Science and Civilization
Religion goes hand in hand with fatuity, while science keeps abreast with civilization.
Science is the activity and knowledge to understand, explore, and interpret the laws of nature, human society, and thinking.
Civilization is a voluntary behavior of man formed on the basis of the correct understanding of material world and nonmaterial world.
Without the development and progress of science, civilization is only an extravagant hope.
The symbol for real civilization is: no slightest conflict between man and man, man and society, and man and nature, and the sustained harmony without the regulations of laws and without the mechanisms of supervision.
For example, how do we dispose of the banana peel after eating a banana on the bus? The uncivilized behavior is to throw it out of the window. We only keep a clean place for ourselves and do not care about the inconvenience to others caused by the banana peel thrown out of the window. The less uncivilized behavior is to place the banana peel under the seat and leave the bus. The civilized behavior is to take the banana peel away and throw it into the dustbin.
For another example, suppose an automatic newsagent stand is set up by a road with a large flow of pedestrians, each newspaper sells for one dollar, and beside the pile of newspaper is placed a money box, from which buyers can get the changes of his money. In this situation, the civilized person would willingly place the money into the money box and take away the changesand then fetch a newspaper from the top of the pile of newspaper. The less uncivilized person would also place the money into the box, but would fumble through the box for the cleaner and tidier changes and would not take the newspaper directly from the top of the pile but takes one from the middle of the pile. The uncivilized person would trickly pick newspaper from the pile when seeing no one around and would take one or even two newspaper without paying money, thinking “It does not make any difference whether I take one for free or not”. He would not consider other consequences. He would not pay attention to the losses sustained to the owner of the newspaper. For those who do not pay for the newspaper and worse still pick money from the box, this is not a matter of being civilized or not, but a matter of crime.
Some may say that civilization does not have much to do with science. In the remote villages with rustic folkway, The doors were not shut at night and no one picked other’s loss on the street., and doesn’t this count for civilization?
This question involves the understanding of science. It is generally believed that space shuttles, ion accelerators, computer networks, magnetic suspension trains, atomic energy power plants, cloning of life, nanotechnology, and atomic bombs are science but farmer’s planting of crops, housewife’s cooking, worker’s operation, and smallbusiness all have nothing to do with science.
Many people are biased against science, believing that science is at the same time benefiting mankind and threatening the survival of civilization. For example, as a result of the development of science, people can no longer have any impression of the good old days—in which the doors were not shut at night and no one picked other’s loss on the street.. Some people even believe that science should be held responsible for the creation of killing machines like firearms, bombers, and atomic bombs and that science has caused the bustling of mankind and accelerated the pace of life. There are even people who claim that the exhausted resources, the polluted earth, the damaged environment, and people’s spiritual and mental stress are all evils committed by science.
Science has been treated unjustly.
Science is the activity and knowledge for understanding, exploring, and interpreting the laws of nature, human society, and thinking. How can we impute science simply because of some people’s crooked application of science to other purposes?
Science has caused the emergence of automobiles. Can we blame science if a driverhas run into someone?
Internet has burst into the modern stage with the development of science. Can we say that science is promoting drugs and pornographic picture albums if someone takes advantage of the network to promote drugs and porn picture albums?
With the development of science and the appearance of Television, VCD, DVD, CD, films, telephones, and floods of books and magazines. Some people are utilizing these facilities to conduct vulgar propaganda, which causes people’s tension in sense of time, apathy in human relations, and contortion in psychology and mentality. Can we blame science for all these bad effects?
Science has caused the invention of atomic bombs, but can we say that science is intimidating people if someone threatens others with an atomic bomb?
If it is tenable to ascribe all misbehaviors and evils of modern society to science, then the following logical reasoning should be completely correct.
