SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Why is it hard to change people's minds? Why do they remain steadfast to their beliefs? Have you ever wondered why some people refuse to change their minds, even when faced with hard scientific facts?
Krishna: Science has explained this in detail. There are several factors that dictate this behaviour.

1. Lack of skills to understand things put before you the correct way.

2. Conditioned minds. Majority of people find it difficult to come out of culturally, traditionally, ideologically, religiously and politically conditioned mindsets. Some people who try to control others will not allow their followers to go out of their control by manipulating their minds. A fear stricken mind can never go out of its comfort zone.

3. Cognitive dissonance is difficult to deal with. Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviours. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort because this can lead to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviours to reduce the discomfort and restore balance. It will be easy to discord a new one instead of the one that is already well established in ones mind.

4. Lack of critical thinking skills. Only Critical Thinking can make you overcome cognitive dissonance. If you don't have this skill, you refuse to think neutrally.

5. People find sticking with their group, family, and friends is more comfortable and safe than going against the tide.

6. Just putting facts across need not make people take them in the way they should be taken. Science communication researchers say that most people will interpret these facts not with their heads, but with their guts – their emotions, prior opinions and biases. Human perceptions and expectations are huge determinants in basic research as well as its understanding, we tend to see what we expect. We see things as we are, not as they are! Research has shown that only one- tenth to one-fourth of people can really do unbiased reasoning and accept a fact based on evidence. Rest of the people will go with emotions and biases! So they resort to motivated reasoning.

7. The researchers also say that various characteristics of the information source – from credibility, to gender, to political affiliation, to occupation, to familiarity – affect how the reader receives, processes and interprets the information. Most people trust celebrities and spiritual leaders (who actually deal with pseudo-science) while dealing with science than real scientists!

8. Most people don't know the difference between evidence and opinions. They treat your evidence as your opinion!

So just because you have shown evidence based facts doesn't make people accept them.

We, the people of scientific community, are fighting all these things to make general public understand scientific facts and come out of their ancient mind sets.

Q: Which idea always appears new to you?

Each moment brings in something new, some thing knowledgeable, something thrilling, making the world around me super special!

Q: Why is the national science day observed in India and in whose name?

Why Feb 28th? To commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect in India by the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Sir CV Raman on the same day in the year 1928.

On a boat trip back from England in 1921, Indian physicist C.V. Raman, considering the question of why the sea is blue, got started on a line of research that would lead to the discovery in February 1928 of a new scattering effect, now known as the Raman effect, which is very important.

To commemorate and honour this event, 28th of February was designated as a National Science Day in India as requested by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) in the year 1986. From then on, the national science day ‘s celebrated all across India as a great event in the field of science.

Q: How do I learn all the scientific names?

But you can learn as many as you can by reading genuine scientific research papers. Or going through articles that deal with science.

Q: You do tremendous work, Dr. Krishna.  I really congratulate you but at the same time worried too. Do you get attacked? Do people try to stop you?

Krishna: Thank you very much for your concern.

Do I get attacked? 

Yes, by professional astrologers, homeopathic practitioners, pseudo-science peddlers, people who try to hoodwink people on black magic, and anti-science crusaders do attack me.

Do people try to stop me?

Yes. All the time. But they don't know that I am unstoppable! :)

But I do understand their fears and why they do this. 

If you remove ignorance, people learn things and refuse to get manipulated.

That is bad news for them because their own survival depends on people's ignorance. 

But causing harm to others to  feed themselves is bad. Do they try to understand that?

No? Why?

Q: What's your opinion on the discovery of invisible footprints by scientists?

Whatever was there was found. There is evidence. Scientists explained things in detail . It becomes a scientific fact. What opinion can you have on that?

If I understood your Q right, I think you ‘re looking for some sort of supernatural or paranormal or magical explanation for it. Sorry, this discovery doesn’t provide any evidence for such things.

I know some journalists and people who want to create ‘eye-ball catching sensational news’ use the words ‘ghost tracks’, ‘invisible foot prints’ and things like that. But it doesn’t mean anything in reality. If you got excited by them, I am sorry to say you were fooled by them.

They are just fossil foot prints of animals including humans. Nothing more and nothing less. Period.

This is just another scientific research paper for us: 3-D radar imaging unlocks the untapped behavioral and biomechanical...

https://weather.com/en-IN/india/science/news/2019-11-13-scientists-...

