Science and technology have affected human society and his surroundings in a number of ways. In some societies, science and technology have helped develop more advance economies and have allowed the rise of a leisure class. Science and technology have many positive effects in the life of man and his environment, yet they have created some serious problems that have many negative or undesirable effects on the life of man and his environment.
Hence, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes. The development of weapons of ever increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from clubs, spears to nuclear weapons.
Many technological processes produce unwanted by products known as pollution and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the earth and its environment. Besides, various implementations of technology influence values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions.
Thus, there have been philosophical debates over the present and the future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsen it. Meanwhile, some of the negative effects of science and technology include:
Production of Weapon of War and Destruction:
In the primitive society, weapons used in hunting and wars were limited to clubs, spears and machetes. These progressed to Dane guns, double barrel guns, machine guns, grenades, bombs, and now nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.All these are product of science and technology. Through the advancement of science and technology, the buildup of nuclear weapons of mass destruction has been alarmingly on the increase.
Every country wants to acquire and store nuclear weapon in readiness for an eventual attack from hostile or enemy country. The advancement of science and technology has enabled man to develop and equip himself with dangerous arsenals of various degrees and capacities for his own destruction. Nuclear weapons pose grave danger and threat to humanity because of their unmitigated destructive capacities. One atomic or hydrogen bomb is capable of wiping a whole nation in few minutes.
Yet, nations spend so much of their wealth in acquiring these dangerous weapons without considering the adverse or retroactive effects on the society. As it were, with every nation shamelessly and unrestrictedly amassing nuclear weapons, the whole world is presently sitting on a time bomb that already begun its timing.
Technological unemployment occurs as a result of mechanization brought about by science and technology. This happens when the work that should have been done by people is done by machines. In other words, mechanization leads to the replacement of human workers with machines, reducing or even eliminating the chances for human workers.
Accidents and Deaths:
When man means of transportation was by trekking and by the use of animals, few accidents occurred. But with the advancement of technology, which occasioned the invention and use of aircraft, train, ships, speed boat, cars and motorcycles, cases of death and accident have been seriously on the increase, ranging from plane crashes, shipwrecks, car and motorcycle accident.
Apart from road accidents, industrial accidents also occur. There are cases where workers are burnt to death, or loss their limbs, electrocuted or accidentally bathe in acid in their work place due to faulty mechanical devices. Also, flyover, bridges and some high-tech buildings and constructions, (which are products of science and technology) have in the past and even in the present collapsed suddenly leading to lose of lives.
Crimes have been on the increase since science and technology have made it possible for the production of devices and gadgets such as powerful guns, explosives, and other dangerous weapons. The use of computers and internet and other communication technology have greatly assisted fraudsters to steal and dupe their victim easily. As a result of the recent romance with computerization, banks and other financial industries are special targets for hackers and fraudsters who specialize in duping banks.
Loss of Value and Culture:
The Nigeria society with the current trends in fashion, communication, recreation, information technology, arts, education etc, is heading towards an irreversible loss of values and culture. Science and technology have provided tools with which the minds of our youth are drained of all cultural values and customs.
These days our young women no longer value decency and morality. The type of clothes they put on in the name of fashion in a bid to imitate the whites is disdainfully humiliating. Our values and culture are in constant danger of being totally forgotten and thrown away by our youths, courtesy of science and technology.
Environmental degradation has become both national and international concern. The achievements of science and technology have led to serious pollution and degradation of the human environment. Industries, factories and locomotive wastes and smokes pollute the air leading to acid rains, global warming and depletion of the ozone layer.
This ozone layer is a very important layer because it shades off or protects man from direct contacts with the heat of the sun. When this ozone layer is depleted or worn out as a result of environmental pollution or degradation, humans is then exposed to direct sunshine which is harmful as it is capable of causing cancer of the skin and frost bites.
Also, solid wastes such as broken bottles and glasses, sachet water bags, polythene bags, metal scraps, broken plates etc, which cannot be recycled, are capable of endangering the environment.
Science and technology degrades the human environment in the following ways:
- Air and water pollution,
- Land and solid degradation
- Loss of biological and wildlife species.
Environmental pollution is the release of substances or energy such as carbon (iv) oxide, carbon (iii) oxide from internal combustion engines, radioactive rays, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur, smoke, soot, dust, aerosols, insecticides, sewage, crude oil etc, into the environment in great quantities.
They are capable of polluting soil and water thereby endangering the lives of animals and plants. It is one of the most harmful effects of industrial technology. Pollutants are capable of causing ill health and in severe cases, death of man, animals and plants, mutation, corrosion, death of aquatic organisms and contamination of water for domestic and industrial use.
Pollution can be in form of sound just like siren from locomotives, loud speakers, airplanes and supersonic jets. All these are harmful to both humans and animals, and they are as a result of advancement in science and technology.
Science and technology as we have seen have contributed immensely to the growth and development of the human society. They have put man in position to control his environment. Unfortunately they have equally constituted serious threats to the live of human animal and plants.
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