SCI-ART LAB

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

                                                               Interactive science series

Q: Is there a difference between 'proof' and 'evidence' in science?

Krishna: Yes! Scientists think that you cannot prove anything in science. You can only show evidence!

Surprised to hear this?

Proof is conclusive but evidence isn't. Science is work in progress. You cannot conclude anything definitely and make it a fact forever. The use of evidence is to make it clear that there are other possibilities but this one is the best we can show and have at the moment. 

“Proof” implies that there is no room for error — that you can be 100% sure that what you have observed is 100% representative of what you are talking about.  Such a thing doesn’t exist in the real world of science.

P values are what take you 'closer to reality but you are not there yet'! ( The P value, or calculated probability, is the probability of finding the observed, or more extreme, results when the null hypothesis (H 0) of a study question is true – the definition of 'extreme' depends on how the hypothesis is being tested.)

Proof can only exist when there is no doubt, and there is always doubt ( in science). You cannot prove anything with certainty.

Evidence will never be 100% — there’s always the chance that everything you think you know turns out to be false — but the evidence allows you to make current-best-evidence-guesses (for want of a better term) about the behavior of the universe and things you think exist in it.

All science is merely the current best model. Not an absolute fact.

Q: What does science say about the behaviour of people who love animals but at the same time enjoy a nice meal of butter chicken?

Krishna: Will people think about an animal called hen or cock or turkey when they eat butter chicken? Sometime back I saw a video which shows the torturous ways people use to deal with chickens. It was horrible. But after watching it several of my friends still eat chicken. They say they don’t remember all that while having their food!
When I was very young, my uncle took me to a mutton shop. There, in front of me, they slaughtered a goat. I screamed and cried after seeing all that blood.
On that day I told my parents I will never touch mutton again. Despite their trying their best to change me, I didn’t change my decision. I am a vegetarian by choice.
My uncle used to have two ducks. Whenever I went to his house when I was a child, I used to play with them. One day when we went to his house, he slaughtered them and my aunty made a nice curry with their meat. I cried on that day too. I often wonder how people can bring up these animals like their children and then kill them to eat them. When I asked this question, my uncle just laughed!
I thought his mind ‘s differently wired!
Nature has a mechanism called ‘carnivorous behaviour’ to control populations of certain animals and to maintain ecological balance in the wild. As a person of science I can understand that very well.
If you think with empathy, people certainly cannot eat meat like me. Some peoples’ brains are different from mine. They can eat meat despite …
And there are cannibals. They can eat even human meat. I heard stories of people killing their parents, spouses, lovers, children - the very people they loved very much - and eating them. Are they sick mentally?
Science says, their brains are differently wired. We are a mass of chemicals whose different interactions decide what we are and why we behave differently . Understand that!

To overcome these issues, now we have lab grown meat. 

Q: How can I become the richest scientist in the future?

Forget becoming a scientist if your aim is accumulating money. Scientists rarely think about money while working in their labs. Their minds are differently wired and what drives them is definitely not riches.

Go become a sports person, a pop star, an actor or a businessman if you want to get rich. Science doesn’t suit you.

Q: From the same person who sent the above question...

Last week I read a sci fic. Novel which involved war through biological terrorism in which scientists were involved. That made me think about it.

Anthony .H. Cordesman is the name of author.

So I Wanted to know exactly why people sell petants and is it legal

That's it.

Krishna: Hmmm! Because you read sci fiction and thought it ‘s real and asked a question based on it! Real world of science doesn’t work like that! Patents make you rich very rarely. And they are controlled by fund providers. Realize reality.

Majority of scientists don’t appreciate science fiction. Most of the time it is far away from truth. And some people get fooled by it. Even if we think deeper, it doesn’t involve fiction. It is based on facts.

Biological terrorism is a possibility. But no scientist with a sane mind endorses it. Becoming rich using patents will be the last thing on any scientist’s mind. If you ask such a question, you won’t be even accepted for science training to become a scientist in the first place!

My answer is based on reality and facts while your Q is based on fiction.

Naturally, they don’t agree!

Q: Do you think Indian God-men are frauds?

Krishna: I don’t know much about them to say anything but with regard to their ‘scientific explanations’, what they say is definitely pseudo-science! I have watched some of the videos these gurujis made explaining ‘science’. It would be better if they keep away from what they don’t know properly.

Q:What are the scientific reasons behind face-blindness? Is it genetic?

Krishna: Face blindness is a brain disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces. Prosopagnosia is thought to be the result of abnormalities, damage, or impairment in the right fusiform gyrus, a fold in the brain that appears to coordinate the neural systems that control facial perception and memory. Prosopagnosia can result from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or certain neurodegenerative diseases. In some cases it is a congenital disorder, present at birth in the absence of any brain damage. Congenital prosopagnosia appears to run in families, which makes it likely to be the result of a genetic mutation or deletion. Some degree of prosopagnosia is often present in children with autism and Asperger's syndrome, and may be the cause of their impaired social development.  

