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Photo by Teknorat
Photo by Teknorat

This article is based on the Presidential Speech by well-known physician, Dr BM Hegde at the 40th Annual Congress of the Indian Social Science Academy, held in Mysore, Dec 19-23, 2016. We are publishing the entire content of the speech in the light of the many brilliant and thought-provoking observations made on science and health but cannot verify all the statements made here by Prof. Hegde. We welcome a healthy debate on his ideas in the spirit of true enquiry to enhance our collective understanding of the themes he has addressed.

“The progress of science, good science, depends on intellectual freedom: science has been very many times advanced by outsiders.”– Paul Karl Feyerabend

I have been an ardent student of medical science with its strong base of natural science for the last six decades but still am not wise enough to comprehend the field in toto. With all my efforts I have not become wiser; rather I am more confused now than ever before with all my lore! Science is change; anything that does not change ceases to be science. Unless and until all the subjects/branches of Science of Nature-Humans-Society join together, rather than fighting one another, there will be no progress.

Physics tells  us that anything that divides eventually disintegrates. That is exactly what is happening to science now. The result is that we have many science bodies like natural sciences, social sciences and what have you. The fight is only for ego and sharing the loot of research grants. Today science has become a business. In his wonderful book Science for Sale, David Lewis has showed how science is used now purely to make money.

Robert Kennedy Jr. writing about David Lewis and his book has the following comment: “David Lewis has been a beacon of integrity against the apocalyptical forces of ignorance and greed endeavouring to divert science from the noble pursuit of truth and pervert it into a tool that support the most destructive policies of the industry and the government.” How very true indeed!

Science is a craft rather than logic, an enterprise, untidy and fallible. All these bad traits came to science after science started being secretive, not open fully and is governed by a few people in each science journal called the peer reviewers. These latter decide which is good science and what is bad? How does a peer reviewer understand a new thought as it is not repetitive but refutative?

Secrecy in science, plagiarism, fraud in science and the me-too research started after science became an elitist enterprise after it started the following illogical ideas like patenting for personal benefit, intellectual property rights, and all the bad practices of the monetary economic system. Did Galileo and Archimedes patent their findings? Was not science open then?

One example of science’s secretive trend can be gauged by the power of patentingin pharmaceutical drug (so-called) research. Today if the common man is paying billions of dollars for medicines it is purely because of this patenting curse. Similar was the scene in aircraft development before the Second World War. Then US government brought in pooling  patent law. That made it easier and cheaper to search for newer models of fighter planes.

Why can’t we have such a move now to save the common man from these sharks? Transparency demands openness in research. Today nearly 90% of all research publications in the leading journals, at least in the medical field, are not reproducible, thereby negating the first principle of science. This has been due to publication of only positive results to satisfy the funding agencies in the industry. The biggest of industries is the cancer industry where almost 85% positive results are useless as all of them were funded by the industry!

When we talk of medical science the common man and the medical students believe, and rightly so, that we are honest. Honesty and openness are rarities in medical science. That apart the very foundation of medical science is faulty as the human system, in systems evolutionary biology, is a closed system which works as a whole. Our research is highly reductionist- a square plug in a round hole! One example will suffice to show how hollow our science is? A new cancer crops up in the human body. To know more about it what do we do? We cut a small bit of the cancerous growth, crush those cells on a glass slide, stain those with chemicals and kill them completely before looking at them through the microscope to pronounce our learned diagnosis. Based on this faulty technique we base all our expensive three pronged attack – mutilativesurgery, poisonous chemotherapy and destructive radiation.

Let us now scientifically examine how close to the truth are we in the bargain? Let us imagine a new bird migrates to our neighbourhood. To find out where it came from, where is it headed and why, what is the bird, and what is its fate etc. do we kill the bird and study its cells under the microscope? Both in the bird’s case and in the case of cancer what we are looking under the microscope are the dead cells (the tomb-stone)[i]. In fact, cancer cells in life work exactly like normal body cells. No one can make out any difference although when they mutate their morphology changes but their function does not! In fact, there is a view that cancer cells are body cells that mutated in the first place as they could not survive in their environment because of the change in their environment. If that were so, trying to kill them is counter-productive.

As Rabindranath Tagore rightly said wisdom can grow ONLY when the mind is free and thoughts are not curtailed or controlled by peer reviewers. What is the solution? Just as aircraft manufacture pace galloped after pooling patents in that area to get the most needed air force planes, we urgently need to pool pharmaceutical patents so that (more important than) military aircraft we need decent, safe andeffective drugs for the sick and the infirm. Money makes man mad and greed kills the industry. The next need is to free open access journals from the clutches of the rules and regulations that make it impossible for new journals to survive in this atmosphere of citation index and in fact, the very idea of indexing journals is scientifically obnoxious.

Let ideas be free floating and the peer reviewing is done by peers all over the globe. The power of the internet is such that the whole world is the peer reviewer. That will put an end to hatred and filthy criticisms aimed at new ideas which come in the way of the powerful making tons of money by cheating the gullible public. If we did these two and take away the attraction of awards, Nobel’s, Royal Society Fellowships, I think wisdom would flow relentlessly for the common good of the common man. Otherwise mankind is doomed by the stranglehold of the so-called science very soon.

The far-sightedness of Benjamin Rush, one of the founder fathers of the American  Constitution, was clear in his wanting to have a clause in the Constitution to avoid monopoly of any one system to dominate the whole arena. He wanted freedom in the arena of human illness and treatment. The clause was defeated in voting. What Rush had predicted has come true. Western reductionist medical science today has been able to successfully dominate and monopolise the medical field. The ruse that they have taken refuge in is that reductionist science is the only science to rely on. The truth is that while the old natural sciences have all changed completely with the advent of quantum physics, medical science is still mired in ancient reductionism.

“We had the freedom to make mistakes. That’s something very important. Unfortunately this freedom for scientists gets more and more lost….Otherwise you do common things. You don’t dare to do something beyond what everybody else thinks,”wrote Heinrich Rohrer.

SCIENCE IS LEARNING FROM NATURE

Science should learn from nature and not try and teach nature a lesson or two. Today’s materialistic science, with its attendant technology, is just doing the latter to make more and more money. Let us confine ourselves to veterinary science for this study. The story of mad cow disease is still fresh in our memory. Materialistic science wanted to get more money by making the cows give more milk and beef by making the cow a non-vegetarian. Cows were fed giblets from goats, sheep, chicks and what have you. Very soon a new discovery was made and an organism without DNA and RNA was born, the prion – the cause of the mad cow disease. “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd;indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible,” wrote Bertrand Russell years ago.

Now the story is still more dangerous. They are actually playing with fire in trying to change evolution itself. A thinking veterinary surgeon was pouring his heart out to me about the state of affairs in his field in a letter which made me feel really bad. How can we assume that we are superior creatures on this planet and have the right over the life of all other animals? They are as much a part of this world and its evolution that we have no superiority at all. The scientific hubris of the scientists from advanced Countries defies nature! Haven’t they “sold their soul to the devil; a sordid boon”, wrote Wordsworth in 1802.”

