SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Is science the only answer?

Krishna: Yes! That ‘s an emphatic “YES”!

You have no other option if you want genuine, reality based, really helpful, dynamic answers.

In a science based and science run universe, that is the only right way to go.

Others might follow other routes but they are misleading, stagnant, primitive and delusional, wasting your time, energy and resources. The sooner people realize this, the better they progress.

Q: Why do people still believe in pseudo-science?

 Krishna: There are several reasons for the prevalence of pseudo-science

Cognitive biases play a major role in both creation and acceptance of pseudo-science. For instance people in India like their culture and traditions very much . They feel proud about them. They also like science, So they try to authenticate their culture, traditions, religious practices and even superstitions using science. They don't know that unless and until you use scientific method, you cannot establish genuine scientific facts. Instead of establishing facts, they create pseudo-science in the process.  

Most people don't know what genuine science is and how to differentiate it from the pseudo-one. So they believe whatever people say or write. One person told me when I marked his neuro-sexist argument as pseudo-science, "Think before you talk. Pseudo-science doesn't exist! Don't invent new words to suit your argument!" Face-palm moment for me! If people have put their weight behind a belief, they are invested in it, and are likely to fight for it even at the cost of genuine science.

Our brains try to connect things even if there are none. And then they try to  support the idea and belief using whatever knowledge we have or can gather. 

The Dunning-Kruger effect: “Ignorance begets confidence”. The more ignorant you are the more you think you know science enough to make it a pseudo one . The less you know, the more likely you are to perceive yourself as an expert. Conversely, the more you know, the more likely you are to doubt your own competence to counter it. This means that some people have illusory superiority, and some experts can’t explain how they do things because they assume what they do is easy or obvious to all.

Commercialization of certain  things like alternative medical practices, fake medicines, fake treatments,  future predictions like astrology. In order to  earn money, people use 'pseudo-science' to cheat the ignorant.

Failure of science communication, lack of interest in people in learning what genuine science is .... I can go on like this. 

Q: Why do researchers want to create the biological version of the internet using bacteria?

Bacteria could be programmed and deployed in different surroundings, such as the sea and ‘smart cities’, to sense for toxins and pollutants, gather data, and undertake bioremediation processes.

Bioremediation is a process used to treat contaminated media, including water, soil and subsurface material, by altering environmental conditions to stimulate growth of microorganisms and degrade the target pollutants.

Bacteria could even be reprogrammed to treat diseases. Harbouring DNA that encode useful hormones, for instance, the bacteria can swim to a chosen destination within the human body, produce and release the hormones when triggered by the microbe’s internal sensor.

But we have to overcome several problems before we can achieve our goal. Read here what they are: Bio-internet

Q: Can the vaccine itself cause the disease it is used against?

Krishna: In some rare cases, yes. Some African and Asian countries have experienced nine new cases of polio caused by the live virus in oral polio vaccines that has mutated into an infectious form, according to a recent WHO report. That brings the global total of these types of infections to 157 for this year, and it means that more children are paralyzed as a result of such vaccine-derived infections than illnesses caused by the wild type virus, which has affected 107 people this year. Ironic!

So, where does the problem lie? The way you take the vaccine! While Western countries use an injectable solution of inactivated virus, an oral polio vaccine containing the live, attenuated virus is used for vaccination campaigns in Africa and Asia because it is relatively cheap to produce and easy to administer, requiring just two drops of medicine in the mouth. However, the risk is that the attenuated live virus—in particular, type 2, which is at the root of all current vaccine-derived polio cases, can mutate and become pathogenic. Fortunately, vaccination can protect against such vaccine-derived strains. The solution is the same for all polio outbreaks: immunize every child several times with the oral vaccine to stop polio transmission, regardless of the origin of the virus.

It is a strange situation because we’re vaccinating now against the vaccine itself in most parts of the world, not against wild polio, which is confined to only Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Starting in April 2016, public health care workers around the world have made the transition from a trivalent vaccine with types 1, 2, and 3 to a bivalent version without type 2 to prevent such vaccine-derived cases.

