In ancient times, man was a helpless toy in the hands of nature. He was completely at the mercy of forces of nature and lived with the constant fear of strong creatures. But with the blessings of science, he has now become the master of land, water and sky. He has also become the lord of creation. With the help of science, man has been inventing new things to acquire more and more and assume greater power to make life easier, enjoyable and comfortable.
Indeed, wonderful are the achievements of science. It has changed the schedule of our daily life. Today, the household chores such as sweeping, washing, cleaning, cooking, etc. are no longer burdensome jobs consuming a great deal of our time. Modern gadgets, such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, microwave-ovens, personal computers, cable TVs, digital receivers, air coolers, air conditioners, fax machines, cellular phones, super fast trains, speedy cars, etc. have made our lives a pleasurable experience. Today, work is a matter of pressing a button and controlling the whole process from air-conditioned rooms. Besides, through the medium of Internet and computer, we can exchange mail, chat with people, place orders, visit banks, see the latest movies and serials, watch live matches or various national and international sporting events, read newspapers, advertise our products and collect any information that we want in a matter of seconds.
Apart from these, science has brought tremendous improvements in information, education, defence, space exploration, medical science, industries, agriculture, food production, etc. The great and significant researches in the fields of agriculture, irrigation, water management, etc. have helped in developing new variety of seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and effective methods of water conservation. Information Technology and computers have revloutionised our life style. Automation in banks and railways has provided relief to the public and staff alike. Ticketing and reservation have become more efficient and convenient.
More than ever, science has also brought hope to the life of many with its advancements in medicine, genetic engineering, biotechnology and other fields. It has reduced death rate and increased life expectancy, etc. Besides, the leap of science in aeronautics and space research and technology is also commendable. At present, one cannot think of life without satellites hovering over the Earth for a variety of reasons. Obviously, nuclear power can also do wonders, if used for the betterment of mankind. Man feels more safe, secure, comfortable and important today than ever before because of scientific development and advancement. The day is not far off when we shall have colonies on the moon and other planets.
But there is no rose without thorns. Unfortunately, in spite of numerous achievements of science, question is always asked by the people if it is really a blessing or a curse or if it is really a boon or a bane because there are innumerable examples which prove that science, a blessing, has been turned into a curse.
Bio-technology is a great boon for fighting diseases, but along with medicines, lethal biological weapons have also been developed. Germs can be deliberately released in air to spread diseases. Modern warfare is destructive beyond the wildest dreams of our so-called unscientific predecessors. Besides, machine guns, submarines, the atom, hydrogen and chemical bombs can destroy the world in twinkling of an eye. Moreover, it is also seen that during wars, fighter planes act as engines of mass destruction. The power of the Internet is also being abused through unhealthy practices such as the wide-spread use of pornographic material. Lots of people are also found spending their time in chat-rooms for obscene discussions.
Apart from the above, the environmental pollution, global warming, which are the inevitable consequences of extensive applications of modern science in day-to-day life, are also ruining people’s chances of survival. Definitely, today, the water that we drink, the air that we breathe and the food that we consume are all polluted mainly due to the use of modern scientific gadgets. Apart from these, the increasing application of machines and computers has also resulted in unemployment. Besides, urbanisation and industrialisation are also bringing untold miseries to our lives. In modern age, science has made people dependent on machines which are also ultimately destroying mankind’s innate qualities of heart and mind. As a result, spiritualism, philosophy and culture are on the wane while materialism and broken social and family life are on the rise. Hence, in view of the above, it is concluded that although science and technology have taken big strides in recent times, it has also dehumanised human life in the same proportion. It can either change us for the better or lead us to decadence. Science is like dynamite which can be used for breaking mountains of obstacles or can also be used to put an end to human lives. Science, as knowledge and power, is neither saviour nor destroyer. So, it is useless to discuss if science is a blessing or a curse or whether it is a boon or a bane, because, it totally depends, how we use science and its great potential. Either, we use it for the benefits of humanity or we use it to destroy even the footprints of mankind on this planet. Lastly, here, I would also like to quote Shakespeare that “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking
makes it so.” Hence, it is amply clear that rightly used science can bring heaven on earth; wrongly used, it can turn this earth into hell by destroying civilisation.