Pseudo-science and Science
The changes in life that Science has brought about are really outstanding. If one considers how a similar human life used to be a century ago and compares it with that of today, one cannot deny the positive role of establishing truth by logical reasoning discarding the faith. At the same time, the rapid advancement of science has left millions with virtually no knowledge in science, where they tend to believe science as ‘just another faith’ and not based on pure reasoning. Moreover, common men, who even have some knowledge of science, don’t always use their scientific acumen to reason everything around them. These gaps in popular understanding of science are hugely manipulated by neo-priests and ‘religious’ scientists.
The dangerous trend in these section of people spreads like a virus. A learned person, having a degree in science, is powered enough with scientific jargons to provide excuse for what actually is inspired by his faith. The ‘excuse’ used to ‘justify’ faith or a superstition, are all categorized as ‘pseudo-science’. These ‘excuses’ spreads among the have-nots of science like virus. One of the classic examples could be what Sujai mentioned in his article on Vaastu. People follow Vaastu purely based on faith, having some excuses derived from scientific ground. And, as virus spreads, Vaastu is also becoming more and more popular.
What inspires pseudo-scientific excuses from the people who know science? It is simple – ego matters – it’s another case of self-denial. They want to defend their faith and also their knowledge in science. It’s really difficult to pursue a ‘pure scientific life’ in India, since most of the population is still deeply religious. At the same time, widespread effort of educationists has opened the window of scientific education in India. Hence, a generation is created who are taught science at school and faith at home. Unable to reconcile both, people fall victims to pseudo-science.
Let me take a few more examples. Among Indian Hindus, not having beef is based purely on faith, still pseudo-scientists come up with their version against eating beef – pointing to social value of cow or promoting violence against animals by cow-slaughter as excuses. However, none of them will take beef even in abroad, where cow doesn’t have any social value. They’ll even refuse if the meat of a cow that’s not slaughtered but dead in an accident. Similar arguments are cited by the Vegetarian people as well. Muslims (Jews too), by their faith don’t take pork, but often cites excuses that pig carries a lots of worms(tapeworm – Taenia solium). Even though it is scientifically proved that pork boiled above 100C for a minute (which is mostly done in all Indian preparations) is free from worms and parasites, it’s hard to find any pseudo-scientist having boiled pork. To frustrate these pseudo-scientists, we can take a look at meat consumption statistics in USA. The major sources of meat are – beef, chicken and pork – confirming that these neither harm your economy, nor your health. Similar pseudo-science exists to defend the specific way of slaughter also.
To conclude, let me reaffirm that the purpose of my article is not to criticize faith, but to criticize the people who can’t keep faith and science separate. A country, where 95% people are science-illiterate and superstitious, this practice can spread like virus and replace the original aim of science to educate people based on pure reason and logic. A war against the superstitions should include an agenda to fight against pseudo-science also. A better society is a society free of superstitions, let’s uproot them before the grow more.