'It Moves, It Moves Not'

'Science and Religion'

Subhas Chandra Ganguly

It is well-known, that for last one and half a century, during which dazzling technological progress has had unprecedented impact on social life, a part of most sincere (those who do not use their belief to derive any personal benefit for themselves) among the self-declared votaries to whatever can be labelled as 'science' or 'scientific' have been up in arms against whatever may be labelled as 'religious' or 'religion'. A large part of many a genuine social evil in the name of some 'religion' or other was one immediate/tangible reason behind such almost fanatic denigration of 'religion'. Added to it was fraudulent practice of some self-claimed 'religious' gooroos (masters) to pass on some magical tricks as the expression of their capacity to produce miracle due to their religious devotion.

Also there have been social movements for changing the present exploitation based society to a society where human exploitation would ultimately end and a section of these movements had the claim of being guided by a 'scientific' philosophy, having its origin in the ideas of Karl Marx, a life-long fighter against the then (19th Century) prevailing exploitation of Industrial Workers in the West. And in the context of religion, Karl Marx commented (in Introduction to 'A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.): "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a hearless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people".

There are again some others, associated with 'science' due to professional reason i.e. teachers/educators in institutional 'science' education, majority of whom can possibly be assumed to feel themselves attached with one or other organised/labelled/denominational religious camps (e.g., 'Hindu', Islam', 'Christian, Jewish' etc.) but without any sense of link between 'science' & 'religion'. Seemingly their inner world is partitioned into two, named 'religious' and 'scientific' with a Chinese wall in between without any feeling of contact between the two. Besides, purely formula (related to 'theory' and/or 'law') centred institutional/academic 'science' courses leaves hardly any scope for presenting glimpses of deeply human character of inner journey towards those end results ('theory' and/or 'law') which are the ever provisional (i.e. ever subject to change1) hidden reality behind the observable (directly or indirectly) reality of nature/universe. Those glimpses are caught in the openly expressed perception at experiential level (necessarily/ purely personal in character) of the pathfinders—perceptions which among many other things reflect felt limitation of their own insights.

Before we proceed further we must take serious note of the reality, which is often missed, that private, inner world of 'religion' as reflected at experiential (not to be confused with experimental) or perceptional plane, which in its very nature is personal/individual in character are to be distinguished from mass scale visible (through observing rituals and the like) loyalty to or identification with institutionalised/denominational/organised 'religions' with different labels as mentioned above. The above cited comment of Karl Marx was presumably in the context of these instutionalised/denominational/organised 'religious' with mass following. Social evils in the name of religion where they exist, are all associated with these institutionalised denominational /organised 'religions' with different labels. It may be noted that there have been revolts against such evils in the name of religions within the very periphery of these religions it selves giving rise to many newer currents of religion disapproving such evils. In India names like Nanak, Kabir, Sri Chaitanya, Ram Mohan Ray etc. are associated with such revolts at different periods. Association of 'religion' at experiential or perceptional plane with formal allegiance, even if there is any, to such denominational 'religions'is purely incidental and has got nothing necessarily to do with such labels intrinsically.

It is necessary to note that many a denominational/organised religion have hierarchical bodies of authority, exercising considerable power over devotees/followers under the corresponding religious label. Extent of this power depends on the social-political-cultural system of the time period. Contrary to the claims of spokespersons of such centre of power, such power-centre have got nothing intrinsically 'spiritual' or 'religious' about them and are clearly, necessarily and crudely of mundane character as is evident from many a characteristic of their activities. And like any authorities at any centre of power these authorities with 'religious' labels can and do go to considerable extent in imposing punishment on person(s) considered 'heretic' because of 'heretic's expressed difference with respect to certain beliefs/rituals and the like, even when the 'heretic' identifies himself/herself with the corresponding denominational'religion'.

One of the widely known oft-cited example of abusive use of such power under the name of 'religion' is the imposition of punishment (life-long house-arrest) on the Italian Galileo Galilee (February 15, 1564—January 8, 1642,) at trials (starting on June 22, 1633) in infamous Inquisition, run by the then Roman Catholic Church under Pope Urban VIII in middle ages Europe for Galileo's proposition of heliocentric (sun-centred) system (presented in the book Dialogue on the Great World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican) as opposed to Church approved earlier notion of geocentric (earth-centred) system of Sun and its planets.

