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Buddhism, the only real science

“I used to be a scientist. I did Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University , hanging out in the same building as the later-to-be-famous Professor Stephen Hawking. I became disillusioned with such science when, as an insider, I saw how dogmatic some scientists could be.

A dogma, according to the dictionary, is an arrogant declaration of an opinion. This was a fitting description of the science that I saw in the labs of Cambridge. Science had lost its sense of humility. Egotistical opinion prevailed over the impartial search for Truth. My favourite aphorism from that time was: “The eminence of a great scientist, is measured by the length of time that they obstruct progress in their field”!

To understand real science, one can go back to one of its founding fathers, the English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561 - 1628). He established the framework on which science was to progress, namely “the greater force of the negative instance”.

This meant that, having proposed a theory to explain some natural phenomenon, then one should try ones best to disprove it! One should test the theory with challenging experiments. One must put it on trial with rigorous argument.

When a flaw appears in the theory, only then does science advance. A new discovery has been made enabling the theory to be adjusted and refined.

Original methodology

This fundamental and original methodology of science understood that it is impossible to prove anything with absolute certainty. One can only disprove with absolute certainty.

For example, how can one prove the basic law of gravity that “what goes up comes down, eventually”? One may throw objects up one million times and see them fall one million times. But that still does not prove “what goes up comes down”.

For NASA might then throw a Saturn rocket up into space to explore Mars, and that never comes down to earth again. One negative instance is enough to disprove the theory with absolute certainty.

Some misguided scientists maintain the theory that there is no rebirth, that this stream of consciousness is incapable of returning to a successive human existence.

All one needs to disprove this theory, according to science, is to find one instance of rebirth, just one!

Professor Ian Stevenson, as some of you would know, has already demonstrated many instances of rebirth. The theory of no rebirth has been disproved. Rebirth is now a scientific fact!

Modern science gives a low priority to any efforts to disprove its pet theories. There is too much vested interest in power, prestige and research grants. A courageous commitment to truth takes too many scientists out of their comfort zone.

Scientists are, for the most part, brainwashed by their education and their in-group conferences to see the world in a very narrow, microscopic, way. The very worst scientists are those who behave like eccentric evangelists, claiming that they alone have the whole truth, and then demanding the right to impose their views on everyone else.

Ordinary people know so little about science that they can hardly even understand the jargon.

Unchallenged credibility

Yet, if they read in a newspaper or magazine “a scientist says that?”, then they automatically take it to be true. Compare this to our reaction when we read in the same journal “a politician says that?”! Why do scientists have such unchallenged credibility?

Perhaps it is because the language and ritual of science has become so far removed from the common people, that scientists have become todays revered and mystical priesthood. Dressed in their ceremonial white lab coats, chanting incomprehensible mumbo jumbo about multi-dimensional fractal parallel universes, and performing magical rituals that transubstantiate metal and plastic into TVs and computers, these modern day alchemists are so awesome well believe anything they say. Elitist science, as once was the Pope, is now infallible.

Some know better. Much of what I learnt 30 years ago has now been proved wrong. There are, fortunately, many scientists with integrity and humility who affirm that science is, at best, a work still in progress.

Real scientist

They know that science can only suggest a truth, but can never claim a truth. I was once told by a Buddhist G.P. that, on his first day at a medical school in Sydney , the famous Professor, head of the Medical School, began his welcoming address by stating “Half of what we are going to teach you in the next few years is wrong. Our problem is that we do not know which half it is!” Those were the words of a real scientist.

Some evangelical scientists would do well to reflect on the (amended) old saying “Scientists rush in where angels fear to tread” and stop pontificating about the nature of the mind, happiness and even Nirvana. Neurologists are especially prone to such neuroses (Neurosis: an undue adherence to unrealistic ideas of things).

They are claiming that the mind, awareness and will, is now adequately explained by activity in the brain. This theory was disproved over 20 years ago by Prof. Lorbers discovery of the student at Sheffield University with an IQ of 126, a First Class degree in mathematics, but with virtually no brain (Science, Vol. 210, 12 Dec 1980)!

More recently, it was disproved by Prof. Pim Van Lommel, who demonstrated the existence of consciousness activity after clinical death, i.e. when all brain activity has ceased (Lancet, Vol. 358, 15 December 2001, p 2039).

Although there may be correlation between a measurable activity in part of the brain and a mental impression, such co-occurrence doesnt always imply that one is the cause of the other.

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