Science may be called a mixed blessing. It has made our life peaceful and comfortable. But it has also filled it with fears and tears. The invention of the wheel, electricity and wonder drug, penicillin has revolutionized human life. Now our life has become safer, easier and more comfortable than that of our ancestors, who lived in precarious conditions, Stifling heat of the sun, wrath of natural calamities, bloody jaws of the fatal diseases and the ghastly face of famines were the constant threat to the very survival of our forefathers. But now we have conquered time and space and have tamed all the forces of nature. We have, in fact, risen from the lowest position of cavemen to the highest position of spacemen.
Only one hundred years ago, man’s life was most uncertain. Diseases like malaria; cholera, measles, typhoid and small pox that’ are no more considered fatal were considered a sure call from death. Now by using different scientific methods, we have solved such problems as the causes of diseases and its prevention. Life-saving drugs and the invention of different operating theater equipment have brought many patients back from the jaws of death to the lap of life.
Science has also done a lot to clean, beautify and illuminate our houses and cities. Our city streets are paved, illuminated and well-drained. We have water supply system that provides clean water for household use. The dirty water is carried through sealed pipes to disposal plants. Iron, steel, aluminum and even glass can be molded and given different shapes to suit our need and taste. In our houses we have refrigerators to keep our food fresh for months, air-conditioners and heaters to change climate according to our choice and many other machines that cook our food, clean our houses, and wash our clothes.
Science has also improved our means of communication, entertainment and transportation. Aero planes, ships, trains, buses, cars and cycles have shortened the distances. On our TV sets we can watch, a cricket match being played thousands of miles away from our home. Similarly telephone, camera, VCR and tape recorder have brought the voices and faces of our near and dearness close to us. The dish antenna has brought the people of different castes, creeds, colors and countries so close to one another that a global village is in the making in which all differences of cultures, customs, languages and social manners will die their natural death.
The most important effect of scientific inventions and investigations is on human mind and manners. Now we have become more critical and realistic in our attitudes and aptitudes than our ancestors. Mysterious happenings and supernatural events do not attract our attention. We believe only such things as are based on facts. So superstitions are losing ground and blind faith is being discarded.
But this is only the bright side of the picture. We cannot ignore the dark and dismal aspects of science and forget that sometimes it appears “red in tooth and claw” destroying human life and civilization. Man’s urge for authority and his desire to gain control over his fellow-men have compelled to turn this boon into a bane. He has invented disastrous war weapons that can annihilate the whole world in no time. A number of scientific inventions that can be used to ameliorate the lot of the lots of naked, hungry and homeless people are being used to multiply their miseries and misfortunes.