The Importance of Science to Civilization

It is said that modern civilization is a scientific civilization. For an individual, science has rendered us great comfort nowadays. We no longer have to travel on foot; instead, we can just sit comfortably without any fatigue in cars, air-conditioned trains, buses, etc. We are free from hard labor which our uncivilized forefathers suffered from. Neither do we follow barbarous practice of having slaves, since science has provided us with slaves of a new kind, which undertake most of the work, that is, machine.
On top of that, we are also free from diseases and various pains since drugs and operation techniques have been developed dramatically. Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of needs suggests that the physiological needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher-level needs, which means the human that lacks food, love, esteem, or safety would consider the greatest of his/her needs to be food. And as mentioned above, it is science that satisfies our basic demands; thus, we have opportunities to pursue something higher, such as art and literature.
Science also promote the development of spiritual civilization. With the advent of the internet, and extraordinary growth in information and communication technologies in recent years, more information than ever before is made freely available and easily shared. Almost all the masterpieces of artist, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, etc can be enjoyed at fingertips. We are not only consumers, but also producers. When Gangnam Style was released, tens of thousands of people made their own versions and uploaded on the internet, which could be appreciated by millions of netizens.

For a nation, science is of critical significance for the progress of its civilization. China’s long history has seen some extremely important inventions emerge, most noticeably gunpowder, paper making, printing and the compass, which, in the words of Roger Bacon, changed the whole appearance and status of things in the world and also made China among the four great ancient civilizations. However, in the nineteenth century, Europe entered into world history with immense developments in technology, which was later identified as the Industrial Revolution.
From then on, China lost its advantages over the rest of world in various aspects, and it was invaded by the great powers into a series of Unequal Treaties. Chinese civilization were, during that period, regarded inferior and the Chinese nation was referred to as “Sick Man of East Asia”. Even the Chinese people abandoned their own cultural identity and turned to Western civilization. Therefore, science is the foundation as well as the major force behind the progress of civilization.

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