Thursday, October 11, 2012

The scientific point of view by J.B. Haldane


The scientific point of view by J.B. Haldane
       In the essay “The Scientific Point of View” J.B.S. Haldane opposes superstition and supports rational thinking.  He says that science affects us in two ways – we are benefited by its applications and it affects our opinions.

            According to Haldane, the scientific point of view must come out of the laboratory and be applied to the events of daily life.  What has already revolutionized industry, agriculture, war and medicine must be applied to the family, nation or the human race.
            Haldane says the the scientist is superior to God as he is ethically neutral.  The scientist works out the consequences of many actions by the does not p[ass judgment of them.  In the eyes of the bacteriologist, polluting public water supply is as destructive as exploding an atom bomb in the public street.
            The average man dwells on the emotional and ethical side of a case rather than on facts which interest the scientist.  Haldane gives two examples, the problem of the American Negro and the problem of disease.  The American negro is accustomed to the hot climate of the cotton estates in the Southern states.  His population increase there.  If he is made to live in luxury, he loses his stamina and even dies.  So the scientist prefers the Negro to live a life of hardship.
            Haldane says that modern medicine has come out with miraculous drugs.  Diabetes can be controlled by injecting insulin and typhoid can be controlled by drinking boiled water.  But many people are unscientific.  Even cancer can be cured but people do not follow the doctor’s advice.
            Haldane quotes St. Paul’s words that the world is ruled by demons.  Haldane modifies this statement saying that the world is misruled by ignorance and unscientific thinking.