That is precisely the reason that George Bernard Shaw wrote:

“Intellectual integrity made it quite impossible for me to accept the myths and dogmas of even very great scientists, more particularly of the belligerent and so-called advanced nations. Indeed, those intellectuals who accepted them were abdicating their functions for the joy of feeling themselves at one with the herd.”

I couldn’t agree more. Look at how we torture the calf to make vealfor our enjoyment. The meat has to be soft, white and succulent. To get that we put the new born calf in a dark room with just enough space to stand still and not move. The calf can never see the sun or touch the ground as it has just enough space to stand alone between two walls. No food is given to drain itself of all the blood in circulation and no muscle growth. Then the calf is sacrificed at the butcher’s shop. Isn’t veal meal a real cruel meal but it is the most expensive item in a five star hotel menus in the west? Who gave us that right to kill that innocent creature? Who do we think we are? For our pleasure and affluence can we sacrifice another life? This is the scientific view of manufacturing white meat which is at premium price.

As if that is not enough now the scientific community has started with the most horrendous job of almost changing the very purpose of life on this planet as reductionist science does not believe that this world has any purpose. It is supposed to work like a purposeless clock set in motion at the Big Bang. Was there a big bang at all? That is the biggest question begging an answer even now. Now veterinary scientists are trying to change the very purpose of life for the sake of those who are very powerful. The two driving forces of life are self-preservation and procreation. All animals including man live on those two driving forces. Male female attraction is the strongest force on earth. In animals (also in man) the male can smell the pheromones during the female heat (cycle). Rhine Deer in thick snow go as far as tens of miles in search  of the  female  in heat by  smelling  the pheromones secreted at their feet stuck 10 feet deep snow!

Now the ‘scientists” want to destroy the very cycle and make the cows get artificially inseminated to produce just female calves! Gradually the animals might forget their cycle and the males might become extinct! This will be dangerous situation as we are completely upsetting the intention of evolution on this planet. This brings to mind the dangerous “eugenics” games being played by Hitler and his hit men on human species! In what way are our present such scientists different from Hitler? How I wish I had the power to put some sense into our misled scientist’s heads? I cannot do it for medical scientists and leave alone the vets. What worries me is like the mad cow disease, nature will teach mankind a bitter lesson when we meddle with its very purpose. Then innocent people also suffer.

The terrorists are seen doing harm (killing, -torturing etc.) and they are universally condemned but the scientists playing a more dangerous game are being eulogised! A mad world, indeed!

LESS MEDICINE = MORE HEALTH

“Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.”- Winston S. Churchill

Public health is the health of the public, the common man/woman on the street. Medical education, the governments in all countries and the powers that be are all after sickness care and the vaccine industry. In essence a doctor should be trained for keeping the public healthy. What are the basic tools of keeping people healthy? The essence of good health is a strong immune system which is our inner healer and protector of our health. We used to believe that the immune system is needed to protect us against germ invasion only and not a guard against chronic life style diseases. I used to believe and had a hypothesis that the immune system guards against almost all diseases from common cold to cancer.

This was my hunch but a new study gives credence to that view that a sturdy immune system could protect us from heart attacks despite the conventional risk factors which, incidentally, have been proven to be of not much use in predicting a heart attack. After studying a group of patients with high blood pressure, researchers found those with higher levels of certain antibodies had a lower risk of heart attack – regardless of other risk factors. They suggest that a blood test to measure antibody levels could help assess a person’s risk of heart attack. The study found higher blood levels of an antibody called IgG were linked to lower risk of heart attack in a group of people with high blood pressure. This study was from Imperial College, London and is published in the journal , Ebio-medicine.

It describes how the team discovered a link between blood levels of Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and reduced chances of having a heart attack. Lead author Dr.RamziKhamis, a consultant cardiologist and clinical research fellow at Imperial College was of the opinion: “Linking a stronger, more robust immune system to protection from heart attacks is a really exciting finding. As well as improving the way we tell who is at the highest risk of a heart attack so that we can give them appropriate treatments, we now have a new avenue to follow in future work.” This gives me happiness. While this gives us better tools to build our immune system as the foundation of public health against all ills, it reaffirms the Ayurvedic faith in the inner healer. The thrust of Ayurveda is to preserve the health of the well segment of the population. It makes lots of economic sense for our leaders as on a given day in this world there might be a few million people sick while the vast majority of the 6 odd billions are well and healthy. My hypothesis helps the healthy to remain so thereby reducing the rising costs of disease-care in our present medical care claptrap, most of it is driven by human greed to make money out of fellow human misery, what 1 call as unethical commerce!

Having defined the problem now we have to explore as to how we can maintain a good immune system living in an unhealthy atmosphere obtaining today in this world driven by industrialisation and chemical poisoning of even our crops from seeds to manure! Indian wisdom had it that boosting the immune system is a guard against almost all ills. That is why the elaborate Panchakarmaprocedures were built into its therapeutic regime.

That is for the management of an individual but the society as a whole needs the following for both the rich and the poor alike. That said I must hasten to add that the healthy mind is a good immune booster and a strong insurance against illnesses. The mind, which is all over, is the CEO of the immune system. Frustration, depression, anger, pride, jealousy and super ego are powerful immune depressors.

Essentials of Healthcare

(1)    Clean drinking water for all people in the country. Even for the rich the  so-called bottled reverse  osmosis  water could bedangerous as it takes away any minerals that might be there in the water and also makes the water marginally acidic in pH.

(2) Three square meals a day for the lowest of the low – uncontaminated by human and/or animal excreta. If possible, adulteration could be(should be) put down with a heavy hand.

  • A roof on top of the head for the poor to replace the star-lit sky now!
  • Work opportunities for all as “not knowing where your next meal comes from” could be a strong risk for major killer diseases.
  • Education of the girl child at least up to 25 years to have natural birth control to balance the world population.
  • A toilet for every house and proper sewage system for all places.
  • Economic empowerment of village women to help her let her children sleep with a full stomach. The men folk earn but wastemost of that money at the alcohol sellers, returning home drunk,with no money in the pocket. The poor child has to go to bed withan empty stomach. Letting the child sleep with no food to eat is the risk factor for heart attacks in village women which are notstatistically recorded  in  our disease-oriented  “ghost- written” textbooks of medicine.
  • Inter-caste and religious harmony goes a long way to allay anxiety levels in society.
  • Societal efforts to bring in harmony between the members of a locality, village or a community will be a great help to make ourimmune system strong.

Let us do all the above and change our educational system to bring out healthy minds in our students and not just a wealthy career as is the stress in the monetary economy today. Healthy mind is defined as a mind filled with enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate. May human kind be happy and healthy, let us make our country, nay this world, healthy and happy.

