Discussion
Started 30th Oct, 2018

Which came first: Science or Technology?

Science and technology are complementary to each other. The ancient humans developed technologies to survive in earth through different raw materials and tools. They didn't understand the science behind those things. No research was conducted. Everything was generated by trial and error method. Even the animals also go on the same path. I am seeking a constructive discussion regarding arrival of science and technology in human civilization. Which came first?

Most recent answer

6th Jan, 2022
Orlando M Lourenço
University of Lisbon
In terms of what may be called the natural other of things, it seems that science was priori to technology. We can say that technology is applied science. From now onwards, we can say that science and technology became deeply intertwined in the sense that technology raises new problems to be solved by science in a kind of spiral that never ends.
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Popular replies (1)

4th Nov, 2018
Manmatha Roul
Gandhi Institute for Technological Advancement
Science exists since the day on which universe was created. We may have found the answers to many questions related to science later. But it does not mean that it was not there before. In 1687, Newton presented his theory of universal gravitation and three laws of motion. Does it mean that law of gravity didn't exist before it was demonstrated by Newton?
Science is investigated but technology is created. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.”
Everything can be explained by science. We have not created science, it was there before us and before everything. As per Collins English dictionary, "Technology refers to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes".
So, application of science to develop new devices, systems or methods is called technology.
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All replies (64)

