Tuesday 30 August 2005

Is It Science Or Art That Defines Human Progress?

The simple answer is both. The real answer lies in whether or not we can pick one over the other. Our pursuit of science and art differentiates us from other species of this world. Long before the start of our pursuit in science, humankind had begun the pursuit of art in the form of language and culture. For millennia, society had been content only with artistic achievement. The prowess of an ancient civilization is often judged by the artistic accomplishments it had made and by the land it had conquered. Scientific achievement was shunned and discarded as witchcraft and heresy against religion. It was only centuries ago that science was recognized as a discipline worthy of pursuit. Today, science is the basis of all technological advancements made by our society and plays a major role in defining human progress. As a scientist, I seek the enlightenment that science may offer to better humankind. If we are to use history to judge the relative merits of science versus art in human evolution, it is conceivable that science will achieve the recognition that art has once received in defining the progress of humankind.

By Philip Jong • At 10:56 AM • Under Column • Under Life • Under Work
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