Science, in search of the Truth

      Do we discern a trend of convergence between the knowledge that we get from modern scientific theories and the knowledge that we get from teachings of spiritual visionaries and saints since time immemorial? Is it ever possible to connect the two by a common bridge? And, has the scientific knowledge acquired by mankind reached today the point where one can meaningfully talk of finding a common connecting thread between them? Science by making discoveries with each passing day is making rapid strides in mankind’s understanding of Nature. By this rapid march of science, on the one hand new disciplines of knowledge are coming into existence and on the other their boundaries are becoming less rigid and unrealistic. Perhaps, in this interconnectivity of scientific disciplines we are already having the foreboding of coming unity of truth.

     The business of science is to study all forms of ‘reality’. The reality may be defined as ‘one that exists’ and ‘of which existence is verifiable by proof’. The ‘reality’ that ‘exists’ has nothing to do with the ‘proof’ showing that it really exists. Proof of reality is no more than making available symmetry of the claimed reality to mind that it understands and insists for. Hypothesis is mind’s reconstruction of the interrelations of Nature’s reality. Scientific mind takes for granted this Nature’s reality as an ordered whole wherein the components of the whole also are ordered. These ordered components are further assumed to be integrated with the whole in an ordered manner. This assumption is the very first condition to search scientifically the existing reality. It is often expressed by vouchsafing that Nature is not capricious in its working.

  Hypothesis, if endures with time, matures into scientific theory and theory, if persists with this endurance with time, further matures into scientific law. Scientific law, and therefore scientific theory and hypothesis as well, contain three basic elements. Firstly, there is a set of parametric conditions present wherein the experiment concerned takes place; secondly, there is an event happening in those conditions; and thirdly, there is a principle present and operating in Nature that is hypothesized to explain the logic of the happening of that event in those conditions. Before a hypothesis, and much more than that a theory and law originating there from, is accepted as the scientific, certain preconditions are absolutely necessary to be complied with by the claimant hypothesis. Firstly, the set of parametric conditions in which the event in question happens must be defined with mathematical accuracy; also these conditions must be in a position to be created artificially, controlled experimentally and repeated any number of times at will by anybody possessing required skill. Secondly, the event in question that happens in those conditions must always happen without a single exception. It is referred to as the experimental proof of the hypothesis. And, thirdly, there must be only one explanation available – that is, the hypothesis in question – which explains the happening of that event in those conditions. A hypothesis that meets these preconditions is categorized as scientific one. And, if this hypothesis endures with the challenge of new observations and discoveries in the course of time, is elevated to the new status of scientific theory. If this process of verification by time continues with success, it is further elevated to the status of scientific law.

  This is the sum and substance of the claim made by science of an explanation – a principle – of being scientific and of superior quality. How much ‘scientific’ is this process of discovering principles operating in Nature? How much efficacious is this method of verification of ‘reality’ that exists and operates in Nature? Is this method foolproof against the possibility of committing error – error arising out of its own inherent and inbuilt defects in this process?  Is this method ‘scientific’ enough to claim the status of an infallible judge to denounce or approve the ‘truth’ of a claim arrived at by a method other than its own?

  This method is superb in its depth of approach to the problem of uncovering secret ‘reality’ existing in Nature. It is marvelous in its yield of results. It contains an inbuilt mechanism of ‘self-correction’ whereby with each passing day new parametric conditions are confronted to and called upon to explain by the ‘established scientific theory’ in an endless manner. This self-correction process safeguards science against sprouting of any vested interest ‘fundamentalism’ that plagues almost all of the rest of branches of human knowledge. Our glittering civilization is founded on the light of knowledge revealed by this sole method – the principle of mind and mind’s reason, and logic. Still, this method is inherently weak to proceed further beyond a certain limit in unveiling ‘reality’ existing and operating in Nature. This weakness is inbuilt in its own process. This weakness is being exposed now with the rapid march of science, and particularly after the discovery of the universal principle of Relativity operating in Nature. Let us see what these inbuilt deficiencies of method are and how they weaken its claims like being ‘scientific’, ‘sole arbitrator of truth’ etc.

  There are countless events that happen with each passing moment. And, each one of these events happens within definite and precise parametric conditions. With the knowledge already at our disposal, is it ever possible for us to detect them in their complex and interconnected entirety? If ever we are able to detect them all, is it possible for us to ascertain the cumulative effect that these parametric conditions exert on the event in question? And more than this, assuming that we are able to detect them all, and ascertain their cumulative effect being exerted by them on the event in question, is it possible for us to control them while performing the relevant experiment? Also, assuming that we are able to comply with all these preconditions for making a scientifically correct experiment, is it possible for us to duplicate these required parametric conditions in a series of repeated experiments?

  All these requirements – preconditions – are the sine qua non of making a scientific experiment. Before explaining an event by offering a hypothesis, it is absolutely necessary to ensure the compliance of these preconditions for making a scientifically correct experiment and offer this experiment as the scientific proof of the hypothesis in question. Here assumptions have been made in favor of the claimed scientific nature of the method followed by science, but the truth is contrary to these assumptions.