The widely observed practice (among 'science' devotees) of citing the above painful historical episode as an example of conflict between 'Science' and 'Religion' is a misleading one. In truth Galileo was not one up against 'religion' per se as the following facts show. Till his death Galileo was, scoffing atheist, nor even an angry escapee from religion. He [Galileeo] had attended Catholic school; both of his daughters had become nuns; and, most important, he considered himself a loyal son of the Holy Mother Church. He felt, in other words, that he was trying to save, not to hurt, the church. He was trying, desperately, to prevent the church from putting itself into the position of defending a doctrine that was, in his mind, subject to disproof..
Evidence of his amazing, and continued, loyalty is seen in a letter he wrote in 1640, seven years after the trial: Blind and still under house arrest, and after having been forced to curse and revile the Dialogue for several years, he commented (in a letter to Fortunio Liceti) on the question of whether the universe is finite or infinite. He concluded that "only Holy Writ and divine revelation can give an answer to our reverent demand" : still a believer, and hardly a wild-eyed revolutionary.
—Great feuds in science : ten of the liveliest disputes ever by Hal Hellman., JOHN WILEY& SONS, INC., New York, 1988 Page 5

So, the episode was reflective of the fear of a power holding (both financial and political) authority with a 'religious' label, of the period, which with its claim/air of God-given infallibility felt their power under threat (real or imaginary) with Galileo's proposition, which happened to question validity of some part of the prevailing scriptural ideas related to reality at cosmic plane on the basis of observed data without any comment on the church related 'religion' perse.

It may be added in parenthesis that Such association of financial and political power of the then Roman Catholic Church under Pope and the still continuing pomp and gandeur with which Chrismas day is held in Vatican can hardly be conceived to have anything to do with that person (Jesus Christ) of Nazareth, roaming around half naked, while spreading around his spiritual message of love for all, which led to his crucification by other centre of power of the time. Similarly, currently observed campaign of hatred and ensuing violence against non-'Hindu' communities in the name of 'Hinduism' by some party/groups in India acting as self-appointed spokesperson of 'Hinduism' (which, like any tradition has both its better and worse parts) is against the very spirit of the best tradition of the latter, reflected, for example, in the message, in Sanskrit, "Basudhoiba Kutumbakan", (meaning "Inhabitants of whole of the earth are our near ones") contained in Upanishad, widely revered ancient spiritual piece of literature for the community under the denominational religious label 'Hindu', though the label itself (originating from the name of the river Sindhu flowing through north-west frontier of Indian sub-continent) came much later (around 14th-15th century) from outsides to the sub-continent and was not in vogue during 'Upanishad' days. And so this campaign in the name of 'Hinduism', is motivated by not any 'religious' instinct in spiritual sense but by some other non- 'religious' social-cum political factors connected with power. (instigating worse part of so called 'Hindu' tradition)

And in such matter i.e. in the matter of 'Science' vs. 'religion' those, who, like me, have no experience of any personal journey in search of hidden reality (expressed in the form of 'scientific' theory or law) behind the observed world/nature, have perhaps no reasonable alternative to base our understanding/inference, however loud our self-declared devotion to 'science' may be, on the perception of those who laid the foundation of modern 'science' by discovering what are called 'Elemental Scientific Insights'.2

At least, what is being sought to be presented in this write-up is built solely around the above mentioned perception of the those whose insights about universe/nature laid foundation of what is termed as 'science'.

Now, from the available written records of perception of proposer/givers of these 'Elemental Scientific Insights' about their journey-cum-expedition-exploration (spread over last one hundred and fifty years or so) before/after arriving at these insights, we get an unambiguous impression that these journeys were/are verily in the nature of some special variety of expedition—often beset with doubt, trepidation, faltering steps, backtracking and the like—through, according to their own description again, regions, covered with deep, unending mystery. The unmistakably common (or so it seems to the present writer) strain across these travelogues is a overwhelming feeling of awe and wonder before the mystery of these regions and that of utter inadequacy of what one of the travellers Albert Einstein) has described as "poor [human] faculties" to unravel this bottomless mystery beyond its "gross forms".

