SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Dr. Krishna, I deeply felt sorrow when I read about a three month old baby girl getting raped. Do babies remember what happened to them when they were very young when they grow up? People say they don't. Is this true?

Krishna: Babies have a nervous system and feel a lot of pain. They suffer.

Babies do feel pain, they react to it with high levels of stress, and they can die from it. The pain can also lead to somatic changes. Babies can ‘remember traumatic experiences’.

The underlying biopsychosocial changes seen in young children because of pain and trauma are indeed comparable to those seen in older children and adults.

Very young children show symptoms of reexperiencing the trauma that are highly reminiscent of what is seen in older children and adults: repeated nightmares, distress at exposure to reminders of the trauma, and episodes with features of flashbacks or dissociation.

There is evidence not only that very young children and babies can experience and encode trauma when it occurs but also that they are capable of reexperiencing it after the event via affective and somatic representation.

There is evidence of episodic memory by two months and of intentionality by five months. Remembering an event trauma would seem to require the capacity to form episodic memories. Explicit, episodic memory is quite different from procedural learning; the experimental standard for it is the one-trial, rapid learning of a scene. This is where the change in our general understanding of cognitive development comes in. It now appears that a kernel of episodic memory, or rather of the capacity to form episodic memories, may be available from the beginning of life and may develop simultaneously with procedural memory. Babies were able to learn the task they had been exposed to more rapidly than tasks they had not been exposed to. We can think of this as a kind of one-shot learning: the specific experience, being novel and then going unrepeated, has clearly been encoded in some fashion. It is rather like not touching a hot stove twice; one touch is potentially enough, even without a mother’s warning. Babies clearly have this capacity, and they have it by six months.

From a clinical perspective, the question would seem to be whether there is any evidence of memory for painful or stressful events in the first days of life. If neonates have a “kernel” of episodic memory of neutral content even from the first days of life, we might expect that aversive stimuli would have even more of a chance of being remembered, and of serving as the basis for an emotional memory , that is, traumatic events would be expected to have greater emotional salience for very young infants than would neutral stimuli.

Examples were also given in the first paper whose link 's given below. Young children, even babies, “remember traumatic events in their bodies” with increases in stress hormones such as cortisol. Among the negative behaviors caused by traumatic events in children are temper tantrums, developmental delays, regression, unsociability, and violence. 

If people say babies don’t remember pain and trauma, it is their ignorance. 

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/...

Babies Can Remember Traumatic Events for Years

Q: I used your  scientific thinking   methods and succeeded in  not reacting in an angry way to every negative situation I face. Thank you for that. Are there more advantages to it I can benefit from?

Krishna: Yes, lots of them. It makes you perceive a situation realistically and correctly. Scientific thinking slows down jumping to prejudiced conclusions and using excessive wishful thinking. It makes you wake up to reality and strengthens your mind permanently. This thinking teaches us not react too emotionally to, say, disappointments and proposes we should try and understand what went wrong and why.

It makes you understand what is truth and what is fiction, how to differentiate between them and how to avoid falling prey to cheaters. 

It also teaches how to live a healthy and satisfied life.

Scientific thinking changes you as a person and this in turn changes the world around you in a way  you can't even imagine!

Q: What do you call the psychological condition when someone thinks that his/her opinion is the only valid one and everyone should accept it? I am interested in scientific terminology, not some popular statements.  

When you are talking of science, a valid theory or an evidence based statement carries more weight. When you say the Earth is a sphere or an oblate spheroid and show evidence, everyone should accept it. If you still say it is flat and that scientists are trying to ‘impose’ their ‘opinion’ on you, you would be treated as a ‘moron’, not the scientists.

On the other hand if you think and say ‘women are inferior to men’ and try to make others around accept it forcefully and try to change them, you would be treated as a person with a ‘personality disorder’.

Q: Can an animal of one species have sex with another animal of another species?

Krishna: Yes. But such acts don't produce a fertile offspring.

Q: Why can't scientists be unbiased towards vaccine's real impacts?

Krishna: Unbiased analysis: Real impact is saving billions of people from deadly diseases. There might be some side effects which are rare and treatable, which are less impactful and therefore ignorable when we deal with the larger picture.

You won't get a more neutral analysis. Period.

Vaccine woes

Q: Don't you think the scientific community is limited by its senses and perceptions to understand the physical world?

Krishna: NO!

When we invented telescopes and microscopes to view a world beyond our senses we dissolved those boundaries. 

To check the perception biases we found scientific methods and methodology.

The way we conquered our frontiers and marching forward despite our inadequacies shows  'impossible is not a word of science'. It has no place in our world.

Q: Scientists believed in flat earth for many decades in earlier centuries before they have realized that earth is actually a sphere.

Scientists believed in JJ Thomson's model, then rejected it and next believed in Rutherford model, then Bohr's model, then Quantum mechanics Relativity, etc…

We all believed in Newton's laws of gravity which is proved science with vast applications and was taught and is being taught in many schools.

