SCI-ART LAB

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

                                                     Some strange Qs and their answers

Q: Dr. Krishna, I desperately want to get a visa to the US as my girl friend is studying there. I tried several times but couldn't get it. Is there a possibility of transferring my soul to the US by scientists?  The immigration officials can't see my soul crossing their borders as it is invisible and therefore, cannot stop it! Then will I die as I cannot live without  my soul?

Krishna: Oh my! I was speechless when I read this.

While the high expectations people have about science is heart-warming, mixing up beliefs with science is a big cause of concern. 

But, sorry to disappoint you, you cannot go to the US that way. Either ask your girlfriend to come back after her studies or find a legitimate way to get a visa.

The reason will definitely shock you. There is no evidence that souls exist in the first place. Read here the explanation: Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?

When something exists only in your imagination, nobody can deal with it in the physical world. When an imaginative thing leaves your body, you won't die, but you can get rid of your baseless beliefs.

I hope you got your answer now.

Q:  Ma'am, I just completed my Ph.D. in Physics. I read your article on Critical Thinking  .  I never heard about it before. Have you invented the word?

Krishna: Another face palm moment for me! A PhD not knowing about critical thinking. 

No, I definitely didn't invent the word. It was invented long before I was born. Anyway, You know all about it now. Spread the word, as they don't teach about it in the class rooms here and there might be people like you all over this place.

Q: Do ghosts grow,  get old and die eventually? What does science say about this?

Krishna: :) There is no evidence that ghosts exist in the first place. Scientists tried their best to see and interact with ghosts. But they couldn't.  So when something exists only in your imagination,  you can imagine several absurd things about it as well. 

Read here the full facts about paranormal things: science-and-the-paranormal

Q: Can Indian scientists bring moon to Earth?

Krishna: And kill all living beings on Earth? This is what happens if moon is brought anywhere near Earth!  Moon is not what you see in the sky, a small ball. It is huge! The moon's mean radius is 1,079.6 miles (1,737.5 kilometers). Double those figures to get its diameter: 2,159.2 miles (3,475 km), less than a third the width of Earth. The moon's equatorial circumference is 6,783.5 miles (10,917 km) (2).

No, scientists can't bring moon to Earth. 

Q: Do cows know they are sacred? Can scientists find this out?

Krishna: Scientists have found out several things about animals (1).

Researchers of animal behaviour did not rule out the possibility that animals had minds. They show emotions like human beings do.  because of modern technological advances, some animals process information and express emotions in ways that are accompanied by conscious mental experience. 

while scientists agree that animals, from rats and mice to parrots and humpback whales, have complex mental capacities; that a few species have attributes once thought to be unique to people, such as the ability to give objects names and use tools; and that a handful of animals — primates, corvids (the crow family) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins) — have something close to what in humans is seen as culture, in that they develop distinctive ways of doing things which are passed down by imitation and example. But no animals have all the attributes of human minds.

Mirror neurons are important to scientists attempting to find the basis of the way the human mind works, or at least to find correlates of that working, in the anatomy of human brains. The fact that those anatomical correlates keep turning up in non-human brains, too, is one of the current reasons for seeing animals as also being things with minds. There are mirror neurons; there are spindle cells (also called von Economo neurons) which play a role in the expression of empathy and the processing of social information. Chimpanzee brains have parts corresponding to Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area which, in people, are associated with language and communication. Brain mapping reveals that the neurological processes underlying what look like emotions in rats are similar to those behind what clearly are emotions in humans. As a group of neuroscientists seeking to sum the field up put it in 2012, “Humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures…also possess these neurological substrates.”

But to say that animals have a biological basis for consciousness is not the same as saying they actually think or feel.

Some animals recognize themselves in mirrors. Recognising yourself is one thing; what of recognising others — not just as objects, but as things with purposes and desires like one’s own, but aimed at different ends. Some animals like chimpanzees clearly pass this test too. Chimps also understand that they can manipulate the beliefs of others; they frequently deceive each other in competition for food! We call the ability to recognise that others have different aims and desires a “theory of mind”. Chimpanzees have this. That is why you shouldn't throw stones at them. They treat you as 'harmful' and enemy and show aggression towards you!

