Chapters 10, 11, and 12 discussed the era leading up to the first World War, and how the emergence of science played a part in it. Hobsbawm discussed how the masses found it hard to understand science, and how it was a completely new way of thinking for people because people believed everything stemmed from religion. In the western world, there was a sort of religious reform in which religion became less of a priority. This new change in thought also led to a new outlook of the world where people were looking for self betterment through education. Obviously, this lead to revolution. Advancements in science, math, medicine, and physics, along with new concepts were also being examined, such as psychology and sociology.
The chapter which focused on distancing of the layman was a really interesting reading, a really new concept to me. In our modern world, it is IMPOSSIBLE for somebody to be a ‘scientist’. Today, science, for example, is much too broad, and each individual field is so in-depth that even then a person has a specialization in that field. At the turn of the 20th century any educated person actually knew a lot about science. If I had been alive back then, having one year of chemistry in high school, I would have been considered ‘highly educated’ . Today, because anyone who specializes in chemistry goes through years of schooling, I basically know nothing. People knew less then than we do now.
Hobsbawn discussed how religion was being devalued at the time, and how the science process deviated from the typical teachings and practices of religion. Was it because of science people stopped practicing religion, or was it because of less religion that more science was developed? It is a question of what came first, the chicken or the egg?