Q: How is Shastra different from science?

Shastra referred to any treatise, book or instrument of teaching, any manual or compendium on any subject in any field of knowledge, including religious. It is often a suffix, added to the subject of the treatise, such as Yoga -Shastra, Nyaya -Shastra, Dharma -Shastra, Koka- or Kama -Shastra, Moksha -Shastra, Artha -Shastra, Alamkara-Shastra (rhetoric), Kavya-Shastra (poetics), Sangita -Shastra (music), Natya -Shastra (dance) and others.

Shastras are predominantly post-Vedic literature, that is after about 500 BCE. However, it is unclear when various Shastras were composed and completed. The authenticity of the manuscripts is also unclear, as many versions of the same text exist, some with major differences.

The shastras are not consistent or a single consensus documents. Dharma-sastras, for example, contain opposing views and contradictory theories. This is in part because they represent an ideal of human behaviour, while at the same time recognising the need to account for likely failings. The shastras do not present life as it was lived. Rather they reveal an idea of what life should be. The shastra texts constitute one of the great bodies of literature of the ancient world.

Authenticity and reliability of manuscripts of "Shastras' is highly disputable.

Just because the word "Shastra" ( or 'sastra' roughly means science - Shastra has a similar meaning to English -logy, e.g. ecology, psychology, meaning scientific and basic knowledge on particular subject but is based on old concepts/ideas/doctrines/theories that are not proven according to present day standards of science) is added after a word or a field, it need not be science.

To be qualified as science in modern terms, the scientific methods and methodology have to be followed strictly in arriving at a conclusion.

Shastras are (ancient) knowledge alright but not real science because they didn’t follow scientific method  to become scientific facts.

Q: What is chronopharmacology?

Krishna: Chronopharmacology is the study of the manner & extent to which the kinetics & dynamics of medication directly affected by  biological rhythms of the body & also how the dosing time of medications affects biological timekeeping & features ( period, level, amplitude & phase) of biological rhythms.

Q: Have the scientists found the fifth force in Nature?

Krishna: Not yet. Just speculations are going on. Once, confirmed with genuine evidence, we will report it here.

Q: Based on the above: What is the fifth force?

Krishna: In physics, there are four observed fundamental forces or interactions that form the basis of all known interactions in nature: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces.

AS-85-FUNDAMENTAL-FORCES-AT-WORK

Fundamental forces - Art work by Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa ( from http://www.kkartfromscience.com

Some speculative theories have proposed a fifth force to explain various anomalous observations that do not fit existing theories. The characteristics of this fifth force depend on the theory being advanced.  

Many postulate a force roughly the strength of gravity with a range of anywhere from less than a millimeter to cosmological scales. Another proposal is a new weak force mediated by W′ and Z′ bosons.
The search for a fifth force has increased in recent decades due to two discoveries in cosmology which are not explained by current theories. It has been discovered that most of the mass of the universe is accounted for by an unknown form of matter called dark matter. Most physicists believe that dark matter is some new undiscovered subatomic particle, but some believe that it could be related to an unknown fundamental force. Second, it has also recently been discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, which has been attributed to a form of energy called dark energy. Some physicists speculate that a form of dark energy called quintessence could be a fifth force.

Q: Is there any possibility of aliens or evil spirits to get stashed in human brain & spy whatever that goes through in the mind & interrupt a person by making noise in his vocal cords? I had experiences of this sort so I'm verifying this .

They are not aliens or evil spirits  giving you trouble . You are having a medical condition I don’t want to mention and cause alarm here.

Q: In what way are we still falling behind scientifically?

When people try to peddle pseudo-science as science, when people think only the systematic study of the world around us is science, when people say science can’t explain their imaginations, hallucinations and beliefs because it is immature, when people learn what science is from the unreliable sources on the internet and try to understand it with a conditioned mind, have a strange perception about it and attempt to teach scientists what science is, we feel like … screaming!

