SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Some scientists say, 'science is never settled'. Is that true? What do they mean by 'never settled'?

Krishna: Just saying things without explanations create confusion. Okay let me explain it to you now. 

Like I have been saying all these days, Science has two aspects:

  1. The principles that are responsible for the origin of our universe, governing it after its origin and running it. These are absolute facts because the evidence that this universe is running on them without any hitches is itself proof that they are beyond any question.
  2. The process with which we study our universe and try to understand it.

If you take the first aspect, i.e., the principles that govern this universe, the science is settled! It is not going to change!

But if you take the second aspect, it can  be 'settled' only if the results of the second  aspect fully tallies with the the first one. But because of the human mind limitations, it has become impossible most of the time. So scientists accept their limitations make the study with which we try to understand the first aspect very unsettled. 

Q: ‘How much scientific knowledge  a common man should have?
Krishna :

Lots of it - if you want a wonderful and thrilling life like me

Most of it - if you want a good life

A bit of it - if you want an average life

None of it - if you want a life of a living being surviving at the bottom of the pit.

The choice is definitely yours!

Q: You say science runs this universe. Can that be proven?

Krishna: Yes, using scientific methods and mathematical equations. Science is the fact of our Universe without which it cannot exist.

Q: Are sea fish dangerous to eat?

Krishna: A paper, published in Nature Geoscience, pinpoints the difference in mercury levels in shallow and deep-water fish as in the amount of sunlight to which the animals are exposed and proposes that most of the mercury that humans consume is produced in the deep ocean. The researchers propose that the findings will be critical in assessing which fish are safe to eat as the mercury content of the Pacific Ocean changes over the next few decades.

"How atmospheric mercury deposited in the surface ocean will impact fish mercury levels (and how it will change over time) requires understanding the mechanisms controlling the depths at which elemental mercury is transformed to organic mercury,” says Brian Popp, professor of geology and geophysics at UH Manoa and a co-author on the paper.

The process through which mercury ends up in fish bedding on supermarket ice shavings begins with oceanic bacteria in the deep, dark ocean. These microbes convert mercury from the atmosphere into monomethylmercury, a form of the compound especially toxic to humans that can accumulate in animal tissue. Little fish snack on those bacteria, taking in that organic compound. Big fish then feast on those little fish, building up mercury in their own bodies – and build up, and build up, since these large fish live long lives packed with mercury-laden meals.

Some studies have indicated that high levels of mercury in pregnant or breastfeeding women have been linked to cognitive problems in their children.

Scientists had for a while now known that fish that feed in deep waters, where those bacteria are found, are more toxic than shallow water fish: in 2009, Popp and colleagues from University of Hawaii, Manoa, reported that big fish culled from large depths have higher mercury concentrations than fish harvested in shallower waters. Depth was important .

Booming Asian coal factories – the newest culprits in churning out the compound – are sending more and more mercury into the atmosphere. That mercury ends up in bacteria, and then gets carried up the marine food chain to humans. Research suggests that the Oceans' intermediate depths are becoming increasingly polluted with emissions from those enterprises.

Fish with the highest levels of mercury include: the King Mackerel, Marlin, Orange Roughy, Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish, Bigeye, and Ahi Tuna. Tuna is the biggest threat to human health, as a popular fish with a high mercury content. Safer choices with less than 0.09 parts per million of mercury include: Catfish, Tilapia, Whitefish, Haddock, Herring, Flounder, and Salmon. 

So high end consumers of the sea, i.e., big fish that are found to feed in deeper parts of the oceans contain higher amounts of mercury (1) which can cause health problems when consumed. 

Q: Why don't NLP trainers get that NLP is pseudo-science?

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a way of changing someone's thoughts and behaviors to help achieve desired outcomes for them. If you have anxieties and phobias some people say they can treat you by using NLP. But the neuro-scientists I spoke to expressed their reservations regarding NLP's efficiency.

There is no genuine evidence that NLP works. And anecdotal evidence doesn't count in science. The lack of formal regulation and NLP's commercial value mean that claims of its effectiveness can be anecdotal or supplied by an NLP provider. NLP providers will have a financial interest in the success of NLP, so we cannot use their evidence.

Research on NLP has produced mixed results.

Some studies have found benefits associated with NLP. For example, a study published in the journal Counselling and Psychotherapy Research found psychotherapy patients had improved psychological symptoms and life quality after having NLP compared to a control group ( I must add here that psychology is a controversial subject and most of the results obtained in the subject were found to be not reproducible and therefore is not considered as true science by many).

However, a review published in The British Journal of General Practice of 10 available studies on NLP was less favorable. It concluded there was little evidence for the effectiveness of NLP in treating health-related conditions, including anxiety disorders, weight management, and substance misuse. This was due to the limited amount and quality of the research studies that were available, rather than evidence that showed NLP did not work.

In 2014, a report by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health found no clinical evidence for the effectiveness of NLP in the treatment of PTSD, GAD, or depression.

However, a further research review published in 2015 did find NLP therapy to have a positive impact on individuals with social or psychological problems, although the authors said more investigation was needed.

The theoretical basis for NLP has also attracted criticism for lacking evidence-based support.

A paper published in 2009 concluded that after three decades, the theories behind NLP were still not credible, and evidence for its effectiveness was only anecdotal.

A 2010 review paper sought to assess the research findings relating to the theories behind NLP. Of the 33 included studies, only 18 percent were found to support NLP's underlying theories.

So, despite more than 4 decades of its existence, neither the effectiveness of NLP or the validity of the theories have been clearly demonstrated by research. Also, it is worth noting, that research has mainly been conducted in therapeutic settings, with few studies into the effectiveness of NLP in commercial environments and therefore, are highly unreliable. Studying how well NLP works has several practical issues as well, adding to the lack of clarity surrounding the subject. For example, it is difficult to directly compare studies given the range of different methods, techniques, and outcomes. Human psychology differs from person to person and therefore you don't get uniform results in psychology and it is difficult to establish facts. Moreover, we cannot rely on commercial establishments' research as it would definitely biased towards their business.

Without valid scientific evidence, I will not recommend it. No genuine scientist or doctor would recommend it either.

Now it is up to you to decide whether to go for it or not.

Q: why isn't astrology being taught in universities while astronomy is?

Astronomy is real science. Pure and simple.

However, some people are trying to prove astrology as science too. Read here how:

Can courts decide what is science and what is not? If they do, is t...

Q: What is the science behind Brahmastra?

A fictional or mythological story is just what it is. Don’t try to think it is true. Come out of these delusions.

Q: Will science in the future conclude whether soul, rebirth., etc., exist or not?

Krishna: We already have some idea. Read here what it is: Soul?! What is it according to science and scientists?
Q: What is the science of supernatural known as?

Fun related words: TV documentaries, movies, plays, music

Science: pseudo-science.

Q: Earlier in villages we had so many supernatural things occurring that we don't hear as regularly as now. Why?

Krishna: Why? Because science has replaced supernatural in most of the cases. People started understanding things as they should be really understood now.

Q: Why is it important to share research results?

1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130825171726.htm

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