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Is Scientific Progress Inevitable? Essay

I read the article “Is Scientific Progress Inevitable?” which was written by Andrew Irvine on 2006. It was published in the book In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy. The main idea of the article is scientific progress is not inevitable. At the first part of the passage, the author used his own his experience that he took his daughter to see a medicine wheel; he used what he saw to let us know these structures have been there for thousands of years and human beings are fragile. Furthermore, he used some facts that ancient people may use their unique ways to record summer solstice rather than today’s high astronomical knowledge. As he said “scientific knowledge is not inevitable” (para.12), there is no guarantee that scientific progress will keep increase, as long as we have the belief to live better, the scientific progress is not essential or necessary.


This article was written by Andrew Irvine who is a professor of UBC at department of philosophy (Irvine, 2012). The title of the passage makes readers to think of scientific progress is not inevitable, however, without technology, we cannot live in this highly developed world. The book In the Agora: The Public Face of Canadian Philosophy was edited by Andrew Irvine and John Russell; it is a book which collects many Canadians philosophers’ article and enriches our world by their Philosophical thought (University of Toronto Press Publishing, 2013). However, we are living in a developing world, as long as we want to live better, the scientific progress will remain non-inevitable.

Electronic products for example, cellphones have been part of our live for few years, everybody has a cellphone to communicate to each other conveniently. But ancient people can only communicate each other with their voice or gesture, they cannot reach somebody who is far away from them. With the scientific results, we can use electronic products to talk and see people thousands of miles away from us. In the article, the author mentioned that some ancient culture may use their own way to figure out summer solstice like the sun dance (Irvine, 2006, pp338-339).

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