Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Q: In light of a proposed Anti-Superstition Bill, how can we separate traditional rituals and superstitions? http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/do-we-need-an-anti-superstiti....
Krishna: Traditional rituals can be superstitious! Like sacrificing animals in some temples to appease the so called Gods and Goddesses to get good luck or bountiful rains.
We have to use our critical thinking skills to learn and distinguish between culture and traditions based on irrationality and rational thoughts. What worries us the most is people are using pseudo-science to authenticate baseless beliefs and argue that they are not superstitious. And man on the street cannot clearly see what is what!
As long as traditions and culture don’t harm the societies we live in, we can tolerate them. The moment they cross the line, it is time to discord the ones that cause suffering.
All irrational beliefs, irrespective of their origins, must be discarded. We don’t want any exceptions.
Call the critical thinkers!
But laws cannot change the mind sets of people! Educate them in the right way to get them on the right track.
Q: What was your "I am surrounded by idiots" moment?
Krishna : I feel at least once in a day that I am in the 'wrong company'. I think I would go insane if I stayed with people of silly ‘strange ideas’, ‘scientific explanations’, ‘knowledge’ , ‘expertise’ and ‘advises’. Run away moments. Total isolation moments.
But wait. I have to deal with them as long as I live in this world. I try to ‘tell’ them what they think they know is ‘pseudo-thing’. Some listen, some don’t. Some try to ‘counter’ my knowledge and the science I know. ‘Where are my ear plugs?’ moments.
I run … run … until I reach my home, close the doors, sit before my PC and my ‘lecturing the world’ moments begin!
Now you know why scientists prefer fort like labs!
Did I hear Somebody say - ‘Scientists have to deal with protons, neutrons and electrons in their labs. But they very often have to deal with morons when they come out of their work places’? moments!
But I can't blame people for all this. I feel bad and sad when I think that most others didn't get the chance I got to learn and think critically about things and situations like I do.
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Q: How has religion affected the human tendency to be curious and know about the world?
Krishna: During the pre-scientific era, when people don’t know how to go about learning about the facts that run this universe, when they wanted some kind of theory which could explain all this, they thought about explanations and theories which gradually led into beliefs. These beliefs, which were influenced by the times they lived in i.e., non-scientific reasoning, were products of constant fear of the unknown. Instead of taking on the fear head on and finding permanent solutions, they just escaped into the world of false beliefs that gave them temporary relief. In a world where people clutch at all kinds of straws to make some sense of the madness around them, truth can never be found. Instead of analyzing, examining and understanding why something happens and how it should be handled, they tried shortcuts by bringing unknown and untested factors to interpret things! These beliefs divided people because each person had a different set of experiences and those in turn influenced their explanations and the resultant beliefs based on their mental makeup and situations and not on one truth. That's how different beliefs - both religious and non-religious - originated.
Then people were curious alright but highly incapable of finding the facts because of lack of knowledge and ways to acquire and accumulate it. They were imaginative and creative and so several stories originated. People had no choice too and therefore believed everything they came across and their fears took refuge in.
This restricted their thinking process too because they had no facts to direct their critical analysis and therefore, their progress. Minds were narrowed down alarmingly. People thought they had all the answers about the world. “God of Gaps” - became the mode of explanation.
Unless we come out of such primitive mind matters, we can’t move forward much now too.
Q:During my school and college days there were a lot of atheists in my class.Now, all youngsters are believers of God. Do you think that this is a good change?
Krishna: This shows that we are in uncertain times and people are highly confused about themselves and their future.
I read an absorbing research paper on this sometime back and wrote on it too. The study was done on fishermen.
When Trobriand (in South Pacific)Islanders went fishing their behavior changed, depending on where they fished. When they fished close to shore—where the waters were calm, the fishing was consistent, and the risk of disaster was low—superstitious behavior among them was nearly nonexistent. But when the fishermen sailed for open seas—where they were far more vulnerable and their prospects far less certain—their behavior shifted. They became very superstitious, often engaging in elaborate religious rituals to ensure success. In other words, a low sense of control had produced a high need for superstition and belief. One, in effect, substituted for the other.
Q: What was the turning point of your life that changed you completely?
Krishna: Getting a Ph.D. in science. It changed my whole perspective of the universe and life!
Like they say - a mind that is expanded by knowledge can never go back to its original size again. It sees the world in a new light, puts it into a new equation mode, generates wonderful feelings, makes you confident, strong, free and takes you up and up!
You have to experience this to really understand how it can change you into a whole new person!
Q: Is it true that having dimple on the cheek is the sign of luck?
Krishna: It is not a sign of luck. There are no signs of luck in the first place. Whatever you think about luck is just your perception. That is all and doesn’t effect your condition or situation much except for giving a psychological boost if you believe in lucky things.
Q: Does luck play a key role in success?
‘Luck’ is an excuse given by people who lost control over the situations they are in
Somebody:"There are certain things and parts where human efforts are of no use "
Krishna: Not true!
Somebody: ‘’On the day of exam, you get typhoid and you we're sure to Ace in it what will u you do’’
Krishna: You can take precautions before your exams and avoid falling sick with typhoid. I am a microbiologist and I know for sure how to hoodwink these microbes.