30th Oct, 2018
Nafees Mohammad
University of Peshawar
I think Science come first, technology is application of science.
If someone apply Science without knowing about it, this doesn't mean that science is not there.
In old age Science was there, but not documented or science was not formalized. Later on, when man formalized science, they verified a particular development by applying different science theory.
1 Recommendation
30th Oct, 2018
Mrinmoy Karmakar
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar
I think science came first.
30th Oct, 2018
Yurii V Geletii
Emory University
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It is an ancient dilemma going back to the times of Aristotle and Plutarch
The similar questions have been already asked in RG forum, e.g
In my opinion that now they are linked to each other.
"In software engineering, a circular dependency is a relation between two or more modules which either directly or indirectly depend on each other to function properly. " see, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_dependency
5 Recommendations
31st Oct, 2018
Florian Glodeanu
Kinectrics
It depends on how you define science and technology. The first steam engine was built by Savery in 1698 and the first two laws of thermodynamics didn’t appear for another 150 years. Only modern science precedes technology.
4 Recommendations
1st Nov, 2018
Aneke Inyang Chioma
National Institutes of Health
I think technology came first, application of technology results to science.
1 Recommendation
1st Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
This is a difficult question. I asked a question about a month ago. You may be interested in it too:
Your opinion is invited.
For this question, when human being wanted to make a tool, he/she must had some idea in mind--something related to science; when he/she made/found a tool (shaped stone, for example), he/she had technology. So, I'd say, science and technology are twin-brothers.
1st Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
I mean they were born at the same time at the dawn of human civilization.
2nd Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
Science and technology came together, hand in hand.
1 Recommendation
2nd Nov, 2018
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
In order to answer this question, what appeared in the history of the development of human civilization, in old age first: science or technology, it is necessary to first define these concepts according to the conditions when they first appeared in antiquity.
2nd Nov, 2018
Soha Mobarak
Plant Protection Research Institute (PPRI)
From my humble point of view, there is no technology without science. Also, if technology is available, it serves science
2nd Nov, 2018
J. M. Koli
Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidypeeth
Without science no technology, therefore, science is first and then technology.
2nd Nov, 2018
Sanjoy Datta
West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences
Yes, Science without technology is lame and Technology without science is dead.
Thanks
1 Recommendation
3rd Nov, 2018
Shamsher S. Kanwar
Himachal Pradesh University
Science: The observation of nature came first, and then its practical use i.e. technology.... for human welfare!
3 Recommendations
3rd Nov, 2018
Ali Alhayany
University of Diyala
In fact, technological progress has come only as a result of the need for more specific tools to achieve certain scientific concepts and theories. Scientific progress has led to more inventions and technological advances. At present, we are benefiting from the availability of technology to increase scientific progress.
1 Recommendation
3rd Nov, 2018
Dmytro Leshchenko
Odessa State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture
Technology came first. Technology is the methods people use to make things such as tools.
Science is a methodology.
3rd Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
In the very beginning, no words or concepts about either technology nor science, but people must have the sense of them. From the primitive practice and scientific activities, technology and science developed. Through a very long time, came the concepts.
4th Nov, 2018
Manmatha Roul
Gandhi Institute for Technological Advancement
Science exists since the day on which universe was created. We may have found the answers to many questions related to science later. But it does not mean that it was not there before. In 1687, Newton presented his theory of universal gravitation and three laws of motion. Does it mean that law of gravity didn't exist before it was demonstrated by Newton?
Science is investigated but technology is created. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.”
Everything can be explained by science. We have not created science, it was there before us and before everything. As per Collins English dictionary, "Technology refers to methods, systems, and devices which are the result of scientific knowledge being used for practical purposes".
So, application of science to develop new devices, systems or methods is called technology.
13 Recommendations
4th Nov, 2018
Nyakno jimmy George
Akwa Ibom State University
Science, the body of knowledge came first and technology, the application of science followed.
1 Recommendation
4th Nov, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
A baboon uses a twig to remove ants from an anthill in order to eat them, that is technology (basic) or using a stone to crack a mussel or killing a bird with a stone. This is all technology, science came much later.
1 Recommendation
4th Nov, 2018
Joseph Isabona
Federal University Lokoja
Science comes before technology
5th Nov, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
if you mean the laws of nature you are right they exist (the most basic) since, or perhaps earlier, the Big Bang but understanding the mechanisms, laws if you want, behind the the universe, which I call science, came much later.
1 Recommendation
5th Nov, 2018
Djaafar Zemali
El-Oued University
Science comes first because without science technology can never come to existence . So definitely science came first before technology.
1 Recommendation
5th Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
Both science and technology are concepts generated by human beings. They are human cognitions on the natural laws. The laws are always there, but science and technology were developed by human beings at some point of history.
The human cognition to the concepts of science and technology have been interactive to each other since the very beginning. This is why I say science and technology came together.
1 Recommendation
5th Nov, 2018
Djaafar Zemali
El-Oued University
Science exists since the day on which universe was created. We may have found the answers to many questions related to science later. But it does not mean that it was not there before. In 1687, Newton presented his theory of universal gravitation and three laws of motion. Does it mean that law of gravity didn't exist before it was demonstrated by Newton.
1 Recommendation
5th Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
@ Djaafar Zemali
I think we must distinguish the concept of science with the natural laws. Between them there's a matter of human cognition. The laws are always there, whether you reveal it or not, but only those revealed laws are science.
1 Recommendation
5th Nov, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
Correct. The Chinese made gunpowder without at that stage understanding the science behind it. It was an accidental discovery, not science. But gunpowder has been used, technically, in many situations. But these days it is possible to develop "better" explosives and to do that you need science because it is otherwise highly unlikely you will succeed without knowing a lot about chemistry/mathematics/science.
6th Nov, 2018
Karzan Abdulkadir Ahmed
University of Sulaimani
i believe that the science come before tech.
6th Nov, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
Who am I to try rational arguments against believes, that is hopeless
7th Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.”
Edward Teller
This is true for today, because science has a history of thousands of years. If we speculate "the science of the beginning", what would it be?
1 Recommendation
8th Nov, 2018
Anjay Kumar Mishra
Madam Bhandari Memorial college, Tribhuvan University
mostly changes takes place in technology. so technology should be first.
8th Nov, 2018
