SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: I am a 70 year old man. I am suffering from several ailments. Do I get relief from these age related ailments if young blood is transfused into my body?

Krishna: Young blood transfusion cure is an inconclusive science. There are no known benefits in the real sense. Plasma from young people offers “no proven clinical benefit” as a treatment against aging or Alzheimer’s diseases, according to FDA. 

You only get cheated if you listen to such bogus claims.

Q: Atoms are inanimate things. When taken this into consideration, are human beings, plants  and animals that are made up of non-living atoms too are non-living?

Krishna: What?! Are you, the person who asked this Q, non-living? Then how come you are thinking and asking such Qs? Why don't you behave just like a rock if you are non-living?

Scientists think that although a single entity, such as an atom, is inert, once a whole collection of atoms are brought together, new phenomena emerge. 

Let us take a lead atom, for instance, which is just a round ball, without any directional properties.  Using quantum mechanics, we understand the properties of lead atoms quite well. However, if many atoms of lead are brought together, a new property emerges, namely the atoms spontaneously arrange themselves into a particular structure, a crystal of lead atoms. This crystal has new properties. For example, it can conduct electricity, it can conduct sound, etc. More strangely however, is the fact that if one cools this crystal to very low temperatures, a new property emerges: the crystal of lead becomes a superconductor. It can conduct electricity without any resistance. It can repel magnetic fields.  Not all crystals become superconductors when cooled. So these properties that appear from a collection of objects that did not have that property, are called “emergent properties”. We cannot start with the equations of quantum mechanics that explained the atom, to explain superconductivity. A new theory is required.

Similarly, life is an emergent property of a very large collection of different atoms. If we are given all the atoms that are in a human being, for example,  these atoms can be assembled in such a way that they will form a human being in certain conditions. What makes this possibility is the arrangement of certain atoms in a certain way to behave in a specific way, controlled by other atoms brought together and behaving in a different way. 

It is not just atoms that become life. It is their arrangement in a specific way, behaviour in a certain way that decides what form it takes, living or non living. 

The group of atoms should have the power of self-replicating process that can evolve under natural selection to become a living being.

A thing is usually called a living one when it can display these 7 biological properties: homeostasis (maintain a constant state), growth, replication, metabolism (converting food to cellular components), adaptation, organization and response to external stimuli.

When molecules, made up of atoms, become large and complex, they can interact in the right way and possibly give rise to life. It's not the atoms that make things alive: it's how they are put together, forming organic molecules, absorbing energy, undergoing complex chemical reactions, self-organizing into complex structures that can replicate that, ultimately, qualify as "living".

So, non-living atoms can become part of living beings and contribute to the living processes, when they are arranged in a specific way that dictates their specific behaviour of living beings. 

Yes, we are living beings, alright!

Q: What are the types of telekinesis? How do they differ? What does science say about it?

Krishna: The universal language of Nature is science itself! This universe is written in the language of science. Scientific principles to be more specific. 

Q: Is astrology a legit science?

Why Astrology is Pseudo-science

Q Where do witches get their power from, according to science?

Krishna From people's ignorance and baseless beliefs.

The supernatural exists only in your imagination, for in reality, there is Nature only.

Q: Is it possible to turn waste plastic into some sort of fuel?

Krishna: Yes! 

Read here how : ScienceDirect

If we can't recycle it, why not turn our waste plastic into fuel?

Q: How do we ignite a generation of people deeply interested in science ?

Krishna: First we must try to reduce the cognitive load people associate with science, by making it extremely simple.

Then we must show people how much fun science is and how it can entertain people like other fields do. 

The thrill ones experiences while dealing with the unknown, new things must be brought before the public view. 

Finally, how science and technology can vastly improve people's lives if they follow a scientific path must be shown very clearly.

If you do all these things very efficiently people naturally start loving and following science.

Q: If scientists could re-distribute scientists to tackle the world's problem, which areas would get more or less emphasis?

Krishna: Life saving, reducing the suffering of people, enhanced food production, environment, climate science, affordable and easy to operate technologies, renewable energy, and of course, science communication should get more emphasis.

Q: Are scientists ultimate in mind matters? Should we follow them blindly?

