According to Harari, science, empire and capitalism are linked through one common goal. This goal can change, whether it’s to conquer more land, to gain more knowledge, or to better the economy, but the theme of this goal is always growth. Although scientists are usually posing experiments out of their own fascination, the government is typically the true decider of which studies get the funding. All scientific projects are expensive so they need to be selective about where to put the money, and they typically make this selection based off of what they will benefit from the most, whether that be cures for diseases or research that could be used to help the military. Harari mentions many examples of this in these chapters but one of the ones that stood out to me was James Lind and James Cook’s expedition mentioned on pages 276 and 277. The “point” of this expedition was to send out astronomers to determine the precise distance of Earth from the sun, but along with these astronomers many botanists and military persons joined the voyage. Ultimately, “the Cook expedition laid the foundation for the British occupation of the south-western Pacific Ocean…the conquest of Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand…the settlement of millions of Europeans in the new colonies…and for the extermination of their native cultures and most of their native populations” (Harari 277).
Harari argues that the want for new knowledge is tied to the want for more money. He believes that knowledge will help solve all of our problems, including bettering the economy. He argues that this is how progress is made. I can definitely see where Harari gets his arguments from and I believe I support him on this. All knowledge is good knowledge, I believe learning in general is what makes us grow and progress no matter what, but I think we need knowledge in all departments, not just in ways to gain more money and better our economy. These things are important if we wish to continue to grow as a society, but I believe that discovering new things about the world around us and about how organisms function and interact is equally as important. Although at this point it’d be nearly impossible to gain knowledge without this behind the scenes agenda, because it is true that all of these experiments cost money, it would be amazing if we could explore as we wished.