LESS MEDICINE — MORE HEALTH

Less Medicine more health, a new book from Gilbert Welch, is a wonderful book that shows all that I was writing and saying for the last 4 decades is true. Decades ago, I started a new concept called “Step Down” treatment of hypertension. This occurred to me when I first started work in an Indian Government hospital in the 1960s after having been at the National Heart and The Middlesex Hospitals, London, and the Peter Brent Brigham in Boston. I used to religiously record the data on the small slips that patients carry. I used to see lots of hypertensive patients in a large outpatient department. Almost all patients seemed to respond to the treatment, only beta-blockers and diuretics then, during the follow up visit which was a week later. I used to record that also. I used to encourage them as they had responded.

One day one patient had a sarcastic smile on his face when I told him, “you have done well by taking medicines as advised correctly and your BP has come down.” When asked as to why he did that he told me the whole story. The government hospitals have a limited drug budget which gets exhausted by June and then till the next financial year drugs are not available regularly. This patient did not get the drugs but did follow my advice on life style changes correctly. I was nonplussed! Then more and more patients followed and I thought of doing a prospective observational study with controls. This confirmed my belief that probably mild-moderate hypertensives  without  target organ damage will do well on life style modifications alone. Then I started the step down treatment where I used to taper off anti-hypertensive drugs in those patients whose BP was normal to see what happens to them. For more than 50% of them the BP remained normal without drugs after that. Rest needed drugs in smaller doses to keep the BP under control. It was then that late Professor Sir George Pickering’s wisdom dawned on me: “more people in this world  make a living off hypertension than dying of it.”

I have described them more graphically in my own book, What Doctors Don’t Get to Study in Medical School.

THE ‘HEALTH-SCARE’ SYSTEM

In my opinion every doctor needs to give his/her patients just two bits of important information before they embark on any drug treatment. Any drug has two aspects which are important for the patient. The drug’s NNT and ADR risk. None of the drugs that we prescribe helps every patient. It is a lottery. Number Needed to Treat (NNT) is a statistical term. To give a concrete example the NNT of drugs in mild-moderate hypertension in the MRC study published in 1985 in the British Medical Journal puts the NNT at 850. To help one patient with an imaginary stroke in the next five years one has to unnecessarily treat 850 healthy individuals with drugs that will not benefit them but will carry the ADR risk of 5%.(ADR is Adverse Drug Reaction, or simply, side-effects).

If you inform the patient these facts,  most of them will opt for trying life-style modifications to drugs. His chance of getting benefit is one in eight hundred fifty but his chance of getting side-effects  is 45. Come to think of it : our drugs help one and harm 45! The same for statins, NNT is 300 and side effects (ADR) 10%. Taking statins might help one in three hundred but will make 30 of them diabetics in one year and has many other dangerous side-effects!

One sentence can sum up the mess that we have created for the elderly by poly-pharmacy. Less medicine for the old, the elderly, gives them better health for them to enjoy life. It will add life to their years while it might also add years to their life! These facts added to the dangers of hospitalisation for no good reason and that too inside Intensive Care Units is an indirect invitation to the attractive but undignified route to heaven. We try and make every human being who comes to us more and more anxious about his health arid his uncertain future instead of giving him much needed reassurance that goes a long way to help. I couldn’t agree more with Late Oliver Wendell Holmes, a Harvard trained physician, poet and writer when he wrote that “the two most powerful drugs that mankind has ever invented are the two kind words of a humane doctor.”

Time has come for us to think if this medical and health-scare system should be allowed to exploit sick human beings in this cruel way for the future also or not. Recently, a drug company in the USA was fined $70 million for cheating the FDA and selling a drug, an expensive one at that, Tarceva, for small cell cancer of the lung, knowing full well that the drug is useless in that condition. They made tons of money between 2006 and 2011. “The company also promoted Tarcevar the lawsuit said, by giving doctors illegal kickbacks disguised as fees for making speeches or serving on Genentech’s advisory boards.”

So we also have blood on our hands as doctors! We are working cheek on jowl with the drug companies!

YOGA FOR HEALTH

Scientific world-view is the most respected world view in this era of technological developments where recent technologies have made human life apparently simple, but have robbed man of his happiness and have made him sell his soul to the devil for material benefit. Happiness and money have a U-shaped relationship. At either end of the U, man is unhappy (miserable). When you have just enough to sustain yourself, (middle of the U) that too if it is earned with the sweat of your own brow, you are happy. When you do not have any money you might have to pay for your poverty with your own life, that is what the have-nots go through in this world. When you have too much, you are more miserable although you put out a show of arrogance but inside you are anything but happy.

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

William Wordsworth wrote this in 1802 when the first industry started in England.

We can communicate with people anywhere at any time, kill people at will with weapons of mass destruction like drugs and drones, travel thousands of miles in a few hours, fly like the birds, swim like a fish in a submarine, go to the moon, make money even at human misery like in corporate hospital set-ups, press a button to cook what one wants and wash clothes, turn a tap to get water, make healthy and happy people miserable and anxious by screening them for every conceivable disease including cancer, hope to prevent every communicable disease with a vaccine laced with dangerous preservatives, make death undignified with the intensive care of tubes in every orifice and machines to breathe and make urine, keep old elderly ticking with heart and lung transplants, penile grafts, spinal fusion, new metallic joints, and demented brains….all in the name of science.

The halo around the word science is such that the very mention of it makes even thinking people swoon to believe in it blindly. We seem to have missed the bus here. All the above mentioned heroic acts, with the poor consumer in the hero’s role, are not science in the true sense of the word. They are technology based on materialistic scientific world-view which has already been found wanting in the new quantum world-view which has taken materialistic western science almost to the door step of Indian advaita concept.

BahirAnthasyabhootanam,

Charamacharmevacha;

Sookshmaavtetavijneyain,

doorastham cha anikethacha, tat.

(It is inside and outside of everything, while it is in constant motion it looks solid (Maya), it is so subtle that no scientific method can visualise it; when you do not know you are unaware but it is inside you)

That tat refers to the lepto-quark that is there within us! Two leading western physicists, Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch, writing in their book The Golem, (a scarecrow in Hebrew) published by the Cambridge University Press, show that reductionist science is fallible and untidy, a matter of craft rather than logic. To do that they examined a series of experiments, some famous like proofs of the relativity theory, and some not so famous. In each case the “scientific certainties do not come from experimental method, but from the way ambiguous results were interpreted.” That much for the scientific hubris.

Reductionist science ?

To sell Yoga to the world for common good of humanity we have to give it a scientific touch. In the true sense of the word, Yoga is a true scientific discipline in the latest scientific quantum world-view. When science started in the west, it started off well to understand this world. Unfortunately, that science of measurement which could only understand what it could grasp with our five senses, had to understand the world in bits and pieces: the so-called reductionist science.It started off by believing that this world is matter and non-living following the rules that the scientists of those days arrived at individually and in consensus conferences like the Copenhagen meetings when confused. Such Descartian, Newtonian-Einsteinian science remained materialistic to the core. It did have its limitations as it could never answer esoteric questions. Reductionist science could never answer the question “why” although it could answer “how” or “how much”.

