Is science another of those fanatical religions?
By B.M. HEGDE - THE HINDU
Added: Fri, 06 Jul 2012 16:35:21 UTC
Thanks to pratap.vishnubhatta for the link
“Intellectual integrity made it quite impossible for me to accept the myths and dogmas of even very great scientists, more particularly of the belligerent and so-called advanced nations. Indeed, those intellectuals who accepted them were abdicating their functions for the joy of feeling themselves at one with the herd.”— Bertrand Russell 1872-1969.
Is science really serious when scientists claim that only science is authentic and all else is unreal? Has science lost its heart? Is science another of those fanatical tight-knit religions? Why is science being sold as the only route to human wisdom? Eons before modern science of the West came into being humankind existed here with all the wisdom which we claim we have today.
Science and technology in ancient India, China and Egypt have had their hoary past. Some of the leading western scientists paid their obeisance to the wisdom of those civilisations. Many of them have admitted that they built their views sitting on the shoulders of some of the thinker-philosophers of yore! In the true sense of the word, science is only a method to understand the working of this universe. In that sense, science is a great exercise, but to sell science as the be-all and end-all of human wisdom to the exclusion of all other fields of knowledge is the height of foolishness and short-sightedness. It is that institution of science that one has to shun.
In fact, science, as it is being practised now, is a highly materialistic enterprise. Consequently, it wants to maintain its hegemony and grip on the establishment. Any criticism of science is frowned upon even by the laypeople who have been thoroughly brainwashed to believe that science has the legitimate right to supremacy in this world. Some of the material comforts of technology like communications, transportation and electricity have added proof that the science base of these technologies is to be venerated. Scientists are so deluded by their invincibility that they have no patience to listen to any other view. There is no debate in this arena. As long as there is no debate, there will be no progress.
The upper castes among the scientists, the Nobels, the big-time grant collectors, the fat CV holders, the FRSs, the sarkari scientists (who were ready to sell the country to private companies), the thought leaders, etc., have built a strong fortress around them that no one will dare differ with their views. Once you get into that club, you could say anything and get away with it. The scientific establishment has found an easy way to keep outsiders at bay and keep its flock together. Its journals have what it calls the peer review system, which is the easiest way to eliminate all dissenting opinions.
In this area, medical science is at its worst. The drug and device lobbies have the monopoly for “scientific” publications here. For every industry-funded positive study there are, on average, five negative studies which do not get published and see the light of day in print for thinking people to read and understand.
This is the main reason why many complementary and alternative systems of medicine have been discouraged. Even the public's perception of them as not reliable came about because the main line medicine has tried its best to see that other systems of human healing are looked down upon albeit their antiquity and authenticity.
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