Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Friday, January 30, 2009

Is it about science or scientific methods?

I was following the blog post by Sitapati Das prabhu. He asserts that Krishna Consciousness is a comprehensive metaphysical system and not necessarily scientific especially if modern scientists question “science of self realization” as pseudo-science.

Here is my 2 cents.

I personally agree and disagree. First of all, we have to be clear in what we say. Science simply put is a body of knowledge. It can range from solving my health problem to the problem of birth and death. Therefore depending on the knowledge, it can be mundane or transcendental. For anyone to solve a problem, it needs a systematic analysis of the problem per se. This way as we study we will gather knowledge. Knowledge, therefore in my opinion, is not a patented property or an exclusive right of modern scientists. It is true for all. In this sense, Krishna Consciousness is scientific because it is a comprehensive body of knowledge intended to solve a problem – problem of birth, death, old age and disease. No other religion or metaphysics can clearly define the problem and give a solution as Krishna Consciousness gives; therefore, Krishna Consciousness is pure science.

There is, however, a difference. The difference is in methods of enquiry. In other words, scientific research methods differ for Krishna Consciousness and modern science. This is where from a modern scientist purview, Krishna Consciousness becomes a pseudo-science. The research methods employed by Krishna Conscious people are not the same as that employed by modern scientists. Depending on the scientific method, we obtain different evidence and results. Above this, we have the interpretation of the results (evidence/data). Even within the scientific field, a same problem can be approached differently (meaning using different and valid research methods) and obtain completely contradicting evidences and results. Are they any less scientific….No! It is just the methods of research and analysis differs. Similarly, Krishna Consciousness is no less scientific (methodical) just the research method (enquiry) is different…but that does not mean the knowledge obtained is less valid or that this knowledge is an exclusive property of a group of people. It is there for everyone to test and employ.

Krishna Consciousness is, thus, science from the standpoint of obtaining knowledge (and problem solving) but psuedoscience from modern scientists perspective as it does not conform to their commonly accepted practices of scientific research and research methods. Both follow a clear method that can be tested and verified by one and all. If scientists are so proud of their methods of research and fail to accept other methods as less scientific, then in my opinion, they are no more religiously and blindly attached to their methods than any mundane religion.

Today, scientific culture is very exclusive to a group of elite thinkers at least this is what the scientists have successfully created - a fortified invisible wall where only the elite can pass through thus making the inhabitants within the wall proud of their intellectual status. Because of this, any other type of knowledge obtained from other verifiable methods is just not good enough for these people!

Therefore the difference between science and pseudo-science is not one of widely accepted practices (research methods) but one of true knowledge. Scientists who reject knowledge just because it does not conform to their common practice I think are pseudo-scientists as they are rejecting knowledge which may be far superior to their own!

Science and methods of science are intricately woven together yet mutually exclusive.

Hare Krishna

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