With their limited understanding, they could conceive this world to be a Space-Time concept with deterministic laws which the world had to follow. The speed of light was the fastest in their concept. Relativity was an integral part of that concept. In short, this science followed the “fish-net hypothesis” of Sir Stanley Arthur Eddington. Their understanding of this world depended on the size of the hole in their net; larger the hole in the net, bigger the understanding. Man-made western science kept God outside its realm for reasons more than one. Firstly, HE did not fit into their Space-Time concept and, secondly and most importantly, the western Churches at that time were afraid of this rationalistic science movement which they feared might drive people away from their faith! Some early thinking scientists had to suffer at the hands of the creationists.

That is where a new class called deists was born; they believed in God concept but were against ritualistic religion vis-a-vis atheists. Yoga can never fit into this almost dead reductionist science of the west, but fits in very well with the new quantum reality and the new evolutionary systems biology where the human body becomes a closed system with phenomenal capacity to self-correct accidental illnesses-the so-called quantum healing with a powerful healer inside, the human immune system. Thank God in this new view God is not outside. Today, thanks to quantum concept we can “comprehend much more than what we can grasp”. God, like the wind, cannot be seen but can be easily comprehended. God concept is the greatest placebo effect and saves more lives than all the hi-tech medical stuff put together.

Some thinking physicists started wondering about the behaviour of sub-atomic particles not confined to the Space-time constraints. The particle wave distinction also died down gradually when they could easily discern that both the waves and particles are but the two faces of the same coin. In his article for lay people Hans Peter Durr, a former Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute, wrote : “my job was to look at matter at its subtlest level and going down the line at one stage I found that there is no matter at all. Was I surprised-not at all? I expected that!”

Starting from Max Planck, de Broglie, Paul Deric, Heisenberg, Schrodinger and many others went ahead with the new ideas and we have now reached a stage where physics took a quantum jump into this new field of quantum physics which has created a new world view which comes closer to reality compared to the old “Space-Time conundrum.” For a novice it is a bit confusing as this new world view is more of a possibility than actuality. This comes into view when we look at it and we do not know what happens when we do not look. However, no more doubt remains as most of the new concepts are proven by experimentation. Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, Max Born and Wolfgang Pauli finally resolved the paradox of this “quantum physics” in 1925 with a radical re-interpretation of the dynamics. “It demanded a revolution in what had been the classical view of the world, with the surprising recognition that matter is not really material at all, but a web of relationships, a kind of gestalt, or in a certain way “information” without any carrier.” Hans Peter Durr had a better word in German, the Wirklichkeit.

In this new world-view,matter is but the other face of energy. Man is energy; his mind (a tiny part of the universal mind) is also energy. The old western science put the human mind in the human brain as matter but recently after the new science came into prominence the Nobel Laureate Canadian neuro-surgeon, Wilder Penfield, admitted that he had made a mistake and restated his opinion of the mind as energy:

“None of the actions we attribute to mind-action has been    initiated    by    electric    stimulation    or    epileptic discharges       There is no area of the grey matter, as far as my experience goes, which local discharge brings to pass what could be called mind-action….what the mind” does is different. It is not to be accounted for by any neuronal mechanism that I can discover.To expect the highest brain-mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd.[ii]

Even with this admission by the man who started the mistake earlier, the reductionist medical science of medicine treats mental diseases with powerful reductionist chemicals that only affect the brain, eventually leading them to dementia! With this new scientific world-view, Yoga occupies the centre stage in making man tranquil with the most powerful energy of praana (Chi in Chinese) in the breath. Praanaayaama, the movement of the praanais the king-pin in yoga which was conceived by sage Patanjali, when he realised that the human mind, in its China state with ego added, causes all the misery that man is heir to. He conceived of this wonderful panacea for all human ills-Yoga chittavrittinirodaha. (Yoga for preventing the undulations of the egoistic mind, yoga for tranquillity). Breathing being the most dominant rhythm in the human system does “mode-lock” all other systems to be subservient to it. Women’s menstruation is the only rhythm that is not under the breathing control as menstruation is controlled by the Moon’s gravitational pull! All other human functions come under the control of breathing. Mode-locking is a physics concept initiated by Edward Laurenz, the father of weather prediction fame.

This should get rid of all unscientific concepts in this area with the new quantum world view scientific outlook on yoga. There is some misconception that Yoga belongs to a particular religion and is against other religions. Far from it, very far. In fact, there is a view that Patanjali was an atheist. I do not believe that either but certainly Patanjali was a deist. Yoga, thus, is not a religious tenet. It belongs to the Indian Samkhya School of Philosophy the essence of it all is in this sentence from ParamahamsaYogananda: “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself.”

WHITHER INDIAN SCIENCE?

Has India had anything called science in the past? Many of our western-trained people, including the so-called scientists do not think India had anything called science. They also believe that all modern science came to us from the west. On the contrary, westerners, especially the Royal Society of Isaac Newton thought that India had a hoary scientific tradition for times out of mind. They did send a team of twenty senior scientists to India in the 18th century to study Indian science. One of them happened to be a medical scientist, Dr. TZ Holwell, FRCP (London) FRS. I have had the pleasure of reading his detailed report of his stay in India for 20 long years studying small pox epidemic in The Bengal and the Indian vaccination system which he recommended to the College and the King to be universally applied! The original document of 1767 is still kept in the library of the Royal College in London. The librarian has been kind enough to digitise it and put it in the internet. The document now has become defaced a bit due to the heavy smoking of the Second World War time London bombings.

That and the wonderful book written by Professor Dharmapal on Science and Technology in 18 Century India should give pleasure to any proud Indian to know the beauty of Indian scientific achievements of those days when the west was still groping in the dark. Science is change; anything that does not change does not qualify to be science any more. Indian science also has to change to progress as the western science tries to do. That is why I am trying to exhort young budding Indian scientists to know their past for them to change that for the better in their work.

One other reason why I am working at is getting rid of the divisions in scientific thinking like the western divisions into physics, chemistry etc. lest Indian  science also should disintegrate and disappear. Anything that divides eventually disappears; let that not happen to science. The divisions in every walk of life like the caste system in India are all basically due to human greed, pride and hubris. Let us have one Indian science of all hues put together. We can thus become strong and powerful. Science for grants, writing papers and awards should give place to science for human wisdom and human welfare as our motto.