Another test of legal personhood is the ability to experience pleasure or pain — to feel emotions. Most animals can have similar emotions to humans. Animals obviously show emotions such as fear.  If animals share this human capacity, people should give consideration to animal suffering as they do to that of their own kind. Some animals seem to display pity, or at least concern, for diseased and injured members of their group. Stronger chimps help weaker ones to cross roads in the wild. Elephants mourn their dead. There have also been observations of animals going out of their way to help creatures of a different species.

If animals are self-aware, aware of others and have some measure of self-control, then they share some of the attributes used to define personhood in law. If they display emotions and feelings in ways that are not purely instinctive, there may also be a case for saying their feelings should be respected in the way that human feelings are. 

Animals can also use tools like we do. Crows, chimpanzees do this very often.

Some animals have their own cultures too! Most cultures distinguish between outsiders and insiders and animals are no exceptions. Orcas, also known as killer whales, are particularly striking in this regard, having a repertoire of calls which are distinctive to the pod in which they live, a sort of dialect. But if animals display four of the five attributes that go to make up a culture, there is one they do not share. Perhaps the most distinctive thing about human cultures is that they change over time, building upon earlier achievements to produce everything from iPhones and modern medicine to democracy. Nothing like this has been observed in animals. Only adaptive changes have been observed in animals.

There is a great deal more to learn about animal minds. Grammatical language can pretty thoroughly be ruled out. So is complex abstract reasoning. 

Yes, animals do have minds. The physiological evidence of brain functions, their communications and the versatility of their responses to their environments all strongly support the idea.

But animals’ abilities are patchy compared with those of humans. Dogs can learn words but do not recognise their reflections. These specific, focused abilities fit with some modern thinking about human minds, which sees them less as engines of pure reason that can be applied in much the same way to all aspects of life as bundles of subroutines for specific tasks. 

There seems to be a link between mind and society which animals display. The wild animals with the highest levels of cognition (primates, cetaceans, elephants, parrots) are, like people, long-lived species that live in complex societies, in which knowledge, social interaction and communication are at a premium. It seems reasonable to speculate that their minds — like human ones — may well have evolved in response to their social environment

Finally, the answer to your Q : NO! Cows don't know that people of a particular religion in India treat them as sacred. If you perform a puja, and forcefully make them do some things, it might cause inconvenience to them. If you offer food to them during rituals they might feel happy. But they can't reason and understand why you are doing these things.  

Q: Do scientists do gagging too to suppress facts?

Krishna: To suppress facts? No! Evidence based facts must be known to everybody. However, I know that scientists did suppress misinformation, pseudo-science, false information that are used to attack science and cause harm to the societies we live in. That is a good thing. Because people who don't know what is genuine science and what is fraud science, get confused and deceived if such misinformation is allowed to flourish.  

Q: Yesterday, I had a vision. God appeared in front of me and asked me to talk to you. You are the chosen one to spread light. Because you are highly skilled and can do this. Are you ready to spread the word of God the scientific way?

Krishna: :) Strange! Why didn't he appear before me directly? Why did he choose you instead? I don't need any mediators. Ask your God, if he really exists, to talk to me directly.

 In terms of a real world explanation, lots of people have delusions, or epiphanies, or blinding bursts of insight or inspiration. These can be highly impactful and inspirational for them. But that doesn’t make them real, they are just interpretations of strange perceptions and hallucinations.

You need to visit a genuine medical doctor if you are visualizing these strange things.

No, I am not ready to spread imaginative things and stories using science. That becomes pseudo-science which I am fighting against. I deal with only evidence based facts and genuine science. Period!

Q: Are religious beliefs a must for all intelligent living beings in this universe? Or is it science that drives them ?

Krishna: Now tell me this : Even some animals are intelligent, eventhough they are less intelligent than us. Do they have religions like humans do? NO!

Then there might be intelligent beings that are more intelligent than us and might have found out how this universe originated on its own and therefore there is no creator. They might solve their problems with their own mind power and science and don't need emotional support of a supreme being.  They don't need imaginative explanations to find out things and "God did it'' escapism. Here too you don't find religions. 

Only medium intelligent beings like we have on Earth need religion. Because we still have several unanswered Qs and our incapability  and inadequacy make us hide behind "GOD" concept. We still don't have mental capabilities that can make us stand on our own. We need the emotional support of religion. Our medium intelligence is not even capable of accepting scientific facts of this universe and we still are not capable of accepting critical thinking as the best of all mental powers.

References:

1. https://www.economist.com/news/essays/21676961-inner-lives-animals-...

2. https://www.space.com/18135-how-big-is-the-moon.html

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