The connection of science with war has grown gradually more and more intimate. It began with Archimedes, who helped his cousin, the tyrant of Syracuse, to defend that city against the Romans were in 212 B.C. Though the Romans were victorious in spite of Archimedes’s scientific technique, science continued to play a part, and usually a decisive part, in war. Greek fire kept the Byzantine Empire in existence for centuries; Artillery destroyed the feudal system, and, by making English archery obsolete, gave the victory to the French, led by Joan of Arc.
The greatest men of the Renaissance commended themselves to the powerful by their skill in scientific warfare. When Leonardo da Vinci wanted to get a job from the Duke of Milan, he wrote the Duke a long letter about his improvements in the art of fortification. In the French Revolution such man of science as were not guillotined owed their immunity to their contributions to the war effort. In modern warfare, one nuclear physicist is worth more than many divisions of infantry.
Modern warfare, so far has not been more destructive of life than the warfare of less scientific ages, for the increased deadlines of weapons has been offset by the improvement in medicine and hygiene. There are, however, other respects in which the evils of war have much increased. A modern nation at war is more organized, and more completely concentrated on the effort to secure victory; then was possible in pre-industrial times, with the result that defeat is now more serious, more disorganizing, and more demoralizing to the general population than it was ever before.
The atom bomb and still more the hydrogen bomb have caused new fears, involving new doubts as to the effects of science on human life. Eminent scientists, including Einstein have pointed out that there is a danger of the extinction of all life on this planet. So, if human race is to escape from extermination, it will have to make very drastic changes in its ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. We must make a clear choice between Reason and Death, and ‘Reason’ means a willingness to submit to law as declared by an international authority.