The rules-book that the travellers, according to their own declaration (explicit or implicit), followed, in finding/excavating their way through those labyrinth of criss-crossing regions without any known boundary, was, what, in most general terms, is labeled as 'scientific method'3, developed more or less over last four hundred years or so (roughly from the time of Galileo).

Accumulated body of fundamental/elemental/primary insights about the visited regions together with detailed inferences (much, much, larger in volume), drawn there from, following the same rules-book, are termed 'scientific knowledge'. And rules-book together with this 'scientific knowledge' is labeled as 'science'.4

The time span around last four hundred years or so, during which this rules-book has come to dominate the pursuit of knowledge and understanding behind the apparent physical reality of the nature/universe is broadly designated as 'scientific age', widely and proudly depicted as being at a 'higher level' of civilization, as compared with all earlier ages of human history across millennia, for various reasons, there are minority dissenting voices too, across the continents, about this self-trumpeting claim. One example of many such reasons is the greatest scale of genocidal act (spread over 500 years) by European invaders, starting from the universally glorified period of so-called European renaissance, leaving only some residual members of original inhabitants of two so-called 'Discovered' continents: today's America and Australia.

Possibly to the surprise of many among us, the 'science-minded' (bignanmanaska) populace, convinced of an eternal battle between 'science' and 'religion', we shall see from what follow that the travellers, worshipped almost as god in the 'temple of science', speak of some kind of their own experiences, feeling and understanding, direct or indirect, of 'mystic-cum-religious -cum-poetic' nature, which has got nothing to do with possible hierarchy if any, in the realm of denominational religious labels.

Like 'religion', 'science', in its very essence is also based or rests on some kind of 'assumption' or 'faith' or 'belief of its own variety—which, notionally speaking, are a-priory i.e. without any so-called logical 'proof' as is pointed out in the following fragment of perception from one among the above mentioned elementary insight finders:
l      Scientific research is based on the assumption that all events, including the actions of mankind, are determined by the laws of nature. Therefore, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, that is, by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being. However, we have to admit that our actual knowledge of these laws is only an incomplete piece of work (unvollkommenes Stuckwerk), so that ultimately the belief in the existence of fundamental all-embracing laws also rests on a sort of faith. All the same, this faith has been largely justified by the success of science. On the other hand, however, everyone who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. The pursuit of science leads therefore to a religious feeling of a special kind,...
—A. Einstein, 24 January 1936 letter in response to a sixth-grader (Phyllis Wright) asking whether scientists pray, and if so, what they pray for [ 'Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology' (1999) by Max Jammer, p. 92-93] (
—Albert Einstein: THE HUMAN SIDE, new glimpses from his archives (http://www.WEbsDphia.CDm/facES/BinstEin.html)

