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Science and Faiths

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Following topics are addressed

  1. 1.                 Three Ps
  2. 2.                 Atman (Soul)
  3. 3.                 Linking God to Energy
  4. 4.                 ABM System
  5. 5.                 Computers and Power Trains
  6. 6.                 Hindu Advaita Philosophy and Science
  7. 7.                 Concluding Remarks
  8. 8.                 References and notes are indicated with a star (*) and bracketed number.

 

Three Ps 

The three P’s are Philosophy, physics and psychology. Philosophy and psychology are subjective disciplines and in general these are intuitive, not quantitative sciences. Physics is both subjective (theoretical) and objective (experimentally verifiable) sciences. If a scientific observation is supported by verifiable data then it is a fact, if not then it is a theory. Unlike psychology and social studies, etc principles of physics and physical sciences are experimentally verifiable.

Of the three Abrahamic and two Vedic faiths only Hindus have internalized all elements of three Ps. Three Abrahamic faiths rely on religious philosophy and psychology. Hindus intuitively argued a concept for the cosmic man and formulated the Advaita (singularity) and Vedanta philosophy.

All faiths believe in one God. God is held responsible for celestial – stars, planets, etc – actions. The article explains plausible link between energy and God. God and energy are pervasive all across the universe. The article concludes with a scientist’s interpretations of Hindu scriptures* (1 – 5).

Hindu belief in pervasive God is expressed each time they pray with folded hands and greet each other with Namaste (nama ste). Namaste means “I see God/energy in you.” Jewish shalom Aleichem (peace be upon you), Muslim Allah ho Akbar (God is great) and Christian Lord be praised are some common greetings not acknowledging pervasive nature of God.

Atman (Soul) 

Hindus and Abrahamic followers believe in soul or Atman. Buddhist do not believe in Atman. Buddhists follow the Dvaita (duality) philosophy that separates body and mind. The Dvaita theory does not incorporate Atman (soul). A close contemporary of Buddha was a Hindu scientist Kapila. Kapila formulated the Sankhya System and Guna theory* (5) that is the foundation of the Dvaita philosophy.

The body is managed by brain and mind for Buddhists. Buddha said what we conceive as something eternal within us is merely a combination of physical and mental aggregates or forces made up of body or matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness* (6). The computer system concept interlinked to universal energy discussed below appears to be alien to Buddha as scientific knowledge of modern age was not available.

Hindus maintain that the Buddhist (Dvaita) philosophy is rooted in Hindu Advaita (singularity) philosophy. The Hindu Advaita philosophy in explaining cosmic energy establishes linkage between body, mind and Atman.  For Hindus Atman represents the true self, the essence of an individual; Atman is the first principle, the essence of human beings. To understand the power of Atman let’s get a sense of how brain and mind functions.

Linking God to Energy 

As a scientist I believe the creator of universe, God is energy. Energy like God is indestructible. The energy of the universe is constant. Energy is tangible and intangible. Intangible energy is experienced energy and tangible is matter; together intangible and tangible energy is called the “visible” energy. Sun and star energy sustains the Universe. Without energy the universe did not and can not exist. Sun is a star and the source of all energy for our planet. Only 17% of total energy in the universe is “visible”. Balance 83% is dark matter and dark energy detected by its gravity.

Einstein’s equality relationship (energy, e = m times c-squared, where m is mass and c is a constant speed of light) tells us that mass or material are formed with conversion or morphing of energy. Energy exists in multiple forms. Like energy mass also exists in multitude of forms. Both energy and mass are attracted by earth’s gravity; each has weight proportional to the earth’s gravitational force it experiences.

Energy and matter are interconvertible obeying the Einstein’s mass energy equivalence equation. We experience conversion of matter to heat, etc. With discovery in 2012 at CERN* (7 and 8) of the “God” particle (Higgs-Boson) predicted by the Standard Model of Physics the tiniest energy particle of known weight was identified. The Standard Model is a mathematical theory and the God Particle discovery confirms conversion of energy to matter. It did not explain how energy, matter and order came from nothing, the Black Hole. It does not explain away the need for supernatural creator, God.

My hypothesis is that the integrated energy of the entire universe – the “visible” and dark -collectively is all pervasive God. God is every where and any where energy and matter are found.

Scientist estimated that about 14.7 billion years ago a “Big Bang” explosion of a Black Hole created the universe. The Big Bang like a nuclear explosion was a huge energy explosion giving birth to stars and planets and various energy forms. A star is a nuclear explosion in progress from the day of the Big Bang. The matter, intangible energy, black energy and black matter appeared with the Big Bang.

