Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Science and Post-Science

(via Sridhar Bhaskarla)
/*Regarding science - I have no fight with modern science. But I refuse to grant it the position of the ONLY valid system. And I also refuse the demand that other systems, including ayurveda, need to be validated in its language.*/
Madam - very aptly said. In my childhood, I was an ardent believer. By mid-school, after knowing a bit of science, I became a non-believer. While doing physics in my PG and M.Phil, I realized how stupid I was to be a non-believer. Since then I have been agnostic.
Sometime back, in the office, I got engaged in a serious discussion that involved people from other religions who were rather insulting Hindu religion and its practices. I gave them only one example. You take our 'panchangam' and you can verify dates, days, eclipses, moon phases, sun-sets, sun-rises and say they are 'right' because you can use modern science to explain them. But you say rahu-kala, good muhurtha etc., computed using the same formula are superstitions because they are beyond the comprehension of modern science. So which is right and which is wrong?. They had no answer.
I saw few of your posts and facebook would be of no use to me, if I don't make friends with people like you.s
T.R. Shashwath Isn't the answer obvious? The observation is pretty much spot on, but the inference is bullshit...

I see people raising this argument almost always only when they want to continue a practice that has no provable benefit, and often one which is patently dangerous.
Sridhar Bhaskarla T.R. Shashwath It was me who sent that mail to her. Now please explain which inference is bullshit. Thank you.
T.R. Shashwath OK, the very idea that planetary configurations can be used to predict anything except tomorrow's planetary configurations. Neither stars nor planets affect our day-to-day lives, and there is neither empirical evidence nor a workable hypothesis to suggest that they do.
Aparna Krishnan Things are proved, disproved and unproved. Today the humility to accept the third category seems lacking. Something to do with modern scientific education, where what cannot be seen in the lab microscope does not exist !
T.R. Shashwath On the other hand, I think that purely as a means of recording and tracking time, luni-solar approaches like the Panchangas are way better than purely lunar (the Islamic calendar) or purely solar (Gregorian) systems. With these systems, it becomes possible to maintain some kind of parity with the cardinal points of the year - solstices and equinoxes, and it's also possible to easily compute the day of the year purely by observation of the sky. In a society without accurate timekeeping systems, this is brilliant.
T.R. Shashwath Aparna Krishnan There are many unproved things floating around in modern science - string theory is one such, and until recently, so was the Higgs Boson, for example.

However, what science does do is to say that if something is disproved, you can't keep latching back onto it. Astrology is an example of something that's been completely disproved, both by increasing knowledge of how astronomical bodies work, and by empirical means. Another is homeopathy, which has been disproved in exactly the same way. At this point, it's time to put these to rest.

Things unproved would include the efficacy of certain Ayurvedic and other traditional medicines (though others are disproved, like rhino horn preparations in traditional Chinese medicine), or, well, the existence of god (though there are certain atheists...)
Sridhar Bhaskarla T.R. Shashwath /*people raising this argument almost always only when they want to continue a practice*/ This is the inference that is to be termed in the same lingo you used. I don't follow muhurthas and mudas, but I don't vehemently abuse it because I don't have the ability to judge. People confuse technical systems with irrational customs. BTW, the inference I intended to give out was not to believe superstitions, but to start thinking beyond the paradigm created by modern science. Modern science assumes certain fundamental natural laws (based on observation again) and then build on top of them. It is not averse to oops factor either and hence the versions like modern physics emanate. More than the constraints, this modern science seems to be giving people a kind of haughty and supercilious attitude which is more dangerous.

Aparna Krishnan Madam - Even science got stuck with microscope part and Heisenberg had to come up with the uncertainty principle.

T.R. Shashwath I had seen enough Ayurveda in my life and we never went to English doctor until our family ayurvedic doctor (Tarakaturi Achari of Machilipatnam) passed away at the age of more than 100. His hospital was always filled with patients and he would cure many diseases that would otherwise take a very long time to cure if not not cured by allopathy at all. He was treating dreadful deseases like cancer, brain tumour etc., with ease. Just one small pill a day is enough for a diabetic person to eat as he likes like a normal being. Tonsils would disappear forever in a week's time. Now how do we make such Ayurveda to be *scientifically* proven?. Subject those drugs to lab tests and come out with the results?. In deed, do we need to?

I still remember UK terming Yoga as as unscientific sometime back. Now it is a world-wide phenomenon. Unfortunately Ayurveda is dying with people like Tarakaturi Achari. Soon it will disappear and remain as one of the superstitions.

The test that stands ahead of any test is the 'time test'. Practices like Ayurveda, Yoga etc., were followed for many centuries with 'proven' results. It is good to be proven by modern science, but not must, just like mechanics of quantum particles cannot be proven by Newton’s laws of motion. Hence I appreciated Aparna Krishnan's post earlier.
AV Gopalakrishnan You are right Sir.
Palanivelu Rangasamy Any path is OK as long as it helps me to become really humane. Without this inner transformation happening, sheer adherence to any faith or ideology has no meaning. Anything is really beneficial to me only when it sets me on the path of becoming unblemished.
Ravi Kumar · Friends with Sridhar Bhaskarla
Dear Shashwath, Our modern science literally failed to produce single piece of Wood Iron, where in this technology was available to our Tribal people in Ancient days.

Ability to accept/digest truth varies from person to person.

Astrology not proven ?

I rest my case.
Ravi Kumar · Friends with Sridhar Bhaskarla
Am sure you might have heard of all scientists and scholars discussed in this article.

Aparna Krishnan Again, why should we treat their words as weighty. We will stand on our people's science and our people's beliefs on its own strength. Einstient can validate his quantum physics. We will validate our knowlege. Otherwise we are in the same model that admires the western man and western science as the last word.
Ravi Kumar · Friends with Sridhar Bhaskarla
You know the reason why Australia is inhabited only in South East and some other parts in shores, but major part of its land is not fit to live ?
Ganesh Krishnamurthy Because the rest of the Australia is a desert?
Ravi Kumar · Friends with Sridhar Bhaskarla
There are many videos available on Dr Hegde.

Business interest makes them to insult Ancient science. So that they can market their product 10 times more the actual cost and they keep looting public.
Ravi Kumar · Friends with Sridhar Bhaskarla
Aparna Krishnan. Researchers say Australia was Astralaya
Jagannath Chatterjee In an important workshop on predicting climate change the experts said it was exceedingly difficult to predict the climate using existing models. At this the local Met Dept chief said , no worries I have the Panchang!

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