Western science is changing quite fast and the good news is that it is coming closer to Indian science. My good friend, Late Hans Peter Durr, the former Director and President of the Max Planck Institute in Munich, in his paper, Matter is not made out of matter  goes as far as to say that his concept of a-duality (non-duality of matter and energy) was known to Indian sages of yore as advaitha.Durr goes on to explain the Indian concept of quantum world-view. Durr had his Nobel for his work with Pugwash and his Alternate Nobel for his a-duality. ElisabethSahtouris, a new age evolutionary biologist, takes us closer to the Ayurvedic concept of immune boosters that keep us alive except under some unusual circumstances. She goes on to show that the human body is a closed system in systems biology. Evolutionary biology has taken us away from Darwinian-Mendelian concept of inheritance into the world of environmental evolution, closer to the Indian concepts of evolution of man as man de novo and not from a monkey to man .

The advent of consciousness into western science brings science closer to spirituality which is how it evolved in India to begin with. There was no fight between science and spirituality in Indian thinking. The western science as it was evolving into experiments…the strong Church of those days opposed science fearing that it will bring on rationality and take people away from religion. Some of the earlier scientists there had to suffer physical and emotional abuse and so an undercurrent of anti-God idea took root in the West, which persists even to this day. That did not happen in India as there was no clear distinction between these two roots of enquiry into the working of the world existed in India. Many of our sages were scientists. Annie Besant came to India from Cambridge where she was teaching physics along with her friends Charles Leadbeater and Babington to study Indian Samkhya Philosophy. After a stint in the Himalayas where they studied Yoga she wrote in her classic Occult Chemistry (1920) that she could see the inside of an atom when in a state of Yogic Samadhi and found that the atom contained nothing inside. She could study 9 elements from Hydrogen to . Hasn’t she been proven right now? All these and more tell us that we need to have our own modern science from our antiquity. Modernity does not have to come from the west. Modernity has to come from our own antiquity by refining the concepts by further research as happened in the western science of quantum world-view from the antiquated Newtonian-Einsteinian world-view of Space-Time conundrum and the evolutionary biology from Darwin’s days.

Thus, consciousness as a universal wisdom and the human mind being a part of that, a concept in Indian thinking has been validated even in the west. Manovega(speed of the mind),faster than the speed of light, is now known as teleportation in the west. Quantum non-locality was our concept for ages. Human mind at certain levels could control the world…(this) has to a certain extent been ratified by the two slit experiments where Radin’s modifications have demonstrated that the one could control the passage of the electron through any of the holes that the mind directs! Quantum entanglement and tunnelling suggest our concept of vasudhaivakutumbakam.

Science of Ayurveda

The area of science that we suffer most by ignoring the Indian science of Ayurveda is in the field of medical science. Western reductionism has its worst effect on human physiology. Whereas the human body is but the human mind as an illusion, as matter and energy are but the two faces of the same coin, western medical science treats them as separate and looks at the human body as a machine made up of different parts like a motor car. The western concept of disease as a diagnosis has done enough and more damage. This was expressed even by thinking western medical scientists like Mary Tinnetti and her colleague in their landmark paper End of the disease Era, thus:

“The time has come to abandon disease as the focus of medical care. The changed spectrum of health, the complex interplay of biological and non-biological factors, the aging population, and the inter-individual variability in health priorities render medical care that is centred on the diagnosis and treatment of individual diseases at best out of date and at worst harmful. A primary focus on disease may inadvertently lead to under-treatment, over-treatment, or mistreatment. The numerous strategies that have evolved to address the limitations of the disease model, although laudable, are offered only to a select subset of persons and often further fragment care. Clinical decision making for all patients should be predicated on the attainment of individual goals and the identification and treatment of all modifiable biological and non-biological factors, rather than solely on the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of individual diseases. Anticipated arguments against a more integrated and individualized approach range from concerns about medicalization of life problems, to “this is nothing new”, and “resources would be better spent  determining the underlying biological mechanisms.” The perception that the disease model is “truth” rather than a previously useful model will be a barrier as well. Notwithstanding these barriers, medical care must evolve to meet the health care needs of patients in the 21st century.”

Taking this concept further nearer the Indian Ayurvedic concept of holistic-health-centred medical science from the reductionistic, disease-centred one in his blog in the British Medical Journal, Richard Smith, the editor of that journal for quarter of a century,writes : “the end of disease and the beginning of health.” This is very close to the Ayurvedicconcept of SwasthshyaSwasthaRakshitham(preserve the health of the well segment of the population). He goes on to show how western medicine does not even have a definition of health:

“But what is health? For most doctors that’s an uninteresting question. Doctors are interested in disease, not health. Medical textbooks are a massive catalogue of diseases. There are thousands of ways for the body and mind to go wrong, which is why disease is so interesting. We’ve put huge energy into classifying disease, and even psychiatrists have identified over 4000 ways in which our minds may malfunction.”

In contrast, look at the most modern definition of health in Ayurveda:

Samadoshahasamagnishcha,

Samadaathu Mala kriyaha:

Prasnnaathmedriyamanha:

Swasthaithyaabidheeyathe

(SushrutaSamhita 15-38.)

(The one who is established in the self and always full of bliss, whose doshaas are all balanced and whose Agni is regulated properly, whose bodily impurities are all excreted in the orderly fashion regularly, and his mind and senses are established in bliss-such an individual is truly a healthy person.)

Based on all these we had , along with my mentor late Professor Rustum Roy of Penn State fame, one of the founding fathers of IOM, (Institute of Medicine) submitted our new definition of health as “enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate”, which was accepted by them in 2009.

Luckily quantum physics has opened up a new vista of quantum healing, which again has Indian roots. Western medical science needs to drastically change from its disease-centric viewpoint to health-centric viewpoint for the good of the suffering humanity. Ayurveda is already health centric medicine.

We have built a new body, The World Academy of Authentic Healing Sciences, with the blessing of Late Professor Rustum Roy, to authenticate simple healing methods picked up from various healing sciences both inside and outside India, with a special emphasis on the great science of Ayurveda. Since most leading medical  science journals have become closed clubs which cater to their own selected group of people we decided to have our own journal which has been there for nearly a decade now, The Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes,www.thejsho.com. This is a super peer-reviewed journal where peer reviewing is done by a specialist in the concerned area of the subject on special request. Most of those specialists are on our editorial board from all over the world. The journal is yet to get accreditation and we are not pushing for it too hard!

I hope and pray that the Indian science gets on the right path to move on holistically for the good of mankind. The future of mankind depends on that.

Reductionism bugging us from understanding this world

If a patient gets admitted to an emergency ward on a weekend in the British Hospitals, there was a feeling that s/he is worse off as senior consultants do not go for ward-rounds to see the new admissions. So many short-term, cross-sectional studies were carried out to sort this out but at long last week the editor of the BMJ chose to write an editorial about the subject wherein she was non-committal in deciding which way the wind is blowing? The following text is what I would like the editor of the BMJ and the readers of this article to know.

This weekend admission madness has been around for quite some time and it is again raising its ugly head in this editorial. Someone is interested in keeping this news alive. Let us for a minute look at disease and health through the Quantum World View holistically. Most of our thinking has a local or personal bias.