Energy and mass are measurable. Various tools available to measure intangible energy include spectroscopy, radiation measuring devises, thermometers and meters for measuring heat, kinetic energy and potential energy, wave meters, radiation detectors, ionic particle counters and seismographs, etc. The watt-hour (Wh) is a unit of energy equivalent to one watt (1 W) of power expended for one hour (1 h) time. One W (watt) is also 15.072 Kcal of food* (9). Some foods deliver more energy (kcal) per unit weight (gram) than others; 3,500 kcal of food has an average weight of 454 grams (one pound).

Human fuel or source of energy is food. With food intake body generates energy needed for all actions. Every person as a unit is governed by the ABM, which is like a computerized power system consisting of brain (B, computer hardware) and Atman and mind (AM) as software; Atman (A) supplies intuitive power; characteristics of mind (M) are identified below (ABM System section). The ABM interacts with rest of body using the nervous system (power train). The ABM guides and controls all human activities. The relationship of nervous system to body is like power train of transportation vehicle.

Computers and Power Trains 

To get a sense of how complex the human decision making system is I will use an analogy of the IBM Watson super computer and auto piloted air planes or any transportation device. Watson computer system operating with 85,000 watt power beat all humans on “Jeopardy” in 2011. This powerful super computer can interpret complex data and better interact with humans but it lacks the human intuitive power capabilities. Humans operate with only 20 watts power.

For every motorized vehicle the guidance system is a driver, who navigates and operates it. Transportation vehicles are fueled by electric power (batteries) or an engine that burns carbon fuel to generate electric power. To navigate and drive modern transportation systems have a preprogrammed auto pilot and power train system to manage energy flow to wheels and all other systems on board. Auto pilot is a computer with a CPU; for remote operating capabilities it is coupled to internet through browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.

The ABM guidance system with intuitive decision making capabilities is more complex than mechanical computers like IBM Watson.

ABM System 

Scientifically, the brain is a very complex structure* (10). Brain contains billions of nerve cells — called neurons — that must communicate and work together for the body to function normally. The neurons communicate through electrical signals. Special chemicals, called neurotransmitters, help move electrical messages from neuron to neuron. Neurons (energy) in brain activate flows of neurotransmitters to guide body to perform acts triggered by mind according to modern science.

Mind is what creates the emotions and enables consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory. Atman as the first principle represents essence of individual. Brain is the browser connected CPU or the center for computing and transmitting response based on information inputs, searches and processing by AM. The nervous system is the human power train that transmits responses from the ABM system to various body organs to act. Without brain it is impossible to survive. Brain represents the hardware (mother board plus hard drives, etc) of the ABM system.

The ABM is a multitasking guidance system; it is energy/activities executor. The ABM is responsible for channeling energy to and from body. In formulating actions the mind needs an independent Atman to help sort out emotions, thoughts and influences of consciousness, perception, thinking, judgment, and memory. The flow and management of energy by the ABM system is the collective outcome of the interactions of the AM or the mind-Atman unit that is the essence of individual associated with brain.

The ABM with 20 watts power is more versatile than a most powerful robot the IBM “Watson” with 85,000 watts power* (6). Watson was programmed to function in part like the ABM unit without intuitive capabilities of Atman or soul. The programmers are busy learning how to make Watson to perform functions of Atman. The scientists have yet to develop programming to carryout intellectual and consciousness functions, among various functions of Atman.

I believe the relationship of ABM to person and that of God to universe are similar. Energy makes all actions of the universe possible. ABM makes all actions of a person possible. Without energy there is no universe and without ABM person is dead.

ABM is born or incorporated into a fertilized egg at the conception. It functions as long as energy flows are active. ABM starts functioning as soon as the fertilized egg in the womb starts growing.

The power of ABM is indestructible energy. At death, the AM power returns to universal energy; body disintegrates upon cremation and burial, etc to return to earth; ashes to ashes, energy to energy……

Hindu Advaita Philosophy and Science 

Advaita (singularity) says there is only one God and He rules the universe. Hindus intuitively argued that Atman was the driving force for the body and mind. Hindu arguments find support in the Einstein’s’ energy and mass equality equation. Einstein stated and experimental scientists proved that energy and mass were inter-convertible. Soul or the energy or Atman is the force behind all human activities.

Rishies, the Hindu scholar refuted claims of Dvaita philosophy and proved that Dvaita was rooted in the Advaita. The Hindu scholar’s argued that functions of body and mind are linked to Atman. To neutralize Dvaita theory they argued without participation of Atman body and mind can’t function.

Hinduism was revived to what it is today. In the process Hindu scholars also established that there is only one God perceived in any number of forms. The ABM power and God as energy are linked in Hindu philosophy. Hindu’s belief that every human has Atman means it carries a piece of God.

