How has science helped society develop for the better?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by anfinold, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. anfinold Registered Member

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    For homework I've been told to write a paragraph on how science has helped to change society for the better and for the worst .
    .
     
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  3. Kernl Sandrs Registered Senior Member

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    For the better you might look into the medical sciences. extended life.

    For the worse you might look at warfare. Chemical, nuclear, etc.

    The Cold War era would be a great place to research both.
     
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  5. baftan ******* Valued Senior Member

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    My advice is bit different: Instead of blaming science, blame humans. Find a scientific discovery and show how humans can use the same thing for better or worse. Remember the song:

    "Guns don't kill people, I kill people with guns."
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Practically eliminated polio.
     
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Science has done many things for the advancement of sociery but society hasn't learned how to use what they have been given wisely.
     
  9. stratos Banned Banned

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    One paragraph? Well: scientists as disinterested seekers after truth, who would never dream of tinkering with reality to suit their ends (of course not). The enemies of misinformation, falsification, fabrication, mythology, propoganda, nonsense and absurdity. The world was originally a fairly bleak and hopeless place, full of volcanoes and sharks. However, man got cracking and, as home improvements go, he did a monumentally good job, starting with three important discoveries: fire, the fact that wood floats, and the horse. He created light and warmth; and many of the things that make our life pleasant, comfortable, safe and exciting are down to science. Some people look at the gun, the car and the jet engine as instruments of Satan, but the mosquito has killed more than all three put together. On the other hand, science has failed to resolve the work/leisure conundrum. We're still slaves. If you have failed to win the lottery or inherit riches, there is only one escape from work that does not involve a bottle of sleeping pills. A holiday, and don't get me started on that.
     
  10. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Man invented loads of things, he invented a reason to get up in the morning, he invented a reason to make the Sabertooth cat go extinct, He invented countless religions and continues to invent reasons to argue with each one over trivial but invented reasons. Man biggest and proudest achievement is the invention of Academies because without them we'd all be reinventing the wheel, not realising it had already been invented. His worst invention was the credit card because it doesn't just create credit where none should be had, it's too easy for spouses to use as some might think the funds are limitless in nature.
     
  11. sifreak21 Valued Senior Member

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    you could write a novel and still have to write more
     
  12. John99 Banned Banned

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    Well we no lionger eat each other.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Right. And that's because of science, is it?
     
  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    In some ways but not the primary reason.
     
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Please explain what you mean by "in some ways".
    Science as science was established as a discipline around 300 years ago. I'm fairly sure we'd stopped eating each other some time before that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  16. Mind Over Matter Registered Senior Member

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    To a certain extent, Christianity does that man has progressed and grown considerably since he emerged from caves. Man is a great builder; he contributes much to the development of the world. Note some of this achievements of man over the past few centuries which would lead a person to conclude that man is indeed incapable of failure.

    Science. Our grandparents in their youth, had no televisions or stereos. But who would have believed that in the 1960's man would be walking on the moon? And in our lifetimes there will undoubtedly be colonies of "earthlings" populating space stations and maybe even other planets.

    Science has also brought about a communications revolution. Today, we can easily communicate with many people almost anywhere via Internet, or mobile phone. Never in man's history has there been the potential for world unity due in no small measure to our ability to exchange ideas almost instantaneously.

    Along with the communications revolution there has been a revolution in transportation. Goods and people are closer to each other than ever in man's history.

    A third revolution brought about by science is a "leisure" revolution. machines, tools, computers, and the like have lessened our work load such that it will not be uncommon for he next generation to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week. With so much free time, people will have opportunity to develop really human live pursuing -if they wish -studies, cultural and artistic achievements, and play.

    Medicine.
    Our average life span has doubled in the past 75 years or so due to man's achievements in medicine. He has found a cure for polio, diptheria, and many other killer diseases. He is capable of transplanting body parts to extend his life. We are living better and longer lives due to the painstaking work of our doctors and researchers in the field of medicine.

    Social science. We have made strides in this field, too. Man has developed some sophisticated forms of self-rule where individuals have a say in the choice of their leaders and in the development of programs that effect their welfare. Some governments have programs of universal education, health benefits for lll their citizens, social security benefits such as old-age pensions and unemployment insurance.

    While admitting these tremendous advances in the above and other fields, Christianity recognizes - on the other hand -certain destructive tendencies in man. We are both builders and destroyers; we are living paradoxes. Evidences of evil and sin in the world are present all around us. Note the following examples:

    War. World War 1 was labeled the 'war that would end all wars." Yet 20 years after the completion of that war, the nations of the world were using tremendous scientific know-how for destructive purposes. The United States will not forget the Vietnam War that resulted in internal strife in their country, loss of respect abroad, and widespread economic recession.

