The relation between ancient science and ancient technology is identical to the relation between modern science and modern technology. Tools, whether invented by a homo erectus, an ancient Egyptian, or a Medieval artisan, are as science-based as the laser used in LASEK; and they are as much a part of technology as cruise missiles and power plants. Knife, at the time of its invention in the Bronze Age, required as much cutting-edge (no pun intended!) science as laser did a few decades ago. And as it was built to replace the old Stone-Age sharp stones, knife was as end-specific as a nuclear power plant, a cruise missile, or a linear accelerator: it was meant to kill and cut with, not to cook with!
A nuclear power plant is a “tool” that uses the abstract principles of physics – such as E=mc2 – to produce electricity for consumption. It comes out of a branch of technology, and, therefore, it is not science! A cruise missile is nothing but a glorified gun. It is a destructive power which was developed with the clear intention of annihilating buildings and human beings. We can blame science for its production as much as we can blame arithmetic for the production of simple “war” machines of 2000 years ago such as catapults.
A linear accelerator is of a completely different nature. Although a substantial amount of advanced technology is used in its construction, it is not designed to produce anything for human consumption, and certainly not for his annihilation. It is a machine that probes the structure of matter to a deeper and deeper level. One can say that it is a huge microscope capable of “seeing” subatomic particles. Why the author puts linear accelerators alongside power plants and cruise missiles is unclear.
The complexity of both modern technology and modern science has caused many critics, unfamiliar with either, to confuse the two, equate science with technology and assign “value” to both. The preceding discussion has shown that while technology is loaded with value, science is completely value-free.