Concluding Remarks 

As a scientist I have examined each available religious choice from a scientific perspective. I have relied on English translations of Hindu Veda, Upanishad, Gita and other scriptures. Gita offers a summary of all Veda and Upanishad teachings. To resolve arguments between Dvaita (dualistic conclusions of Veda) and Advaita (singularity) theories/philosophies the Vyasa’s Gita also incorporates Guna theory and Sankhya System developed by Kapila, a close contemporary of Vyasa and Buddha.

A number of English and Hindi translations of Veda and Upanishad scriptures and Gita are available. I find each translation is biased by author’s preferences. I have used two English translations of Gita for my articles. I have cited books/references used to develop my articles.

Philosophically, we should live according to principles of Sat (truth), Chit (conscious) and Aanand (content). Challenges to clean living (Sat-chit-aanand) include temptations or Maya (illusions). Keeping mind free of illusions requires discipline. Meditation, Bhakti and Dharma or the principles of cosmic order (life) were designed by Rishies (Hindu sages, saints, or inspired poets) to inhibit temptations.

Hindu religion has scientific rooting. Three P’s that form Hindu/Veda/Upanishad scriptures are intuitive sciences (or theories with no experimental verifications). There is truth to it as they have withstood test of time – estimated 3,500+ years. In pre-17th century era’s required mathematical sciences were not discovered. The 17th century the development of integral and differential calculus* provided scientist required mathematical tools to develop objective sciences.

Note: (*) Integral calculus is a method for finding the sum of small quantities. Differential calculus is a method for determining rates of change.

References and notes

Contents of each part are identified. References and notes are presented with each part. The topics covered in each part are listed. The revised copy of each part is available upon request. The suggested readings offer information on topic of interests.

  1. Part I:             Introduction to Hinduism @ http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Basic-Hindu-Beliefs-Scriptures-Part-I/blog-329.htm. The article covers basic Hindu beliefs and scriptures. 
  2. Part II: Introduction to Gita @ http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Introduction-Gita-Part-II/blog-330.htm The topics covered are: The Gita and Yoga, Is idol-worship justified? Intellect, Mind, Gunas and Vasana (Desires), and Self-Realization and Quality Life.  
  3. Part III:  Three Yogas Popular with Hindus, @ http://blogs.ivarta.com/%2520Three-Yogas-Popular-with-Hindus/blog-333.htm Topics are: Definition of Yoga and Select Hindu Yoga/Paths; Yoga of knowledge, Yoga of Action, Yoga of Devotion. The attributes of a real devotee are listed.
  4. Part IV: Dharma and Cosmic Man @ http://www.blogs.ivarta.com/Dharma-Cosmic-Man/blog-334.htm Topics are: Immortal Dharma (Virtue), Cosmic-Man and the Cosmic-Form Divine.
  5. Part V:        Sankhya System and Guna Theory @ http://blogs.ivarta.com/Hinduism-Sankhya-System-Guna-Theory-V/blog-336.htm Topics are: The Sankhya System and The Guna Theory of Sankhya Doctrine.
  6. “Is there an Eternal Soul?” @   http://www.budsas.org/ebud/whatbudbeliev/115.htm
  7. Modern Science and Understanding Life; Last of four part series on Understanding Life @ http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2012/08/19/modern-science-and-understanding-life/ 0820 and
  8. Lisa Randall, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World” (2011) Harper Collins and “Does the “God Particle” Rule Out a Creator?” @ http://www.creationmoments.com/resources/blog/201209/does-god-particle-rule-out-creator
  9. A lesson plan to teach students how much (KWh) energy a person produces by climbing steps, etc is at http://solardat.uoregon.edu/download/Lessons/What_Is_a_kWhr.pdf; see also http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/exclusive0612.shtml .
  10. WebMD, “The Brain and Mental Illness,” @ http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/brain-mental-illness; and “Difference between Brain, Mind and Mental” @  http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-brain-mind-and-mental
  11. Happiness 360:  @ http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2013/07/06/happiness-360/                      Suggested readings: Unless identified otherwise the articles are by Kishan Bhatia
  12. Pre-17th Century Sciences and Understanding Life: @ http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2012/08/19/pre-17th-century-sciences-and-understanding-life/
  13. Modern Science and Understanding Life @ http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2012/08/19/modern-science-and-understanding-life/
  14. Religion, Arts and Understanding Life; Second of a multiple parts series on Understanding Life @ http://www.indiacause.com/blog/2012/08/19/religion-arts-and-understanding-life/
  15. Dr. C. K. Raju, PhD, “Transmissions in the history of science: Part I: Origins @ http://www.ivarta.com/columns/blog.aspx?srno=7

 

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