Disease is an accident and it cannot be programmed to hit only on working days. The hospitals are staffed by junior doctors even in weekends adequately. That was what was happening even when I was SHO, registrar and SR in England decades ago. Most of the work-up is done by the junior doctors anyway even on week days. The consultants are there just to give guidance and to help us when we get stuck. The consultants were on call even during the week ends, if needed. I am told that now the consultants will have to work harder as there are less junior doctors. I do not know. All said and done the brunt of hospital disease management depends on the junior doctors. Under these circumstances what is our problem during the week ends?

Be that as it may, what about the impact of fewer doctors on patients? The 14-country study showed that where there were more doctors per capita like the USA, Europe etc. mortality was higher, and health of the population worse, and longevity less, compared to countries with very few doctors per capita like in Japan[iii]. In addition, Japan had the best longevity and health indices with least mortality and morbidity with far less health care expenditure. Japan also had one more advantage in that the majority of the doctors there were family physicians. If we extrapolate those data here, week end patients must be the luckiest!

When doctors went on strike in Israel a few years ago[iv];  Bogota in Columbia, and Saskatchewan in Canada, mortality and morbidity did fall down precipitously only to climb back to normal when doctors came back to work in full strength. The five star ICU almost next door to the War theatre in Vietnam vis-a-vis almost nil medical facility in your Falklands war, where the seriously injured soldiers at times were left on the snow for hours to be airlifted to England, showed no statistically significant difference in overall mortality with marginally better results in Falklands cases although the numbers were not significant!

We need a good audit on what we do to patients in an emergency since all is not well in the emergency care where altered human physiology has not been fully understood. Nature has several inbuilt mechanisms to keep man alive after severe injury (Falkland’s scenario) like auto-transfusion, auto-infusion, autonomic-system-mediated redistribution of the circulation, clotting cascade and supply of extra energy through neo-glucogenesis and many other changes that we are yet to comprehend. Just as rightly pointed out by Mary Tinnetti in her article End of Disease Era. I couldn’t agree more with that.

Even your reductionist method of looking at week-end syndrome does not give you black and white answers adding to my argument that all is not well in our knowledge base about human physiology, pathology and worse than them both our faulty management strategies. Junior doctors are, in some ways, better equipped to manage acute illness compared to  specialists who are needed to think deeply about vexed problems in medicine which need many bright heads to solve. Otherwise a specialist could complicate matters further.

Let us get out of the week-end mind-set to whole week problems in disease management! “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former,” wrote Albert Einstein.

EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

“My religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative evolution.”– George Bernard Shaw.

The biology, especially human evolution, taught to me in school and college, does not make much sense to me with my observations of human beings and their illnesses as a doctor for over half a century. The new evolutionary biology, and the systems biology in it, makes a lot of good sense with the background of the new quantum world view. A judicious combination of those two in conjunction with Indian wisdom of eonsexplains lots of things in medicine and reaffirms my faith in our indigenous wisdom even in disease management. The western science which we believe as gospel truth did not come from God. It was very much a man’s creation made by some intelligent men in the west. I now believe that those men of science who are venerated by us went terribly wrong in treating this universe as a separate non­living entity where man has a right to exploit nature for his benefit. The truth seems to be that nature is a living, steadily evolving, system where man is just a part of the whole. Consequently, the health of this planet is so much connected with our own health and wellbeing.

I couldn’t agree more with ElisabetSahtouris, the new age biologist, when she wrote: “Their fundamental assumptions, therefore, were belief in a mechanical universe, a great cosmic clockworks assembled from the bottom up by accidental collisions of particles into atoms, atoms into molecules, and so on, all the way up to galaxies and galactic clusters, to the whole universe. Just like manmade machinery that rusts and disintegrates if left to its own devices, they “proved” by the Law of Entropy that this lifeless, non-intelligent, unconscious mechanical universe was running down to its ultimate cold death of  nothingness. In this scheme of things, this scientific model, life is a peculiar accident arising from non-life, as intelligence arises from non-intelligence, and consciousness emerges from non-consciousness late in evolution. Despite the past century’s enormous changes in the physics describing our universe, this fundamental story is still assumed. Even quantum theory,which dissolved all the hard bits and pieces, is called by them as quantum mechanics.”

She goes on to add that: “The new model acknowledges that the only appropriate definition of reality is the sum total of direct human experience, perceived both as a world of “outer experience” including, but far from limited to, scientific experiment and as a world of “inner experience,” perceived as thoughts, feelings, dreams, revelation or intuition. Taking inner experience as seriously as outer, science seeks information to inspire experiment from current religions and past cultures such as Vedic, Taoist, Kototama and indigenous traditions that have long experience in studying perceived inner worlds, thus building important bridges with spiritual traditions.

From this new perspective, science accepts consciousness as a fundamental assumption in its model of a reality in which everything perceivable self-organizes and creates itself. Because self-creation (auto-poiesis) is the definition of life, the new scientific model is of a living, intelligent universe from a human perspective. With physics and biology reconciled in a common model, the other fields of science quickly integrate themselves, with alternative medicine becoming main-streamed and psychology gaining a natural context of cosmic consciousness in which to see each individual consciousness as a unique perspective on knowing the whole through both inner and outer experience.

Many conferences are organized to further integrate religious and scientific worldviews, while respecting their diversity and their individual evolution. A whole new branch of scientific investigation into the on-going communion and conscious co-creation among all species and life forms develops, with special attention on indigenous knowledge in this field. The new scientific story showed people that the same evolutionary process that had made hostile, competitive ancient bacteria evolve peaceful collaboration to produce huge new cells — the kind all multi-celled creatures including humans are made of — was the same process that was driving us to shift from competitive nations to global family. History made more sense now, with many thousands of years of competitive empire-building — from kingdoms to nation states to multinational corporations — newly understood as the juvenile to mature transformations.”

Human physiology needs total reinvention

Human physiology needs total reinvention.The reductionist ideas of milieu interior where the internal environment of the human body is maintained by keeping all the parameters of the known body systems under control looks childish with the present knowledge. What we forget is that this human system, which has developed from consciousness to begin with is a living system as an integral part of nature with the built-in capacity to correct most, if not all, changes that the system is heir to. It has got such sophisticated technology that can shred proteins into small parts and reconvert them into a new proteins or even if needed to destroy the protein itself. When we teach physiology in medical schools we never stress the inherent capacity of the human body to correct itself without outside help. It is only in the unlikely event that an outside help (doctor) is needed. Unfortunately, the mind-set that the student develops in the present culture is that “every ill has to have a pill or surgical manipulation to put things back into shape”. This is the bane of modern western medicine. The truth, however, is that “while there is no pill for every ill, there is an ill following every pill”as the latter is a foreign invader in the holistic system that is built to mend itself in need. This brings to mind the permaculture of ancient India long before the Britishers taught us their bad agricultural habits which would deplete the earth of all its nutritive value in some decades. We need to have this permaculture style of management in human physiology which will preserve the body’s own immune system.