  There is another aspect to this problem of ‘scientific’ nature of science. Supposing we are able to detect, ascertain cumulative effect on an event, control and duplicate in repeated experiments these parametric conditions, can the suggested explanation – the offered hypothesis – be the only one explanation possible to satisfy the logic of that event happening in those conditions? Obviously, it is not so. The history of development of science is the history of changing explanations of a single event. These are inevitable difficulties in the path of science and they limit the ‘scientific’ nature of scientific truth offered by its hypothesis, theory and law. There is no scope and justification for science to become arrogantly intolerant towards other claims of truth and usurp to itself the seat of sole arbitrator of truth.

   To make our study of an event more scientific we have to take into account several factors affecting our measurements. It is pointed out that measurement is a number that arises from the interaction of an observer and his instruments with the object observed. The number so obtained will depend on (I) the brain structure of the observer, (2) the state of relative motion of the observer and the object observed, (3) the physical and physiological receptors of the observer, (4) the interaction between the observer and the object observed, (5) the properties of the object observed, and (6) the effect of the remainder of the universe.

  In this enunciation of the factors affecting our measurements the last one, that is, the effect of the remainder of the universe is the most crucial in determining the scientific nature of our study of an event. In fact, this very factor opens the gate of the progress of science. Let us point out an illustration of these difficulties and limitations of science. As we said, there are countless events happening each moment. An apple falls down from a tree to the ground. We take for granted that here there is an apple, an entity – a fruit – that is an isolated thing unconnected with the remainder of universe and its forces operating everywhere – many of which still remain unknown to us – and that this apple has come off a branch of the tree, and has fallen to the ground. We make repeated observations and confirm that it always happens this way only.

  We explain this phenomenon by hypothesizing that there is a force of attraction in Earth (that is, gravity). Have we recounted here that the apple in question is not an isolated thing unconnected with the remainder of universe? No, we have not. We fail to account that apple is made up of atoms and, in turn, of quanta of energy-field. Also, we fail to account that these quanta of energy-field are only formations – like waves formed of water in ocean – in the Unified Field of energy that is present everywhere.. Further, we fail to appreciate the fact that it is not the Earth alone whose force acting on the apple has to be accounted for. We fail to account that Earth is revolving around Sun and there is a neutralized position present every where on Earth of the two counterbalancing forces, that is, the centripetal force (due to the gravity of Sun) and the centrifugal force (due to the Earth’s elliptical motion around Sun). And, it is not the only factor that has to be accounted for. There are nine planets that revolve around Sun and their gravitational fields overlap each other. Earth is a part of this integrated gravitational whole. The sum total of this effect on Earth has to be calculated and accounted for if we are to carry any meaningful scientific experiment. And, it is not these planets alone there. Beyond the planet Pluto, there is Kuiper Belt of asteroids. These may be smaller in diameter and mass, nevertheless they have a part to play in the complex gravitational field present everywhere within the Solar system. Earth is within the Solar system and we do not calculate and account their minute impact that they exert on our falling apple.

  And, to make the matter more complex, our Sun is revolving around our galaxy – Milky Way – and this galaxy is revolving around our Black Hole. Certainly, the cumulative effect of Sun, Milky Way and our Black Hole has to be calculated precisely and accounted for while explaining the fall of the apple in question on Earth. The problem does not end here. Today, we know that ninety percent of the calculated mass that must exist in universe is not visible and accounted for. It is referred to as the Dark Matter. It must exist somewhere and be impacting on Earth also (effecting the apple in question). To perform a really scientific experiment on the falling apple, we must be able to determine this complex effect precisely and account that completely. Obviously, the claim of science of being scientific is not so scientific.

  And, it is not the end of problems for science. Inadequacy of science and its scientific method is further exposed with every major advance of our knowledge. Assuming (in our case of apple falling to the ground) we have calculated the cumulative effect of the exerting forces on this apple and accounted the same precisely in our hypothesis, is there only one explanation for this event of falling apple on the ground? No, it is not so. The simple explanation by hypothesizing an attracting force present in Earth – that was revolutionary when it was proposed by Newton – has been substituted today by the explanation hypothesized by Einstein. It explains that in the presence of Earth’s mass the space around it becomes curved and the apple in our case does not fall to the ground but follows this curved path by moving through the shortest route – the geodesic path – that looks like apple being attracted by Earth. Is this the final explanation? The history of science tells us it should not be so.

  There are many kinds of events. For example, a child claims he remembers his past birth (please refer to the case of Naresh Kumar in these pages). Do we know all the conditions wherein this event takes place? Are we able to artificially control those conditions? Is it possible to duplicate those conditions at will? No. A man foretells that a particular event would happen at the stated time and place and the foretold event happens in that manner. Are we able to manipulate the concerned conditions ‘scientifically’? No. It is truth but how would you prove it scientifically? With whom the fault lies: science or truth? A man comes into ‘contact’ with a person who is now dead and obtains from this dead person a piece of verifiable information. This information is verified to be true. It is truth. But how would science prove this truth scientifically? With whom the fault lies: truth or scientific method? Science would rule out the happening of such an event. It is a mean excuse. It is sheer hypocrisy on the part of science. It does no credit to scientific method of science.  The truth is that human being –along with mind, his supreme tool – is not the final product of Nature. Nature is still at her work of refining this unfinished product. Humans must learn to be patient and humble in delivering their verdicts about things.

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