Friday, 17 June 2016

FB Discussions ... IIT and Science and Cabbages.(1)

Aparna Krishnan And IIT students claimed a far higher government subsidy than other colleges, and majority packed away abroad, defaulting on this debt to a poor mother country. Thereby their moral stature imo is overall more compromised.
Srividhya Subramony i sometimes seriously think that there has to be way of collecting back the subsidy offered to them after they graduate and start work
Shyamala Sanyal Not just the subsidy but some continuing return too
Narayana Sarma No need to worry anymore. From next year on fees at IITs are going to be one and a half lakhs per semester. Move on to a new era where IITs become self financing institutions. A move so you won't ever feel guilty later. smile emoticon 
Aparna Krishnan The support a poor country gives thus goes far beyond the money ma. The dreams of the country are invested in them, at the cost of support that otherwise needed to be given to desperate villages. They need to return the debt with sweat and tears and loyalty to the nation that nurtured them. Otherwise let them keep the money as a gift from a poor country that they demanded and took !
T.R. Shashwath All this raises the question - what exactly do you think is "modern" science, and how does it differ from "ancient" science?

To my mind, "science" implies a rational and skeptical outlook. It's the scientific method that is important, not mumbo jumbo.
Aparna Krishnan well. if snake bites respond to mantrams, then mantrams work. if not, otherwise. period. yes, all verification needs to be done.
T.R. Shashwath Here's the thing; once verification is done, you're not allowed to say "but it worked for me" - you need to look at the preponderance of data.

And the mechanism of verification is important too - you can't just say "somebody knows somebody". It has to be a proper study. If possible, double-blind.

Under those parameters, my hypothesis is that your mantrams will not survive. But those are the only parameters that are worth talking about.
Balachander Swaminathan In the modern world, 'scientific' seems to be what is defined in publication of four publishers...Elsevier, Springer, ACS and ... (one more which I forget).... who publish more than 90% of what is considered scientific publishings....I would never be willing to swear by anything that is controlled by such a small group... Also to all people who swear by what has been taught to us as 'scientific' I like to point to this essay by venki,, where the difference between 'small truth' and 'greater truth' and 'convergent' and 'divergent' problems is explored.... It helps clear our head around the fact that a fixed set of processes and metrics cannot be used to measure everything else.... and if that is used, all other systems would always be found wanting.... example... if instead of short term yield, we were to use 'inches of top soil created' as the metric for agri productivity, where would the 'published studies' on chemical based farming stand?... and with new topsoil created we may even have better yield and nutrition over the long term... Once we marry ourself to fixed metrics like double-blind peer review (and having been involved in research i fully understand how non water-tight those processes are), we constrain our ability to understand what is beyond the boundaries of that system.... and thats what I believe is the main problem with people who swear by allopathy and can't accept other forms of healing... Disclaimer: I have, for several years used both, allopathy and homeopathy and both have worked for me... homeopathy with no side effects.... so now homeopathy is the first line of defence for me and it works 95% of the time... and for the other 5% I'm happy to try out allopathy or anything else
Nitesh Bhasker Agree. The opposition to homeopathy by the scientific community is merely based on its emphasis that a dilution containing no molecule of the active substance is impossible to have any effect and that it works on the placebo effect. If that had been tr...See More
Senthil Sundaram The opposition to Homeopathy is not just based on the "dilution" effect. There have been multiple double blind studies done which proved that Homeopathy is not any more effective than placebo. You can find results of one such study here ...See More 
Nitesh Bhasker The scientific community and those who follow it dogmatically suffer from an arrogance rooting from a tendency to apply all of its theories and methods universally. Cognizant of the fact that even in terms of their strict and pure methodology they have not reached omniscience, they are disdainful of disciplines that in contemporary times appear lower in status to them. Hence they are ever-ready to launch misinformed offensives. For example the offensive to put homeopathy to scientific trial by 'double blind placebo trials' is not fair to the discipline merely because homeopathic medicines are based on an individual’s profiles and his overall symptoms. Hence merely detailing a list of medicines for a particular aliment and prescribing it in any manner may not produce a result. Homeopathic medicines do not work like other active substances and largely they try to trigger a response in the patient. Once an individual begins responding, he tends to get habituated to that remedy and the response diminishes. Hence homeopaths tend to lower the frequency of the remedy and increase its potency. Other methods specific to their knowledge of the discipline are also applied which does not correspond to conventional scientific thought or may appear absurd to those outside the discipline. Responses vary according to individuals and treatment method. Hence to put a discipline to trial by methods specific to another may be a bogus method of analyzing the true potential of the same. Those who view homeopathy from their scientific perspective tend to be looking for the active ingredient. That will always remain an elusive mystery to them because many homeopathic medicines in its undiluted form do not work for specific functional and chronic disorders but only the higher dilutions do. It is indeed possible to tell whether a particular system of medicine is effective by considering the individual’s experience because it is the individual who presents with certain symtoms and he is who has to be treated. What use is a particular system extremely particular and pure in classification of diseases and its diagnosis when all it seeks to achieve is to establish itself over all others, position itself to be supreme and not treat the individual. Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-allergics, and all other anti…s many times alleviate only the symptoms and does not eliminate the underlying disorders. So should they be considered fraud and said to only fool patients. ? Should that be a criteria to determine the potential and efficacy of conventional medical science. ? It’s like saying treat me with respect else I shall put you to double blind placebo trials. In any case for the individual a particular system, whether legitimized or delegitimized, will be considered useful if it treats him. Homeopathy has therefore withstood assaults by modern medical practitioners for two centuries and its popularity remains intact. I am neither a practitioner, nor a proponent of homeopathy, but have merely replied to your above comment.

Senthil Sundaram Thanks for your response Nitesh. I am not biased towards Homeopathy or Allopathy and I am merely trying to understand using the tools that I know of. 

You have indeed brought up a good argument that Homeopathy uniquely treats the individual rather than the disease. Therefore the double blind trials are not an appropriate way to measure Homeopathy's efficacy. This is a valid argument, but then to prove Homeopathy's efficacy, one has to do an elaborate survey that is quite hard to pull off. Selective individual experiences do not suffice. One has to look at all the successful and failure cases in real life Homeopathic treatments and come to a conclusion. I wish there was a study like that. Till then such doubts and questions will linger. 

Let us not bring Allopathy into the discussion. This is not about Allopathy vs Homeopathy.

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