The Fear of Science




The Fear of Science


To live in the today\'s world is to be surrounded by the products of
science. For it is science that gave our society color television, the bottle
of aspirin, and the polyester shirt. Thus, science has greatly enhanced our
society; yet, our society are still afraid of the effect of science. This fear
of science can be traced back to the nineteenth century where scientist had to
be secretative in experimenting with science. Although science did wonders in
the nineteenth century, many people feared science and its effects because of
the uncertainty results of science.

Our thrist for science can be traced back through many decades.
However, the nineteenth century society felt that science was a great
investment towards a better life. This investment in science gave the
nineteenth century society the discovery of light waves and radio waves, the
electric motors, the first photograph and telephone, and the first publication
of the periodic table. Science also caused an uproar in society when Charles
Darwin published The Origin of Species, which became the scientific basis for
the study of the evolution of humans. Many people in the nineteenth century
detested Darwin\'s theory of the evolution of man because it went against their
religion, which believed that God created the world. Science, soon, developed
the big bang theory, which states that earth was created by the attraction of
atoms. The nineteenth century society was afraid of science because it
contradicted their beliefs, and was afraid that the results of science would
lead to the destruction of mankind. Thus, the study of science was limited
because of fear of its effects.

The fear of the effects of science was expressed in literature. Novels
like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Time Machine, and Frankenstein showed the
dangers of science and that science would soon lead to the destruction of
mankind.

The novel Frankenstein is about a man name Victor Frankenstein who
wanted to tamper with life and death by "exploring unknown powers, and unfold
to the world the deepest mysteries of creation." (Frankenstein, pg.40) He
acquired the knowledge of science when he attended the university of Ingolstadt,
and once the knowledge of science was gained, Frankenstein went to his secret
laboratory to create a creature with gigantic stature. At first, Frankenstein
had doubts about creating a human being; however, with "the improvement which
every day takes place in science and mechanics, [he] was encouraged to hope
[his] present attempts would at least lay the foundation of future success."
(Frankenstein, pg.47) Once Frankenstein created his human being, his dream was
vanished because he had accomplished his dream. His dream of creating a human
being soon turned into a nightmare. For Frankenstein created a monster who had
no identity, and was willing to murder all of Frankenstein\'s loved ones if
Frankenstein did not create another female creature. Victor Frankenstein
refused to create another female monster to accompany his monster. Thus, the
monster felt that he had no choice but to take away Frankenstein\'s family, just
to show how Victor Frankenstein would feel being alone in the world. The
murder of William Frankenstein (Victor\'s younger brother) caused Victor to
believe that his own creature had murdered his younger brother because "nothing
in human shape could have destroyed that fair child." (Frankenstein, pg.74)
Frankenstein knew from then on that he had "turned loose into the world a
depraved wretch, whose delight was in carnage and misery." (Frankenstein,
pg.74) Frankenstein\'s monster caused "the death of William, the execution of
Justine (a servant of the Frankenstein since childhood, who was framed by
Frankenstein\'s monster), the murder of Clerval (Frankenstein\'s closes friend
since childhood) and lastly [Victor\'s] wife (Elizabeth Lavenza)." (Frankenstein,
pg.213) Frankenstein not only blamed the murders of his loved ones on his
monster, he blamed himself for creating the monster. Throughout Frankenstein,
the words "friend, monster, daemon, vile insect, enemy, and abhorred devil"
were used by Frankenstein to describe the monster which he had created. In a
way, the monster is protrayed as science and Frankenstein\'s fear of and hatred
towards the monster or science is expressed throught Frankenstein. Thus,
Frankenstein is a novel which proved to society that science is dangerous. That,
we should not tamper with life using science since it will only lead to
disaster.

Another novel which expressed society\'s hatred and fear of science
through literature is the Time Machine. The story is about a Time Traveller
who believed that there was no difference between Time and any of the three
dimensions of space except that the consciousness of a human being moves