Q: When you are craving sugar, what should you eat instead? 

Krishna: I eat sweet fruits like raisins, dates, mangoes, bananas, grapes, jack fruit, figs, and sapota (chikoo, Manilkara zapota ). They satisfy my sugar cravings and I can stay away from refined sugar and sweets with their help. 

Q: Do scientists use philosophy for science? Why and how so? What philosophy do scientists use?
Krishna : Most of them don’t. This is an old thought and modern day scientists don’t endorse philosophy’s use in science.
However, some ‘interpret’ the way a scientist mind works to suit their opinions and beliefs.

Q: How do you spot bad science stories?

Krishna: This is a bit difficult to do even for people who are well qualified in science subjects. I have provided some guidelines to follow while identifying genuine science reports. Here you will find ways to spot a bad science story:

How to trust science stories: A guide for common man

Q:What is man's best invention or discovery in your view and why? Krishna: You cannot pin point one like that. Each and everyone has its own importance and in science, one bit of knowledge helps further in several other fields. True Scientists cannot show such discrimination because they know true value of knowledge in the entire science arena.

However, The ones that alleviate human suffering, save lives, prolong and protect it can be placed a little bit above others. Go to any hospital, you cannot keep yourself from marveling at the equipment used there. But those special ones ‘re all invented and secrets of the working of human body ‘re discovered by great minds from all fields of science coming together. Entire scientific community deserves our applause.  

Q: "Why does food and water get worms?" E.g., even if wheat is cleaned, it will get weevils or grain beetles after some weeks and the rice gets both weevils and white worms. Why is that? Can it be prevented?  

Krishna: Because your food and water is their food and water too, you have to face competition from pests.
Just cleaning the food grains is not sufficient. You have to clean the container you store the items, keep your house/store room free from pests.
Weatherproofing the grain bins helps keep out insects. It also seals grain bins from moisture that can lead to spoiling and a reduction in grain quality.
Insect pests in stored grain are considered either primary or secondary.
Primary insect pests have the ability to infest, feed and reproduce on whole, sound grain. Secondary insect pests require mould or damaged grain kernels to survive. Secondary insect pests indicate the presence of mould and that grain is going out of condition or that primary insect pests have infested and damaged the grain.
Many stored product insect pests are strong fliers. They can migrate great distances. When grain is warm, it emits odors that attract insect pests from great distances. When stored grain is properly maintained, there is less chance of mould growth and insect infestations. So maintaining proper moisture and temperature is necessary to avoid these pests.
Initially you can sun dry your food grains for 4–6 days. But moisture levels have to be maintained throughout storage period. Rains bring havoc.
Grain is a very good insulator. When it is undisturbed, it keeps temperature well. If warm grain is placed into storage and left undisturbed, convection currents develop and cause hot spots and moisture condensation which attract insects.
Aeration systems preserve stored grain and keep it dry by reducing the temperature of grain and reducing moisture migration. Appropriate aeration can prevent convection currents and condensation from occurring. Turning grain outside the bin is an alternative to aerating it in the bin when the air temperature falls below 15°C. Turn the grain every 2 to 4 weeks until the grain temperature reaches 15°C. This procedure involves removing about one-third of the grain from the bin and putting it back in the bin.
Keep your storage rooms and their surroundings very clean and moisture free to keep pests away.

Q: Should you get a Ph.D. only if you are very passionate about your field of study?

Krishna: Only if you are ‘ really interested’ would be more appropriate. Getting Ph.D., especially in science, is not easy. It takes years of hard work, dedication and ability to withstand failures. If you are not really interested, you will try to quit as soon as you face your first obstacle. It is a waste of time and resources.

Therefore, the best of Nobel Laureates advice for science students: Go into science if you are curious and have passion for it. If not, find something else!

Q: Is graphology pseudo-science?

Krishna: It is! Despite what people say, when real life situations demanded it, graphologists failed to help in forensic investigations. That says a lot about it.

Q: What is 'demarcation problem' in science?

Krishna: The demarcation problem in science is about how to distinguish between science and non-science, including between science, pseudoscience, and other products of human activity, like art and literature, and beliefs. The debate still continues after over two millennia of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method.

When some scientists who are into art say there is no difference between science and art, I think about this problem. And wrote on it too: what-scientists-should-be-cautious-about-during-the-interactions-wi...

When I hear some people of science say there is no difference between science and pseudo-science, I feel they are having this problem.

Q: Why do people can't relate to scientists with high IQ?