But now a days scientists say that there is no actual gravitational forces but is ia just a consequence of space time curvature, meaning it's actually a limited understanding of general relativity with a wrong approach.

So our belief doesn't affect what's true scientifically and what science says is also true just until another theory comes and proves this wrong. Now say is really science that reliable that whatever it says is true???

This blind faith on science or observations or theories is itself a wrong notion of thought process. Don't you agree?

Krishna: Scientists never said Earth was flat.

''What science says is true just until another theory comes and proves this wrong''

Yes, we understand that. Science progresses by improving on old concepts and theories. What we have now is evidence based best models. If somebody improves on that that is really good. What you have said is true when in earlier centuries with limited equipment and understanding, we formed those theories. As we progressed we realized our mistakes and corrected them. 

That doesn't mean science will be wrong always. Science isn't wrong. It is our perceptions that are wrong. Scientific knowledge   can become misleading only when our limitations makes it difficult things to understand in the right way.

Science never asks us to have a blind faith in it. But we think, scientific way is the best to understand the universe. Other alternatives are worse.

Q: How can drugs cause spiritual awakening? Can I use them for my spiritual awakening?

Krishna: They can't! Don't use them. 

Can you conquer your ego with drugs? 

Can you understand universal brotherhood by using drugs? 

Can you understand the meaning of life by using drugs?

Can you understand the working of universe by using drugs?

You can't do any of these things, you can't even think properly when you use drugs!  

 Drugs impact on the nervous system in a profound way, they also affect subtle bodies and states of consciousness immensely. The changes in states of consciousness caused by drugs are the reason for their widespread recreational use and provide many users with different perspectives on the World. Many of the feelings encountered through drug use are very similar to states of consciousness achieved by spiritual seekers and meditators throughout the World. States that we feel in between lives while exploring higher dimensions can be synthetically created with the right mixture of chemicals.

Drugs make you hallucinate. That's all! They don't provide a clear understanding to take you to a higher state of consciousness. The end result is a more chaotic and dangerous.  These dangers run along side the physical damage that can be caused to the brain, nervous system, internal organs and glands.

Ecstasy is probably the worst drug of all when it comes to physical brain damage. As it releases huge amounts of serotonin from serotonin neurons it actually destroys the neurons. This destruction can be very quick and the implications are massive. Keep on taking ecstasy and pretty soon you will have very few serotonin circuits left and you are destined for depression. 

All street drugs have the potential to cause serious problems but the danger is far greater for certain people depending on how their subtle bodies are structured.

People taking drugs are found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to studies conducted into the effects of the drugs.

Stating that ‘a higher state of consciousness’ can be obtained with drug abuse is mystical nonsense. 

 Spiritual insight or wisdom gain doesn't happen that way.

Don't take the drugs. It is a disastrous way to go the spiritual way.

Q: Do you believe in scientific method? Why or why not?

Q: How can geniuses, smarter people and scientists understand difficult concepts?

Krishna: Scientists are trained for several years to do that. Some geniuses learn things on their own.

We start with alphabets, then words, then sentences and finally go for the complex stuff! We learn gradually. Hard work. Nothing else will do.

When we see or read something new our previous knowledge helps us in understanding and analysing the new one. The more you do it, the more your world broadens and easier it becomes. You get hooked to it. You become a specialist.

You try to creatively connect your knowledge to the problems you encounter to solve them. No question or complication seems insurmountable.

There is no turning back, once you get addicted to knowledge. It is a one way ticket to great heights!

Q: Do you believe people who cite a lot of books on their paper have really consulted all of those books, or is just to look good?
Krishna : I don’t deal with beliefs, only facts.

Science research paper reviewers don’t accept books as citations.
But art and other subject papers are okay with them. People told me, some read them, while others quote them because their peers quote them without actually reading them.
Q: Some infants are born into misery and some into happiness. They have no role in choosing their fate or future. How does science deal with this state of human beings without evoking 'karma'?
Krishna: My scientific thinking says …
This universe is a system of random events. The baby who is suffering, or the one who is feeling pleasure  are just masses of chemicals and some energy and the resultant consciousness - because they are living - present at the random chance events and is not chosen for a reason.
The universe doesn't care who is suffering and who is not.  Pure random chance is what governs the universe and within that vast system, you and I can more-or-less freely choose to do this or to do that, but the universe does not share our goals or our values - nor does it care about our suffering or our bliss. It doesn't even care which mass of atoms or energy is suffering or which one is not!
So, in such a system there might be ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ according to human minds but as far as the universe is concerned, there are only participants - no winners and no losers - just parts of the universe doing what they have always done - living, dying or just existing as inanimate things.
If you have diseases that make you suffer, you can avoid them by using vaccines or treat them using medicines, by making use of scientific knowledge. If you refuse to use it, and call it your fate to suffer, it is your foolishness.
It is our minds that make up things. Even infant minds who have no control over events ( because they have brains, neurons and feelings or emotions ) or the adults who can control whether they want to suffer or not, the latter by understanding and dealing with things appropriately.
If a system is making you uncomfortable you have the choice of rejecting it! The universe gave you that option. The adult brain or mind has a choice - you can suffer if you cannot control your thoughts that lead to suffering or you can remain detached and feel the bliss. You can come out of it with your courage and smartness. The choice is yours!
But some people don't use that selection process because they are cowards. I have seen people spending lots of money on marriages by taking credits and getting into more misery because they 're afraid of their societies' judgements. If anybody can break the society's unwritten rules, they can avoid this misery. If he or she can overcome his or her fear of judgement, then s/he has taken the act of writing his/her destiny into his/her own hands and can lead into a world of the person's choice. Refuse to suffer. The universe gave you that choice.
Don't blame your 'karma' for the inadequacies of your mind.
Q: Science has several flaws too despite your promotion of it. Don't you agree?Krishna: Our Scientific understanding has flaws, not science. This universe, which is based on scientific principles would have collapsed long back if it is flawed. The very fact that this universe is working wonderfully is evidence enough that it is flawless.
Now even if our methods of understanding of the scientific principles this universe is based on is flawed, it has in-built correction methods to counter the inadequacies. Therefore, you don't find a better method to understand the working of universe and  its constituents. 
Q: How can scientific method go wrong?
Krishna : 

