April 17, 2014
Curiosity. An innate quality that every human possesses deep inside the roots of his genes. And out of this quality there emerged all sciences we know today. We humans are curious to know about ourselves, about others, about the mysteries of nature, about different phenomena occurring, and even the daily doses of gossip exhibits the immense curiosity that man (perhaps WOMEN in terms of gossip) exhibit. We even have curiosity to understand things that appear meaningless. It’s perhaps been the millionth or the quadrillionth attempt of man to define GOD. But in this article I would not define God, but only propose some testimonies of his existence. According to me curiosity unfolds in stages:-
I would like to name this hierarchy and its explanation as the OQC theory.
THE OQC THEORY
This theory states the three elements that curiosity puts forth and explains how ‘scientific evolution’ leads to strides of progress of humanity. Man has an intense tendency to fulfil all the three demands of curiosity, only then will he be satisfied. Well, the first two steps of the OQC theory i.e. observation and questioning is the normal intellect we have as humans in order to interpret scenarios and find reasons. In other words, it marks the genesis of any kind of research. But in some sense the third step (conclusions) is a bit mindless. What I mean to say in other words is that different people have different conclusions for the same observation made and the same question asked. This ability in the human species is in a way beneficial as it gives different interpretations and helps the race to select the most appropriate reason for a phenomenon out of a vast multititude of reasons.
The first two steps show what humans have in their instincts as a species. But the third step shows the diversity that humans have acquired in terms of natural selection and adaptation. These two forces can be compared to a sieve that lets the best theory to survive which is also filtered by the majority. Science is adaptable. Nothing in science is rigid or fixed. Everything evolves to satiate the need of the hour.
The reason I have formulated the OQC theory is to bring to your notice that science is flexible in nature and how curiosity is executed in science. When we look into the history of the atomic models (structure of the atom) proposed by different scientists, it bears a testimony in the consistency of the OQC theory. In the rest of the article you would find how the OQC theory is applicable in science and it’s working with curiosity in different contexts.
CURIOSITY AND PROGRESS
Yes people, the OQC theory has surely led us into the oceans of science and mathematics that we know today. Overtime there have been complex observations being done and subsequently complex conclusions (reasons/ theories) being produced, so complex that we often bang our heads on the books in the hope of memorising those weird looking formulae and horrifying concepts. Curiosity is the driving force of all science lovers to investigate, interpret, and define things around them. But how does curiosity prove to be a beneficial trait to the species as we have seen in the OQC theory?
People exploit this discovered knowledge to invent, and thus we see the tremendous technological improvements from the latest gadgets and gizmos to the space shuttles and robots. First it’s the discovery and then the inventions follow. Since various inventions have several benefits we can say that discoveries too help in the progress of mankind. But the root cause for all discoveries is ‘curiosity’. Therefore we conclude that curiosity in a way has been beneficial to humans, fuelling the boost of progress and development which are inbuilt survival techniques of Homosapiens. But progress in science is always achieved with intense debate and fierce competition among people who want to suffice their individual curiosities in their own unique way- sometimes leading to detrimental results.
CURIOSITY: A DISASTER
I hope you know the story of George Price and William Hamilton. Well I find it difficult to narrate the whole story but I would like to share some points of consideration. Price gave a mathematical description of evolution and natural selection called the ‘Price equation’. His theory stated that kindness or altruistic behaviour is a clever survival technique used by organisms. He argued that if a mother died in order to save her children (An act showing kindness) it helps sustain her genes in the next generation as the offspring would grow up to proliferate. He also explained that the less genetically similar two organisms are, the less likely is altruism expressed. He believed that kindness is not a virtue given by God but is an adaptive feature of the species. He sent his research papers to William Hamilton who insisted him to have his work published.
In order to prove his own theory he started showing immense kindness to mere strangers and the homeless by giving whatever he had with him. In a way he wanted to see whether GOD was actually working to return the kindness he gave to them. But the result was ‘NO’. Even though he helped them so much, they stole everything from him. On the contrary George Price also found that there were too many coincidences occurring in his life and the probability of all good things happening to him were very small indeed. But good things still embraced his life. So he eventually thought there should be some greater power that has brought all these good things into place.
In this way he had become a great believer of God and had converted himself into a Christian. But his experiments didn’t show any significant sign for the existence of God. In fact, being a strong believer of Christianity, he wanted to disprove his own equation. But all attempts were in vain. This situation created intense storms in his mind. He eventually fell into depression as he was looted because of his kindness. He fell in such a dilemma where his own math showed both the existence and inexistence of God. The ‘Price Equation’ went against the Christian teaching of kindness as a selfless virtue and on the other hand the probability of good moments to occur was very small, but somehow they appeared to show up in his life, showing the existence of Christianity and God. Because of his inability to prove or disprove his theory, he committed suicide by cutting off his throat.
