Is science dangerous?

Science, as a discipline, is not particularly old. Certainly other aspects of the human condition, like theology and culture, have had huge impacts for many more thousands of years.

We have seen, however, that over just a few centuries, science has transformed people and society so much. Just in the last few decades with the introduction of the internet and other technologies, we can see how the power of knowledge can change everything we know.

It is definitely easier to look at science and see all the good it has done, as oppposed to some of the awful things that have happened.

Things like nuclear bombs, internet viruses and pests introduced by humans have been, to varying degrees, the result of science. These are generally regarded as really awful things, but does that mean to say that science is awful too?

I would say not necessarily. Science is by definition just going about finding an explanation to some natural phenomenon. There is no inherent value in science, it is just knowledge. Since when did an idea in someone’s mind or an article in a scientific journal set off world wars and create huge misery?

It is only the transition from scientific knowledge to industry and society which creates a problem. Science is absolutely a part of this, as in to say it is integral part of the chain which links a first idea to a terrible event: but it is no more significant than any other part of the sequence.

Science provides the potential, but in reality, it is how humans use knowledge that is the real danger. As usual, humans are to blame, not the idea.


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