Trust the Science

“Then came the explosion of this myth.  It climaxed in the horrors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and in the fierce fury of fifty-megaton bombers.  Now we have come to see that science can give us only physical power, which if not controlled by spiritual power, will lead inevitably to cosmic doom….We need something more spiritually sustaining and morally controlling than science.  It is an instrument which, under the power of God’s spirit, may lead man to greater heights of physical security, but apart from God’s spirit, science is a deadly weapon that will lead only to deeper chaos.”*

Martin Luther King identified this myth as the idea that scientific innovation and technology could bring about a kind of utopian society.  He emphasized the fact that humanity’s deepest needs are spiritual as evidenced by the emotional and spiritual discontent in society.  Science, or knowledge of the material world, can lead to better temporal lives for humanity.  However, science also can lead to the greatest destructive powers in human existence: nuclear weapons. 

King concluded: “Why fool ourselves about automatic progress and the ability of man to save himself?  We must lift up our minds and eyes unto the hills from whence cometh our true help.  Then, and only then, will the advances of modern science be a blessing rather than a curse.”**   

*Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love (Philadelphia 1963), p. 74.

**Ibid. 74-75. 

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