SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Earlier, when I was very young, even though science and technology 's not so advanced,  people never questioned vaccines. They just took them. Why are they trying to avoid it now?

Krishna: People might have  debated about vaccines earlier also. But the fear of polio crippling people, fear of diseases killing people might have made many go for them. If you see the devastation with your own eyes, you believe the damage these diseases can do. Only now, decades later, with the horror of such diseases fading from memory, their rampant contagiousness forgotten, can someone have the luxury of campaigning against the protection of children and be taken seriously, to the point where others must beg them to do their part. 

That visual experience of wide-spread devastation is being replaced by misleading and fabricated stories of the  media. Peoples' perceptions are changing.

Lack of first hand experience, ignorance and false propaganda about vaccines are the reasons why some people are staying away from them. 

Q; Is science, especially maths, invented by humans?

Q: Does mathematics actually exist in the universe or is it simply a human costruct?

Krishna: If science 's invented by humans, how is it present in each and every particle of this universe? Science is discovered by humans because it is already there. But scientific method 's invented by human beings not only to study what 's already present in nature, but also confirm it without human nature (like biases, beliefs, strange perceptions, interpretations, mere imaginations, opinions, ignorant arguments)  interfering with  fact finding mission and using the knowledge for the welfare of living beings.

Q: Is spontaneous cancer cure a miracle science cannot understand?

Krishna: Some “miracles” are attributable to poorly understood phenomena such as spontaneous remissions in cancer cases.  Some are cured by the medicines themselves, according to doctors. 

Medicine cured 'miracle' woman - not Mother Teresa, say doctors

Some scientists are asking the Q, Any deities who can cure one person’s cancer can cure everybody’s cancer. Any deities who can save one passenger in a plane crash can save all the passengers. Why don’t they? Why do they choose only one?

These are not miracles. Scientific phenomena not understood fully yet.

Q: Can science investigate a miracle?

In fact like somebody said, ‘Modern science makes miracles impossible’. A miracle’s life is so short lived that it exists only until science enters the arena. How pitiful!

Q: What's the reason behind science looking at subjectivity with so much suspicion?
Krishna: Everyone thinks; it is human nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or down-right prejudiced. Yet the
quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely
on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is detrimental to science. It also effects the standard of our living. But still several people think, just because they did graduation, PG and Ph.D. in science, they can think scientifically. This itself is lopsided thinking. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.

Subjectivity is the quality of being based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions.

Several things might screw up your thought process and understanding. These are cultural, religious, political, emotional and ideological ones. Just because you love or respect somebody - that somebody need not be always right. Or just because you hate somebody that person need not always be wrong. Just because you believe in something doesn't make it a fact.

You have to be totally neutral and get rid of all things that influence your thought process to get the facts right.

Science is the fundamental thing that runs this universe. Shoddy subjectivity, doesn't take you to the genuine facts of the universe. If you don't get your facts right, you cannot utilize science properly. That is why scientific method polices the world of science.

Critical Thinking

Scientific Thinking

Q: Can we buy products made of plant and animal-derived  things when we travel outside of our countries?

Krishna: NO! Please don't do that. Your souvenir collection shouldn't endanger animals and plants. 

For instance seahorses -many of them are endangered or vulnerable. Nonetheless, an estimated 150 million seahorses are captured and left in the sun to dry every year, later to be used in traditional medicine or sold as curios and souvenirs. Hundreds of thousands more are sold live for the aquarium trade.

Purses made of animal skins and furs ( crocodile, tiger, leopard, snake) are making several of these animals extinct. 

Collecting Humming bird charms is illegal in several countries.

Because of over-harvesting, certain corals are listed as an endangered species, and much of the seashell industry is illegal because the shells are collected with live animals still inside.

Almost all species of sea turtle are endangered, and the trade of their eggs, meat, and shells is illegal. Watch out for products such as jewelry, hair clips, musical instruments, turtle leather products, and anything labeled “tortoiseshell".

Shahtoosh  shawls made from the wool of Tibetan antelopes, also called chiru, are illegal because obtaining the wool means killing several of the endangered animals.

Ivory trade is killing lots of elephants and walruses.

Even taking selfies with wild animals is not correct because it is being cruel to the animals. Animals like sloths and anacondas are often beaten into submission before photos are snapped, and the critters are usually captured as babies and held in inhumane conditions. 

Guitars, flutes and clarinets made of rosewood is threatening the existence of this timber.

Collecting cacti can bring back pests and diseases from other countries.

Q: Can science explain human morals? If so, how?

When it comes to questions of morality and meaning, the way we go about deciding what is right and wrong, and meaningful or not, is not the same as the way we discover what is true and false or facts. Some emotions like kindness and empathy will be involved. Controlling them is highly important to arrive at a good decision. Just because a criminal cries and acts funnily, you cannot support him. Oh yes, his brain could be differently wired! You try to analyze what could make any person behave so differently from others. On the other hand you can empathize with a poor thief when he steals food. But if you are a logical thinker you will try to understand what circumstances made him stole the food and try to correct them. Critical thinking, which is a part of science training, helps here.

Okay, when you go to a zoology lab, when you ’re asked to do pithing - a pithed frog is a frog that has its spinal cord or cerebral cortex pierced, severed or scrambled in order to kill it or make it insensible for experimental purposes such as dissection), you think, ‘Wait a minute, the frog consists a nervous system too. It can feel pain like I do. Therefore I refuse to kill the frog in such a cruel way’.

Science and Ethics

Anyone, especially a scientist, who knows how a nervous system works during pain processing can do no physical harm to any living being. And anyone who knows how the brain really works at the emotional level will never try to harass another living being. Any person who has seen how the scientific rules are followed universally in a given set of conditions, and understood its beauty can never think in local terms and can never come under the influence of artificially created races, castes, groups, communities or citizenships. He sees all the living beings as his own images - following universal rules of life and as citizens of this universe.