Q: Many people remember their past birth and the proof of that is correct, yet why doesn't science consider it?

Krishna: Science follows scientific methods. If anything doesn’t follow it strictly it is not scientific. Period.

If you say ‘proof of it is correct’, who are you to confirm it? Anecdotal evidence doesn’t count in science as it is the least form of evidence. People keep providing it despite telling that anecdotal stories are nonsense and don’t carry any weight.

I too can tell you a creative story about my past life and can provide ‘proof’. Nobody can even make out that I created or constructed this story with unbeatable proof. If you are smart you can do that and make everyone around believe it. This happens even in courts. Using the loopholes of the legal system many people ‘create proof’ and win cases too.

But science is smarter. It has in built mechanisms to find out these cheaters. So you cannot cheat science and get away with it.

Souls, after life and past births are creative stories without genuine evidence. Science is smart enough to call these creative people’s bluff. Science knows what it is doing.

Don’t complain!

Q:Can the Stephen Hawking book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" be read by any person who is not involved into the scientific sphere like me, a humanities student but interested in scientific knowledge? 

Krishna: Yes, anybody can read books on science. But - what comes after this but is very important - how you analyse the information and perceive what you read is very vital. Even science students, graduates, PGs can’t perceive science properly. I myself have tested this.

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

To analyse, understand science and utilise the knowledge properly, you need Critical Thinking 

skills.

Every writer from the scientific community wants his or her discourse to be understood properly. It is a big disaster if people can’t. What we write or talk is not exactly what people understand most of the time. There are various reasons for this. Conditioning of minds is the toughest of all.

So read/listen to what scientists say. And try to understand things exactly as they should be understood. This is the request we make all the time but with only moderate success.

Q: Is it true that in ancient times, India had great scientists for whom nothing was impossible?

Kirshna: No, it is not true!

There were some ‘scientists’ who were really good. Like Baudhyana, Pingala, Panini, Charaka, Sushrutha, Chanakya, Aryabhata , Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya, and Varahamira.

But the words ‘nothing was impossible to them’ are a too ‘jingoistic’.

Q: How can we identify if a pserson is under any balck magic influence or devil attack through numerology?

Krishna: There is no black magic, there are no devils because there is no evidence.

How can you identify things that don’t exist in the first place?

Come out of these superstitions. If you don’t you will fall prey to cheaters who rob you of your money by making false promises.

Read these articles that would help you:

Science and the paranormal

Black magic

Q: How can you get rid of confirmation bias?

These two are very important in publishing papers in good journals too. There was no other go for us but to stick to them. We eventually learnt to use them in other things in life too because we found them very trust worthy in overcoming our biases and fallacies.

Learn about them here if you are really interested: Critical Thinking

Scientific method

Q: What should be the seven wonders of science?

Don’t use the parameters you use for other fields in the arena of science. That becomes just your perception based on lopsided thinking, not reality.

Q: Is moon haunted?

Q: Why is my new house haunted?

Q: Why is my car haunted?

Q: Why is my TV haunted?

Krishna: To a fearful mind everything in this world is haunted!

Q: Why do most people consider scientists crazy when they have a lot of knowledge?

Any doubts?

Q: Why should scientists, not investors, decide the future of technology?

Krishna: Because investors are more interested in profits and money than real usefulness of technology.
Q: Has scientific growth stagnated? Is it because humans lack intelligence to cope with increasingly complexity of science?

Yes, our mind as well as resource limitations make us go slow while studying the science based universe but we are moving forward, slowly but surely.

Q: Why is a test tube baby called a test tube baby? Does it take birth on a test tube in a lab?

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used to treat infertility. It includes fertility treatments that handle both a woman's egg and a man's sperm. It works by removing eggs from a woman's body. The eggs are then mixed with sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back in the woman's body.

After fertilization, they grow normally in a womb like any other fetus, and come into the world through normal birth, not in a test tube or a petri dish or in a lab.

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