Djaafar Zemali
El-Oued University
Science is investigated but technology is created. In the words of Albert Einstein, “Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.”
10th Nov, 2018
Orlando M Lourenço
University of Lisbon
Dear Sanjoy,
"Which came first: Science or Technology? -- You ask,
As you say, science and technology are complementary to each other.
Even so, I would say that, to a great extent, science came first. Sophistcated technology, such as computers, robots, TV, and so forth, are examples of science applied to technology.
Even so, technological problems often give rise to scientific progress. Thus, science allows us to have technology, mainly sophisticated technology, and technology often raises problems that give rise to new scientific research.
Of course, there was a time at whick people had, say, rudimentary forms of technology without understanding the scientific laws or principls behind such forms of technology.
All that said, science and technolgy are deeply intertwined.
Kind regards,
Orlando
1 Recommendation
10th Nov, 2018
Lian Cheng Wang
Ontario Tech University
We need more clear definitions for both science and technology. Although we have many definitions already, they didn't consider the differences between the two concepts at their early state.
10th Nov, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
OK this discussion is leading nowhere. I do not know who invented the wheel but it was certainly not science-based. Technical insight not an understanding of the laws of nature. The wheel was there before science unless of course you call being able to see the difference between 4 and 5 fingers science, or knowing that the sun goes up more or less opposite the place where it goes down.
11th Nov, 2018
Samy Selim
Jouf University
Thank you Dr. @olerndo
science and technolgy are deeply intertwined.
3 Recommendations
13th Nov, 2018
Abdullah Noori
Kabul University
Though provoking query and some wonderful comments. Science and Technology go hand and hand with one another.
21st Nov, 2018
Houda Kawas
Damascus University
Your question is very important
24th Nov, 2018
Seif Eddine Chehaidia
National Polytechnic School of Constantine
Hi,
as Mr Florian Glodeanu had specified, it depends on your definition of technology.
It should be noted that technology can be defined as the marriage of technology and science, so science preceded technology.
let's try to unravel the word technology we'll have tech: technique and logy science. This comes back to the fact that the human race has developed and demonstrated intelligence, passing through the use of rights and then considered the use of tools to effectively accomplish its daily tasks, until seeking the why of things, which sounds the appearance of science....
and finally to use in symbiosis science and technology, which is the impressive technology that advances human beings
Best regards
16th Dec, 2018
Kamran Sharifi
Ferdowsi University Of Mashhad
Science and technology are so intertwined together that we could be hardly imagine them to be segregated. Methinks, technology has evolved long before the scientific methodology came to the scene. Ancient Egypt, Iranians, Helenic people etc., are well-known ancient societies in creating technologies. Much before them, when humans used stones to provide sufficient food for themselves, the first usage and creation of technology took place. Controlling the fire and the discovery of agriculture can be considered as the examples of existence of technology in their relevant period. Even some primates are able to make and use some instruments as technologies. No one could imagine that both primates and primitive humans are equipped with scientific thinking.
16th Dec, 2018
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
Hear, Hear
5th Jan, 2019
Dariusz Prokopowicz
Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw
Dear Sanjoy Datta,
An interesting question, a bit of a philosophical character. To resolve this issue, one should examine the definition of these concepts in the distant past when they began to appear as nw concepts or earlier, ie when their first uses occurred.
Best wishes
5th Jan, 2019
Reza Biria
Shahid Ashrafi Isfahani University -Isfahan- Iran
They both have a symbiotic relationship developing side by side. The history of technology has a considerable life span starting from time immemorial to the present ranging from the invention of tools and very simple techniques to more complex genetic engineering and information technology. More notably, science and technology are entwined and they are the two sides of the same coin.
1 Recommendation
5th Jan, 2019
Djaafar Zemali
El-Oued University
I think modern science supports modern technology, which means that science comes first.
19th Aug, 2019
Maurice Ekpenyong
University of Calabar
Yes, I agree with the tight mingling of science and technology but I do not agree with the presumed difficulty to separate the two. Science really existed long before technology. All the scientific explanations we give today had existed since creation, only that we did not come to the understanding early enough. Technology builds on science. Take for instance biodegradation and bioremediation. Microorganisms had from time immemorial conducted the science of degradation as a cardinal responsibility to return man and other organic matter to dust. Bioremediation, as a technology for cleaning up polluted sites, only exploits the inherent abilities of microbes to degrade organic pollutants, to decontaminate systems to the satisfaction of man.
1 Recommendation
11th Sep, 2019
Ingrid Del Valle García Carreño
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Science
IVGC
11th Sep, 2019
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
yes and dry wood had since time immemorial developed the science that if you rubbed sticks together it could start a fire, and flints had a separate scientific fire-starting development scientific philosophy. Moreover wood had, scientifically, planned that giving time it could branch out in developing wheels it is not, what every idiot thinks, that observation and experience, instead of theoretical science, played the major role. You can't be serious.
The first knowledge from the origin of man in the world were closely linked to his activity of material production, were empirical knowledge that did not reach the theoretical conclusions and generalizations, so at that stage it was not possible to talk about scientific practice. Today the existence of an old knowledge-generating activity is recognized, which had: a set of categories, a logic, that systematized and operated with rules and finally, theories that linked and structured the categories, very evident that in any case It was about theoretical thinking, however, as you propose, the first empirical technologies are developed, based on trial and error. Several authors have dabbled in these studies, I suggest you access the following materials.
2 Recommendations
11th Sep, 2019
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
Thank you I completely agree
2nd Sep, 2020
Bayan Khalaf
Arab American University
I think it is impossible to choose just one, both Science and Technology have the same degree of importance in our life.
10th Feb, 2021
Ehsan Barati
Brown University
It's simple. Without science, there is no technology.
Even the technology after Homosapiens was based on experiences and due to ancient scientists later on.
1 Recommendation
29th Dec, 2021
Alejandro Rodriguez-Garcia
Tecnológico de Monterrey
I totally agree with Manmatha Roul and Maurice Ekpenyong answers and reasoning. Both, Science and Technology are interrelated but science development permits technological advancing.
1 Recommendation
29th Dec, 2021
Douwe Verkuyl
CASA Klinieken, Leiden
I think a monkey that uses 2 stones to crack a nut uses technology, but not science which came much, much later than using 2 stones.
1 Recommendation
6th Jan, 2022
Barlin Olivares
University of Cordoba (Spain)
the dilemma, i think science came first
1 Recommendation
6th Jan, 2022
Orlando M Lourenço
University of Lisbon
In terms of what may be called the natural other of things, it seems that science was priori to technology. We can say that technology is applied science. From now onwards, we can say that science and technology became deeply intertwined in the sense that technology raises new problems to be solved by science in a kind of spiral that never ends.
1 Recommendation

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