discovered many facts in chemistry but they did not arrive at any valid and important general laws and thus their y techniques remained elementary.

Science as a dominant factor in determining the beliefs of educated men have existed only for about 300 years. As a source of economic technique, it has a history as short as 150 years. It is during this brief period that it has proved itself to be an incredibly powerful source. The most obvious and inescapable effect of science or scientific idea is that it makes society far more organic in the sense, that it increases the interdependence of its various parts. This is true in the case of agriculture, but far more important in the industrial life of cities. The ramifications of the organized life of a great city spread far beyond the factory and cover every aspect of existence. One consequence of importance is the extent to which the increase of organization has brought into existence, new positions of responsibility and power.

Pakistan had its own culture oriented in a particular path undisturbing and encouraging. The accumulation of knowledge had a definite purpose. It helped in the understanding of self and aimed at moral well being. A student was to devote himself to Studies. Quran and Ahadis were taught and were learned by word of mouth and never by notes or guides. There was a different community of people who was entirely for a particular and established purpose. But in other parts of the world the church authorities prevailed upon the society and what they did was authentic but time passed by, and science has changed mankind.

As anybody can easily understand Necessity is the mother of invention. It is the principle of development. It was by keeping in view such noble thoughts that men like Thomas Alva Edison benefited humanity.

Even simple ideas have had a long evolution. The oldest wheeled vehicle of which there is a record is the one discovered in Mesopotamia and probably over 5,000 years old. But the wheel did not originate as such and a long period must have elapsed from the time when men used a rough log as a roller to place under a heavy. object so that the load could be dragged more easily. How many years or centuries passed on before a piece of timber was shaped purposely to cylindrical form as a roller, no one can tell. But the evolution of the wheel must in all probability have been something like this.

First, the load to be hauled was placed on a sludge. like frame, and then a roller was put beneath the sled, as the sled rolled along and left the first roller behind, this was brought to the front and slipped beneath the sled again. Today heavy machine parts are moved to short distances in this manner for assembly, but steel rollers of small diameters are used, and the load is propelled with a steel bar making use of-leverage. Likewise the delicious of delicacies came to be known by a fire accident when the mischievous boy had a chance.

Philosophically speaking our progress is entirely based on ‘THEN’. Some are of the view that our civilization is nothing more than of the past but the difference being we are attempting everything scientifically. A common example which is usually quoted is the cigar lighter. The same stone was the source of fire the men of past but now we have created a majestic instrument.

Introduction of railways which is till in a process of evolution-steam to electric-really changed our life. Man was more active than what his forefathers were.

What Marconi did and Alexander Grahambell invented are never to be forgotten and always they stand the test of time. Likewise, time was there when doctors employed leeches to bring down a fever. Diseases like Rabies, Anthrax, cowpox, smallpox were monstrous. Truly the genuine work of Louis Pasteur Edward Jenner and Alexander Flemming in this respect did the needful.

So we understand that science is not a voluntary crop up, it is an evolution, a growth. It has grown according to social needs and that it cannot escape the impact of social environments. There could have been no science had there been no society. The ultimate purpose of science has thus been to elevate the social life of man to the highest principle of perfection. Great pioneers of science like Galileo, Descartes, Boyle and Newton had great and ennobling expectations, the humanitarian and compassionate future of science. The expected science to be the super torch bearer of man’s physical, social, economic and moral well-being.

But the irony is that science has ignored its ultimate mission and looked at the bare facts alone. It made the world jump like a sudden atlas like leap built up a glittering civilization, opened up innumerable avenues for the growth of knowledge and added enormously to the power of man, to such an extent that for the first time it was possible to conceive that man, could triumph over ard shape his physical environments.

Kings fought wars in a separate war freld, with daggers swords and helmets but they are already forgotten. The very discovery of atom changed the attitude. Armed with this new weapon, man became almost a geological force changing the face of this planet-chemically; physically and dynamically. Thus now a modern war means shocking practically to everyone, even to just born and those yet to be born for it is a nuclear war.

Indeed we are progressing, entering deep down to the electrons of atoms of elements, D.N.A. of life and reaching the moon but not with confluence. Science has disclosed the factor of supreme energy but never preferred it to be employed for the destruction of life at Hiroshima.

The ‘Pax Romane’ says Aldus Huxley was a very uneasy affair troubled at almost every imperial death by civil strive over the question of civil succession. So long as the lust for power persists as a human trait and in persons of a certain kind of physique and temperament this lust is overmastering strong. No political arrangement howsoever well conceived can guarantee peace. For such men the instruments of violence powered by atomic energy are the most decisively destructive and for power lovers even under a system of world government the temptation to resort to these all too simple and effective means of gratifying their lust will be great indeed. In view of all this we must conclude that atomic energy for a long time to come is likely to remain a source of perpetual danger to mankind.

As. H.G. Wells has remarked, “We have made through our science a monster that will devour us up unless by exchanging international thought we can create a general opinion against this new power of destruction so strong and so unanimous that no nation will care to force the force, which underlies it.

But gradually human thoughts have changed and so also outlook. Man has fortunately smelled the rat. The use of nuclear weapons would not only destroy enemies but also promote self-destruction. These and a host of other serious consequences of the use of atom bombs have been realized. New hopes have made their origin. Though bleak there are tendencies of enlightenment. So also as Mr. Bertrand Russell says the point is not the atom bomb but the war. Checking up of opportunities for the employing of nuclear weapons is always better. Knowledge yields wisdom, more we try to know, more civilized we become. Our judgment and way of approach take a relevant and cogent turn.

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