Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Sometime back a rationalist was killed in Maharashtra (Indian State) for educating people about the truth of witchcraft. We had a discussion on the subject on an online news website. There while supporting the rational way of doing things, I condemned the killing of the rationalist. Then a leader of a fundamental party which sadly supported the killing read it, came to know who I was ( and the people monitoring the discussion on the website later changed my identity to protect me!) attacked me and said: 'You scientists believe in aliens. Likewise we believe in ghosts and witch craft. There is no difference between us!'
I was surprised. People don't know the difference between baseless beliefs and informed imagination!
If I don't make things clear here and now people might again say the two are one and the same!
Okay, we know (or at least we think we know) how living beings originated on Earth. We know the factors that are responsible for the origin of life and sustaining it. We know how evolution helped in intelligent beings coming into existence. Based on this information, we can guess how life might originate and evolve on other planets in 'other solar systems' of the universe. We can also imagine how these life forms could evolve into intelligent beings that could travel across the universe or at least communicate with other intelligent life existing in the other parts of the universe. This theory of alien existence is just an imagination or a guess work based on our knowledge about life. Not a 'belief'.
Now coming to ghosts. Read here and here how these stories on ghosts take root and spread. There simply is no solid evidence to say ghosts exist like we have evidence to say intelligent beings exist in certain conditions ( we are the very proof of such beings!). That is why we call them baseless beliefs. They are imaginations alright but not based on reality unlike imagination on aliens. There is a heck of a difference between the two and one cannot compare one with the other! Comparing scientists informed imagination and educated guess work based on evidence and reality with a layman's blind beliefs is highly irrelevant way of doing things just to support your crimes against humanity!