Krishna: Recently I saw these words on a scientist's profile page: " BACK OFF! I AM A SCIENTIST!" It put a smile on my face. 

Well, scientists have more knowledge than others, at least in their specific fields. They will be trained in critical thinking and scientific thinking. The second one is not utilized by some scientists properly but still they are more critical thinkers than most people. 

Polymaths have profound knowledge in several fields, not only science. They are better than scientists.

Scientists might  not be ultimate in mind matters. In having highest form of knowledge in specific fields, yes. 

But I think critical thinkers are the good in mind matters. 

Scientist critical thinkers are  best in mind matters. Because they both have knowledge and can utilize this to the utmost point.

And scientist-polymath-critical thinkers? They are incomparable and ultimate. A deadly combination, nobody can beat. They have proficiency in several fields. They have highest form of knowledge in science too. And they are critical thinkers. These are the topmost people with regard to mind matters. 

And should you follow scientists blindly? NO! Don't follow any one blindly. Critical thinkers never do that!

Q: Does consciousness have  evolutionary advantage?

Krishna: Yes! Having the concept of Self as opposed to others or to the environment seems good for focusing the organism functions on survivability and on its DNA spreading.

Q: I am passing through tough times. This is making me eat a lot, especially the sweet ones. Why is this so? How can I overcome this sweet-craving?

Krishna: Although our brains consist of only 2% of our body weight, they consume half of our daily carbohydrate requirements—and glucose is its most important fuel. Under acute stress the brain requires some 12 percent more energy, leading many to eat lots of sweets.

In scientific studies it was found that concentrations of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in participants’ blood, made them consume lots of sugars. When people were less stressed, they consumed less sugars.

So, if you want to overcome your sugar cravings, reduce your stress first.

Q(NR): Where does intelligence of human body come from? Did God put it directly in it?

Krishna: From its brain!  From the working of neural cells. Advanced neural cells developed from primitive cells through the process of evolution. It is estimated that the human brain has about 1014(100 billion) neurons ( no body really counted  these cells, it is only a rough estimation).

As human beings evolved, the nerve cells too differentiated into various cells with specific functions.  Neurons acting as the basic functional unit of the nervous system and the glia playing a supporting role. These functions of neurons happens because of chemical and electrical signals. The brain is a complex massively branched electrical circuit the basic unit of which is the brain cell. Each brain cell is like an on/off switch, transmitting signals down its length via electrical phenomena, and communicating the signal to the next brain cell chemically via neurotransmitters. 

SO information is transmitted in the form of chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. When an action potential travels down an axon and reaches the axon terminal, it triggers the release of neurotransmitter from the presynaptic cell. Neurotransmitter molecules cross the synapse and bind to membrane receptors on the postsynaptic cell, conveying an excitatory or inhibitory signal. Neurons work together. Individual neurons connect to other neurons to stimulate or inhibit their activity, forming circuits that can process incoming information and carry out a response. Neuronal circuits can be very simple, and composed of only a few neurons, or they can involve more complex neuronal networks.

Some of these cells gather information from its own body, environment and using stored or prior knowledge, analyse this information and the conclusions will be again stored to utilize when situation demands it. 

If your nerve cells use this previously stored information very efficiently to solve the present problems or plan for the future, you are treated as  intelligent.  

Q(NR): Who or what created natural laws or scientific principles?

Krishna: Majority of Scientists think Nature itself, being composed of both Form and Matter  produces its order, in a process that has been currently called "self-organizing".

Stability and equilibrium are what makes this possible.

For instance, temperature can be kept constant in systems far from equilbrium by control mechanisms (thermostats). In humans this control mechanism is located in the thalamus which regulates the temperature by secreting neurohormones. Thermoregulation is one of the aspects of a dynamic equilibrium called homeostasis.  

Another example is natural selection in biology, because it and only it ensures that every possibility will be tried, every circumstance tested, every niche inhabited, every escape hatch explored. Then the one that brings stability to the living system in a given circumstance will come into effect and establishes itself.

When several factors decide outcomes, they follow the interplay of scientific rules and routes and exactly fit into the reaction realities.  How a human body survives a health condition or a catastrophe or a bad situation depends on the sum total outcomes of scientific factors occurring simultaneously.

A law of physics is a pattern that nature obeys without exception.

