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

                                                                      Interactive science series

Q: Why don't some children don't get diseases despite not taking vaccines?

Krishna: The reason some people have avoided getting ill is the rest of us are vaccinated and act as fences or through herd immunity . Simple! 

Read the entire explanation here: vaccine-woes

Q:Are human beings depending on science or science depending on humans?

Krishna : We humans - why only humans entire universe and its constituents - depend on science. Without scientific principles governing it, the universe will collapse! We wouldn’t have come into existence in the first place without science.
And … human understanding of science is totally important for our own progress and well being.
Science doesn’t depend on human beings. Even without us, the universe can run with the help of science.
However, scientists’ ‘understanding of this universal mystery of science’ is extremely important for our own technological advance and science and technology progress that shapes up our future. 

Q: What foods cause high BP?

Krishna: Licorice. The glycyrhinic acid ( Glycyrrhizin) that is in the liquorice, the chemical structure of which is like a mineralocorticoid hormone (Aldosterone) thus retains salt and water and induce hypertension (1,2).  

Q: (Based on the above one) what about salt?

Krishna:  I didn't touch salt because there's a vigorous debate between two groups of  experts: those who think that high salt diets contribute to high blood pressure and thus we should regulate salt in foods better, or those who say there isn't good evidence and we should not embark on that big experiment. Recent evidence points toward salt not being a major factor for populations (the effect in people without high blood pressure is small) but there are certainly individuals who have salt sensitive hypertension. 

And do you know drinking water or any liquid will temporarily raise blood pressure?

Caffeine containing foods can slightly increase blood pressure?

Many people with high blood pressure can reduce their blood pressure by reducing alcohol intake?

Weight loss controls blood pressure too, so indirectly, obesity promoting foods raise blood pressure?

Q; The way to test egg quality is to put them in water. Spoiled eggs float while good eggs sink in water and go to the bottom. We learnt this in our science class. My question is why do spoiled eggs float?

Krishna: Your teacher must have explained this to you! Why did he or she left this in the middle? Anyway, I can answer this Q for you and aid your understanding process. 

Good eggs are heavier ( because of higher density) than water and therefore sink.

Bad eggs will be under the state of decomposition. As more of the egg decomposes, more of its mass is converted to gases. A gas bubble forms inside the egg so an older egg floats on its end. However, eggs are porous, so some of the gas escapes through the eggshell and is lost to the atmosphere. Although gases are light, they do have mass and affect the density of the egg. When enough gas is lost, the density of the egg is less than that of water and therefore, the egg floats.

It's a common misconception that rotten eggs float because they contain more gas.

If the inside of an egg rotted and the gas couldn't escape, the mass of the egg would be unchanged. Its density would also be unchanged because the volume of an egg is constant (as eggs don't expand like balloons). Changing matter from the liquid state to the gas state doesn't change the amount of mass!

The gas has to leave the egg and make it light for it to float.

Q: If a scientist does an experiment and the results are not as he or she expected, would the scientist consider this a bad result? Why or why not? What can they learn from this?

Krishna: Scientists fail several times before succeeding. This is because they would be the first people entering a new unknown arena each time they conduct a new experiment. Each result, either -what you call -good or bad, will help understand things better. While each positive result generates a hundred more questions to work on, each negative one shows you how not to fail again.
They aren’t actually good or bad. It just is your perception. Each one helps you some way. It is a process of learning. You enjoy every thrilling moment the scientific process takes you through. 

Q: Were our ancestors scientific?

Krishna: To be marked as scientific today you have to follow strict scientific methodology. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any difference between science and a blind belief, ideology, and mere opinions.
Moreover, one thought in science leads to another. One discovery or invention shows way to another. Science is a process that is built up on earlier authenticated (through evidence) ideas or theories. If there isn’t anything to guide you, your imaginations go wild! If there isn’t a process to control you, you tend to think every idea you got is right and you found truth.
Some time back  one person argued with scientists that souls were ‘discovered by spiritualists’!
‘Discovered?! Where is the evidence’, scientists asked.
‘Souls are not matter to see or show evidence’, he said.
‘If it is not matter, is it energy’, Ss asked?
‘It isn’t energy too, we just feel it!’, he replied
There you are! If it is neither matter, nor energy, there is no chance of its existence. If you just ‘feel it’, it is just your emotion and your wild imagination! It doesn’t come under the heading science!
Our ancestors thought about several things, gave explanations in wildest ways possible to what we see around and what we don’t see or feel too.
Now some creative people are giving spins to these explanations of our ancestors and are creating pseudo-science in the process. And others around are thinking that it is real science and are feeling proud too.
However, some of the highly intelligent people among our ancestors had some radical ideas and thoughts too. They withstood the thorough scrutiny of modern day science and can be included in science. But these are rare cases. Like Some of our ancestors dealt with earlier forms of metallurgy and maths.
Others, though  not tested properly, were followed by trial and error methods and the experience obtained through this process like ayurveda, our ancient medical practice. It can be called primitive science.
So some of our ancestors dealt with what we now call ‘primitive science’.

Q: Based on the above one: "Imagination" is important in science. Einstein himself said this. Then why don't you consider imagination of some people? 

Krishna: Absence of evidence is reason why we refuse to endorse what some say. We don’t deal with wild imaginations in science. Only informed imaginations. Learn the difference.

Q: Why do scientists show arrogance while dealing with laymen?

Krishna: Hmmm!  Well let me put before you what my friends from the scientific community and colleagues say about this. 

Scientists are extremely busy people. They give more value to their time than any other people in the world. And their minds are always burning with thoughts and ideas. They don't want to get disturbed while this is happening.

But as soon as they see scientists, some people try to strike conversation with them, try to tell them about their strange beliefs, ideas, opinions and 'all sorts of nonsense' and what not 'to impress the most intelligent people on Earth'  (these are not my words). 

Read the above Q and my reply. Somebody comes and tells a scientist that he or she 'discovered' something. 'Great, show me the evidence', the scientist asks.  ''Evidence? Mahatma Gandhi believed in it, Vivekananda believed in it. President Trump believes in it. Isn't that evidence? When so many people believe in it, it becomes a fact." 

Scientist: Huh! 

And... the person continues his argument ... refusing to listen to what the scientist tries to explain that beliefs don't become evidence even if the whole world believes in them according to science.

The scientist gets irritated. 'A  non-scientific argument cannot become part of my world', he thinks, "Why am I wasting my time with this person who cannot understand what a scientific evidence is, what science is, what my world is. Why isn't he backing off. How can I get rid of him and save my time?"

Finally he snaps.

Is the scientist arrogant? Yes, he is! If defending science is arrogance, if saving his precious time from unnecessary arguments is arrogance, if attacking irrational things is arrogance, scientists are undoubtedly arrogant.

One of my scientist friends put it this way...

'You watch a baby speak. You find it cute although you cannot understand the baby's boo boo. 

Because, you know that the a baby cannot think or talk properly. A grown up person can think and talk very well. But still if he doesn't do this? If he refuses to become more intelligent  by listening to, trying to understand and think about evidence based facts in a critical way? If he still thinks and talks like a baby? You get annoyed! If we tell them to grow up, is that arrogance?'

Think about that!


1.  Glycyrrhizic acid in liquorice--evaluation of health hazard.


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