    Prejudice.
    We discriminate against people because of color, speech, and Regional differences. Prejudice reached its natural conclusion with Hitler's attempted genocide of the Jewish people in the Second Wold War.

    Corruption. Young people are almost cynical about the greed and corruption and lying in top government offices. Daily we read about proce-fixing in big business or bribe-taking by our police forces. Widespread thievery takes the form of income-tax cheating and shoplifting.

    Cosmic evil. If the above is not enough to convince that "utopian" of man's evil tendencies, he still has no contend with so-called "cosmic evil". Typhoons kill innocent people. Earthquakes destroy men, property and fortunes. Daily, people -through no fault of their own -are born lame, retarded, impoverished, and the like.

    Much evil afoot in the world results from man's inhumanity to man, his failure to live a constructive kind of life. To the degree that a person is responsible for his/her won evil attitudes and actions, to that degree he/she is sinning. Of course there is much evil in the world for which mankind does not seem directly responsible. For example, natural disasters bring about much human suffering which is not apparent responsibility of human evil. Cosmic calamities are part of the great mystery of evil.
     
  17. Mr MacGillivray Banned Banned

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    How biomedical research has changed society

    The biomedical research institute is a modern example of an ivory tower. The interaction with society proper is minimal compared to institutes in other scientific disciplines such as social sciences. The biomedical research institute does fulfill an important function in society. It serves a political agenda since the actual institute and its scientific output represents international scientific prestige. Moreover it also has an invaluable contribution to science political rhetoric where the Institutes are said to fulfill a vital role in the knowledge-based economy, albeit with little actual proof. And naturally the funding of these institutes is mostly government based and here the institutes enable the governments to distribute the people's income towards higher political and cultural goals. For this the people receive the occasional media appearance of prominent scientists and the promise of an imminent cure for cancer.

    that was one paragraph.
     
  18. birch Valued Senior Member

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    though science has benefited society in many obvious ways from medicine and technology, there are side effects which most don't consider and only view all technological innovation as progress.

    you would have to consider what is actually for the better. for instance, modern life has it's price such as pollution, destruction of environment and presently incurable diseases brought on by it or exacerbated by it.
     
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    I'd say that on a per capita basis, the highest percentage of the people on the planet have the best chance they have ever had to lead a long, productive and satisfying life with a pretty decent chance of growing to adulthood and watching their children mature.

    And most of that is due to science.

    Arthur
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Specifically to modern scientific medicine, which is not quite 200 years old. The rate of infant and child mortality before then was so high that when anthropologists calculate the life expectancy in any previous era, it's always the life expectancy of a person who had already survived into adulthood, or at least adolescence. In many eras it was not at all unusual for most of a woman's children to die before puberty. We spent hundreds of thousands of years desperately reproducing at as high a rate as possible, hoping that enough children would survive to keep the species viable. This is the instinct that we're running up against as we try to damp down the birthrate in the age of vaccines and antibiotics.

    But even for adults the figures were often startlingly low. Notwithstanding the woo-woo spouted by faux-nutritionists, Homo sapiens is a carnivore and the most "natural" diet for us is meat with some herbs and fruit for flavor and extra vitamins. The Agricultural Revolution 12,000 years ago allowed us to grow our own food instead of chasing it across the landscape, but within 10,000 years the population had increased to the point that land use was focused on resource-efficient food plants, and only the wealthy and powerful got to eat a reasonable amount of meat. Grains were the staple of most people's diet, and grains are woefully low in vitamins and minerals. As a result, by the heyday of the Roman Era, the life expectancy of an adult who had already survived the rigors of childhood was in the low-to-mid 20s!

    America was built on land that had never supported a civilization, so it was resource-rich and the colonists' low population density allowed animal husbandry to be widely practiced. Yet as recently as the 1890s, life expectancy in the USA was only in the 30s.

    BTW, this is the reason for America's success. Our minerals, forests, water and topsoil had never been tapped or polluted; even game was abundant. And the transportation technology of the era reduced immigration to a trickle so there was lots of land for everybody. Compared to Europe and Asia, North America was a paradise of resources and anybody with half a brain could have built a thriving civilization here. The Indians were well on their way and would have done it if they'd been given a chance, just as their cousins had already done in Mexico and Peru.
     

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