Most Scientists don’t agree if you try to fill the gaps in your understanding with a thing called “GOD”.

Q (NR): (Based on the above two Qs from the same person): I appreciate your intelligent response. You have said in your answer “Majority of the scientists “think” Nature itself….”. Are you convinced about the consensus of “opinions” of the so called majority of scientists? That consensus of opinions or “thinking” is what I am questioning. It is a very valid postulate or at least a valid question to ask “Does intelligence really come out of inert matter?”

Krishna: Thank you.

 Are you convinced…answer to this Q ..

I think it is the best assumption right now. But like people of the scientific community, I keep my mind open.

Answer to your other Q “Does intelligence really come out of inert matter?” ...

Scientists think that although a single entity, such as an atom, is inert, once a whole collection of atoms are brought together, new phenomena emerge.

Let us take a lead atom, for instance, which is just a round ball, without any directional properties. Using quantum mechanics, we understand the properties of lead atoms quite well. However, if many atoms of lead are brought together, a new property emerges, namely the atoms spontaneously arrange themselves into a particular structure, a crystal of lead atoms. This crystal has new properties. For example, it can conduct electricity, it can conduct sound, etc. More strangely however, is the fact that if one cools this crystal to very low temperatures, a new property emerges: the crystal of lead becomes a superconductor. It can conduct electricity without any resistance. It can repel magnetic fields. Not all crystals become superconductors when cooled. So these properties that appear from a collection of objects that did not have that property, are called “emergent properties”. We cannot start with the equations of quantum mechanics that explained the atom, to explain superconductivity. A new theory is required.

Similarly, life is an emergent property of a very large collection of different atoms. If we are given all the atoms that are in a human being, for example, these atoms can be assembled in such a way that they will form a human being in certain conditions. What makes this possibility is the arrangement of certain atoms in a certain way to behave in a specific way, controlled by other atoms brought together and behaving in a different way.

It is not just atoms that become life. It is their arrangement in a specific way, behaviour in a certain way that decides what form it takes, living or non living.

The group of atoms should have the power of self-replicating process that can evolve under natural selection to become a living being.

A thing is usually called a living one when it can display these 7 biological properties: homeostasis (maintain a constant state), growth, replication, metabolism (converting food to cellular components), adaptation, organization and response to external stimuli.

When molecules, made up of atoms, become large and complex, they can interact in the right way and possibly give rise to life. It's not the atoms that make things alive: it's how they are put together, forming organic molecules, absorbing energy, undergoing complex chemical reactions, self-organizing into complex structures that can replicate that, ultimately, qualify as "living".

So, non-living atoms can become part of living beings and contribute to the living processes, when they are arranged in a specific way that dictates their specific behaviour of living beings.

Yes, we are living beings, alright!

And intelligence is the emergent property of living beings, not inanimate things.

Q (NR): Once more based on the above Qs and by the same person : Again I appreciate your scientific approach. You did say that “It is the best assumption right now”. You also said that you will keep an open mind. Open mind is the key rather than take the position that science knows it all. A genuine scientist will say “I do not really know if just an arrangement of atoms can produce what we intuitively know as intelligence. Science cannot ever take the position of know-all.”

The “arrangement” has evolved over millions of years to such an extent that it can now ask “Is there a reality that is entirely beyond my five perceptions and comprehension?” And guess what, there are “arrangements” that have a clear answer! But it is not something that can be proved like you can prove a riddle in math.

Krishna: Thanks, once again. 

“Is there a reality that is entirely beyond our five perceptions and comprehension?”

Yes, there is reality beyond our physical senses. For instance, human beings can only see visible (for us) light. Other animals can see other lights too and therefore their world perception will definitely be different! For instance, the colors and patterns that a butterfly sees are invisible to man. Butterflies have extreme vision. The colors of flowers, the patterns of color on its own wings appear much different to a butterfly. This is because, the butterfly can see ultraviolet light.

Snakes like vipers, pythons and boas have holes on their faces called pit organs, which contain a membrane that can detect infrared radiation from warm bodies up to one meter away. At night, the pit organs allow snakes to 'see' an image of their predator or prey — as an infrared camera does — giving them a unique extra sense.

