Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pop Rationalism

There is a magazine called Savvy ... Its supposed to be a women's magazine. No, the audience doesnt matter, nor am I trying to say that its a girlie mag or anything of the kind. The only reason I am writing about this is an article ... Its an interview with rationalist Prabhakar Nanawaty, who is talking about Regression Therapy.

Mr. Nanawaty has a quaint, and old fashioned way of debunking things ... To quote the gentleman ...

The experts in the hypnotic 'regression' are of the opinion that hypnosis may implant erroneous memories.

Point taken, Mr. Nanawaty. But, the question I would have is ... Why is it that the so-called 'scientific' method relies so much on presence rather than absence? For example, the scientific method insists on the presence of proof for existence rather than presence of proof for non-existence. Why is this? If you have not been able to prove the existence of ghosts, nor have you been able to dis-prove it. So, why should we take the scientific method, one way or the other? To take the scientific method ... This does not have a positive for the absolute zero temperature. This is defined as the temperature where all atomic motion comes to a halt. In other words, cold is the absence of heat, not a stte by itself.

Given this kind of a scenario, it might be nice if the scientific minded people in the world were to consider their viewpoint, rather than trying to rubbish anything which they cant prove. It might be a commentary on their proving capabilities rather than on the existence of the phenomenon. And, they may do the wise thing, and remember Albert Einstein ...

Every generation commits the mistake of assuming the finality of their knowledge.


Nanawaty said...

Dear Atul,
Your choice of the word Pop Ratinalism is it self appears to be not correct. Rationalism will never become popular as long as preposterous propositions are made under the name of religion, tradition and culture.
Scientists try to take as little for granted as possible. They are constantly asking how we know whether something is true, and whether alternative explanation is possible.Scientists try to probe the uncertainties faced by the human beings and try to relate the cause and effect by observations, repeated experiemntations and amending the hypothesis and again proof and experiements... The cycle goes on repeating. Scientists do not want any subjective conclusions based on one individual's experience. He needs a proof. If you don't go into depth of the matter, there are cheaters and charltons who will take advantage of your innocence and ignorance. The shear laziness and emotional involvement are not the answers. Unless there is a clear cut evidence they will not stop their experiements and the search for the truth goes on and on forever. Hypothesis of existence of God or Ghost is thus a subject of study by scientists and this will be refuted by the scientists in due course.
I did not understand how a scientist can make a comment on non- existing thing because no body knows about it unless one imagines it!

Prabhakr Nanawaty

Atul said...

My point exactly, Sir. And, I agree with your observations here. But, what I am trying to say is that while there are certain things that Science knows (or shall I say, the current state of scientific knowledge is aware of), there are yet others which we may not be aware of. As you rightly said, there are things for which we dont yet have scientific proof, one way or the other. All I am asking here, is that till such a time as we have proof, let us not debunk theories. God, to me, shall always remain about personal Faith. But, other phenomenon, while eluding proof at the moment, may not be so, in the future. So, let us not negate them just because we cannot affirm them.

To add to this, let us also understand that all that we see may or may not be. There was an article in the Guradian, about how scientists have been able to induce out of body experience in a laboratory setting. What this points to is, that what we see may not always be, and what is, we may not always be able to see. Or, take the instance of research on the bionic eye. People without sight being able to see. What this points to is that there are, at times, things which are beyond the scope of our reasoning. There was an article (I cant seem to find the link to that), about the Universe expanding from the Big Bang singularity at speed greater than the speed of light. THis, and other experiments have brought out facts which show that the constant c is not unbreakable.

Which is why, all i ask for is an open mind, both ways! Nothing more is what I request.