Science and War - the past and the future - a grave antithesis

A vicious turf war always brews up between Science and war, and each one, if truth be told, fixes anathema on the other one. Albert Einstein wrote in 1946 - "The unleased power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophes." It was a 'radioactive' caveat anyway!


A war (1642-51), fought between the King of England, Charles I, and his parliament, divided the people of England and caused great suffering. In 1642, on 25 December, the world brought Isaac Newton into being!

In the Battle of Waterloo, fought on 18 June 1815, the British, led by the Duke of Wellington, and the Prussians defeated the French army of Napolean. On 31 October of the same year Sir Humphrey Davy of London patented miner's safety lamp!

The First World War (1914-18) and the Second World War (1939-45) blotted out even the slightest trace of humanity, merged in social science. The deadly gamma rays, offered by science, 'spitefully helped' myriad spastic children and schizophrenic patients get pitiably born and pitiably die!

In 1941 Germany invaded Russia and Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, an action, which brought the US into the war. The American Civil War was fought between the Northern and Southern states of America from 1861-65. The explorers of science during these years were hectic to mastermind the dreadful gimmicks of the Black Market Submarines, landmines, bilogical arms, fission devices, nerve gases and plastic explosives. Fie! The science produces finished with an unproductive ending!


In fact, the development of nuclear weapons utterly transformed human warfare, as the mass destruction wreaked by bombs dropped on Japan a year earlier made chillingly clear. Nagasaki ceased to exist after an atom bom was dropped from a US plane on 9 August 1945, killing about 75,000 people immediately and another 75,000 who died later. Hiroshima or Nagasaki, whatever the geographical position might have been, now standing motionless and still in the long run with the burning wings of birds, bleak twigs of trees and with the vanished complexion of the glorious past, is no less a shame for the citizens of the world.

'Noon and hazy heat;
A single silver silver and a dull drone;
The gloved finger poised, pressed:
A second's silence, and

The heart of the anonymous poem throbs with the unfathomable pain of war. The quiet-coloured end of a front line leaves in the aftermath only pity of war and futility. A war, which is nothing but an organized butchery of boys, leads to a dumb necropolis of corpses and cadavers, strewn over the miles. And after the slugfest is over, the serried ranks of clogged futility beggar description.


The British Association for the Advancement of Science (1831) was set up to encourage people to be interested in science. It organizes talks and exhibitions and brings out small books. It aims particularly to prioritize science in schools. It is expected that it will never give lessons on how to recruit catastrophe in our day-to-day bureaucratic existence.

Today, the Smart CCTV analysis software can monitor camera feeds for unusual behaviour. TV series like '24' and 'Spooks' may offer a glimpse into the inner workings of the counter-terrorism techniques used by the intelligence community, but how realistic are they? How can technology help fight terror?


There is still a silver lining of love among the ruins. The smouldering atlas still withers the dignity of human blood, and thus science yields potion and pills every year to alleviate the pain of war that keeps itself busy to turn the planet into a no man's land. Before both crying over the split milk and burying the hatchet, the nations should scientifically pontificate on whether they are at all willing to breathe in oxygen and help others to have a share of it or not. To seek salvation through penance is nothing but a wild-goose chase.

The whole of the year, 2005, was observed as the Year of Physics - the Annus Mirabilis, accused of plague and fire of the London 1666. What a cajoling paradox! In this antithetical twist of fate, innocent civilians are enticed by penicillin and other antibiotics while they tremble to the carnivorous wrath of a ballistic missile or a stealth aircraft - a gift of Zenus-faced Science.

Still a burning question guts the cosmopolitans, who are standing on the unscientific rungs of a ladder, called Globalization. Could BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels) restore the lost domestic satisfaction to a war widow? Birth is the greatest gift of science, and we are unborn tomorrow. May the human civilization soon realize the simple unwritten theory of sharing the bliss of being born with others on a theatre of war, where a tree of love, censoring all Neils Bohr and all Werner Heisenberg, waves its jubilant leaves.

'The inventor of the Soviet hydrogen bomb became an advocate of peace and human rights. What led him (the Soviet trailblazer in the arena of scientific research) to his fateful decision?' ("The Metamorphosis of Andrei Sakharov", by Gennady Gorelik).

Nobody knows. Nobody wants to know. Nobody even wants to reach a positive vista. The optimum velocity of a man's life is death, viz. natural death. Death in the battlefield is nothing but an abrupt conclusion like mine in this trash.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

I love this. I wish schools' history textbooks were written like this.

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