So these animals' world will be somewhat different from that of ours. Then who is seeing an illusionary world and who is seeing reality here? If your world was real, it should be independent from perceptions of any kind of creatures. That is every creature exists on earth should share their similar view of the world but in fact each of these animal share only some part of reality and other parts are beyond their cognitive ability.

Reality should be independent from our view and this is why your world you see now is just an illusion created by your brain. Science clearly shows that!

If our senses don't provide the correct information about the world, we can use scientific tools and methods to get that. Yes, absolutely. Science is the most reliable way to seek out the truth. But it has its limits because it is still being developed by humans. If a tool is not fully developed, it only tells you some parts are correct and the rest is still being questionable. How can you be sure if our next humankind’s discovery won’t tell you a totally different story from everything we’ve ever known?
Even with the aids of science, we still can get into numerous illusions all the time because of our limitations in using science right now.

We cannot get rid of our own perception and therefore everything that hasn’t got a satisfactory explanation by science is some kind of illusion. But don't worry, a day comes when science can construct the exact reality for us. Have patience and wait till that day arrives.

Q (NR): Reply by the same person who posed the above Qs: It was a pleasure talking to you as you are very intelligent and completely scientific. I fully appreciate the scientific approach. I cannot counter your argument, although I have a different approach to this.  I am religious in my outlook. That is what makes me understand "truth". But your scientific truth is very attractive and appeals to everybody, even to religious minds.

Krishna: Thanks, one more time. Please explain to me what truth you got from religion.

NR: Silence!

Q: Based on the above Qs posed by a different person:  

Q: Does imagination mark the limit to one's ability to think of questions to ask, or can one have questions that are beyond the bounds of one's imagination?
Krishna: Why are you taking only imagination   as a mark to ask Qs? Can't we ask Qs based on what we actually see or feel with our senses or observe through instrument assistance.
When something is brought to our notice in reality that we never imagined before, we can ask Qs  based on them. People in ancient times didn't imagine and ask Qs about vast variety of microbes, before microscope was invented.  They simply thought bad air caused diseases or God punished them in the form of suffering. 
Only when we saw microbes with our own eyes, we started asking several Qs about them. 
So, even reality that is beyond imagination can make us ask Qs.
Q: Can I smell your sweat from your arm pits and suck it after that?

Why would anyone want to do such things. But then … I don’t want to fill this particular blank.

 I would just answer it from a scientist’s (Microbiologist’s) point of view.

Pheromones, unlike most other hormones, are ectohormones. They are secreted outside the body, and they influence the behavior of another individual, such as sexual arousal. Their activity in humans is doubtful although some people told me smelling of sweat of their loved ones give them some sort of ‘pleasure’.

However, in a study published in Royal Society Open Science in 2017, the researchers asked heterosexual participants to rate opposite-sex faces on attractiveness while being exposed to two steroids that are putative human pheromones. One is androstadienone (AND), found in male sweat and semen, whereas the second, estratetraenol (EST), is in women’s urine. Researchers also asked participants to judge gender-ambiguous, or “neutral,” faces, created by merging images of men and women together. The authors reasoned that if the steroids were pheromones, female volunteers given AND would see gender-neutral faces as male, and male volunteers given EST would see gender-neutral faces as female. They also theorized that the steroids corresponding to the opposite sex would lead the volunteers to rate opposite sex faces as more attractive.

That didn’t happen. The researchers found no effects of the steroids on any behaviors and concluded that the label of “putative human pheromone” for AND and EST should be dropped.

So like all fantasies, any feeling is all in your head. Our responses to odors are “confounded by other sensory inputs like sight and sound, past experiences, learning, context—and not to mention laws”. For now the effects of pheromones in sweat is still under study and highly controversial.

Then, can you lick sweat from armpits? It contains microbes and that is one of the reasons why sweat smells bad. But still do you want to smell and lick it?

Well, it is up to you. Like they say, Different strokes for different folks! Fresh sweat can actually be sexually attractive for some. For some this smell is quite disgusting.

Who are we to say ‘no’ if you want to smell and lick sweat from the arm pits of your girl friend or wife? :)

But I will not allow anyone to come anywhere near me violating my personal space. You will be ripped apart if you try to do such things to any decent woman.

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