Somebody: ‘’You get struck on 3hour traffic’’
Krishna: You can start early to avoid traffic.
When you are careless , you start blaming your luck! Hmmm!
A few might even outright eat their mutated or smallest babies (like hamsters, where the "runts" get eaten by mom if you don't separate them quickly), or just not feed them. Sometimes the babies compete and eat each other (like sharks in a womb in those species that give live birth... yes carnivorous fetuses). Other times, the animals need not do anything. A malformed animal in nature will die. It can't compete for food (be it accessing a mammal mom's teat or hunting on its own), or escape predators well. If it does survive, it will never find a mate. Albino peacocks, deer with tiny horns, stag beetles with tiny jaws... yes, these are all males, but in each case they usually cannot attract a female as they are. The mutation dies with them.
Some animals will kill malformed babies, even if -to our eyes- they look perfectly fine. Dogs and other canids, cats and other felines, hamsters and other rodents, and birds will more often than not kill any sick offspring so as not to waste time and resources raising it, taking away from the healthy offspring. This is why these animals also tend to have big litters: if one dies, there’s four others to take its place and carry on with the species.
Some animals simply abandon the malformed baby or scare it off, such as horses, gazelles, and buffalo. This is because these animals are prey animals, so the mother cannot stay in the birthspot for too long, or predators will smell her and come for a meal. If the foal or calf cannot stand about 10–15 minutes after birth, the mother will move on and the baby will starve or be hunted.
Some other animals might try to raise the malformed baby, such as domestic cows, elephants, most apes, and other animals which tend to have only one baby after a relatively long gestation period. Even if it doesn’t make it to adulthood, they spent so much time gestating the baby that they absolutely must try to raise it. These animals often die victims of predators (in the case of malformed limbs) or starvation (for animals with cleft palates).
No number is unlucky. It just is a superstition that some numbers are unlucky. Like other superstitions people follow, they give several explanations and stories. People who have weak minds and cannot control the situations in their lives believe in them and follow them to get a psychological boost. That’s all!
Q: Don't you think your body has a vital role to play when it comes to your confidence level?
Krishna: My mind has a vital role in having a confident life - not my physical features. Tremendous knowledge and the capability to analyse things critically makes you highly confident permanently.
Health plays a role to some extent. If you are strong mentally, you can overcome your health issues too.
If you depend on physical features for your confidence, as soon as you find them going weak or turning old or showing flaws, you lose your confidence. This type of dependence on body for confidence is temporary.
Q: Why is getting a haircut on a Thursday considered a bad omen in India?
Krishna: Some say it is Tuesdays that are bad to have a hair-cut! Most of the barber shops will be closed on Tuesdays here. I, therefore, specifically cut my hair on Tuesdays to prove the superstitious wrong!
There will be no rational reasons behind irrational thoughts. Some try to relate unrelated things when they lose control over things in their lives and blame everything else that is not related to the circumstance instead of their weaknesses.
Give me a superstition, I will try my best to break it. Give me an irrational belief and will prove it wrong. Guys, come out of these backward mind games. Become strong and rational. Gain full control over your lives.
Q: When it comes to God, why is the burden of proof on believers?
Krishna: Well, if you imagine something and claim your imagination is true, how can you ask somebody else to prove it? You have to prove it yourself to get authentication. If you can’t do that why should others - who can’t imagine what you could - do that?
It is your baby, when you conceived it, you cannot ask others to nurture it and bring it up!
Almost all children fear this situation. Losing loving and caring parents is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.
And it has happened to me too. I lost both my parents but the training they gave me while they were living with me and the tremendous confidence I got because of my education, knowledge, critical thinking capabilities that ‘re obtained during my science training stood by me during the most trying times in my life.
It is not religion, God or prayers that made me strong. It is this …
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And don’t worry, your parents just want to make you a responsible person and that is why, they say that. Become a responsible person by learning what they want you to learn. You will gain confidence. All your fears will melt away!Q: What are the benefits of being alone/having no friends? Krishna : I have lots of friends and relatives. But I prefer isolation! Why? Because… My creativity needs total isolation. It is perfectly alright to hav...
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Q: What is your perspective of life after death?
Krishna: Nothing. You just cease to exist after death. Your body decomposes and the atoms and energy that it constituted is re-cycled. Period.
Q: What should I do to remain isolated and socially unaffected?
Read, think, write, paint, play and work like mad. You will forget all about the world!
People will say whatever they want, but insulate yourself with critical thinking and the right analysis of the deeds you do. You won’t get effected socially at all.Q: Rightly speaking to what extent may we genuinely rely on astrology?
Q: How can we make the world more positive?
Krishna: Let us make it more realistic. That would be better than illusionary positiveness because being realistic makes one more strong.
Q: Why does a genuine astrologer say we should not show our horoscope chart to everyone?
Krishna: Because they are afraid they would be exposed by critical analysis! Like this: Debate between scientists and people who practice pseudo-science - ...Q: What does it feel like to experience a paranormal activity?