It’s relatively easier to explain phenomena that we can see with our own eyes. But with phenomena we cannot see, conclusions should only be predicted not tested. Even if we want to experiment, it is severely mandatory to ensure all the precautions to accommodate the slight probability for a failure in the experiment. In both the cases nothing can be proved correct but can only be explained why it is likely to be correct. In fact science is more about to disprove things rather than to prove something. This statement can be understood by applying the OQC theory which shows ‘scientific evolution’ and ‘survival of the fittest theory’. For e.g. according to my OQC theory I take note of an observation and give an explanation to the scenario. But in the mean time you come up with one such case that can disprove my explanation. Now if your example is logically (mathematically) right then I need not hesitate to throw my papers into the dustbin. But that’s not done yet.
Again according to the OQC theory humans try to search for a conclusion because curiosity is only satiated when all the elements of the OQC theory is sufficed. So the quest for an appropriate conclusion begins and along with that the Adam and Eve of chaos are born.
THE CURIOUS GET FURIOUS
Now in the search for a conclusion we find that my theory was disproven and you give another theory that accommodates some problem or lack of knowledge found in my theory. So in this way you argue that your explanation proves to be better than mine. But as a sort of revenge I fire back with a humungous flaw in your theory, and subsequently propose another explanation which is a lot more accomodable. Thus we fight, fight and fight (in a peaceful scientific way though) until we realise that curiosity in science gives rise to a saga of eternal debate. The conclusion is never perfect. It’s somewhat like the struggle for existence. This is what leads to scientific evolution. When I try to disprove your theory and you try to suppress mine, each having its own edge over the other, it may seem at first like chaos as humans themselves will be dazzled on which theory to believe. But in the long run, this proves to be beneficial. When the curious get furious, they discover such fantastic truths of nature. These truths are called as nature’s axioms. These axioms cannot be proven or disproven but are considered the basis or foundation of human intellect. In mathematics, these axioms are a pure representation of our common sense. And it is interesting to know that these very simple axioms act as building blocks for all the complex theorems we have known till date. And because these theorems are built from axioms which cannot be disproven, it follows that theorems cannot be disproven (Theorems in mathematics and theories in science are distinct) unless some human error in its logical deduction occurs.
This can be checked by using the concepts of ‘Tautology and Fallacy’ or in simple words ‘common sense’. Now if the theorems are error free and if we find Mr. Curious getting furious over those theorems, we can openly declare that he is insane and illogical because he is not going along with the intellect of the species. I also feel that different species have their own axioms of nature. They might have their own physics and mathematics depending on how they perceive the world, we never know! Well this may sound disturbing and very well absurd, but this could just be another nature’s axiom in the making. I’m not imposing this concept on anyone; it’s only my sincere attempt to bring my perspective of nature before you.
You may be by now wondering why we drifted from the world of science and theories to the world of mathematics and theorems. Science- A field where explanations could be disproved and Math- A field where theorems can never be disproven. How could we merge both? It is not surprising to know that we have already done so. We have reduced the gap between divinity and imperfectness altogether. That could just be the reason so as to why the curious often get furious.
But mathematics has catapulted greater leaps in scientific progress because in order to disprove an existing theory, a person has to first destroy its mathematical foundation which is surely not child’s play. To complete this task that person has to deduce numerous logical reasoning and then produce a mathematical counterpart of the existing theory. But more often we don’t find a theory getting completely destroyed because mathematics is so rigid that it can make the theory almost invincible to counterparts. We find only modifications proposed in the existing theories most of the times. But if it is the battle between two theories, both defended by mathematics, then it means that we have slipped somewhere in the understanding of nature’s axioms. In this case nature’s axioms are only allowed to be modified not destroyed in its basic essence. Otherwise the alternative is to state new nature’s axioms that do not contradict the previous axioms. All this causes immense frustration amongst those science freaks. Nevertheless there are cases where even nature’s axioms break apart and mathematics just appears meaningless. The most freaking existence of such a situation is at the event horizon of the monstrous being called the ‘Black Hole’.
