Essay for IAS exam on Science Is The Highest Form Of Creative Art

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Generally, when we talk of science we put it against art; whereas science exercises our brain muscles, art warms and tickles the cockles of our heart. Scientific discoveries and inventions are made in the laboratories, but the artist must feel or sense the picture he is about to paint or the piece of music he is about to compose; first within his own heart.

But the distinction between science and art is illusory and must vanish on second thought. Most of the scientists have an artistic approach even to the scientific problems. The emotional makeup of the scientists is evident from the story of Archimedes. When the principles of hydrostatics flashed i his mind he rushed out into the street with nothing on crying; “Eurek eureka” (I have found, I have found).

In fact, the scientist is one with sculptor, the architect, the musician the poet, the painter and the dancer in the self-imposed discipline, which perfects, refines and polishes his outlook and personality. Both the scientist and the artist have to bear the cross and make supreme sacrifices like the martyrs and philosophers of old.

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Whereas science has given birth to the atom bomb, which may spell disaster for humanity, it has also alleviated human suffering by producing things like penicillin, conquered time and space, with supersonic planes and made possible miracles like television, submarines, earth satellites, etc. The idea of a United Nations could not be implemented without the modern facilities of travel and communication.

Science in itself is not Satanic in its designs or purport; it is the politician who tends to mislead the scientist into making discoveries, which in the ultimate analysis, prove harmful to the interests of mankind as a whole. Thus, the politician superimposes the destructive aspect of science on the scientists. Essentially the role of a real scientist is constructive and creative.

Science exercises an ennobling influence on the baser and meaner instincts and predilections of man. It frees his soul from the bondage of custom, convention, superstition, bigotry, intolerance and selfishness and makes man see the entire world community as a big brotherhood. Modern science re-enlivens our faith in the divine—without insisting on rituals and ceremonies. Thus, the functions of science and religion are complementary, not contradictory.

The old time mechanistic view of the Universe and human life has given place to a much more dynamic even mystical appraisal of man and his environment. The latest developments in physics with their consequent repercussions on the idea of the Universe, Space and Time and the new disclosures of the science of psychoanalysis in revealing the hitherto hidden depths of human consciousness with the vital change they brought about in the concept of human personality and social ethics have almost revolutionized the older moral and literary values.

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Thus, we find in the discoveries of modern science, a new hope for synthesis or regeneration of the present disintegrated personality of man.

A scientific temper is absolutely necessary if we are to tackle big problems in a big way. The primitive man who did not enjoy the amenities provided by science in our own day, used to live a selfish and secluded life. With the modern scientific devices, man has built multipurpose hydroelectric projects like the Bhakra Nangal and Damodar Valley.

The Americans have turned desert areas into smiling fields, as in the Tennessee Valley. Electronic devices for many domestic operations like the laundry, sweeping, cooking, opening and shutting of the doors etc, have since been evolved which speak volumes for the aesthetic taste of the atomic scientists wedded to peace as against war.

Like Shelley’s West Wind, science has a triple role to perform; that of the destroyer, the preserver and the creator. Perhaps it is essential for science to destroy the old order so that a new one may be born. A new world order can be built only on the ashes of the old. Destruction ax construction is proceeding side by side not only in the sphere international politics, but also within the human mechanism itself (metabolism and catabolism).

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While the destructive potentiality of science will only be too evident in an atomic war, its preservative genius is visit in curative medicines for human life and improved seeds and fertilize for agriculture, while the space ships which are roving the heaven these days illustrate its creative aspect.

Scientists have many more surprises for us in the creative field. The ingenious calculating machines (electronic computers) are doing problems in mathematics, which would engage dozens of men for years. They will soon start thinking too i.e., exercising their judgment between a number of alternative courses, as in a game of chess.

A real mechanical brain is the process of evolution, which will take on the functions of nerve cells the human brain! This will be nothing short of a marvelous creation unparalleled in the entire history of science. The Russians are thinking transmitting electric power by radio waves. This would make electrics propelled cars; buses and trains run very cheap.

Science is the handmaiden of art in musical compositions (they say Einstein learnt Mathematics through music), in the designing of textile fabrics, in filmmaking (cinematography), in wireless and television transmission. All discoveries of science in peacetime must have the artistic touch to popularize themselves. Hence, the scientist, in order to successful, must also be a creative artist.

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A scientist has to create better living conditions for the masses through peacetime inventions; an artist has to work for emotional integration the human personality through line, colour and sound. Both the objectives are interdependent, not mutually exclusive.

The spiritual welfare of man depends more or less on the nature of the environment in which he breathes moves and has his being. We must see life as a whole not piecemeal; it is, therefore, futile to deny the role of modern science in the expansion and all-round development of the human personality.

Whereas the traditional artist is always skeptical of the new data coming up for consideration, the scientist being a dynamic thinker- bold enough to readjust his theories to the requirements of the new situation and to take every new fact that comes to light in his stride. Thus, whereas an artist faces the danger of being conservative, a science cannot help being progressive in his objectives and technique.

Whereas piece of art is complete in itself, in its relation with the artist and his a work of science goes on perfecting itself from one generation another. There is a continuity in the scientific process, which is den to the creations of art. Nevertheless, like the artist, the scientist has to be a dedicated soul.

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There are three things worth striving for in human life: Truth, Goodness and Beauty. The scientist sees Beauty in Truth, whereas the artist sees Truth in Beauty and the saint sees Truth in Goodness alone. But all are seekers after God, seekers after Infinity (Eternity).

A true scientist like Bertrand Russell combines in him all the virtues and graces of a humanist; whereas a true artist has the intellectual integrity and the self- effacement, which characterize a modern atomic scientist. Whatever the difference between Art and Science, a scientist has the same sentiments as a poet when he completes his invention or discovery.

Science keeps alive the eternal flame of wonder in man. Modern scientific discoveries read like fairy tales of old. Who but an adept artist could make artificial pearls out of stone and spin out fine silk dress fit enough for a modern Cinderella out of glass?

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