Eastern philosophies, Indian Ayurveda and yoga systems, are built to fit into this living world model proposed by evolutionary biologists even in the west these days. The student mind- set should be moulded in such a way that human physiology is a self-correcting system which does not tolerate outside interventions in minor illness syndromes. With this change in the mind-set the curse of adverse drug reactions and iatrogenic diseases could be reduced. Today equivalent of 4 Jumbo Jet loads of people are dying every week due to ADR (adverse drug reactions) and iatrogenic problems in the USA alone.Viewed through this wholeness looking glass cancer does not become a disease. It is body’s own cell that got mutated to survive a hostile environment created by the present life style and the greed of man to exploit nature to make money.  Reductionist ideas of killing cancer cells using chemical poisons looks equally foolish, to say the least.

Physiology must stress the central role played by human immune system and the student should learn to respect and help the immune system to help disease management. Natural immune boosters must also be stressed. Panchakarma, the five methods of boosting the immune system, is the backbone of Indian Ayurveda. Similar efforts are made in many other ancient systems. The student must also realise the role that the human mind, human consciousness, plays in disease control and prevention. Human body is but the human mind as both are only energy. Diseases originate in the mind and naturally, will have to be cured only with the help of the mind. The placebo effect studies in western medicine and the efforts at quantum healing stress the need for medical students to be human and humane to be good healers.

Future doctors should be equipped with this new knowledge of the living universe where survival requires co-operation and not competition, human physiology will have been better served by the scientific community. Let us wake up before we destroy ourselves completely.

“Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.”–Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,

Palliative care in the new world view of holism.

“Like an animal who gets angry when looking at itself in a mirror, we get angry at each other not realizing that we are looking at ourselves. We see separation, but it’s mind looking at mind. All consciousness is connected, has the same origin, and so we are literally looking at ourselves making us angry.” (Basil Schlegel, The Fabric of Happiness.)

Thanks to quantum physics, the new science of understanding this world, we now realise that western reductionist quick-fixes in disease management do not work well. This has taken us to the present state of modern medical establishment becoming the leading cause of death and disability, thanks to under-treatment, over-treatment and/or mistreatment of most, if not all, diseases. Palliation, an old concept in the west, but the pivot of Eastern wisdom, seems to be the ideal way to deal with most diseases except in the emergency situations. While we try and palliate, Nature takes over to cure the disease. Palliation is simply lessening human suffering without harming the patient’s immune system to be able to heal the disease process. In some rare situations, especially in terminal care of dying patients, Palliation could be the best panacea to make life easy and tolerable, at the same time making death more dignified and pain free. Pain, man’s greatest enemy for all times, can be palliated with tender loving care alone. Patient care then boils down to CARING for the patient.

The best human creation-science  seems to be in dire straits now as it has also transformed itself into a money spinning business riding piggy back on technology like all other industries. In a sobering note in an editorial in the leading medical journal, The Lancet, Richard Horton, the editor,  has some bitter truths to disclose about the falling from grace of science to show how the future of the present western science with special reference to its application to human affairs looks very bleak. He writes:

“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicityof bad research behaviour is alarming.

In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivisebad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.”(Richard Horton, the Editor, The Lancet.)

What a damning but profound truth about which I have been warning the science establishment for decades? I would like to put the blame squarely on the editors of the reputed, peer reviewed, highly cited science journals whose disdain for the truth and new ideas is legendary. They use the outdated and useless peer-review process using their chelas to discredit and reject any new idea that they abhor. Even the so called genius of Einstein was used to condemn the truth behind the new quantum theory. Because he could not comprehend quantum mechanics he and his followers did not believe in the new science. “Does God play dice”…spooky action at a distance?were all coined to condemn the truth.

The conventional world view of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and their followers is confined to a reductionist space/time concept where nothing else outside their thinking could exist. Nothing could move faster than the speed of light. Relativity was another one of those illusions. They could grasp that much and no more. Of course, it all started with that young French boy, supposed to be a mathematical genius, Rene Descartes, who proclaimed to the world that “I think, therefore, I am.” (Cogito ergo sum”) the truth should have been “I am, therefore, I can think.” Naturally, this reductionist science could not answer esoteric questions like: who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I headed? What is God concept? What is the purpose of this life?

Some thinking scientists had realised this science weakness but did nothing to mend it. Peter Medawar, a Nobel Laureate medical scientist, in his classic The Limits of Sciencenotes that “Science is an enterprise like any other created by man to answer certain specific questions which it has done well. But we cannot expect it to answer any other questions which it is not built to answer.”

He compared science to a railway engine built to run on a track but if one asks it to fly like an aeroplane it fails. The conventional science is inadequate to answer many of the human-related esoteric questions. It can explain certain things like, for example, how does the “heart contract? But not the next question: why does the heart contract? Positive reductionist sciences cannot answer the question “why”?

That said I must admit that in the mundane field the existing Newtonian physics etc. have been able to make our life look comfortable like communication facilities, transport systems, infrastructural facilities, better human dwellings, easier food availability and medical emergency quick fixes. Industries sprung up, thanks to technology, making economic progress possible, and built deadly weapons of mass destructions. The audit on all these has not been very pleasant for the common man though. All our development has been external while the internal development of man and his relationship with his fellowmen has not made much progress. While technology based on Newtonian world view has made it possible to take man to space and the moon, man is still to be happy to go to his neighbour with a smile on his face as he has a civil or criminal case against him in the courts! Peace will descend on mankind when man becomes tranquil.

Scientific outlook, as they call it, has made human values and ethics fly out of the window. Look at the ubiquitous corruption all over the world because man does not have the fear of retribution for any wrong doing because the scientific world view starts and ends with the space time concept and nothing out with it. God was kept out of science in the conventional physics as the western science developed against the background of the Church’s stranglehold on science and, therefore, per force, God had no place in such science…..

It is in this situation that palliative care assumes special significance where palliation and cure merge slowly into one another for mutual benefit and for patient happiness. One other lesson that  quantum world view teaches us is that we are ALL one and we are so closely interconnected that if we hurt another it is like hurting a part of your own body. When this scientific world view gets wide publicity crime against mankind will slowly but steadily decrease. This true science will bring man and man together for lasting human happiness on the planet. Now we could redefine HEALTH. Health is NOT absence of disease as defined by the old world view at ALMA Ata. The new definition is “enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate.”This eliminates the biggest threat to mankind of regular check-up to find out the so-called silent killers in your body, an enterprise fraught with many silent dangers, thanks to the statistical science that we use freely in medicine today. Long live mankind on this planet. Palliate or perish!

