Science and spirituality


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Science and spirituality

  2. 2. Dr. T. D. Singh Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute President, Vedanta and Science Educational Research Foundation Scientific and religious paths are like two streams of the creative human mind. The scientific path tries to explain the nature of reality within rationality, whereas the religious or spiritual path does so within and beyond rationality.
  3. 3. I think in this century, science will be admitted to the spiritual aspects of mankind, and vice versa…  Prof. Karl H. Pribram Neuropsychologist, Georgetown University, USA
  4. 4. <ul><li>“ Science and technology alone cannot solve the problems of the new millennium. We need additional guidelines for our actions, for the selection of our research projects and research goals. These guidelines have to do with ethics, with philosophy, and with faith.” </li></ul><ul><li> Prof. Richard R. Ernst </li></ul><ul><li>Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Switzerland </li></ul>
  5. 5. Science and Eastern Thought “ Our science – Greek science, is based on objectification…But I do believe that this is precisely the point where our present way of thinking does need to be amended, perhaps by a blood-transfusion from Eastern thought.”  Erwin Schroedinger
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ A great breakthrough in the history of integration of science and spirituality has been the experimental verification of the nonlocality of quantum objects.” </li></ul><ul><li> Amit Goswami </li></ul><ul><li>Quantum Physicist , University of Oregon, USA </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is Life? What is Consciousness?
  8. 8. LIFE Chemical and Biological Spiritual Science Spirit
  9. 9. “ In my search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line, life has run out through my fingers. So, in my old age I am now retracing my steps.”  A. Szent Gyorgi 1937 Nobel Laureate in Medicine
  10. 10. Although a biologist, I must confess that I do not understand how life came about… To me, auto-replication of a macromolecule does not yet represent life. Even a viral particle is not a live organism, it can only participate in life processes…  Werner Arber Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine
  11. 11. “ We can admittedly find nothing in physics or chemistry that has even a remote bearing on consciousness. Yet all of us know that there is such a thing as consciousness, simply because we have it ourselves. Hence consciousness must be part of nature, or more generally, of reality, which means that, quite apart from the laws of physics and chemistry, as laid down in quantum theory, we must also consider laws of quite a different nature.”  Niels Bohr
  12. 12. VEDANTIC PARADIGM <ul><li>LIFE COMES FROM LIFE </li></ul>
  13. 13. Ontology of Life <ul><li>Life is transcendental </li></ul><ul><li>Consciousness is the symptom of life </li></ul>
  14. 14. “ RNA alone is not life…” “… I think that life could be beyond the assembly of biomolecules.”  Werner Arber Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine
  15. 15. Consciousness as another Category of Reality <ul><li>Consciousness is a distinct reality in nature other than particles and waves. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr. T. D. Singh </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>“ It seems to me pretty plain that there is a third thing in the universe, to wit, consciousness, which … I cannot see to be matter or force, or any conceivable modification of either.” </li></ul><ul><li> Thomas Huxley </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“There are two kinds of reality or existence; the existence of my consciousness and the reality or existence of everything else.” </li></ul><ul><li>Eugene Wigner Nobel Laureate in Physics </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>“ ...consciousness is a principle that fundamentally transcends not only physics and chemistry but also the mechanistic principles of living beings.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Michael Polanyi </li></ul>
  19. 19. Science and Religion point to Reality “ 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.”  Werner Heisenberg
  20. 20. <ul><li>FAITH AND SCIENCE </li></ul><ul><li>“ Two major assumptions which are the basis </li></ul><ul><li>of scientific effort are first that the universe </li></ul><ul><li>is orderly, trustworthy, and it continues the </li></ul><ul><li>same way, and the second that the human </li></ul><ul><li>intellect can think through and figure out </li></ul><ul><li>most of this orderly behavior. Now both of those are </li></ul><ul><li>assumptions and articles of faith. We can’t prove that all </li></ul><ul><li>the laws of physics are going to be constant.” </li></ul><ul><li> Charles H. Townes </li></ul><ul><li>Nobel Laureate in Physics </li></ul>
  21. 21. Science and Faith <ul><li>“Anyone who has been seriously </li></ul><ul><li>engaged in scientific work of any </li></ul><ul><li>kind realizes that over t he entrance </li></ul><ul><li>to the gates of the temple of science </li></ul><ul><li>are written the words: Ye must have </li></ul><ul><li> faith. It is a quality which the scientist </li></ul><ul><li>cannot dispense with.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Max Planck </li></ul>