Krishna: Research has shown that words spoken by people with high intelligence may simply go over people’s heads, their solutions could be more complicated to implement and followers might find it harder to relate to them.

Q: Would you want the Indian government to increase funds in science, education, and research (would you sign the March for the Science petition)? 

Krishna: I already did (sometime back)! We marched for science in Aug., 2017, organized meetings, and discussed things in detail. I was one of the chief guests ( Hyderabad phase) who spoke on various issues faced by the scientific community here.

I am worried about pseudo-science ( it ‘s one of the reasons, why march for science was organized). Scientists are being attacked for speaking against pseudo-science. People who practice pseudo-science are feeling the pinch. I will not be surprised if I am killed one of these days. That is the situation we are in. Scientific community under severe attack. Aren’t we reminded of the ancient times when Galileo was attacked?

We are going backwards. If we don’t take action now, the situation will get worse.

My full support for march for science and the scientific community.

Thanks for bringing it up here.

( But sadly very few English news papers here report these problems) 

Q: Has the soul's immortality been proven by science?

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

Q: Can dipping your wound or cut in sea or ocean water cure it?

Krishna: On the contrary, it might worsen it, if you catch a deadly bug through open skin. 

However, situations can vary based on a number of factors. Sea or ocean water contain salts but are not sterile. They contain all sorts of micro-organisms. You have to consider these things too: the state of your immune system, the state of the wound, the state of the ocean in which you are swimming and whether you are in the tropics.

The type of place where a person is dipping his wounded part of body is very important. There are certain parts of the ocean where there are certainly lots of bacteria present, naturally or sometimes because of human activity. The water in estuaries and near rocks or coral is especially risky. Bacteria are also common in oceans that are close to fisheries, mines, farms, storm water drains and sewage plants; the runoff from this is particularly bad after periods of heavy rain. And tropical waters can be home to some really nasty bacteria as warmer water encourages bacterial growth.

So you shouldn't look at swimming in the ocean as a way to cure an open wound. The evidence doesn't support that. 

Q: Does getting drenched in rain get you cold and fever? My mother says so!

Krishna: According to doctors, if you are healthy with good immune system, the answer is no.

I do get drenched in rain very often because I love it. No, I neither get cold nor fever because of that.

But, yes, rain water might be contaminated sometimes with disease-causing germs. So if you love rain like me, boost your immune system with healthy habits before venturing out.

Q: What is the explanation you have or have heard as to why people believe ghosts exist?

Krishna: The other day, one person gave this reply to my answer ‘there are no ghosts according to science’: Then science is wrong. We have faced strange things in our house.

Science is wrong?!

Has this person considered explanations science gives to people who ‘experienced strange things’? Like these …

Science and the paranormal

How science debunks baseless beliefs

No, he didn’t!

Has he ‘investigated things’ like we do?

No, he didn’t!

Just close your mind and say, ‘science is wrong’. Everybody else is wrong, except me’.

So my answer to this Q is: a closed mind and fear to investigate things and think rationally is the reason why people still believe in ghosts.

If you believe in something, your mind tries to imagine it and builds a picture and a story around it. Simple!

Q: Einstein said ,'imagination is more important than knowledge'. Your take on this?

Krishna: I think Informed Imagination is more important than mere imagination. You will find My Evidence here: Shocking and funny 'science-art'

Religion is based on ‘imagined things’. Like God created the earth some 6000 years back. Human beings were created by God as they are now (Creationism).

The formation and evolution of the Solar System began 4.6 billion years ago with the gravitational collapse of a small part of a giant molecular cloud. Most of the collapsing mass collected in the center, forming the Sun, while the rest flattened into a protoplanetary disk out of which the planets, moons, asteroids, and other small Solar System bodies formed (Scientific knowledge).

Evolution of human beings is scientific knowledge.

Which one is important? Imagination of religious people. Knowledge of evolutionists? Decide for yourself.

Q:What happens when someone takes way more vitamins than they need? Can it be harmful?

Krishna : Vitamins and other micro-nutrients are good for health. Right?

Well if I say it depends on the amount you take and the sources from where you are getting them - that would be more appropriate. If the amount you take is just the right one, it is good for your health. But if you take less of them, you suffer from deficiency and if you take more of them, you have to face the health-related consequences.

Yes, Vitamin supplements should take a balanced route in case the doctor advises you to use them. Why? Read the article I wrote on this…  

The other side of Vitamins and other micro-nutrients

Q: What will a scientist say about the afterlife?

Q: Is there any evidence that hugging gives comfort?

Krishna: Hugging produces 'feel good hormones' like oxytocin. This takes you away from feelings of distress, loneliness and stress. You get comfort and reassurance from it.

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