Can science save the World?

Dr Bert Cargill
Dr Bert Cargill

For over 200 years now science has been developing at an ever increasing rate. New materials, new methods, new ideas affecting every one of us have been discovered. The Higgs boson recently in the news is perhaps the latest example although how this will impact our everyday life is hard to tell.

Can you imagine now being without the considerable benefits science has brought to us? Think of housing and living conditions, transportation by land, sea and air, preventative and curative medicine and healthcare, digital communication methods, power generation, and much else.

But some in our society and many millions in other countries have not yet benefited from all our clever technology and know-how. That is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of the present century.

How can it be that a seemingly endless supply of money props up inefficient institutions whilst a supply of clean water is unavailable for countless families in Africa? That billions of dollars take rockets into space whilst malaria continues to be the great killer of children worldwide? That similar sums are spent on mega construction projects in affluent nations while millions live in slums or shanty towns? That obesity and malnutrition coexist, with mountains of food wasted while others starve? That history’s lessons go unheeded, with war and hatred ruining so many lives and homelands to this day?

Somehow science cannot answer these questions. The products of our science have actually exaggerated the original human dilemma – what do we do with what we have? Long ago a bow and arrow, or a spear, could help to feed a family - or do a lot of damage to a few others. But just think of today’s high explosives, drugs, the internet, nuclear power … Their potential for good or evil is immense. The impact of their abuse is frightening.

How can we decide to do what is good and right? And how do we know what is right? Science can’t tell us, can’t even advise us! At the current rate it doesn’t look as if science can save us from disasters or save us from our own mistakes. It’s the people and not the technology which present the problem!

But we can be saved. In a town in Samaria long ago a group of people had listened to the Lord Jesus Christ. They said, “We believe, for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that He is indeed the Christ, the saviour of the world” (John 4.42).

Millions of others have been able to say the same ever since. But it starts with each of us as individuals. Listen seriously to what He has to say, repent of personal sin, receive by faith the grace He offers. He can do what science cannot do - advise us, save us, change us – and it’s for the better.