  22. 23. “ The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is in the sensation of the mystical. It is a shower of all true science… That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power which is revealed in the comprehensible universe forms my idea of God.” - Albert Einstein
  23. 24. “ I believe that more thoroughly science is studied, the further does it take us from anything comparable to atheism…If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to believe in God.” - Lord Kelvin
  24. 25. <ul><li>  Science and God: Inferential Evidence </li></ul><ul><li>“ I saw in it [the atom] the </li></ul><ul><li>key to the deepest secrets of </li></ul><ul><li>nature, and it revealed to me </li></ul><ul><li>the greatness of creation </li></ul><ul><li>and Creator.” </li></ul><ul><li>— Max Born </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>“This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being…This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord, God.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Isaac Newton </li></ul>
  26. 27. Inspiration Indication of a Divine Guide
  27. 28. <ul><li>Inspiration </li></ul><ul><li> “ At the moment when I put my </li></ul><ul><li> foot on the step (of the bus) the </li></ul><ul><li> idea came to me, without </li></ul><ul><li> anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used …were identical with those of non-Euclidean geometry.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Henri Poincare </li></ul>
  28. 29. <ul><li>INSPIRATION </li></ul><ul><li>“Finally two days ago, </li></ul><ul><li>I succeeded …like a sudden </li></ul><ul><li>flash of lightening, the riddle </li></ul><ul><li>happened to be solved. I myself </li></ul><ul><li>cannot say what was the conducting thread which connected what I previously knew with what made my success possible.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Karl Gauss </li></ul>
  29. 30. <ul><li>“… it seems to me that creativity in its finest form contains something that we cannot explain by the normal algorithmic process of discovery. It contains a non-algorithmic process, a non-algorithmic operation.” </li></ul><ul><li> Prof. E. C. G. Sudarshan Particle Physicist, University of Texas, Austin, USA </li></ul>
  30. 31. Free Will and Science “ Many scientists will say, ‘I can’t believe in religion, I can’t be religious. On the other hand, if you ask them, ‘Do you think you have some free will,’ almost every scientist instinctively thinks so. He has free will. He can choose some things. He can decide to go this way or that way. There is, in fact, no room for free will in present scientific laws and yet almost every scientist essentially assumes he has it.”  Charles H. Townes Nobel Laureate in Physics
  31. 32. Matter from Life? “You place matter before life and decide that matter has existed for all eternity. How do you know that the incessant progress of science will not compel scientists… to consider that life has existed during eternity and not matter? You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today … cannot conceive things otherwise. How do you know that in ten thousand years one will not consider it more likely that matter has emerged from life?” - Louis Pasteur.
  32. 33. Bhagavad Gita on Life The symptoms of life occur on the basis of a spiritual, living entity. An infinity of living entities exist, and they are known as cit-kana or literally small conscious atoms. When the cit-kana acquires a body, then the changes of birth, growth, maintenance, reproduction and death are manifested in matter.
  33. 34. Life In the Center “ I began as a physicist drawing parallels between physics and the Eastern tradition. I now believe that physics cannot be placed in the center of the world view. The most appropriate center is the theory of living systems. You put life in the center, and you study life in its multiple manifestations, and you make statements about what life is, what mind is, and what consciousness is in this context. Physics would be defined as the science of nonliving systems.” - Fritjof D. Capra , Physicist and system theorist
  34. 35. <ul><li>Conception of Absolute Truth given by Vedic Saints </li></ul><ul><li>Bhagavan Feature (Personal) </li></ul><ul><li>Paramatma Feature (Localized aspect) </li></ul><ul><li>Brahma Jyoti (Impersonal aspect) </li></ul>
  35. 36. Vedanta Sutra: First aphorism <ul><li>athato brahma Jijnasa </li></ul><ul><li>“ Now, therefore one must inquire into the nature of ‘Brahman’, the Absolute Truth or God.” </li></ul>
  36. 37. <ul><li>Science and God </li></ul><ul><li>“ When advancement of knowledge is applied </li></ul><ul><li>in the service of the Lord, the whole process becomes absolute … Therefore, all the great sages and devotees of the Lord have recommended that the subject matter of art, science, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology and all other branches of knowledge should be wholly and solely applied in the service of the Lord…Scientific knowledge engaged in the service of the Lord and all similar activities are all factually hari-kirtana , or glorification of the Lord.” </li></ul><ul><li> A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada </li></ul>
  37. 38. “ Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.” Albert Einstein
  38. 39. <ul><li>“The Universe has been brought for us by a supremely good and orderly Creator.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Nicholas Copernicus </li></ul>
  39. 40. <ul><li>“The wisdom of God manifested in the works of creation.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Robert Boyle </li></ul>