We need a school of curiosity for true scientific progress

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”– Plutarch

Nature sends man here with all the necessary mechanisms for him to live here as long as s/he is destined to live provided s/he does not spoil the environment that Nature provided here on earth for us. There is no need under all circumstances for any outside assistance in the normal course. Our immune system is the best physician that one could have, the best qualified to do most good to most of us most of the time. Unfortunately, in the last few centuries we have altered our environment so much that nature finds it very difficult to keep man healthy. Look at our educational system which has broken down everywhere from KG to PG. This is because we ignored the ONLY school nature provided for us.

Nature’s built-in School of Curiosity has been shut by us in every child so that our present schools could easily convert every genius of a new-born into an idiot! The child becomes more of the parrot repeating robot after gaping to our schools. Time has come to think of sending our children to the school of curiosity provided by nature to help us get educated all through our lives.

….(An episode of a helpful taximan is narrated.) This Good Samaritan taxi-wala was no ordinary man. He was a very highly educated young man. What is then the definition of good education? Education must make a healthy mind. The latter is defined as enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate. He had both these qualities. He did not have his MD or PhD; many of those latter are not educated at all by the above definition. Our media daily gives us the bad face of the taxi people and others of their ilk. We rarely get to read about their brighter side. Poor people like my friend suffer both poverty and ignominy at the same time. We should bring forth the best among them. My feeling is the majority of them are good and a few bad ones get them a bad name. The pinnacle of my story is yet to come. When I got my car I wanted to compensate the good man for his financial losses. He smiled and told me that he was so happy that he was able to help someone in distress. I am proud of this man as he represents all that is good in Indian culture. May his tribe increase? When I think of him that great British poet’s words come to mind: “full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness in the desert air”. If only these flowers could be harnessed for mankind’s benefit our world will be a better place to live…..

This five day trip was full of lessons in life for me and hope I keep learning from this School of Curiosity as I go along which forces me to unlearn lot of useless things I learnt at the conventional school. Long live this School of Curiosity.

“What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything.”–Laurence Sterne

Common man should understand science. Where is the reality?

The media, both electronic and print, is awash with the exciting news that gravitational waves have been discovered! Our beloved PM congratulated the Indian scientists who were a part of this great discovery. Rightly so, as otherwise the intellectual brigade will find fault with him for being India-centric. People have forgotten the great excitement of the discovery of the fundamental particle of this Universe a few months back, although the scientists had covered their risks by saying that they were only 99.9% sure! Like the beer-bottle effervescence, their enthusiasm seems to have settled down sooner than later as the so-called God particlethat they were talking about has lost its energy already. If that were the foundation stone of this universe the latter also would have vanished by now. So these discovery waves go up and down like the great waves in the sea. Now is the time for the gravitational waves……

Similar noises were made in the 50s and 60s about agricultural science and its research. We went the whole hog on the western chemical fertilizer route and are reaping the fruits of our knee-jerk, half-baked, fertilizer- based “green revolution”. I think we should think before we jump this time round. Roman thinker Cicero had warned us that we must learn from history as otherwise we will  have to relive history! I do not think we should relive the devil of the curse of chemical fertilizers in every field with American giants in the area still waiting to take over Indian agriculture in a big way. Some of the solid state particle physicists are toying with the idea that the joke of CERN experiments has gone on for too long. Each time the grant is about to expire CERN makes a big news that the GOD particle is seen etc. With the grants renewed they will go on to silent mode for a long time. That is when we want to go in for similar efforts de novo!

Since the common man on the street does not understand this hallowed word science, a few interested individuals with their political masters make a big issue of technology. There is a big business behind technology. Our Hon. President was talking about medical technology also as his priority. I wish he had studied the ravages of cancer research alone for an example. Linus Pauling, a double Nobel Laureate (that is the yardstick for greatness in our colonial mind-set), had openly declared that cancer research is fundamentally a big fraud, not once but many times when he was alive. Cancer alone is more than two trillion dollar industry!

Our President thinks that we should train our future generation to gear them to this kind of research. I agree but at the same time the real aim of education should be to make a healthy mind and not just a wealthy technological career. Our problem today is not lack of science trained youth but the abundance of youth with unhealthy minds.Healthy mind could be defined as “enthusiasm to work and enthusiasm to be compassionate”. Sit back and dispassionately think about our future.

We need our 800 million youth to be equipped with healthy minds to make India the leader in the world with 1600 million hands to work with passion and 800 million minds to be compassionate to make this country tranquil and devoid of all monkeying in the political arena and our youth falling prey to the dangerous terrorism movement to control the world by force!

How I wish some of our leaders had made even a passing reference to the Indian thoughts on gravity which preceded the west by thousand years. “Aryabhatta is said to have been born in  476 A.D. at a town called Ashmaka in today’s Indian state of Kerala. When he was still a young boy he had been sent to the University of Nalanda to study astronomy. He made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. He also propounded the Heliocentric theory of gravitation, thus predating Copernicus by almost one thousand years.”….

….”Einstein’s famous equation “E=MC squared” is WRONG, or at best only partially correct. His definition of energy is WRONG, his definition of mass is WRONG, C is defined as the top speed possible for anything, then it is squared, which would be even faster and thus contradicts the definition. Light is described as a constant, which is WRONG as defined. In a higher understanding, light does not move, our perception of the speed of light is WRONG.” This would be from the book “Albert Einstein: The Plagiarist of the Century. Another curious feature of the now famous paper, Einstein, 1905, is the absence of any reference to Poincare or anyone else,” Max Born wrote in Physics in My Generation. “It gives you the impression of quite a new venture. But that is, of course, as I have tried to explain, not true,” wrote Max Born in 1956.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler

Prof. B. M. Hegde, born 18 August 1938) is an Indian medical scientist, educationist and author. He is a retired Vice Chancellor of the Manipal University and the head of the Mangalore Chapter of BharatiyaVidyaBhavan. He has authored several books on medical practice and ethics. He was Professor of Cardiology [Visiting] London University since 1982. He was Emeritus International Advisor to The Royal College of Physicians of London and Edinburgh.  Dr. Hegde has 47 years of teaching experience and has been a professor of Medicine since 1973. Dr. Hegde, an elected fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, has won Dr. B. C. Roy National Award in the category of an Eminent Medical Teacher, Dr. J. C. Bose Award for Life Sciences Research,. Dr. Hegde is Padma Bhushan awardee 2010. He is MBBS, Ph. D. [Hon. Causa], MD, FRCP [London], FRCP [Edinburgh], FRCP [Glasgow], FRCPI [Dublin], FACC [USA] and FAMS. He is also the Editor in Chief of the medical journal, Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes. He can be reached at  email: hegdebm@gmail.com

[i]Science set free by Rupert Sheldrake

[ii]Penfield 1958,1975

[iii]JAMA 2000; 284: 483

[iv]BMJ 2000;320:1561

  • K SHESHU BABU

    In these days of commercialisation of science and medicine, this article is crucial to awaken mankind. This should be read by everyone so that the true meaning of ‘ human science’ can be understood and applied to life. Thanks for publishing an absorbing informative paper