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The Effects of Technology in the Past 50 Years

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            The history of mankind is made up of advancements and technological advents that at one time they were thought impossible. Right from the time fire, wheel and ginnery were discovered, man is still racking his mind to come up with ways in which he could improve the quality of his life. Tools usage right from the cradle of mankind has changed the world and put man in charge of nature rather than nature controlling man. A look at the discovery of stone tools reveals that man with all his primitivism was able to conquer and expand his habitat. Technological advancements in agriculture have changed how man lives. He can now settle down anywhere and till his farm with his new tools. As a result of this, his social life changed and his economy has expanded. His tastes and preferences have changed as he tries to adapt to his environment.

            Technological growth has led to improvements in lifestyles and living standards. Quality of life has improved greatly because of these technological advancements in the medical field. Mobility has been on the increase as traveling across the globe has been reduced to a matter of a few hours. Weapons have been improved to a point that you can kill people enmasse in a single shot.

            Whereas some technological inventions like in medicine, transport, agriculture and communication have had positive effects on the humanity, others such as nuclear and biological weapons have had devastating blow and have left millions wallowing in a sea of problems. For example, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki tragedies are still fresh. People do remember everything that happened at that time. If technology can be misused to a point of wiping the whole population like the case of Rwanda Genocide of 1994, then it can be destructive. Technology is like a double sword, it has both positive and negative effects. It has improved the quality of life but it has resulted to some untold miseries. The last fifty years have witnessed many changes in technology that have made life easier for human beings.

Technology is dynamic and seeks to address and solve all difficulties that man is facing. This paper is going to comprehensively discuss about technology, but I will focus mainly on the advents that have taken place in the last 50 years and how these changes have impacted on our societies, future directions of technology and the Christians’ response to these technological advents.[1]

            The last fifty years have witnessed immeasurable developments brought forth by technology. These have been in the various fields ranging from medicine, communication, transportation, warfare to information technology. These continue to impact on the society in a significant manner. There are a number of discoveries in medicines that are meant to alleviate human sufferings. For example, James Watson and Francis Crick discovered and unlocked the mystery behind DNA in 1953. This helped in understanding the genes and the cure behind many genetically induced disorders.

            In the 1950’s women got a boost in family planning after birth control pills were introduced for the first time. This has revolutionized the way that woman live giving them more freedom to choose the destiny of their family lives most like their counter part the men.

            In 1967, Dr Christian Bernard a South African carried out a first successful heart transplant. In the same period, there were TV dinners that involved freeze-drying of food to increase its shelf life. In 1955 there were many things that were invented including tetracycline optic fibre system, flashmatic that represented the first industry wireless television remote; oral contraceptives that helped people to plan on their family sizes and the first home micro wave ovens were manufactured by Japan.[2]

            In 1956, the first computer hard disk was made, hovercraft was invented by Christopher Cuckeren, the first videotape recorder for commercial purposes was introduced, and hydrogen bomb was made. Robots, satellite, solar cell and video tape were also introduced. Still in the same year, the nuclear power was made in England by Calder.

            The TV discovery added the mediums of providing people with information. Before this period, people only relied on radios to get news but in 1950s people received news and entertainment on their TVs in black and white but later in color. The usage of contraceptives in developed nations increased after they were discovered in 1955. The population and fertility started to decline. Contraceptives were at first used as a means of regulating the women’s menstruation cycle.[3]

            In 1960s, United States of America succeeded in sending people to space ahead of USSR, communication satellite was discovered, heart pacemaker, human space travel, internet, optical disk, portable calculator was discovered in 1967 in Texas, tape cassette was discovered in 1963 in Netherlands and weather satellite in united states of America in 1960.

            In 1970s, there were many inventions on electronics and on digital revolution. With the discovery of integrated circuits and transistors, more powerful and cheaper products like calculators televisions and other electronics were made. These small and portable devices revolutionized the lives of people as they could use them wherever and whenever they needed them. Again in 1970s, the first home computer was made when Intel made a cheap microprocessor- the Intel 4004 as well as other integrated circuit. In the past, computers were only used by hobbyists but later they became a popular way for people to look for other people with similar interest. It is also during this time that card access electronic locks appeared. Still in 1970s that video games were discovered. These were as a result of the invention of the new home computer. Microwaves ovens were bought by many people when manufactures sold them cheaply to home users. It was in 1970s that 747 jumbo jets capable of carrying many passengers allover the continent was made, floppy disk was invested and used first in USA and genetic engineering was used first in USA by S. Cohen and H. Boyer.[4]

            In 1980s there was increased computer usage with the creation of Microsoft and apple towards the end of the past decade. This was also caused by the speed of innovation and the technology in hardware and soft ware. In 1980s invention of hardware and software led to the evolution of bulletin boards to the internet which was invested by Tim Burners-an English physist. This led to the beginning of the World Wide Web that link all people in the world together. Another technology of the 1980s is invention cellular mobile phones. In 1991, World Wide Web and Personal Computer (PC) became widely used.

