Desmond Bernal was debating this issue way back in 1954. The scientific advances of the Industrial Revolution underlay the Victorian Doctrine of Progress. After two horrific world wars that doctrine was no longer in vogue:
” It is certainly not so now, in these grim and anxious days, when the power that science can give is seen to be more immediately capable of wiping out civilization and even life itself from the planet than of assuring an uninterrupted progress in the arts of peace”.
J. D. Bernal, Science in History (1954)