Looking at the other side of mathematics is its beauty. When we fuse science and mathematics, divinity fills the imperfect world of ours. As interpreted from the Holy Bible, Christ gives us his perfectness through his body and blood and makes our imperfect soul divine. He makes our body complete. Thus God himself unites with man. This is exactly the sheer beauty in mathematics. The fusion of math and science is like a living Bible. Einstein used to proclaim that the world is beautiful. Nature could have been asymmetrical, random, and thus totally miserable. But we find symmetry in the math of Gravitation and Electrostatics. Nature is so pleasant that the intense reasoning of Einstein himself simplifies into a beautiful 1 inch equation; ‘E=MC2’( actually its more appropriately E=plus or minus MC2, where the negative sign indicates the existence of antimatter). But all this pleasantness can be destroyed in a second if Mr. Curious comes up with a research paper that could shake the world and even Einstein in heaven. Then Einstein would obviously be furious on Mr. Curious but is still helpless because he is bound with the OQC theory and the fierce rules that science puts forth. This is how science evolves, this is how science progresses. But unfortunately such a daring ‘Mr. Curious’ has not been born yet, perhaps the shield of mathematics is simply invincible.
Why is the world so beautiful? The probability of such symmetry to occur in nature is almost negligible, but still we find divine symmetry around us that easily fits into our equations. Does this lead to a new understanding of our universe altogether? Is there some Superpower behind all these blessings? Now that makes the curious more furious, but for me the world could still look beautiful with GOD.
SCIENCE AND GOD
Well most of us as disciples of science do fall into such traps- where it is hard to believe in the existence of God. We firmly deny God’s existence many a times because we simply don’t understand that so called ‘absurd’ concept of GOD. It’s just scientifically inexplicable (that’s what we assume). But I tell you, all this ideology of denying God’s existence could just be our foolishness. We may at present find that it is impossible to prove his existence. Well even I feel that it’s impossible to prove God’s existence mathematically, but I can surely disprove the terminology that ‘God doesn’t exist’. Don’t get stunned if I tell you that something called GOD is going to come into reality in the near future and I can prove it scientifically!!!
Let me narrate my story to you. I began reading a book titled- ‘Physics of the Impossible’ by Dr Michio Kaku. Dr Kaku is an internationally acclaimed physicist who pursues his career in the City University of New York. He has worked with many pioneering physicists of noble institutes such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, CIT and the like. He had taken interviews of Nobel laureates and even science fiction writers such as Stan Lee. He beautifully combined all these efforts to publish his very own book as stated above. In his book, I discovered a fact that left me speechless. Dr Kaku states that the word ‘Impossibility’ has a relative meaning. In other words, ‘Impossibility’ could be a possibility in the future. He gives loads of testimonies for this. He speaks about ‘force fields’, ‘Invisibility’, ‘Teleportation’, ‘Time travel’, ‘Psycho kinesis’, ‘Telepathy’ and lots of other weird stuff. Did you know that invisibility is actually possible? In fact researchers have experimentally tested invisibility in their lab.
They have made an object invisible to infrared light. Perhaps it’s a long way to go until we create a technology that could make ourselves invisible like Harry Potter (invisible to visible light). There is no law of physics preventing the possibility of invisibility to visible light. But unfortunately the only demanding factor is the advances in nanotechnology and metamaterials which we are very much in lack of at least in the present. Similar is the story for the rest of the topics like teleportation and psycho kinesis; traits that were once attributed to GODLY powers. All these were thought of as impossible at one point of time. But the scientific explanations of these concepts prove the fact that impossibility is a relative term. In this way don’t you think that GOD which is impossibility today might just be a scientifically accepted truth tomorrow? So what’s the fuss in believing in God’s existence?
Let me give you another instance. The following is on account of the inspiration I’ve got from a book titled ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. Now could someone answer how did this universe take form? The ‘BIG BANG THEORY’; pretty easy right. Now let’s try another question: what happened before the Big Bang? Ok you might as well go dumb. Scientists believe that there had been only an infinitely miniscule point called a singularity which contained all the forces of nature. Well a singularity has no dimensions but it still existed. It is in fact nothing but it is something. Before time there was nothing. But whenever we try to imagine ‘Nothing’ we convert it into an image of something. Whenever science wants to define this ‘Nothing’, it fails in its task by making that ‘Nothing’ into ‘Something’ and in this way the whole essence of nothingness is lost forever. According to me we feel nothingness in silence or stillness. In other words I find GOD in nothingness.
Remember here I am not defining Nothingness, but I only attempt to create a link with nothingness so that we can enjoy the beauty of the aroma of nothingness. I know this is a little frustrating part in science as the OQC theory doesn’t let us live in peace until we find an appropriate conclusion. So scientists have come up with some explanation that attempts to define the world before the Big Bang. This attempt has led us into formulating the ‘String Theory’ in which Dr Kaku has given significant contributions. People have also tried to make a ‘theory of everything’ popularly called as the ‘Ultimate Unified Theory’ which attempts to bind or unify all the forces of nature by using mathematics as the glue. All these attempts could take more than the age of the universe to mathematically describe nothingness and God. So I find it more profitable to simply believe in God and feel nothingness in me through sheer meditative silence (I would strongly suggest all my readers to buy the two books, ‘Physics of the Impossible’ by Michio Kaku and ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. The two books take different paths to reach the same destination; DIVINITY. Well I leave it to the readers to choose the path they wish for).
