Where would we be without science?
Our decision making, virtues, beliefs, and understanding of the world would all be unrecognisable.
The paradigm shift that got us to this point started a few hundred years ago with the Enlightenment.
People began to question what ‘was’, and looked for evidence to substantiate the status quo.
Immense thinkers began challenging the so-called ‘truth’ and looked to objectivity instead. Before long, belief wasn’t enough.
Things had to be falsifiable; to be tested and proved before they were accepted.
Fast forward a few hundred years and human progress at the hands of science has been astounding. It’s now hard to imagine life without it.
Yet there are undoubted advantages AND disadvantages of science to consider. Yes, life would be very different without it- but those differences wouldn’t all be regrettable.
Are you wondering about the pros and cons of science? Keep reading!
The Advantages of Science and Technology
Let’s start with the advantages of science and technology. Here are 5 primary ways that I believe it makes the world better.
1. Science Leads to Knowledge and Discovery
Science expands our understanding of life.
There’s no way we’d know as much as we do about the world without it. Every single day, there are scientists in every discipline under the sun looking at
It looks at the mysteries of existence and asks ‘why?’, ‘what?’, and ‘how?’ Science looks for insight and objectivity. It takes what we think we know and seeks to prove it.
In essence, science is about getting us closer to truth. The scientific endeavour helps us find answers to the deepest problems, and takes us further down the road to discovery.
2. Science Facilitates Progress and Development
That expansion of knowledge is tantamount to progress.
That, for me, is what science is all about.
Think how far we’ve come as a species. 10,000 years ago we were roaming around as hunter gatherers! Now there’s almost 8 billion of us and we’re flying drones and making driverless vehicles.
The growth of the last century alone is staggering. It’s hard to imagine life without the internet now. But 100 years ago there weren’t even TVs!
And it’s all thanks to science.
It pushes our boundaries, tests our assertions, and leads to new discoveries that revolutionise life itself. We don’t know what the future will hold, but we can be sure that scientific progress will be a driving force behind it.
3. Science Defies False Beliefs
Assumptions and stubbornness have wreaked untold devastation on the world.
They’ve caused death, famine, war, and countless atrocities.
For example, up until fairly recently, our entire medical model was built on (false) ideas formed by the Ancient Greeks! Ailments were caused by the balance of 4 elements/humors in our system.
Those ideas persisted for millennia. Who knows how many people perished as a result?
Only with the persistence, brilliance, and scientific approaches of a few incredible minds did we move into modern medical practices that save countless lives each year.
Science is about falsification. It looks at ideas and says “prove it”! If you can’t, then we won’t believe you. In this way, science channels us out of ignorance and down a path of realisation.
4. Science Solves Problems
The world is full of problems.
And science takes a proactive approach to solving them.
Once again, look at the progress we’ve made as a civilisation. Almost every development, small or monumental, that we’ve made is the result of scientific problem-solving.
Think about the life-changing inventions of the world- vaccinations, smartphones, the light bulb, aeroplanes…
None of them would have been possible without testing, experimentation, curiosity, and challenging assumptions. Science is a champion of progress. And you don’t see progress without problem-solving.
5. Science Informs Decision Making
If you’re lucky, you live in a society where major decision making is based on solid scientific evidence.
You identify a problem. You develop a theory. You cultivate a hypothesis. You put together a structured set of tests to see if that hypothesis is right or wrong. You develop falsifiable results that can be challenged by others.
In the process, you walk away with answers and direction. You now know if your ideas could work or not. Science removes the guesswork and restores order. Without it, we’d be shooting from the hip and in the dark in the pursuit of accurate decision-making.
The Disadvantages of Science and Technology
And onto the bad! Here are 5 disadvantages of science as I see it.
Heads up, you might also like this post about the disadvantages of technology!
1. Science Butts Heads with Spirituality
Matters of faith naturally come into conflict with scientific endeavour.
They exist in different worlds. Science is a world of objectivity; spirituality, one of subjectivity.
Let’s say I believe in a particular God. That belief brings me hope, contentment, and meaning. I’m a better person for that faith in the God in question.
A person of science comes along and says: ‘you know that God of yours- prove they exist’. And I say in return: ‘I can’t- I just believe’.
The person of science tells me I’m deceiving myself, that I’m deluded and foolish. My God does not exist without proof.
That’s difficult to hear. It’s demeaning, patronizing, insulting, and unfair.
Just as importantly, though, it stops that person of science from attaining the immense positivity that faith and religion can provide.
2. Science is Cold, Rational and Subversive
There’s something cold and clinical about science.
It’s the whitewashed, sterile environment of a laboratory versus the transcendent, warm, multi-coloured vibrancy of the Sistene Chapel.
It’s the refusal to accept that life might have more to it that what meets the eye.
As much as science has catapulted human progress, it can stymie your personal experience of the world. Everything needs to be proven to be believed; it removes mystery from the world, which can be a vital source of hope.
3. Science Poses Huge Moral Dilemmas
Scientific progress is mind-blowing.
We’re reaching levels of technological development, for instance, that create serious moral dilemmas. Think about manipulating DNA, changing physical features of unborn children, or creating robots/computers that might, one day, think for themselves.
Something about it feels out of control.
It’s as if we’re on the cusp of something; like a Pandora’s Box of bad news. It’s worrying to think that we might go too far and walk down a road to our own demise.
Anything in excess is bad for us. Maybe science is the same.
4. Science Threatens Our Wellbeing and the Natural World
Science seems to put discovery above all else.
That’s the dark side of the discipline. It seems like it’s a matter of ‘progress and discovery at all costs’, no matter the consequences.
We do inhuman and unspeakable things in the name of science, like experimenting on animals, destroying the natural world, and creating nuclear weapons.
Think about the psychology studies of the Mid-20th Century. By today’s standards they were unethical at best and heinous human rights violations at worst.
And yet we justify and explain such things away as necessary for scientific progress.
5. Science Makes the Future Feel Uncertain
There’s something about science that makes the future seem uncertain too.
I think it’s to do with the scale and speed of change. It feels hard to keep up with sometimes, right? It’s as if the snowballs gathering speed and steadily getting bigger. Sooner or later we’re going to be swept along in the avalanche of technological development.
Part of me wants to step back and hit pause. Do we really know what we’re getting ourselves into?!
Advantages and Disadvantages of Science
There you have it: the advantages and disadvantages of science as I see them!
This is by no means an exhaustive list. However, I hope it shed some light on the good and the bad sides of science. Science has had, and continues to have, a profound positive impact on life. However, it doesn’t come without its share of issues.
Only time will tell what the future holds and where scientific discovery will take us next (and at what cost).
7 thoughts on “10 Primary Advantages and Disadvantages of Science and Technology”
I love this, now I can know the merit and demerits of it, thanks.
THANK U SOOOOOOOO
what is this,
the disadvantage of Science
half of the disadvantages is just how you feel.
so your telling me that someone said that you can’t prove god is real so you wrote this… also everyone commenting is probably your account.
"There you have it: the advantages and disadvantages of science as I see them!" hmm now thats not very scientific.
I know who you are