SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Our perceptions are based on our sensory outputs. Without external sensory outputs, can perceptions still be formed?

Krishna: If my answer is a definite 'Yes'?  

Several things influence your perceptions. 

Recently scientists have created perceptions in mice with just optogenetic [Optogenetics (from Greek optikós, meaning 'seen, visible') is a biological technique that involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels. ... The key reagents used in optogenetics are light-sensitive proteins] manipulations (1). Similar results were reported elsewhere too (2).

If you can manipulate the activity of neurons in a specific manner, you get strange perceptions too. So it is the brain that creates the actual world for you, not the external stimuli.

Similarly, when something goes wrong in your brain, you start seeing and hearing things, even though such things don't exist in reality. That is how people hallucinate ghosts and experience paranormal things (3). That is how schizophrenics hear voices. 

Q: Is science more important than other fields? There are fields like food and agriculture, healthcare which are more important than science and scientific research and need immediate attention and fund allocations.

Krishna: You cannot separate science and technology from any field now! Get this fact right. Food and agriculture, healthcare are fields of science.  Roads and other infrastructure use science and tech too. Travel needs science and technology ( where would be cars, buses, trains, planes, and other public transport system without science and technology?) Sports people use sports science. Even in business you need data science. You need technology and forensic science in law. To maintain a good environment and ecological balance, again, you need science. You need science in art too (I mentioned how in the group 'Research' here) ! Name a single field where you don't use science and technology now. You can't!

We used to say religion is the only field which doesn't need science. But even religious people are using 'science' to authenticate their beliefs now - of course that is pseudo-science. And they are using technology even to conduct the religious rituals. Hmmm!

Let me assert this once again.  This universe itself is based on scientific principles. You cannot separate science from anything in this universe. If you remove science from this universe it would collapse. That is the importance of science.

To study this universal language and use it for the benefit of the mankind, and development of the world, yes, you need to allocate lots of money to scientific research. That is the only correct way if you want progress. Otherwise you will be backward forever. Period!

Q: In your article Science and the paranormal, you mentioned that some people can hallucinate under certain conditions. What are those conditions? 

Krishna: Hallucinations are where someone sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels things that don't exist outside their mind.

These can be caused by ... taking illegal drugs or alcohol, a mental illness such as schizophrenia, a progressive neurological condition such as Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease, loss of vision caused by a condition such as macular degeneration – this is known as Charles Bonnet syndrome.
Hallucinations can also occur as a result of extreme tiredness ( because of long distance travel) or  a recent bereavement ( death of a loved person).

Q: Madam, everything is not to be viewed as scientific or unscientific . I think life is much, much more than that. Don't you agree? Because several people agree with me.

Krishna: Oh, Really? Without science, the universe, you, all the people who agree with you and I don’t exist in the first place. Life? Can you imagine without science how life can originate, propagate and exist? Your Q denotes partial picture paralysis.

Q: Like you say, our modern science is still a toddler to understand the nature of life on this planet. How can we trust it more than religious beliefs?

Krishna: Science is  a toddler, agreed. But that does not mean that we should consider everything that is not yet explained by science, to be true. We must question them to refine science and to help it explain nature. You don't know something, that does not mean that you can make any claim about it and give an explanation of your own, and profess it to be true.

A slow, steady and authentic process is better than untested and hasty explanations that don't make any sense.

Q: Somebody said and I quote: “Whose intellect is not clouded by mundane material works, may destroy the whole world and yet not cause any actual destruction, or be destroyed.“? Are you one of them?

Krishna: Maybe! :) I completely understood what you meant. (People who read this asked me to explain the quote)

Yes, my intellect is not clouded by mundane things: I am almost immune to ordinary things happen to me or around me because I have better things to do and cannot get affected by silly things and waste my time.

 I may destroy the whole world and yet not cause any actual destruction, or be destroyed: That is the beauty of science communication. I can destroy the darkness the world is in,  destroy the irrationality, distress, fear, desolation, falsehood and backwardness the world is made of. But what is heart-warming is this is not actual destruction because I replace them with light, rationality, strength, confidence, hopefulness, truth(facts of universe) and progress. 

How can a person and her thoughts and work like that will ever be destroyed. How can universal reality can get destroyed? Never! It will last as long as this universe lasts. 

Q: Why the hell is it necessary to make the science research papers typical, like hard to understand?
Krishna: It is not necessary but we follow a prescribed procedure (dictated by journals) while writing them. This process makes people in the field to understand it in the right way.
Of course, there will be jargon. Like people have names, animals and plant species have names to identify them easily while communicating. Even the procedures of things we do in labs will have names to identify and follow easily instead of describing them in detail each time you mention about them.
Consider this : If you mention the name Rahul Gandhi, you identify the person easily. But if there is no name, then you will have to start with great grandson of somebody who lives some where ( if there is no place to mention) and did something ( describing the act) , grandson of somebody and son of somebody - each time repeating the process. How difficult it becomes?
Likewise, the jargon makes it easy for the concerned people to identify things without much effort. Even the graphs, tables and equations are easy to understand than lengthy descriptions. If you don't learn them, they might seem difficult to understand, but in reality it is quite the opposite why jargon and procedures are invented - to make things easy for the specialists! :)

Q: Do scientists believe in law of attraction?

Krishna: Genuine scientists don't believe in silly things!

Q: What is the difference between climate and weather?

Krishna:  Climate describes patterns of weather in an area over long stretches of time. Weather refers to specific events, such as hot days or thunderstorms. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods are all examples of extreme weather.

Q: What is attribution science?

Krishna: It is a field of research, largely used in climate studies. It seeks to test whether — and by how much — climate change may be responsible for certain extreme weather events, such as droughts, extreme flooding, hurricanes, excessive heat or odd storm trajectories.

 Investigating links between climate and extreme weather is known as attribution science. Such studies often can be tricky — but not impossible. And in recent years, scientists have developed ways to do it with ever more confidence. 

An important part of that process is asking the right questions. Then scientists use computer models to analyze climate data with math. The climate scientists are finding new and better ways to quantify, or measure, the impacts of climate change. Scientists had long predicted climate change would worsen some extreme weather events. It might also make them more frequent. With attribution studies, signs have recently begun to offer support for that. They can show not only that a link is real, but also how strong it is. 

Q: How much does it cost to go into  real haunted houses?

References:

1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/07/17/science.aaw...

2. https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30616-6

3. Science and the paranormal

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