Saturday, August 05, 2006

ThePoet on Science

It is now common to read a newspaper of which the front page reports on the tension caused by nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction and other biological threats while the next page depicts how science is helping in maintaining the environment and a potential multimillion dollar industry in future. Within all this, rise a paradox and a controversy, is science helping or hurting us? Science itself is a subject that focuses on how things work, leading into creations and inventions such as how physics and math brought about technology and engineering. The argument can be substantiated in four main points of contention which are security, socio-cultural, environmental and economy. In all these aspects, the argument will demonstrate on how science is more of a help than a detriment to the human race by weighing out the pros and cons.

“Tensions escalate as nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang fails.” These are some of the news that is making headlines in the papers, television reports and other modes of mass media worldwide. The insidious effects of science are conspicuous here, of which it brings about political instability and a high tendency of dire repercussions such as war and health hazards. The advancement in scientific research has brought about discovery of nuclear power, which is manipulated into powerful and lethal weapons, weapons of mass destruction, armory and biological weapons such as chemicals, bacteria and viruses. Apparently, the manipulations of these scientific products are causing harm to humans. We have seen how anthrax, a kind of bacteria caused a shockwave of panic across the world, disrupting mail services and putting everybody at risk of being infected. The chemical plant explosion in Chernobyl which claimed many lives and even survivors are not spared from the aftermath. The survivors are still suffering from cancer and genetic mutation. Their offspring are born deformed and most did not survive for more than a few years. Their clouds and atmosphere is still polluted with radioactive particles, which takes an insurmountable time to diffuse and disappear. The recent Iraq war too which killed thousands of innocent civilians is launched due to the search for weapons of mass destruction. The effects brought about due to science here is dangerous. It has the ability of massacre and yet often than not the panacea discovered is too late to save the devastating outcome in the aftermath. Akin to the introduction of science to the world is opening of the Pandora’s Box, which has caused the world to go asunder.

On the contrary, it is undeniable that science has brought about many benefits that have helped humans. One of them is the advancement in the medical sector. The research in medicine and biomedical sectors has allowed humans to sustain life and cure diseases which might have caused death a hundred years ago. The development in the medical sector also brought about a higher standard of living and allowing people to take pre-emptive measures. For instance, the discovery of calcium pills, iron pills and other similar supplements can spare the adults from the aches and pains due to aging process or at least alleviate them. Even a pregnant mother eats according to the doctor’s recommendation to ensure the health of the baby. Scientific research allowed us to find the source and reasons for diseases. Scientists now know the reason of why flu persists and how to take preemptive measures lest it becomes a pandemic. The H5N1 virus is now being researched by scientists on how to contain the virus. This information has helped people in ensuring their health. The medicine production firms are also reaping the benefits as they can predict the time of which production should be increased, which in turn will save many from being maimed for life by the flu. Hence, to assert that science is detrimental to us is a biased viewpoint.

Science has also helped in the maintaining of the environment. Through studying genetics, scientists and zoologists are helping in breeding animals which are at the brink of extinction to flourish once again. Other than helping in breeding animals which are endangered, botanists are using genetics to propagate endangered plants and plants which contain medicinal value. This helps to increase the rate of production of medicines extracted from these natural resources. On the notion of increasing production, plantations companies are using tissue culture top ensure a good yield in their harvest. Science is a tool used to help and develop their business; a good example would be the oil palm plantation in Malaysia, which employs the tissue culture, to increase production and a better harvest. The utilization of science in research of the oil palm plantation also starts to show results as the oil palm trees might be a possible resource for medicines. Therefore, science has increased man’s ability in research and development, which might help in bringing the world onto a more prosperous and safe platform as increasing resources for antidotes and our basic necessities are discovered.

In Singapore, the government has embarked on a project in the life sciences. The research and development have helped Singapore in creating jobs for the citizens. Singapore is currently working with other countries in making advancements to life-sciences. The increase in investments in Singapore due to science and technology has helped in prospering the nation’s economy.

Science Is a double edged sword, in which one bears benefits to man while the other results in dire repercussions. However, these consequences are brought about by the abuse of science and using it for negative intentions. Therefore, it is not science that hurts but humans himself that manipulate it to cause harm. Looking at the far more benefits that science bears, the argument is much inclined that science is more of a help than a hurt to mankind.


Respect till infinity


No comments: