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

Q: I am a vegetarian. When figs absorb wasps in their fruit, they are no longer vegetarian food. What do you think? Should we eat figs or not?

Krishna: I am a vegetarian too, well almost. I don't like killing animals to satisfy my hunger. So I keep myself away from meat. That is another aspect. But figs are natural products. 
Yes, some figs do contain wasp material. 

A fig is not actually a fruit; it is an inflorescence - a cluster of many flowers and seeds contained inside a bulbous stem. Because of this unusual arrangement, the seeds—technically the ovaries of the fig—require a specialized pollinator that is adapted to navigate within these confined quarters. Here begins the story of the relationship between figs and fig wasps.

The fig wasp  is almost the perfect size for the job—except, despite her tiny body, she often times will lose her wings and antennae as she enters through a tight opening in the fig. “The only link the fig cavity has to the outside world is through a tiny bract-lined opening at the apex of the fig, called the ostiole, and it is by means of this passage that the pollinating fig wasp gains access to the florets.

Once inside, the wasp travels within the chamber, depositing her eggs and simultaneously shedding the pollen she carried with her from another fig. This last task, while not the wasp’s primary goal, is an important one: She is fertilizing the fig’s ovaries. After the wasp has laid her eggs, she dies and is digested by the fig, providing nourishment. Once the wasp’s eggs hatch, male and female wasps assume very different roles. They first mate with each other (yes, brothers and sisters), and then the females collect pollen—in some species, actively gathering it in a specialized pouch and in others, accumulating it inadvertently—while the wingless males begin carving a path to the fig’s exterior. This activity is not for their own escape but rather to create an opening for the females to exit. The females will pollinate another fig as queens. The males will spend their entire life-cycle within a single fruit.

This is one of the most solid examples of co-evolution.

But some figs are parthenocarpic, meaning they are seedless. According to a 2006 Science study, these domesticated sterile figs could be evidence of the first use of horticulture in human history. The researchers discovered carbonized fig fruits in “an early Neolithic village, located in the Lower Jordan Valley, which dates to 11,400 to 11,200 years ago”—nearly one thousand years before cereal domestication. The commercially cultivated fig tree is usually a female parthenocarpic variety of the ancient common fig (Ficus carica) and does not need pollination to produce fruit.

On the other hand, those species of fig trees that rely on wasps for pollination will likely contain bits of wasps in the fruit. In general, animals that eat fruits like monkeys, birds and humans, are most attracted to the fruit once it ripens; at this stage, the wasps have already mated and escaped to find another fig. However, the wingless male wasps stay behind and die once they have mated and completed their tunneling duty. Therefore, animals, including humans, who eat figs that have not been commercially cultivated likely consume dead wasps, most part of it is mixed with the fruit material!

But then,
The Q of veganism doesn't make any sense to me. 
Okay tell me this : A person dies under a tree. His body decomposes. Some atoms of his body are absorbed by the tree and used in making leaves, flowers and fruits. Now if you consume the tree's leaves , fruits and flowers (like tamarind, coconut, mangoes etc.) aren't you consuming a human body indirectly? Aren't you offering the flowers, fruits and nuts made of human atoms to your deity? What type of logic is this? Everything in this universe is re-cycled. That includes human and animal faeces, urine, menstrual blood, dead bodies and all sorts of rubbish. You just can't escape consuming some of these no matter how much you hate it.  You just can't escape universal justice and scientific rules. 
Your body might have been made of 'disgusting  atoms' from all those things I mentioned above. Now go to the bathroom and try to vomit all that you ate for breakfast! And don't eat anything, ever, if you really don't want to consume anything non-veg!
My mother told me when I refused to eat meat that I can't escape meat, nobody can. Even the most 'religious vegetarian' will have to consume some amount of non-veg in the form of small insects etc. in his or her food.  
After studying science, I realized, nobody can escape recycled 'non-veg' atoms in their food!  
Call it Universal rules or justice or whatever you want.  

Digest that fact along with the food you eat!
By the way, I eat figs.
Q: Philosophy is greater than science.  Earlier I was really interested in physics until I ran across this quote from Tolstoy: “Science is meaningless, because it doesn’t answer our question, the one that is most important for us: What should we do and how should we live?”

I instantly became a student of philosophy. I learned how to live.

How do you counter that?

Krishna: :) Easy!

The Q ‘What should we do and how should we live?’ was answered by science itself for me! I am a scientist, not a philosopher.
What should we do?
Answer: This universe is based on scientific principles and run by them. Studying and Understanding them gives meaning to our very existence. Using them for the welfare of living beings ( inventions based on discoveries), gives us a direction. That is how we should live.

''Science enhances the moral value of life, because it furthers a love of truth and reverence'' - Max Plank

All genuine scientists think the real facts about this universe can be unraveled only through scientific method. If you are really interested in finding truth, the right one, science is the only way!

There might be other ways, but they are not as accurate as science is! Why? Read this article that explains the Q ...

