Science and technology is a vital part of our society’s world and how we function. Unless you happen to live out in the middle of the Sahara Desert and have sworn off all aspects of technology and science, then you are most likely exposed constantly to science in your daily life. While it is a big part of our world, there is a constant uneasy relationship between human beings and science. It is a common axiom that people don’t trust what they don’t understand. That is exactly what drives and causes this unsteady relationship people have with science. People never want to put full faith and confidence into the untouchable, comprehendible, or viewable. Trust is what really brings people to wonder about science and subconsciously fear it.
Because we cannot reconcile some things science and technology give us, our immediate reaction is to set ourselves away or fear it. It is human nature to want to question and have some form of apprehension toward the thing we cannot fully reconcile. We see this is all forms of science and technology in our society. From the physical features of science such as technology and medicine to even scientific theories and cerebral and abstract parts of science, all forms in some way can make people uneasy. It makes you wonder however, why someone would fear something that is always attempting to be beneficial. Research and discoveries are usually made solely to help the individual and or society as a whole. So what are we as people so unnerved about? From even the most mundane actions and events in our lives to our moral beliefs and views, we see in every aspect of science the questioning and doubt by people.
I had possibly the worst eye sight as a child. I basically could embody the cliché phrase, “blind as a bat.” To make the situation worse for myself, I hated wearing glasses. I was unable to wear contacts due to some technical mumbo jumbo, so my parents decided to sign me up for Laser Eye Surgery. I had the procedure and can see quite fine to this day. You are probably sitting their wondering what exactly this heartwarming story of my now ability to see has anything at all to do with my thesis. We always can find risks in any type of procedure like the one I had. While the benefits are great, there is always the small chance that something could go terribly wrong. The doctor’s did in fact explain all the High tech procedures and steps they were taking during the operation, but did I really have a clue? Walking into that surgery I was scared out of my mind, but why should I be?
This is a proven technology that fixes your eyes and keeps you from wearing glasses. It isn’t however done by the majority because the risk that science is wrong is too great. Is it better to wear glasses than to take even the slightest risk with my sight? These were all factors that I was feeling, but in fact I wasn’t alone because everyone thinks like this with situations like this. Science can’t be 100% on most things but that is what we as people require. Any person would find themselves feeling unsure about a foreign subject or in my case a medical surgery. That is why we have this problem with science. The idea of trust is there in the subconscious. It is sitting there in the back of our minds poking our conscience with a long finger saying, “is this ok? Should I go through and get involved with this? I don’t know if I should be doing this.”
While things like medical surgeries and such are obviously going to be a frightening part of science to most people what about other abstract parts of science. Unease becomes a major issue to people when they are unable to reconcile science ideals with their own moral and or spiritual beliefs. The discussion of Creationism versus Evolution has been a heated and raging debate in American culture for years. Creationism derived from the Book of Genesis denies all forms of science that says we as humans evolved over time to what we are today. Creationists insist that the universe and the earth were created in six days. Another common discussion in which Creationists reject is the major theory like the Big Bang theory. This argument is a perfect example of a moral/ mental discomfort with science. We looked before at the ways in which science can make us uneasy with physical interactions like medicines and surgeries, but what about the mental aspect of it? When science tests and challenges the morals and beliefs of others it makes the relationship very awkward. In this case we see evolution is the science.
It doesn’t fit the religious beliefs we know most Christians for example are taught. Even if your rational mind says science is factual, your faith and emotions are strong determiners of your beliefs. There in lies the uncomfortable pull and push relationship morally with people. I think we personally are uncomfortable with science because you avoid having to make a choice between the two. We know intellectually that science is proven, yet some people’s hearts need to believe and have faith in a superior being. We need a way to make both work together, but that is hard. We like cafeteria religion, where we pick the parts that fit our world, but we know that probably isn’t right. Whatever we chose and whichever side we take it still is a known controversy in our culture that is constantly questioned. In our class reading of “Never Let Me Go” we see a similar moral dilemma with science and human relationships involving Stem Cell research. The science and moral aspects will always be at tug of war in our minds. This uneasiness of science we all come to recognize.
So while some of you may not have gotten lasic eye surgery like me. Or maybe some of you listening don’t have any type of faith based religion and find no controversy in science and faith. I am not asking you to totally connect with my examples and be able to relate to them. But like I said, everyone is exposed to science and technology everyday. You all know what its like to question aspects of science whether a distinct example or not. Trust is what plays the role in this controversy. So do we still believe the axiom “People don’t trust what they don’t understand?” To me it relates more to “People in fact don’t trust what they cannot have full resolve for.”
Courtney from Study Moose
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