Let me narrate another incident that gave me a lot of powerful insights about God. I am a Christian belonging to Urwa Parish, Mangalore; a coastal town in the state of Karnataka, India. I came to know about a charismatic retreat that is going to be organised and held in the church grounds. Firstly, I was reluctant to attend the retreat because I felt that it was no use of symbolising God and showing off. People told me that you would receive so called ‘tremendous inspiration’ from the retreat. Well I must confess that I had such a misconception and had developed a negative picture of a retreat. I was such a crazy science lover that I almost lost in touch with God assuming that God cannot explain scientific results. But I foolishly neglected the converse that science cannot explain ‘Godly’ results. So I was being partial towards science in some sense. So I felt the need to go and attend the retreat. In the retreat there came up a totally different picture altogether. They emphasised on ‘The power of Now’; A guide to spiritual enlightenment. And since I admire Eckhart Tolle’s book, I felt that the book came alive in the form of the retreat. I found Mr Tolle’s teaching come into practicality. So after the first day of retreat, I felt it more comfortable to sit amongst other believers in the coming days. It was a divine experience where silence speaks everything.
The retreat was conducted by a priest who preached in English(let me name him Mr A) and another priest who translated it into Konkani (let me name him Mr B). I hope the readers agree with me that translation is not a piece of cake. It is the toughest job while facing an audience of 2500 people. So it is normal to make unintentional errors in the process. But this might prove costly to those who understand only Konkani. These people would assume that whatever spoken by Mr B is the same as Mr A’s preaching. Even mistakes would be hidden and these mistakes would build overtime ultimately conveying a wrong message to the audience who understand only Konkani. But people understanding both the languages have an additional advantage. They can cross check whether Mr B is on the right track with Mr A. Thus they would help correct the flaws in Mr B’s translation and receive the message of the preaching more accurately.
Now you may be muddled so as to why am I sharing all this with you. Here is where the ‘tremendous inspiration’ that I’ve received from the retreat comes into play. I have correlated the above described scenario with ‘Science and God’ and thus established the need of God in science. According to me God doesn’t need science to explain about Him, but science needs God to explain science to all the humans.
Imagine Mr. A is God and Mr. B is Nature (personified). God speaks in God’s language and Nature speaks in the language of mathematics and science. God talks to his people. Now we know that the aim of nature is to convey God’s message to us through science. But nature could make some mistakes while translating God’s words. But most humans only understand the language of science and math and this makes us inefficient in obtaining the message that God wants us to receive. That is why we find scientists dazzled with their own scientific results as they seem to contradict each other. This could also be the reason why scientists feel that God and science are two extreme ends that would never meet. If we don’t understand what the creator Himself is telling us, then the whole purpose of science is lost. On the other hand people who can understand both the languages have an edge over the other as they can cross check the message. They would even see to it that nature speaks the right scientific facts and is more or less error free in conveying the message of the creator. This makes science more beautiful rather than horrifying. This is why I strongly believe in the existence of God. Moreover God teaches us to appreciate the creation rather than curse things and since appreciations make yourself and others happy, altogether God makes us live our life in an enjoyably meaningful way. All the Holy texts of any religion in the world speak to you in the one and only language of God- LOVE. It is Love that fills nothingness and gifts us the world around us. I hope by now you must have got the answer to the question, “Why is the world beautiful?”
Before I cap my pen, I would like to recap my writings.
Firstly, we formulated the OQC theory which gives us the three elements to satisfy our curiosity through science also explaining about ‘scientific evolution’.
Second, we got to know how curiosity leads to progress and sometimes disaster in humanity.
Third, we go to know how to have a healthy competition in science that could lead to progress of humanity. We thus became aware of the mechanism of how science works in reality and how the results could be frustrating to human beings sometimes.
Then, we came to a conclusion that all these problems and loopholes in science might have arisen because of our disbelief in God and how God bears testimonies of his existence.
At the end we find that only by living a life of love we can have peace and make the world more beautiful and pleasant altogether.
All the above points point in only one direction on how to execute our Curiosity in the most appropriate manner. Thus we can use this human instinct or quality for the betterment of the species and the creation as a whole. But I’m curious to know what made my readers engage themselves so much into this article- ‘CURIOSITY’?
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