Science and Spirituality

Q: Why science cannot explain everything?
Krishna: There is a question that is bothering your family since your great grand father’s time.

You have a five year old daughter. And you ask her to answer the question. Can she? Is it even right to expect a child to answer your questions?

That is exactly what you are doing when you ask science to answer all your questions!

People say science cannot solve all the problems and doesn't answer all the questions human minds pose. True! But think about this: This universe started with a Big Bang ( according to one theory - which is not yet proved!) some 14 Billion years ago. But science is just a few hundred years old.

The universe in which we find ourselves is about 14,000,000,000 years old, planet Earth is about 5,000,000,000 years old, the species Homo sapiens, to which we belong, 300,000 years old, and modern science a mere 500 years old ( all approximate, not exact years) .

Science ( the process with which we try to study and understand this universe) is still in its infancy. It has to learn a lot, study a lot, think a lot, experiment a lot and then only it can come up with all the answers we are seeking right now. How can you expect a child to solve all the problems of his ancestors? And answer the questions posed by his great, great, great, great grand fathers? Is it appropriate to even expect such a thing? I don't think so.

There is science ( the laws that govern this universe) every millimeter and Angstrom of this universe. And the universe is unimaginably vast! But the scientists are so few! How can the limited number of scientists read the language this universe is written in such a less time?

Moreover, there are more pressing problems like saving lives, more food production for the ever increasing population. We can’t waste our time on less important ones. But we get ridiculed for our choices of problems!

We should be amazed at how we have been able to get so far in understanding the things in this universe despite our inadequacies! Science is doing its best with the limited resources it has to both answer the questions and solve the problems. As the time goes by, I am pretty sure, it will succeed more and more. Please have patience! Give science some time.

And let me assure you when science answers these Qs, they will not be silly stories but universe-shivering true facts.

Science will answer your questions and solve your problems too!

Q: What is the scientific reason that makes music a stress reliever?

Krishna: Well, why only music, there are several things that are stress relievers.

Pets, gardening, art, nature, exercise, playing, friends … I can go on like this.

When your mind is burning like hell, any thing that diverts your attention and takes your mind away from it, makes you relax and relieves it from that stress.

Things like exercise lowers your body's stress hormones — such as cortisol — in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

Soft music, not any music - get that right first, connects with your feelings and emotions. When slow music is played, the bodily reaction follows suit– the heart thumping slows down and blood pressure drops. This causes the breath to slow, which helps release tension in the neck, shoulders, stomach and back. Listening to slow or calming music on a regular basis can help our bodies relax.

Moving to a rhythm (in music) can boost motor performance and have an impact on our health. Music and rhythms are therefore, therapeutic tools for some.

But let me also add this: When my mind is completely occupied with a research problem, when I am in the total grip of something, I noticed, nothing, I repeat ,nothing, can relax me except a solution to the problem! Not even soft, soothing music! Not even nature, not even … oh, nothing!

Q: There are several absurd beliefs and opinions despite science falsifying them. Should we allow them and protect people who have them in the name of freedom?

Krishna: Not all people will be alike. Some are strong enough to stand on their own mental strengths. Some need some sort of emotional external support. These beliefs provide that support without which their mental states collapse.  We have no right to take away their support system without providing alternatives. 

Yes, science is a very realistic alternative. But most people don't understand it the way it should be understood. They don't know how to go the scientific route to gain insights and strengths. Therefore, they stick to their old system. We are trying our best to change all that. 

More because the beliefs are obstructing our progress. How? The recent measles outbreaks is a good example. Some people are refusing to get their children vaccinated. With the result that the almost controlled disease is gaining upper hand again and spreading like wild fire. People are suffering and dying. We cannot keep quiet in these situations.

Your freedom cannot be allowed to kill somebody else's children and your own children. When push comes to shove, we must realize individual freedom doesn't count. Courts and governments are acting firmly now to control this menace. Freedom is being restricted. 

People will definitely learn from their mistakes. 

Q: Can we understand God scientifically?

If there really is a creator, s/he or it should be a great scientist because s/he or it created this universe very scientifically. Then this entity should also follow scientific method which constitutes validation. Any scientific creator should have left some sort of evidence for his existence. If there is none, what does that convey to you? Or if you still don’t have the capacity to find that evidence, what does that denote?

What if human beings ‘invented God’ to have some sort of emotional support to overcome their own insecurities and fears of the unknown? Or to fill the gaps in their understanding of this universe. If God exists only in your imagination, you cannot prove that such an entity exists. The argument that God is beyond anybody as such an entity is outside our realm or it doesn’t need any validity is lopsided. Even God needs proof in a scientific universe ( this universe is scientific because, it is based on scientific principles and run by science).

Theists, Scientific laws that run this universe themselves are part of what 's created. Or, atheists, the universe came into existence on its own based on scientific laws. Even if both views are taken into account, we have to use only scientific methods to unravel those mysteries. There is no other way!

