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The Magnificent Earth
Dr Jyots Bhattacharjee
This is the age of science and technology, which has created wonders. In the long past our ancestors possibly could not have even imagined about these wonderful discoveries of science. They would have regarded them as miracles, but now they have become reality. Life has been made much easier by the scientific discoveries. We have learnt from the Ramaya that Rava, the king of Lanka, had a chariot which flew across the air and after abducting Sita he carried her off to his kingdom in his flying chariot. People thought that Rava's flying chariot was nothing but an imagition of the author Maharshi Valmiki. The people in the ancient era possibly could not have even imagined that one day their descendents would fly across the air just like the king of Lanka in aeroplane, a modern version for the flying chariot. This is one of the wonderful contributions of science to mankind.
Once travelling was a hazardous process. People had to make lots of preparations for days together to make a journey of even fifty kilometers' distance. But science has made travelling much easier. Besides cars, trains, ships etc., we have now aeroplanes. In the present era people can go for holidays in any place in the world without any hassles and these journeys are very simple and pleasant. So many wonderful things have been invented by science, which could not even be imagined a few decades back. People did not have any idea about computers, laptops, television, mobile phones, microwave cooking etc. But today the situation is such that people can't even think of living without these scientific wonders. Countless wonderful things have been contributed by science to make life much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Today the world has become much smaller and we can view anything anywhere in the world on our TV screen at home. After the invention of aeroplanes by Wright Brothers, travelling has become quicker and easier and one can go around the world in the shortest possible time. These things were unbelievable in the past.
Housewives too are having an easier time. They do not have to struggle with wood, used as fuel for cooking, smoke and blackened utensils. With the production of LPG, cooking has not only become easier, but it has become enjoyable as well. With micro wave sort of cooking they can bring out delicious dishes instantly. Science has changed tearful cooking into cheerful one. The age has turned into the age of instant cooking and everything is done instantly.
Science has also unfolded the mysteries of the universe by exploring into space. Astrouts have already gone to the Moon and I believe they have visited Mars as well. It seems that nothing is impossible for science. The things which were considered to be impossible some time back have been made possible by science and technology. In a way miracles have been created by modern science. That is why many people in the present era have become conceited and arrogant. Only the other day a friend questioned me regarding my belief in God and religion. I may mention that I am a deeply religious person and have abundant faith on God. This friend is an atheist and is aware of my faith. He said that my faith was nothing but superstition.
He wondered how modern educated persons in this scientific age could be so ignorant of the real facts of life. I replied calmly that we cannot give evidence for every fact of life or for all our beliefs. Religion is a matter of faith and in a way it is a subjective feeling, and one could not argue about a matter of faith. We all are finite human beings and our understanding or knowledge is limited. With our margil understanding we cannot possibly claim to know everything and our ignorance cannot be a measure to judge our beliefs. So they should not be ridiculed or belittled. A finite human being cannot claim to know the existence of infinite transcendental Reality. That does not mean that we can reject religion or Reality, which is beyond our empirical knowledge of the phenomel world. These things are happening due to predomince of science and people have come to believe that science can do anything-and there is nothing in the universe beyond what we see and know. But this kind of statement merely demonstrates the arrogance and ignorance of human beings.
We have to realise that science cannot interfere with the workings of God or His creations. Till now the scientists have not been able to produce any of God's creations. As Thomas Alva Edison remarked, "Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, ture can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favourable comparison with the products of ture, the long cell of a plant, the fil result of the rays of the Sun, the mother of all life."
Life today cannot be imagined without modern technology. The world has undergone a mammoth change at present and it would have been unimagible a hundred years back. In that age people could not have even imagined the life style of this era. Without technology the people of the present age cannot exist, though it was absent decades back. Yet those people were quite happy without television, computer, mobile phone, laptop and other indispensable adjuncts of modern life.
Science is beneficial no doubt and has contributed a lot for the benefit of humanity and the world has progressed enormously. But there is a dark side as well. We hear about various incidents which have occurred due to the harmful influence of some of the scientific products. It is due to the scientific inventions that so many disastrous events have taken place. Science has both constructive and destructive aspects. It has invented diverse medicines and remedies to prolong longevity of human beings. Ironically at the same time it has invented lethal weapons to kill people instantly. So science works in both ways. On one hand, it has provided pacea to lengthen life and on the other hand it has given armaments to shorten life. So the goal of science seems to be contradictory. It has given us many things which are beneficial and harmful at the same time.
Television is undoubtedly a blessing from science. It is highly informative and educative. It brings the whole world closer to our home. We see diverse incidents happening all around the world, sitting at home. It has also entertainment value Television brightens our dull and drab life with its wonderful presentations. The situation is such that today's young generation cannot even imagine a life without television, since its shows are highly entertaining. But it is also a fact that television has given many wrong ideas to its viewers with its crime stories and some serials, which are not suitable for children and young people. It is true that it also displays some educative programmes, but it is seen that children and youths are mostly interested in those presentations, which are highly improper for them.
Now mobile phone has become a very useful companion for everybody-from petty menials to multimillioires all over the world. Yet we often hear about certain evil activities of these mobile phones. Examinees use mobile phones to indulge in unfair practices. Some misanthropic persons click obscene or compromising photographs with the mobile phones. Many other anti-social activities are performed with this indispensable adjunct of modern life.
Thus all the scientific inventions have both positive and negative aspects. They have made invaluable contribution to make life more comfortable and easier. But they have also increased the sufferings of the people and have damaged the earth to a large extent. Once there was no impact of science and technology on the world. People did not enjoy the modern facilities of life, but apparently they were much happier than the people of this era. With the invention of destructive weapons they have helped the anti-social elements to indulge in all sorts of crime. Besides that scientific progress has also harmed the tural flora and fau to a large extent, thereby pushing the earth to the brink of extinction.
Human ture is such that the more one gets the more one wants. There is no limit to man's wants. Man has colossal appetite, which may never be satisfied. Even though it may be said to be the tural attitude of mankind, it is not the right one. We have to put restraint on our insatiable greed. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krish tells Arju that greed is one of the doors to hell and so it must be rejected. Greed leads mankind to disaster. Hence wants of man have to be put under restraint.