And then, as in the latter part of the fragment above, accounts from many a traveller into the reality behind the apparent of universe/nature there is unmistakable reference to similarity at experiential (again, not to be confused with 'experimental') or perceptional plane between the world of 'science' and that of 'mystic' or 'religious', entwined as this plane is, with a sense of awe, wonder, humility (often confused with modesty,5 which is qualitatively different in implication and connotation), and the like before the mystery of the universe hidden behind both its expanse (from the observable nearest to farthest beyond the range of observation), as well as its constituents (biggest observed to the smallest below the range of direct observation). Here follow three more fragments (from among many such) from the same traveller as above, reflecting above mentioned perceptions:
l      ONE cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, nf life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.
—A Einstein, replying to a letter in 1954 or 1955; (from : Albert Einstein The human side, new glimpses from his archives- http://www.
l      The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.......To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties—this knowledge, this feeling... that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself among profoundly religious men
—A. Einstein, THE WORLD AS I SEE IT, 1931,(Ideas & Opinions,- Rupa & Co., India,
l      ***a third stage of religious experience *** I shall call it cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to elucidate this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it **** it can give rise to no definite notion of a God and no theology **** I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion... A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image ; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with this highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
—A. Einstein, Science and Religion, 1930 (Ideas & Opinions, Rupa & Co., 1989, Pg. 38)
In consistence with the statement, "The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image", in the above fragment of perception, is the following fragment of 'opinion' (which is different from 'perception', though two words are sometimes wrongly used interchangeably)—indicative of difference between "religious experience' and formal organized 'religions' under 'religious' authorities—from the same person :
l      The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These utilized interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people...
—Part of a letter from Albert Einstein (from Princeton in January 3, 1954) to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, in response to his receiving the book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt"., About three years back the letter was put on auction in London and drew hefty sums from the rival contenders (
The following three fragments (from among many such) from other path finders in the realm of 'science' are in consistence with the notion, "whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties" as mentioned in one fragment above from Albert Einstein
l      In the world of physics we watch a shadowgraph performance of familiar life... It is all symbolic, and as a symbol the physicist leaves it.... The frank realisationion that physical science is concerned with a world of shadows is one of the most significant of recent advances."
—A. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, Introduction (Macmillan, 1929) page.xiv-xv
l      The essential fact is simply that all the pictures which science now draws of nature, and which alone seem capable of according with observational fact, are mathematical pictures.... They are nothing more than pictures-fictions if you like, if by fiction you mean that science is not yet in contact with ultimate reality. Many would hold that, from the broad philosophical standpoint, the outstanding achievement of twentieth-century physics is... the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with ultimate reality. To speak in terms of Plato's well-known simile we are still imprisoned in our cave6, with our backs to the light, and can only watch the shadows on the wall.
—James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009 Page-111, First published 1930), 1930), (
l      It is a great pleasure to contemplate the universe, beyond man, to contemplate what it would be like without man, as it was in a great part of its long history... To view life as part of this universal mystery of greatest depth is to sense an experience which is very rare and very exciting.... Well, these scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty... Some will tell me that I have just described a religious experience. Very well, you may call it what you will
—Richard, P. Feynman, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist

In the context of "shadowgraph" or "pictures-fictions" character of 'scientific' knowledge as pointed out in the above fragments from well-known 'scientists' it may be of some interest to know that the insights, as communicated so far by the explorers/travelers, corresponding to the reality related to regions of space, time and gravity taken together (General Theory of relativity associated with the name Albert Einstein), and insights corresponding to regions of sub-atomic world (Quantum Theory associated with many a name like, Neils Bohr, Werner UTH Heisenberg, A. Eddington and others) remain, till today mutually "incompatible"7. In other words, "As they are currently formulated, general relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right"8. This is so, in spite of ongoing attempts to bring in compatibility through some or other proposed all-encompassing theory (e.g. 'String theory', 'Bootstrap theory') aimed at receiving the yet to come general consensus of 'scientists' on these proposed theories. Strangely enough, even then, in their respective fields, validity of further inferences/predictions, drawn from these two un-reconciled insights, has been separately "confirmed to almost unimaginable accuracy"9, on experimental basis. All these are perhaps consistent with the perceptions as reflected in following fragments from two among these travelers/explorers:
l      Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think.
          —Werner Heisenberg, Across the Frontiers (essays & and lectures from 1948 to 1973, Harper & ROW Publishers, 1975) Heisenberg
l      One may say "the eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."
—Albert Einstein: PHYSICS AND REALITY, 1936 (Ideas and Opinions, Rupa & Co., India, 1989.Page, 292)
It is notable that all these fragments of are very akin to what has been felt by travellers from altogether a different world, viz. poets and other litterateur. For example, following are two such lines (in translation from original in Bengali) from one of Rabindranath Tagore's songs:
Amidst the vast universe, vast sky and the eternity
I, a mere mortal, roam around alone, roam in wonder
[Free English translation by S C Ganguly, the present Picker. For Original in Bengali]
A few more lines(in translation from original in Bengali), in the same spirit from the same Tagore:
The sky, studded with suns, and stars, the universe throbbing with life, In its very midst I have found my song,
So, my songs swell up in wonder
[Free English translation by S C Ganguly, the present Picker. For Original in Bengali,]