In the field of medical science a number of researches were conducted. First, the art of cloning one an animal from a cell of another was invented. For example, a sheep was cloned from a cell of an adult ewe and fused with unfertilized egg. In 1988, stem cells derived from the embryo of a human being was isolated, in 1990s, there was a development and growth of genetic engineering or what is called Genetic Modification (GM) this is about making plants to be more adaptive and hardy.[5]

            In this century, there have been milestones in the field of solar technology discovery as far as technology is concerned. Today there are many internet users in the world but it is projected than before and its users will increase come 2010. For example in USA there was 6% internet users and it is projected that in 2010 there will be about 90% of the total population.[6]

            Today there are digital cameras which are widely used due to their cost and size. There is a ‘You tube website’ which helps people to upload and to view videos. Again with the discovery of yahoo and Google search engines it is easier to find information in the internet. Today the term ‘Google’ has even become a verb. It is during this period that flash disks have replaced zip disks and 3 1/2 floppy disks. This is due to their ability to store more data than others could. Also today there are windows like windows XP, Microsoft 2003 and windows 2007. Discovery of flat screen digital TVs. There are DVDs and there are also HD, BDS, which are replacing VCR technology, wireless networks, GPS or global positioning systems which is used to track people cars or items, there is peer to peer internet telephony, video phones.[7]

            It is projected that the technology would be used to produce power amplifiers for use in cellular handsets. It is expected the demand for lead in USA will outstrip

its consumption and it will lead to surplus over the next four years.

            There are many effects of the above discussed technologies. They have both and negative ones. Today, students are acquiring a great din of knowledge from broad range of computer packages. The students know how various computers behave.

            Today children do not only rely on teachers to get information, in fact they can get it from radios, TVs, computers, and other forms of electronics. Some schools use projectors to teach if classes are very large and populated. Computers have made work easier and efficient. For example you can access a company’s files on a click of the mouse. Internet discovery has connected the world wide population people can communicate well with the friends allover the world through emails. Internet provides all people with all the information they need.

            The mobile and broadband communication adds value and improves the quality of life for all people. It is believed that the current economic growth is as a result of the creation of sustainable businesses. With the easy availability of lower cost computers, schools are increasingly using this technology. Students are able to enjoy the benefits of distance learning which is transmitted via fibre optics cables and satellites.

. The invention of cell phones has enabled people from all walks of the world to communicate freely and efficiently, the debit cards has helped people in buying goods with debit cards instead of cash which is more risky to carry it around and the invention of DVDs, has given people clearer pictures and sound and has significantly eliminated the laborious task of rewinding tapes.[8]

            With technological advent, it is possible to have kidney and heart transplantation. So people suffering from kidney and heart problems can have them replaced with others efficiently and safely.

            Today you can download banking information in to your accounting software. You can check your balances online and pay bills. You can shop, buy mail and send photos online and again you can conduct your researches online. These all have been made possible by invention of the internet.

            The advent of email has totally changed the way we communicate. We are able to communicate very fast with people who are far away. You can also create friends or look for a spouse online

            Laptop computers have helped in making office jobs mobile. If need be you can conduct your businesses as usual whenever you are because these computers are portable.

            The invention of x-rays has made it easier to detect malignant growth. In the past 20 years were no drugs for diabetes but technology has made them available, today your ruptured spinal cords can be replaced, bad teeth be replaced or filled and sight problems can be solved by use of glasses. The invention of USB memory sticks, thumb drives and flash disks help one to move anywhere with your information. This is because they are small in size and have very big memory size. The invention of scientific calculators has simplified calculations. You can work with large numbers very easily. All your hearing problems can be solved today through digital hearing devices. With the invention of the micro vascular surgery, it is possible to treat Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia that is repeated episodes of severe pain in the tongue, throat and tonsils. There is also what is called Teflon Sponge which is inserted in tissues to reduce pain.