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-52996-8

Journalists, have you seen how your sensational headlines are misleading people?

Q: Do you think the feeling of nationalism is good for a scientist or not?

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.

Nationalism doesn’t exist in the dictionary of science.

If a scientist still acts in a biased manner despite his scientific background, I feel the person didn’t understand science properly and that he couldn’t overcome his cultural and, nationalistic conditioning of mind with his scientific temper!

So the brief answer to your Q is a big NO!

Q: What is hapten in Microbiology?

Krishna: Hapten is a small molecule which, when combined with a larger carrier such as a protein, can elicit the production of antibodies which bind specifically to it (in the free or combined state).

Detailed explanation: Haptens are relatively small molecules that elicit an immune response on on their own but only when attached to a large carrier such as a protein; the carrier may be one that also does not elicit an immune response by itself (in general, only large molecules, infectious agents, or insoluble foreign matter can elicit an immune response in the body). Once the body has generated antibodies to a hapten-carrier adduct, the small-molecule hapten may also be able to bind to the antibody, but it will usually not initiate an immune response; usually only the hapten-carrier adduct can do this. Sometimes the small-molecule hapten can even block immune response to the hapten-carrier adduct by preventing the adduct from binding to the antibody, a process called hapten inhibition.
The mechanisms of absence of immune response may vary and involve complex immunological mechanisms, but can include absent or insufficient co-stimulatory signals from antigen-presenting cells.

Haptens have been used to study allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) and the mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to induce autoimmune-like responses.

Q: According to science why are people right or left handed?

Q: Are there any scientific reasons for a person to be right-handed or left handed?

Krishna: Researchers who study human hand preference think that the side of the preferred hand (right versus left) is produced by biological and, most likely, genetic causes. The two most widely published genetic theories of human hand preference argue that evolutionary natural selection produced a majority of individuals with speech and language control in the left hemisphere of the brain. Because the left hemisphere also controls the movements of the right hand--and notably the movements needed to produce written language--millennia of evolutionary development resulted in a population of humans that is biased genetically toward individuals with left hemisphere speech/language and right-hand preference. Approximately 85 percent of people are right-handed. These theories also try to explain the persistent and continuing presence of a left-handed minority (about 15 percent of humans).

One common theory as to how handedness affects the hemispheres is the brain hemisphere division of labour. Since speaking and handiwork require fine motor skills, its presumption is that it would be more efficient to have one brain hemisphere do both, rather than having it divided up. Since in most people, the left side of the brain controls speaking, right-handedness predominates. This theory also predicts that left-handed people have a reversed brain division of labour.

Verbal processing in right-handed individuals takes place mostly in the left hemisphere, whereas visuospatial processing is mostly done in the opposite hemisphere. Left-handed individuals have a heterogeneous brain organization in which their brain hemispheres are either organized in the same way as right-handers (but with the hemispheres reversed) or even such that both hemispheres are used for verbal processing. When the average is taken across all types of left-handedness, it shows that left-handers are less lateralized.

Genetic factors: Handedness displays a complex inheritance pattern. For example, if both parents of a child are left-handed, there is a 26% chance of that child being left-handed.  A large study of twins from 25,732 families by Medland et al. (2006) (1) has indicated that the heritability of handedness is roughly 24%.

However, the growing weight of evidence from linkage  and genome-wide association studies suggests that genetic variance in handedness cannot be explained by a single genetic locus.  From these studies McManus et al. (2) now conclude that handedness is polygenic and estimate that at least 40 loci contribute to determining this trait.

Epigenetic fa ctors: Identical twin studies indicate that genetic factors explain 25% of the variance in handedness, while environmental factors explain the remaining 75%. (3)

Hormonal effects: Some studies have indicated that individuals who have had in-utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol (a synthetic estrogen based medication used between 1940 and 1971) were more likely to be left-handed over the clinical control group. Diethylstilbestrol animal studies "suggest that estrogen affects the developing brain, including the part that governs sexual behavior and right and left dominance"

Prenatal vestibular symmetry:After reviewing a large number of studies, researchers found evidence that the position of the fetus in the final trimester and a baby's subsequent birth position can affect handedness. About two-thirds of fetuses present with their left occiput (back of the head) at birth. This partly explains why prematurity results in a decrease in right-handedness. They argue that asymmetric prenatal positioning creates asymmetric stimulation of the vestibular system, which is involved in the development of handedness. In fact, every major disorder in which patients show reduced right-handedness is associated with either vestibular abnormalities or delay, and asymmetry of the vestibular cortex is strongly correlated with the direction of handedness  (4,5).

