How Science and Technology has affected our lives Essay
890 Words essay on How Science and Technology has affected our lives.
How Technology in General has Affected Man
The history of man’s evolution can hardly be complete without any mention of technology and its immense contribution towards his civilization up to and until where we are today. But what exactly is technology? We can never simply conceptualize how technology in general has affected us until we define the term itself and its origins.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, technology is a “discourse or treatise on an art or arts; the scientific study of the practical or industrial arts.” The word traces its origins from the Greek word “techne” meaning art craft, and “logos” meaning word or speech.Today, the word technology is used to imply using our knowledge, discoveries and inventions to make life easier.
Casting our eyes from the ancient times, in the Stone Age to be precise we see the first technology was stone flint tools such as scrappers, axes, cutters, arrowheads and hammers. Then projecting our eyes in a kaleidoscope glance we pass through the Bronze Age, up to the Iron Age, and the Information age we are in. It is a period packed with all sorts of unimaginable inventions and techniques that have helped man conquer all forces of nature. The repertoire of man’s inventions through technology today forms the greatest edifice in the man’s history of civilization. And like a true engineering edifice, the contributions have come from virtually all parts of our globe-from Ancient Egypt, India, China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Byzantine Empire, and Europe. Each of these regions has contributed the nuts, bolts, rods, trusses and just about everything else to bring the technology edifice up to where it is now.
In the process our lives in virtually all spheres have been affected in a profound way. From how we produce food, communicate, travel around, and contain diseases, wage war, and energy production there is nowhere where technology has not left an indelible mark with defining affects on our lives.
Our ancestors who lived say 10,000 years ago had limited means of food production. They hunted and gathered wild fruits, but with time they invented stone tools and implements which helped them enhance food production. Between the eons of times, man moved food production technology to newer frontiers in the process developing new fast growing crop strains, enhancing storage and up scaling mechanization such that today, we have the means to produce infinite quantities of foods with minimal efforts, all on account of technology.
Technology has also affected transportation significantly. In the ancient times and even up to about 18th century, transportation means were limited, crude and punishing. Man could rely either on walking, riding beasts of burden, or sail dangerously in rivers over crude rafts made of logs. There were no aircrafts to conquer the skies either and for this sorry state of things, people were local as they could not venture far beyond their surroundings. Thus, civilizations evolved as isolated islands with little or no linkages and exchanges with others. Virtually everything including food was limited as supplies never moved to areas of shortage on account of poor transport means. But with technology, today the world is a small place. With supersonic jets and mega- planes today, high speed electric trains, cruise ships and ever speedier automobiles, one can travel from one corner of the globe within hours. Goods and services produced from one country or region are taken to all corners of the world via these means, and not by porters. Still, we are today able to travel and stay in different parts of the world in search of fortunes.
Technology has also revolutionalized the way we communicate. With tools like computers,radios.telephones,satellite dishes etc,we can instantly communicate with anyone from any part of the world which is itself inconceivable feat when considered that barely a few centuries ago, man’s means of communication were smoke signals, walking messengers, drums and blowing horns.
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The way we wage wars has been redefined by technology also.Today,instead of using bows and arrows to fight enemies which caused heavy casualties, we use fighter jets, machine guns, automatic riffles, nuclear weapons,un-manned planes(drones),guided missiles that can attack targets thousands of kilometers away controlled by a single person behind a computer. Weapons of mass destruction that can wipe out the entire world if used have been availed through technology. The weapons have in effect helped create a more peaceful world as opposed to a few centuries ago when petty feuds pitting different nation states defined our world.
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Other areas where technology has affected us include in medical fields.Today, man has mastered every part of his body system with the completion of the human genome map.Diseseas that were threatening to wipe out entire civilizations only a few hundreds of years ago can be diagnosed in advanced laboratories, treated with the right pills or jabs- and this is in a matter of days. Our means of developing drugs and vaccines are at their advanced state and as a result, deaths from diseases have reduced, and the quality of life dramatically improved. Life expectancy also has moved beyond the biblical three score years and ten to even a century!
In essence, these few examples and of course numerous others attest to how technology in general has affected us. And given the dynamism and versatility inherent in technology and science arena, only time can tell how technology will continue to affect us as its march seems ever gallant and unabated.
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