1867 Dynamite

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Alfred Nobel chemistry


Engines of invention

Engines of war

Alfred Nobel’s motivations are more admirable than his legacy, not counting his money for funding annual prizes. His explosives did not lead to peace. I am not sympathetic to the assertion that availabilty of the weapon is not to blame. You give an angry man a gun and he can hurt someone; give him a wet noodle and he can hurt fewer people. With or without Nobel’s inventions, we would continue to fight wars, but they helped killed more people sooner.

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