Perceptions/realisation in the realm of 'science' related to micro or quantum reality in particular
The cited fragments of perception above from path-finders in 'science' relate to 'scientific' insights in general. Following are few among many such fragments specifically related to micro/quantum world which is and will ever remain beyond direct observation:
l      Quantum theory provides us with a striking illustration of the fact that we can fully understand a connection though we can only speak of it in images and parables.—Werner Heisenberg,
Positivism, Metaphysics and Religion (1952) PHYSICS AND BEYOND, (Harper & Row, 1971) Page-210
l      We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.
—Niels Bohr In his first meeting with Werner Heisenberg in early summer 1920, in response to questions on the nature of language, as reported in Discussions about Language (1933); quoted in Defense Implications of International Indeterminacy (\912Jl by Robert J. Pranger, p. 11, ( Bohr)
l      The general notions about human understanding... which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of, or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom.'
—Julius Robert Oppenheimer TU Science and the Common Understanding (Simon And Schuster, Inc. New York,1954) Page 9-10
l      For a parallel to the lesson of atomic theory regarding the limited applicability of such customary idealizations, we must in fact turn to quite other branches of science, such as psychology, or even to., those kinds of epistemological problems with which already thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu have been confronted, when trying to harmonise our position as spectators and actors in the great drama of existence.
—Niels Bohr. Address at the Physical and Biological Congress in memory of Luigi Galvani, Bologna, October 1937. (BIOLOGY AND ATOMIC PHYSICS " Atomic Physics & Human Knowledge, P. 20—JOHN WILEY & SONS, INC., 1958)
As to the kind of 'parallel' alluded to in just the above fragment, there may sometimes be found striking similarity even in the very expression of the perceptions from the two worlds of 'science' and 'religion'. For example, in the context of subatomic world (i.e. world of electron, proton, neutron etc. which are and will ever remain beyond direct observation), following is a fragment of perception from world of 'science':
l      If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'.'
—Robert Oppenheimer. Science and Common Understanding,
(Oxford University Press, London. 1954, Page. 42-43)
The above, as Fritjof Capra, in his book 'The Tao of Physics' (containing fragments above and below) points out, "seems to echo the words of the "Upanishad", an ancient Indian text related to experience/perception of spiritual world:
It moves. It moves not.
It is far, and It is near.
It is within all this,
And It is outside of all this
—Isha Upanishad
—Tao of Physics, by Fritjof Capra, Flemingo, 1991, Chapter 11 (Beyond the world of opposite) Page 166-167

Here is one fragment of perception from one among travelers to micro (i.e. sub-atomic) universe which specifically alludes to the trials of Galileo already mentioned above.
l      In the history of science, ever since the famous trial of Galileo, it has repeatedly been claimed that scientific truth cannot be reconciled with the religious interpretation of the world. Although I am now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on, Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point. T
—Werner Heisenberg, Scientific and Religious Truth (1973) (Across The Frontiers, chapter 26, page 213-214)

Widespread mind-set of many of us, the well meaning, devoted 'science-lovers/worshipers', perhaps is, in its mildest form, somewhat analogous to, "dismiss the content religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind" as Heisenberg puts it, (and obviously does not share) in the fragment, cited just above. Actual expression of this mind-set is many a time much harsher, and almost allergic to the very word 'religion'. It may be noted that this mind-set, as the fragments above show, does not seem to tally with perceptions, coming as they do, from some of those, looked upon among the pathfinders, heralding the 'scientific age'. So, these latter perceptions perhaps deserve some attention of us, the well meaning 'science'-lovers and, who can say whether the same may even induce to some re-thinking on the issue.

Also, contrary to factual reality, there is an wide-spread inclination on the part of the same 'science-lovers/worshipers' to identify various denominational religious identities as the sole source of mutual group/communal violence/ hatred. But if we take a broad historical view of the social reality across the planet, both past and present we cannot have to conclude that group violence/persecution is not a monopoly of groups with a sense of religious identities. Such phenomena took place when the groups in mutual hostility were/are around a sense of distinct group identities national, linguistic, regional, skin colour and the like. So, such group violence has got more to do with some darker aspect (shared by all of us) of human nature cutting across all group divides than with labeled 'religion's in particular. Also many of the unwarranted inhuman practices at social plane in the name of some or other labeled 'religion', prevalent at different periods were successfully stopped through efforts of religious reformers under labeled 'religions' of the period, who believed that such practices are against the very spirit of 'religion'. As a consequence these rebels, though deeply religious in their world of belief earned the sobriquet of being 'heretics'. One well known example of such inhuman practices in India was the practice of burning of 'Hindu' widows—termed lsati-daaha'- simultaneously with their dead husbands in 19h century and earlier period in Bengal. Rammohan Ray, A deeply religious person, upholding/propagating the messages of earlier mentioned 'Uapnishad', the spiritual literature, coming down from ancient India, was one among the foremost who succeeded to bring in abolition of the practice through public campaign ending in legislation.

