Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/364

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

rails laid by science, is working for good and not for evil, and that the things commonly criticized are but transient phases of a great movement, which, in its main features, is making for the advance of the race and toward the very highest ideals.

Let me again remind you that industrialism is but another name for science in action. The pure science of the study or laboratory it is not. This same science joined to some form of worldly ambition is industrialism. Therefore, where science leads, it must follow. It is, I claim, the most dependent upon science of all purely worldly activities. These things I shall attempt to make clear as I proceed. Trace forward what science must do for us, and we shall comprehend whither industrialism is leading.

Do not forget these truths: It is science that is dominating this age, this twentieth century, and not industrialism. Science works through industrialism. Science dominates industrialism. Science corrects the evils it itself creates. Science has not only changed the forms and conditions of our physical existence, it has altered our mental life, has controlled our views and changed the basis upon which rest our fears, hopes and opinions. The old forms of culture have been so long present as factors in the life of the race, that it is hopeless to trace out their due contribution to society. Causes have slowly fused with effects, and influences, at first external, have become internal, a part of life itself. Not so with the newest type of culture. Science is now at work remaking the world, primarily a force from without. Its first great effect is spiritual rather than material. It has spread through humanity a spirit of optimism. It has made optimists of every one, especially of the common man. So much has been accomplished by science, although but vaguely comprehended, that the ordinary man deems all things possible. Science, through its many phases and effects, has become the moral sunshine of modern life. It warms and cheers and gives a joy and hope to this present life that former generations but hesitatingly attributed to a future existence.

I shall now illustrate the way in which science corrects the evils it itself creates, and show that the dangers brought in by the new culture are merely transient. Science, the father of industrialism, is the ultimate parent of that tremendous exploitation of the natural wealth of the world which in two generations has spent more of our coal, iron and many other resources than were used by all of the preceding generations. Science has created the problem of conservation. Now I read nowhere in the books of the conservationists that science is the real criminal that has caused our natural resources to be exploited. Perhaps I find it not there, because science, now the prosecutor, must forget its own crimes.

Science has not only created the problem of conservation, but it has spread abroad a spirit of optimism that makes men believe that all will