Science and Spirituality

These are just a few examples. For a genuine scientist, science becomes a torch light for each path s/he treads on. Science guides every movement and decision s/he makes.

Who says science science doesn’t deal with morals? It does, and it does that in a better way than several others.

Q: What mindset do you need for scientific research?

Read more of these qualities here: The specific traits of a scientific mind

Q: If people lack scientific knowledge, what mistakes do they make?  

Krishna: I face this everyday! People fear for even small things and come running to me with complaints, strange explanations, perceptions and even stupid suggestions!

I won't get angry because they never had an opportunity I had to understand things realistically and use the knowledge to conquer fear, pain, frustrations and all sorts of things that impede progress. That is why it became my endeavour to get them science-educated. But this is proving tougher for us as other things are controlling them and their minds. First we have to bring them out of those things and then again re-educate them.  Science communication is proving tougher than working in a lab!

Q: Is ‘feeling familiar with a person’ a sign of past life? What does science say about it?


Krishna: There is no evidence of past lives. Some people here gave ‘feeling familiar with a person’ is a sign of past life.

But Deja Vu is a startling mental event. The phenomenon involves a strong feeling that an experience is familiar, despite sensing or knowing that it never happened before. Most people have experienced déjà vu at some point in their life, but it occurs infrequently, perhaps once or twice a year at most. Even the blind can experience deja vu!

Memory explanations of déjà vu are based on the idea that you have previously experienced a situation, or something very much like it, but you don’t consciously remember that you have. Instead, you remember it unconsciously, which is why it feels familiar even though you don’t know why.

The single element familiarity hypothesis suggests you experience déjà vu if one element of the scene is familiar to you but you don’t consciously recognize it because it’s in a different setting like when you see your teacher on the street. Your brain still finds your teacher familiar even if you don’t recognize them, and generalizes that feeling of familiarity to the entire scene.

The gestalt familiarity hypothesis focuses on how items are organized in a scene and how déjà vu occurs when you experience something with a similar layout. For example, you may not have seen your friend’s painting in their living room before, but maybe you’ve seen a room that’s laid out like your friend’s living room – a painting hanging over the sofa, across from a bookcase. Since you can’t recall the other room, you experience déjà vu.

One advantage to the gestalt similarity hypothesis is that it can be more directly tested. In one study, participants looked at rooms in virtual reality, then were asked how familiar a new room was and whether they felt they were experiencing déjà vu.

The researchers found that study participants who couldn’t recall the old rooms tended to think a new room was familiar, and that they were experiencing déjà vu, if the new room resembled old ones. Furthermore, the more similar the new room was to an old room, the higher these ratings were.

Although déjà vu often feels supernatural or paranormal, glitches in the brain might be to blame. One possibility is that a small seizure occurs in brain regions essential for memory formation and retrieval—the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus, areas deep in the middle of the brain. When you see your grandmother, for example, spontaneous activity in these regions creates an instant feeling of familiarity. With déjà vu, a brief synaptic misfiring might occur in these areas, creating the illusion that the event has occurred before. In support of this idea, studies show that some individuals with epilepsy have a brief déjà vu episode prior to a seizure, with the focal area of the seizure often falling in the hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus.

Other phenomena might also help explain déjà vu, such as inattentiveness. Because we often navigate the world on autopilot, we take in much of our surroundings on an unconscious level. People who text on their cell phones while walking are only superficially aware of the shops and pedestrians they are passing. Perhaps an episode of déjà vu begins during such a moment. When we emerge into full awareness, we might do a perceptual double take. We are struck by a strange sense of familiarity because we saw the scene just moments before, unconscious.

A third possibility is that we have forgotten the prior experience. The psychology literature is replete with stories of adults visiting a notable place, such as a castle, and becoming overwhelmed by an uncanny sense of having been there before.

Our brain is always searching for connections. As a result, we can sometimes make links that simply aren't there.

Science and the paranormal

So ‘feeling of familiarity’ is not a sign of past life.

Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?

Q: Which scientist is the smartest in history?

Q: People often say "if magic existed, we wouldn't think of it as magic, it would be normalized." What are things that exist in our world today that would seem like magic to someone who had never seen them?
Krishna: Science and how it works! But people who don’t understand how science runs this universe think it is all magic or a miracle!
Only a person who deeply understands science and its principles know how all this works and a scientist who can see the unseen knows although it looks like magic, it is not that in reality.
Q: Who was Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai?
Krishna: 

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is regarded as father of Indian Space Programme. He ‘s an Indian physicist and industrialist who initiated space research.

He was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad.

Some of the most well-known institutions established by Dr. Sarabhai are ( according to ISRO):
1. Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad
2. Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
3. Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad
4. Darpan Academy for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad (along with his wife)
5. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuramm
6. Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad (This institution came into existence after merging six institutions/centres established by Sarabhai)
7. Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), Kalpakkam
8. Varaiable Energy Cyclotron Project, Calcutta
9. Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad
10. Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Jaduguda, Bihar

The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)( initially called Indian National Committee for Space Research ) was one of his greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of India of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India . Sarabhai also set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in southern India. Sarabhai initiated programs to take education to remote villages through satellite communication and called for the development of satellite-based remote sensing of natural resources.

Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the Centre is called the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre.

Q: is believing in superstition a worldwide phenomenon?

Science's rules are unyielding, they will not be bent in any way fo...

Q: Are there any documented proven proofs of ghosts or paranormal forces?

Krishna: Genuine scientific evidence? NO!

Of course there are lots of anecdotal stories, science could explain differently. Like this: Science and the paranormal

Q: Can stress result in experiencing paranormal activities?

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