            Christians do not support the idea of cloning a human being. In 1999 a human embryo was cloned in a pig’s uterus for 32 days before being terminated, there was also the case of monkey and sheep being cloned, Scientists argued that if they could successfully clone a dolly, then they could also clone a human being. In 1993, there were 17 human embryos that were cloned. Christians hold that man is the image of God and his ability to separate good from evil. Is the one that separates human from beast. They are opposed to this idea of human cloning. God created away through which people can procreate naturally so, cloning is against the moral teachings.[9]

            There was a question whether Christians do support organ donation and transplants. 15 years ago there was no controversy about willingness to offer an organ to a suffering patient. This idea is strongly supported by Christian who holds that you should love your neighbor as you love yourself and that you should treat others as you would like yourself to be treated. Christians consider how Jesus sacrificed himself to be crucified on behalf of the multitude. He gave up his body for humanity. Thus they do support this idea. They argue that Jesus used the parable of a Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) he used this to educate people to be kind and show love to others. Now, Christian argue that if kidneys and hearts could be transplanted successively without contravening the biblical procedures, then there is nothing wrong with it and Christians do support it.

            Another question is on Xenografts . This is a situation where there is no viable donor and researchers that due to lack of enough supply of donor organs many patients die while waiting for a liver transplant but there has been little success with these Xenografts such as transplanting a heart of a baboon to human. They only option left is increase the supply of donor organs. Christians do support this. It is the greatest compassion and love for others. However, Christians do not support sick Christian being donors. They do not approve of that, there is no way a bed ridden can be turned to prevent bedsores. They hold that a person can be considered a donor if and only if the patient is considered to be irreversibly and completely brain dead. Transplants are supposed to come from those who are neurogically dead. Christians are determined to oppose all medical advances that are ethically questionable.[10]

            In USA there is a lot of soil erosion whereby the topsoil is being eroded as a result of mechanized agriculture, the atmosphere is everyday spoilt by about 500,000 tons of pollutants, the acid rain that falls is said to kill the creatures that reside in lakes. The non renewable products produced by the developed nations are a great risk to the ecosystem. Christians do not support the activities of the developed nations that pose dangers to the ecosystem. Jesus said, “Away from me, I was hungry but you never fed me.” Where was food supposed to come from apart from our land? Christian should protect the ecosystem to the maximum. Christians should be at the fore front to crusade for the world to respect the earth so that the future life would be protected[11].

            When it was projected that the computers would not be able to count 2000 come first January 2000 or what was called ‘millennium bug’, people had already started hoarding food, taking money from their accounts. They thought that there would be collapse in western civilization- economic, political and social collapse. Christian were advised not to believe any of these calls but remain calm and acknowledge the true and trust the living god who is believed to have absolute powers over everything.

            Indeed, the advent of technology has revolutionized the lives of people greatly. Technology in the past 50 year has changed so rapidly. Judging by the rate at which technology is evolving it is even impossible to predict what will happen in future. Many gadgets which are in the market today will not survive tomorrow because there will be other new ones. The effects that are of significance to us are those that assist us in our daily lives.


Ramsey, P. The Patient as Person: Explorations in Medical Ethics. New Haven: Yale      University Press. 1970

Jeffrey K. Organ donation: We’ll make it Worth Your While. CNN interactive. 1999


Carmody J. Ecology and Religion. Ramsey, New Jersey. 1983

Feenberg A. Questioning Technology. Rot ledge, 1st Edition. 1999

Robert E.M. Science, Technology and Society. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall.1999

Everett R. Diffusions of Innovations, 5th Edition, Free Press. 2003

[1] Ramsey, P. The Patient as Person: Explorations in Medical Ethics. 1970; 78

[2] Robert E.M., Science, Technology and Society. Englewood Cliffs; Prentice Hall. 1999;58

[3] ibid

[4] Everett R., Diffusions of Innovations, 5th Edition; Free Press, 2003

[5] Everett R., Diffusions of Innovations. Free Press; 5th Edition, 2003.

[6] ibid

[7] Everett R., Diffusions of Innovations, 5th Edition; Free Press, 2003; 65

[8] Feenberg A., Questioning Technology. Rot ledge: 1st Edition. 1999; 82

[9] Feenberg A., Questioning Technology. Rot ledge: 1st Edition. 1999;98

[10] Carmody J., Ecology and Religion. Ramsey; New Jersey. 1983;42

[11] Feenberg A. Questioning Technology. Rot ledge: 1st Edition. 1999

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