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canticle for leibowitz

            In the book Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton very wisely states that, "Scientists are always preoccupied with accomplishment. So they are focused on whether they can do something. They never stop to ask if they should do something." The validity of this statement is very apparent in the novel A Canticle for Leibowitz, as well as in everyday life. A Canticle for Leibowitz is about the destruction and rebuilding of human society, and the inability of humans to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors. The novel is divided into three sections, each dealing with a different technological advancement and theme, and the consequences of it. Despite knowing about the nuclear bombings which destroyed their predecessors, the society in Canticle continues to push for scientific discoveries, regardless of their costs or implications. The novel clearly points out the follies of society which it is doomed to repeat if it does not learn from them. Society and the science of today are as egotistical and pride-driven as the society in Canticle, and already have started to make the same mistakes that doomed the people in A Canticle for Leibowitz.
             The first part of the novel, "Fiat Homo," shows humanity 600 years after the Flame Deluge. The Flame Deluge is the name given to the period of time when the vast majority of mankind was destroyed in A Canticle for Leibowitz through nuclear bombings. The Flame Deluge becomes (somewhat of) a biblical myth and shows what hate, strengthened by science-driven power, may lead to. According to the biblical myth, the leaders of the world received great engines of war from their wise men. The scientists who created the bombs and put them into the hands of the leaders realized the impact that the weapons would have if ever used, and in a futile effort to protect mankind, gave the leaders the following warning: "Only because the enemies have such a thing have we devised this for thee, in order that they may know that though hast it also, and fear to strike.

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