Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Layman vs Science - part 2

      Everyone accuses scientists of being people sitting isolated in ivory towers of comfort far from the layperson and beyond his/her access. Yes accusing somebody for being a scientist is very easy. And to throw allegations that they never care to explain anything "scientifically" instead of being secretive is also very easy. But let me ask a question. How many of you will listen to earnestly if you are being explained some phenomenon exotic or not and try to understand atleast some part of it truly? I can guarantee that 99.9% of you won't listen properly.

       Because, for most people, science doesn't have any relation with real life. It is some kind of surreal thing, which you see in text books, meant to be gulped blindly and puked on exam sheets to score marks which will get you admitted into some smart college where you "learn" things to earn money.  Who cares if sun is a star or that solar system has eight planets instead of nine? There are "astrological planets" which are "real" and "influential". Who cares if there is a fibanocci series? You never "see" any in your "real" lives. Because "real" life is out of logical reasoning. It consists of  "grave social matters worth discussing over and over again" (irony being most of the time, no social issue is resolved despite extensive discussions), whereas science is discrete and doesn't offer scope for much gossip or juice if pursued correctly. [Ofcourse science, if fallen into the hands of people who don't understand it at all, can lead to various bogus discussions, where these "bits and pieces" scientists turn the world upside down with their "scientific wisdom".]
      But the problem won't end with scientists making earnest efforts to clarify doubts. Again I am going to quote a personal example. I believe myself to be a very loquacious person and believe in clarifying all doubts when asked to me. This has been my character from school days. And I don't feel sorry for it. Probably I sound boring while explaining things. But I atleast try to explain them.

         But again I have witnessed people getting bored or behaving as if I am wasting my time learning science (especially Physics and especially particle physics, which ofcourse on first glance has no connection to real life at all!  How many among us even remember the 8th standard lesson of atomic theory of Dalton? I am sure that non-science people consider it as a piece of fiction, meant just for fun and not of any real significance in life. Who has time to think about atoms when they have to run for banglaw, gaddi, makaan, status?)  and explaining it to people and make them turn their attention to the fact that we are not outsiders in nature, but anything which seems to be so obvious in nature has things behind it, which are very interesting.

       It is as if people view science as some kind of isolated phenomenon far away from society or social activities. One reason for this is the human pride and its history. (I am not going into all of it, may be on another occasion.) Another is forgetting that we humans are also part of the nature and as part of it, it is not unlikely that we want to know more and more about it. If you claim yourself to be the most intelligent animal on this planet, why not use your intelligence to ask questions about our own existence and the "nature of things" and try and find answers to them using your powerful intellect? The highly advanced human brain is not only meant for discussion how being an advanced level organism affects its sexual life or social life only.
       Now that I am talking about the advanced human brain, let me point out that, without "science", nobody would've been able to study its workings and importance in the human body. The very body (your material body) which you discuss so much from socio-political and whatever aspects has its own "science" which drives it. It consists of systems which were studied in detail so as to enable the development of "medical sciences" which enable you to spend lakhs (see I need science to count; in other words counting is a scientific process) or crores to get the body treated. And as far as prestige is considered, tell me, how would you have shown off your status, had there been no "automobile engineering science" which makes the fancy cars you buy and "electronic science" which enables you to spend money on your cool touch screen ipads or ipods or smart phones to show off? To make the phone (smart or not) work, you need science? And to share your views, in print or radio or internet, you need science again! Why go to print and publish? To talk and hear you need science. Had nobody understood the plain physics of working of your ears, no haring aids or headphones would not have been made till date! Well you need science (in the form of math) to know date and time! You need to know the correct science of diets to stay healthy! How is it that science is just magic then?

         Or that science is only something which exists far away in the universe, and we are in some kind of "safety zone" on the earth? Why is that you are all curious and enthusiastic about science outside the earth (which is a good thing, you are curious about something atleast) and talk and write big about those "exotic" things, but fail to appreciate the same mechanism if it is inside the confines of the earth's atmosphere? Do you think that the earth has no relation whatsoever to science in any form at all and that any mention of science on the earth is dangerous to everybody on earth? Tell me how can you even arrive a conclusion if something is dangerous for you or not if you don't know its science?

              If science is such an inevitable and omnipresent part of your life why are you afraid of it? Why don't you ever take a small effort to understand it? It doesn't need big brains or top scores to understand science. All you need is clear and straight thinking and a logic mind. It will occur to you when you learn it how much pleasant it is to learn science. Each and every moment you use your brain to clear its own doubts is worthy of being cherished. And when you find the correct answers to what you ask, it is a happy thing. BUT you have to be willing to shun your ego as a human and use your intellect, rather than beating around bushes hoping for credits from some group of people whom you want to keep in dark. The firs step towards understanding science is to be ready to accept your faults (history of science shows that many times people were wrong with their theories but as they learned more the mistakes were corrected) and be open to the truths. Secondly no matter if you write good or bad about gravity, gravity will be gravity and not be photon. Right?



No comments:

Post a Comment