Lest there should be any misunderstanding, it needs to be added that there is no suggestion in the above fragments, that 'scientific' and 'religious' understanding and insights can be mutual substitute for one another. Each has its own field and method of exploration and corresponding experience(s). What has been alluded to is absence, contrary to widespread notion, of either/or i.e. one negating the validity of the other if 'religion' is understood in the above mentioned experiential sense at personal level and not in labeled /organized/collective sense at mass level.

N.B. Bold character of letters within any excerpt above was not in the original.

[For fuller discussion of the issues touched on in the above write-up following two presentations, available on Internet, can be seen :
A NOTE ON SOME PICKED UP FRAGMENTS OF PERCEPTION—From Authentic Records Of Journeys, Into Mysterious Regions, By Some Wonder-Struck Pioneer Travellers Following The Rules-Book Of'Scientific Method' NOTE ON SOME PICKED UP FRAGMENTS OF PERCEPT ION_From_Authentic_Records_Of _Journeys_Into_Mysterious_Regions_By_ Some_Wonder-Struck_Pioneer_Travellers Following_The_Rules-Book_Of_Scientific_Method
On Some Picked Up Fragments Of Perception—From Authentic Records Of Journeys Into The Mystery Of The Universe Following The Rules-Book Of 'Scientific Method' & 'Science'—Cum-'Science' Education—Cum-Social Activism,—A Note 20FRAGMENTS%20QP/o20 PERCEPTION %20-%20LllVllT%2 CUNCERTAlNTY%2CAWE %2C WONDER%2CMYSTERY.pdt ?attachauth =ANoY7cpx3khv_ SvLbztpZxnV7JN BtiV66ijpLtqCmOEN7evRzjDiWM bZtwUdIYJX6sYY-KXO-o39xzrhsNTjTPYn 2b7al G33ijlE6afCykEY5G PnWVptBlONh9jQUOKSZACxTnIxGI WhlSDXzTTIwns9Kqn5ITiBbRvbVbfG hTqA6jJAdiq ebswl fSkP2uMntPqJOXHLgas RLpaLmZZ4AnsAEzdXOz2WuzDBTsBC k8n2-l-uk-

