It's more than hubris when Otto Theodor Benfey [The Scientist, Dec. 10, 1990, page 14] remarks in his Commentary, "After all, it is science that has brought the world materials that now cause environmental pollution and made possible the engines of modern war." It's dead wrong, and it seems to me that a historian above all should know better. It's not science that brought us anything other than knowledge any more than it's guns that kill people. People kill people, people make pollution, people make materials, and people make engines of modern war. Those people include engineers, miners, housewives, carpenters, and even professors. Science is neither necessary nor sufficient for many of the innovations that we both enjoy and abhor. Science helps, but there are lots of things that are made by man for which the underlying science is only poorly understood. By the same token, there is a lot...
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