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
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.
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.
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
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.