The reason why Xiao Wang committed murder is because his parents have given birth to him. If his parents have not given birth to him, there would not have been the problem of Xiao Wang’s murder. Then not Xiao Wang but his parents should be blamed for the crime. However, Xiao Wang’s parents were born by their respective parents, so Xiao Wang’s parents’ parents should be responsible for Xiao Wang’s crime. If this reasoning goes further back, the primogenitor of mankind will have to be held responsible. Where did man’s primogenitor come from? Then the earth cannot be exempt from the liability, because without the earth there would have been no primogenitor of mankind. The problem, however, does not end here. Without the solar system, there would have been no earth; and without the Milky Way galaxy, there would have been no solar system. And finally the crime may be traced back to the Greatest Creator who has created the universe.
The result of the logical reasoning is that the Greatest Creator is responsible for Xiao Wang’s action of murder.
This discursion is ridiculous.
If this rationalization is not absurd, then there would be only one solution: destroy mankind, destroy the universe.
Who else wants to shift the blame onto science?
There is a fallacy, “Science is a double-edged sword”, which undoubtedly implies that “The sun is a double-edged ball”, “The orange is a double-edged fruit”, “The plane is a double-edged aircraft”, and “TV is a double-edged set”. Everything is double-edged anywhere and any time. The result is one’s own parents are double-edged persons.
If we compare science to a knife, it totally depends on the user of the knife and has nothing to do with the knife itself whether the knife is used to chop vegetables, to mow grass, to slaughter pigs, or to kill people.
When it comes to science, we have to talk about scientists. Now there are more and more scientists, which are a good thing and an inevitable result of social development. But the problem is, “Who can be called scientists?”
Who are scientists?
Scientists are people who have discovered and can clearly describe or explain a certain law in the field of nature, society, and thinking, which is universally valid within a given limit of time and space.
Newton is a scientist because he has discovered gravitation; Einstein is a scientist because he has discovered the mass energy equation; Madame Curie is a scientist because she has discovered radioelements; Planck is a scientist because he has discovered quantum theory; Laplace is a scientist because he has discovered the uncertainty principle.
Those who work in science laboratories or with scientists can only be called scientific workers and cannot be called scientists.
People capable of explaining certain phenomena cannot be called scientists. Otherwise, I would also be a scientist.
People working in certain academy of sciences can not be called scientists.
People only capable of making innovations and inventions according to others’ theories can not be called scientists and can only be called inventors, engineers, and technicians. Edison is not a scientist.
People only capable of expounding others’ theories are not scientists, either. Many university teachers can explain the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics to students, but they are not scientists, instead they are teachers and professors.
A person can only be regarded as one with great power of understanding but cannot be considered a scientist if he has discovered certain law but cannot explain it in clear words.
Therefore those who developed atomic bombs according to Einstein’s theories cannot be called scientist. They can at best be regarded as scientific workers or engineers.
Scientist is a sacred title. We should not abuse this title by using it randomly; otherwise science and scientists will be tarnished.
A person is a scientist if he has discovered and explained a certain theory. That he may later do something detrimental to society with his discovery is a matter of his moral character and social standpoint and has nothing to do with the title of scientist. In the same way, a man has created wealth for himself and the society by making a knife. We cannot say that it is wrong to create wealth just because he later becomes a criminal by killing people with this knife.
After we have discovered what science and scientists are, we will understand that science is the catalyst for civilization.
Without the guidance of science, man would be like a mob of animals, irrational, irredeemable, and hopeless.
Science and scientist are offspring of the Greatest Creator. The Greatest Creator has not created religion, but he has created science and scientist. A real scientist cannot deny the existence of the Greatest Creator, because all that are created by the Greatest Creator are not a result of random actions but are based on science, laws, and principles. The road of science is the road of the Greatest Creator. Who are nearest to the Greatest Creator? Scientists!
Human society is marching toward civilization. Today’s society is more civilized than the past. Modern times are more civilized than past times. Whoever is hostile to science, to present time and is afraid of the future can get undressed, destroy all you haveand go back to the virgin forest to see how you can survive.