End Notes :
1.      What we call scientific knowledge today is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty—some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. —RICHARD FEYNMAN, 'Uncertainty of Science', Part of a series of three lectures at the University of Washington, delivered during April 1963. Published later as ' The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist' (penguin,i999)
2.      'Elemental Scientific insights' are those Insights, which, when first arrived at, are not further explicable in terms of any other prior insights, though may become explicable in terms of later insights of same category in relevant field(s) or be replaced/modified by these later insights. Notwithstanding certain mutual overlapping, as a category these are to be clearly distinguished, from further inferred ones, constituting the overwhelmingly major part of the store of 'scientific' knowledge. Apart from the use of these inferred ones in building the visibly dazzling technology, it is usually through experimental and/or observational verification of inferred ones that the extent of validity or otherwise of the corresponding elemental one(s) is decided upon. Doubtful and/or negative results of such verification process lead to replacement/modification of earlier elemental proposition, sometimes accompanied with delimiting the field of application of the earlier one(s).
Examples of 'Elemental Scientific Insights' : Theories of Special and General Relativity (relate to space, time, mass, gravitational attraction) primarily associated with the name of Albert Einstein but are enriched by many others, Quantum theory, associated with the name of a number of persons, Heisenberg, Bohr, Eddington and a few others, The former are in the context of macro world, i.e. directly observable (sometimes with the help of instruments like telescope, microscope etc) part of the world/nature. And latter are related to micro world i.e. atomic world, atom being conceived as the smallest possible indivisible unit of the macro world and supposedly made of still smaller particles named as proton, electron, neutron etc., which are in perpetual relative motion in certain fashion and are beyond directly observable zone due to their smallness
3.      Innumerable treatises have been written on this 'scientific method'. One briefest way to put the essence of this method may be thus : "A method of gaining knowledge whereby hypotheses are tested (instrumentally or experimentally) by reference to experience ("data") that is potentially public, or open to repetition (confirmation or refutation) by peers."(Quantum Questions -Mystical Writings of The World's Greatest Physicists Edited by Ken Wilber "Shambhala Publications, Massachusetts, USA, 1991, Page24). Obviously, it implies, within allowable limits of deviation, some predictability, whenever required, in the corresponding field or domain. Some fuller details, from different angles, of the rules-book may be obtained from the Links:
4.      This term 'science' or 'scientific' has come to dominate across all fields or domains of human understanding so much so that, long since, it has become almost a standard, compulsive practice to add this kind of words one way or other at the tail end of the field-name as if as an honorific, of many a pursued field of human understanding e.g., social science, economic science, political science, and the like. This is so, in spite the fact that, generally speaking, in any of these kind of fields, in its very nature, there is hardly any scope for the kind of validity/verification test 'scientific method' requires, with respect to any inference claimed to have been reached through this method. Even then, in some of these fields, to remain true to this honorific, attempts at using this method are made, for predictions, which, but for some rare exceptions, expectedly, turn out to be off the reality much beyond any acceptable limits of deviation,. If the term 'science' at the tail ends were replaced by simply 'study', the corresponding field would remain as valuable as before but without this dubious claim. The claim apparently is purported to lend a kind of rigour, which is neither possible, nor required, to the understandings in the concerned field. The practice seem to have a smell, as if, of an wish, conscious or unconscious to imitate something considered as a fashion of the time to earn some imaginary 'respectability' in the eyes of standard bearers of 'scientific method' as well as possibly of lay persons, claiming to have 'scientific temperament'.
5.      In common parlance, unfortunately, the word 'modesty', which has got more to do with exemplary social behaviour than anything else, is often (unknowingly) interchangeably used with the word 'humility', which (like, say, 'joy'), has got nothing to do with social behaviour and is a spontaneous felt state of mind, expressed or not, one cannot help having, while passing through some particular experience. In this sense, 'humility" is felt before presence of something, experienced as invitingly and intensely overwhelming. For example, it so happens that in the persona of one of the pioneer travellers, Isaac Newton, this difference surfaced into bold relief. Newton, as the available contemporary records (e.g., vide, A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking) unmistakably show, was not particularly known for 'modesty'! But the few glimpses he gained during his travel into the kind of regions being alluded to in this note, generated that spontaneous feeling of humility, expressed for example in the following widely cited statement (though usually for wrong reason i.e. as an expression for modesty): myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
—Isaac Newton, as cited in 'Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton' (1855) T by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27). Compare: "As children gath'ring pebbles on the shore",T JohnUTH Milton, Paradise Regained, Book iv. Line 330. (
6.      Plato's Cave, or the Parable of the Cave—is anallBgarvpresBntEd by thEGrEBkphilasaphBrPlatain his mATfiB Republic^ illustrate "Durnature in its education and want of education" (5l4a). It is written as a dialogue between Plato's brother Glaucon and Plato's mentor Socrates [4G9 to 399 B.C.]..Plato [43D to 347 BG].. has Socrates [put to death, earlier for his heretic views, through self-administered poison by Athenian state of the time] describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all (continued to footnote on next page) (continued from footnote in previous page) of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to ascribe forms to these shadows. According to Plato's Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand the shadows the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners. ( Cave). But apparently, as the fragments indicate, latest realisation of the 'freed' 'prisoners', i.e., 'scientists', (appearing on I9DD A.C), themselves is that their own vision is also incapable of going beyond 'shadows'.
7.      Resolution of Contradictions', 1.html
8.      The ElegantUniverseBy Brian Greene, (Vintage Books, 1999), Chapter 1, Tied Up with String, Page 3)
9.       The ElegantUniverse By Brian Greene, (Vintage Books, 1999), Chapter 1, Tied Up with String, Page 3)

Autumn Number 2018
Vol. 51, No.14 - 17, Oct 7 - Nov 3, 2018