There are also links to ultra sound (US) exposure of a pregnant woman to her children becoming left-handed but there is no solid evidence to correctly link left handedness with US.

Q: Is there any scientific way to decrease the temperature level by 5 to 6 degrees in Delhi in the summer? Krishna: Listen to the climate scientists and ask your government to do what the scientists recommend to decrease the global temperature.
But you cannot go beyond a certain range even if you follow the scientists’ guidelines. . 

Q: If you can instantly become an expert in something, what would it be and why? 

Krishna: Nobody can become an ‘instant expert’. I don’t even want such ‘easy money’ without putting any effort in the first place.

I want to become an expert in science, and I already started working towards it.

Why? Nothing can be compared to it. Science is responsible for the beginning and end of our universe. It is heroic. It fuels the economy, it feeds the world, it fights disease and … even death. It is thrilling, it makes every moment of my life very interesting.

Without knowledge of science, you cannot become a whole human being. You exist, but your life isn’t worth living at all! As an intelligent human being, I cannot afford to become another stone on a mountain, gathering dust and weathering day in and day out without any real purpose.

And I want to help the world with my scientific knowledge and alleviate its suffering to the extent possible.

Q (Based on the above one): Without knowledge of science, you cannot become a whole human being?”…this statement of yours is very vague, I think so. Just like science, a human being needs to understand so many other disciplines to become a complete human being.

Krishna: OK. I can understand. Without a whole picture of this universe and its working in the human mind, such vagueness is natural.

Q: Is it true that if I keep on repeating in my mind that I'll be successful, it comes true? What is the scientific reason behind it?

No, it doesn’t!

You will have to put in your efforts in the right way to succeed. Without doing anything - do excellent work to be more precise - how can you succeed in the first place?

What's the scientific reason behind it?

There is no scientific reason behind it. It is all pseudo-science, if anybody uses the word ‘science’ to authenticate their beliefs.

This pseudo-scientific theory too is owned by a thrash can!

Q: What are the signs that one has a scientific brain and thinking?

Krishna: There some specific traits with which you can recognize a scientific mind.

A scientific mind breathes, eats, sleeps, drinks, reads, writes, thinks and lives science all the time.

And … there are more qualifications. Read here what they are : The specific traits of a scientific mind

Q: Does being educated come with a price as ignorance is bliss?

People who still stick to ancient thoughts and practises despite tremendous progress in scientific understanding of the world around us are actually ruining our societies.

Examples I read in today’s papers:

A father who took his two children who fell sick to a fake doctor (quack) and took ‘treatment’ from him until their health deteriorated till a point of no return to realize his mistake. The children paid with their lives for their father’s foolishness.

A politician who got cheated by a fake baba.

People who pray to trees to get healed:

Magical Mahua: Hundreds of patients on oxygen support visit ‘healin...

Don’t tell me these people are illiterate and ignorant. Even literate and highly qualified people do this because they are illiterate scientifically. I have seen them with my own eyes and tried several times to drill some sense into their minds.

Literate people living in urban areas are too scientifically illite...

How scientific illiteracy can harm you...

Q: Is there any scientific evidence of curing diseases by acupressure?

Citations:

1. Medland, SE; Duffy, DL; Wright, MJ; Geffen, GM; Martin, NG (Feb 2006). "Handedness in twins: joint analysis of data from 35 samples". Twin Res Hum Genet9 (1): 46–53. doi:10.1375/183242706776402885PMID 16611467.

2.  McManus, IC; Davison, A; Armour, JA (June 2013). "Multilocus genetic models of handedness closely resemble single-lo...Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1288 (1): 48–58. doi:10.1111/nyas.12102PMC 4298034PMID 23631511

3.  Medland, SE; Duffy, DL; Wright, MJ; Geffen, GM; Martin, NG (Feb 2006). "Handedness in twins: joint analysis of data from 35 samples". Twin Res Hum Genet. 9 (1): 46–53. doi:10.1375/18324

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