Summary (of "Question", "braHmavid=Krishna?" series of mails) (fwd)
Slowfork at AOL.COM
Wed Aug 28 12:08:25 CDT 2002
Dear Naresh and group
In a message dated 27/08/02 15:56:19 W. Europe Daylight Time, Naresh writes:
> Not all theories come before discovery. So the discovery of a particle
> will cause scientists to churn out papers by the dozen, irrespective of
> any pre-existing theories.
Naresh, you have missed the point of what I said. The reason scientists are
prepared to spend time and effort investigating fundamental particles and not
poltergeists is that there is a pre-established theoretical framework
(quantum electrodynamics, quantum chromodynamics) within which to design
experiments and interpret their results, No such framework exists for
poltergeist phenomena. Therefore no one knows what questions to ask of the
phenomena, let alone what experiments to set up to answer them. The principle
of least action ( which applies as much to human beings as it does to other
systems) then dictates that it is best to ignore the matter or maintain that
reports are the result of fraud or misperception. If, of course, the
phenomenon can be repeated to order - say Kiran could repeat his run to order
then that is a different matter.
Again you say,
Science is very much interested in such "random" or transient
phenomena. You only have to look at the number of books authored by men of
scientific persuasion about all kinds of supernatural occurences.. In
fact, a bandwagon of scientists in Karnataka (and AndhraPradesh also I
think) made news with one expose after another concerning god-men in that
part of the world. Considering the fact that most of such happennings have
found to be hoaxes of sorts, it soon becomes tiresome for scientists to
investigate each one of the claims.. The next thing you know, we'll have a
Journal of Supernatural phenomena! (Is IEEE or Royal Society listening? :)
Yes that's true. The kind of interest scientists have in these phenomena,
y speaking, is solely in debunking them. However that is not the kind of
interest I had in mind. Some years ago now there was a fascinating
documentary about a group of scientists going around Indian villages trying
expose various charaltans who were preying on them and attempting to leave
the villagers with a more sceptical attitude to the supernatural. It was
probably the same group you are referring to.
By the way, please don't get the idea that I was launching a general assault
on Kiran's ideas. I picked up on just those points which I thought were
questionable in some way. Much of what he has said I regard as true and
insightful ( for example his idea of science being an "exploration of maya").
In any case the discussion he has engendered is very valuable as it has
clearly made a lot people put on their thinking caps.
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