It isn’t anti-Science to question something in science.

Science encourages a healthy debate. Scientists need to be challenged continuously by different viewpoints so they can integrate them into the development of knowledge and technologies.

Science considers everything brought before it. But to convince science it takes a lot more than mere words and emotional arguments. Just opinions don't count in science. It demands data proof. If you provide one it gives lot of ground to your theory and argument. In that way science is not rigid. Usually scientific theories are challenged by the people in the field of science themselves if they find inadequate proof or new data not supporting the earlier ones. This challenge by experts in the field is important for science to progress in a systematic way.

However, in recent times, science is being challenged not only by scientists , but also by religious fundamentalists, devout religious followers, industry, people in politics, some educationists, activists and other vested interests who don't have any knowledge regarding science and by using dubious methods. This, I feel, is a dangerous trend.

Anybody can challenge the big 'S' but using only scientific methods. When asked to do this people are cooking up data, making strange claims and propagating pseudo-science. Even people of science are falling prey to these pseudo-scientific methods.

The problem is not that science is being challenged, it is what it is being challenged with. And of course how it is challenged.

Can you challenge science?

Q: What is the purpose of a conclusion in science?
Krishna : You cannot have absolute conclusions in science, only temporary ones waiting for someone to improve on them.

Your temporary conclusion would show what the data you accumulated under the circumstances you observed/collected it mean. And what route others can follow to build on that knowledge.

Q: Can we go for alternative treatments for migraines?

Krishna: That depends! If the alternative treatments are tested scientifically and proven to be really effective, you can use them. But if they are  found to be stupid ones that cause more damage, forget them. Like this one performed by a  witch doctor in Africa, which is outrageous and can cause concussions...

Q: Shouldn't one's confidence in their intelligence validate itself, since intelligence is defined in some spheres as the 'ability to discern similarities & differences?'

Krishna: 

“Intelligence” can be stupid too! Intelligent people can do all sorts of stupid things.

Don’t believe this?

Read this article then: Intelligence is not the same as critical thinking and the difference matters

Why Do Smart People Do Foolish Things?

Critical Thinking is more important than ‘intelligence’. If I think I am intelligent, it doesn’t validate my smartness. It validates my ‘bias’. Because I know I am not very sharp until I think critically.

With intelligence, you can become a highly qualified person, earn money, fame etc. But only critical thinking can take you to the heights of mental superiority.

Q: Can science show where my soul is?

Krishna: Great Q! You imagine something and ask somebody else to prove it or disprove it, or show it in the physical world!

There is no evidence of soul in the first place according to science. Then how can you find something that doesn’t exist?

So you can find your soul only in your imagination!

Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?

Q: What is the most scientific explanation for an afterlife?

Whatever you hear is anecdotal evidence, the stories people weave in their imaginations, or hallucinate about. It is highly unreliable and not reproducible.

Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?

Q: Is it possible that some humans don't have souls, according to science?

Therefore, the words ‘some’ or ‘all’ have no meaning.

Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?

Q: What is the scientific reason for geniuses remaining single and non reproductive) ? ( I can give examples of Newton, Tesla, Beethoven, Handel, Haydn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Samuel Barber, who choose not to reproduce ).

Krishna: Why do you want a scientific reason for everything? It is their life's choices depending on their views and perceptions about marriage and having children . Why should we care?

Q How long does it take to write a typical PhD thesis?

Krishna:It took nearly one year for me to analyze the data collected and write a thesis based on it.

Q:  My friend says we can complete a Ph.D. in one and half to two years. Can we?

Krishna: Yes, if you work in a dubious university and fake everything.
Anything that takes less than four years is not even worth considering for a Ph.D. these days according to experts.

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