Science & Technology: Looking beyond their ordinary differences
Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (diaogue) session with Acharya Prashant.
Questioner: What is the difference between science and technology? What is science? Where does science come from? Is science the mother of technology? Is science the logic behind technology?
Science comes from direct observation of the fact. One pays attention to the thing right in front. One looks deeply at the object without allowing thoughts to wander. One keeps away his personal opinions and biases. Only the direct present fact is respected. This is science. Do we see?
Q: And when we say that science comes from direct observation, is our observation always correct ?
AP: So, without imagining, one looks at the pendulum in deep attention. No imaginations or fantasies. And one discovers the fact of the relation of its time period with its length. It is not imagined. It is there. As a fact.
Newton looks at the falling apple- attentively- and comes across the fact of gravity. No imaginations, just observation.
Kepler watches the planets. Somebody watches a magnet, somebody watches the flow of water, somebody watches the dispersion of light, somebody listens to echoes, somebody observes the flow of heat.
And from this unbiased, pure, attentive observation — which are tested and verified without fear or prejudice — come the various laws. We get Newton’s laws, Bernoulli’s laws, Kepler’s laws, Doppler’s effect, Bohr’s model, Rydberg’s law etc.
All coming from deep and attentive observation of the physical world.
Q: What about the instruments that are used for observation?
AP: The first instruments that Newton uses are his eyes and mind. Falling apple. Direct observation.
Q: Sir, but Newton too must have imagined something as the result of observation. May be he needed something.
AP: Lets learn to differentiate technology from science. In science, there is no requirement or need. Newton had no ‘need’ to observe the apple. Science is simple and pure.