Like one of my scientist friends says...even to prove God real requires science!

Science and Spirituality

Q:What is meant by conclusive evidence? 

krishna; sorr’ m pc is behaving funnil’ and gulping some le’’ers, which i can’ ‘’’pe. le’ me see how much u can unders’and.

‘he words conclusive evidence have differen’ meanings in legal ‘erms and in science.

legal - Conclusive Evidence is evidence that cannot be contradicted by any other evidence. It is so strong as to overbear any other evidence to the contrary. The evidence is of such a nature that it compels a fact-finder to come to a certain conclusion. bu’ u can’ have such evidence realisicall’ speaking.

science - conclusive evidence is ‘he one ‘ha’ concurs wi’h universal scien’ific principles. because of limi’ains in human unders’anding of universal scien’ific principles, ‘ou canno’ have conclusive evidences in science. ‘ou can onl’ have bes’ knowledge of ‘he momen’ ‘ha’ can be falsified.

Q: Why do i feel full when eating while sitting, but can eat more if i eat while standing?

Krishna: you have to sit straight while eating . If you eat in a slumping position, your body, especially your digestive system gets less space. While standing your system gets more space and mabe that 's why you eat more.
Q: Do scientists really 'shut up and calculate'?
Krishna: :) When weird  things observed that are beyond your understanding, but still  fit mathematical models, and make some sense in that way, may be yes,  they would!
According to some physicists ... Some of your descriptions of reality ... cannot be related easily to common, everyday experiences. In quantum mechanics for example, weird phenomena such as “superposition” and “entanglement” have no satisfying explanations—yet they are described mathematically in ways that make consistently confirmed laboratory predictions and may even be used in super-fast computers. There are physicists who claim not to be bothered by this lack of a mental picture; they belong to what some call the 'shut-up-and-calculate' school. So long as the model makes good predictions, and helps them in some way, who cares?
Q: What  is the main difference in thinking of common people and that  of scientists? Give me the answer in one sentence to make me think you are really intelligent.
Krishna : :) Some people , when they see something extraordinary , ask the Q, “Who is causing it?”,
while some others, like scientists,  ask, “What is causing it?”
Is this the mark of intelligence? How easy  is it to be intelligent! And how boring it is if it is that simple to be smart!

Q: Based on the above one ... Can you give more detailed answer please?

Krishna : This conversation I had with a person ...

X: I had back pain issues. And had consulted almost all the known doctors (allopathy) for my back issues, and it wasn't good I only felt good with pain killers and muscle relaxants. And that too as long as I was on meds.

I tried ayurvedic meds and to my surprise I am feeling better and I am off meds(even ayurvedic) for about 8 months and have no issues vof the back.

I am not against anything in particular. I just wanted my issue sorted that's it.

I just said what worked for me. It might not work for you. Can't say anything on that matter I'm no expert. But I found ayurvedic treatment helpful for me.

Krishna :

I find these plausible explanations for your 'positive results':

1.The body heals on its own after some time. That ' s when you must have tried ayurvedic medicines. The coincidence makes some people think that the new 'alternative' medicine really worked! I am not surprised at all!

2. When somebody 'strongly recommends' some thing, 'the placebo effect' makes you feel better!

3. The ayurvedic medicine really might have some 'pain-killing' effect.

4. Ayurvedic medicines might have medicinal properties.

Unless you test vigorously, you cannot say which one is true in your case.

This is what a liver transplant surgeon told me recently...

X: I don't think my body healed itself. I had that back pain issue for two years. Throughout those two years I Wasn't able to sit for more than ten minutes, wasn't able to lift anything that weighed more than 5–6 kg. And mind you it was like this for two whole years. With no improvement with allopathic meds.

And if ayurvedic meds had painkillers it's effects should wear off after all I'm off the meds from more than 8 months.

Plus you person who recommended me this treatment had hernia (herniated intestines in crotch area), allopathic doctors had told him only operation is the solution, it can't be cured with medicines and body can't heal itself from this condition. With ayurvedic medicine He got 70–75% recovery within three months and now he's free from that condition.. I don't think that's placebo.

Krishna :‘’’I don’ t think’’ of a non-expert doesn’t count in science. Some bodies heal very slowly and can take several years.  How can you  tell what  the reason is without reallinvestigating? your reply and argument denotes your belief rather than sound evidence and knowledge.

And pain-killers of allopathic treatment didn't work? Exercises didn' t work? Nocebo-effect? 

Because you have negative feelings about it?

you are fixed on the fourth one so you are refusing to consider the other plausibilities. I am not surprised. cognitive malfunction because of lack of critical thinking abilities !

We, the people of science, don’ t accept such anecdotal evidences and beliefs. In such a situation, I keep my self away from an argument. It is of no use. No more arguments please unless you provide solid evidence. ‘I don’ t think ‘ or ‘I think’ are not considered here. Those are not science based. Sorry.

Q: How can I see the difference between pseudo-science and real science in the media?

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