Science and Scientists

A Transaltion of an article from N. K. Narasimhamurthy’s Kannada book ‘ Vijnanavu vijnanigalu(1938) ‘

Science and Scientists

Vignanamekam Nijakarma Bedha!
Vibhinna chittirbahudhabhyupetam ॥

Before reading the stories of scientists, it is necessary to know what science is. The word ” Science ” means special knowledge or unusual understanding. Our daily activities require knowledge of many subjects. A special one among them can be called science. For example, who does not know that water is needed for washing clothes? Everyone knows that water is available from lakes, dams, wells etc. This is common knowledge. But how did the water get into the well? What is the reason for seepage from the faucet? How many people know that? The answer to these questions belongs to the domain of science.

This not only shows that the difference between Common Sense and Science is small, but also prepares for the fact that science will become common sense in time. Science is for a child to know that water comes from such a direction; But that is common knowledge from our point of view, and thus the understanding that was considered a science in one age is often left behind in time. A similar difference can be seen in ethnicity. If a person who has not seen electric lights happens to come to Mysore during Navratri, he will get the illusion that all the stars have come to the court of Maharaja, and then the science will be born that there can be lights without oil lamps. But it cannot be special knowledge for one who has been in Mysore since birth.

If these things are remembered, the importance of those who discover new things will be known. A person who sees electric lights every day may be surprised to hear that there were no such lights two hundred years ago. He might say, “Are the people of that time so stupid?” barbarians? How poor they are without such lights!” Not surprising at all. But a person who has never seen such lamps will look at them now and hear that such lamps have been around for about fifty years and will be surprised and say, “Oh my God, what a genius must have been who made such lamps like the sun’s children! I have not seen them all this time. What else can man do!” Also the term science has a chronological definition,

At first, the understanding required to carry out the journey of life was called Common Knowledge, and the understanding of the God who created us and the world we are in was called Science. In the Upanishads such as “Vijnana ve Brahma” the word Vijnana was used to express the philosophy of Parabrahm. As his works helped to better understand the subject of Parabrahman, the knowledge of other wonderful things in creation also gradually came under the domain of science. Then to express the difference between these two, the latter was called Natural Philosophy. Earlier it was customary to call scientists as Nature Philosophers.

Now science has grown in many ways. Man has increased his understanding in many ways. Science, which has thus grown all-round, has been divided into some distinct piles. Mathematics begins with counting, discussing many new types of numbers and their operations. Physics deals with the processes of propagation of motion, sound, light etc. due to the influence of forces in nature. Chemistry deals with the origin and interrelationships of organic substances. Classification of plants, the way they receive food, the way they reproduce can be learned from BotanyZoology is the study of the behavior of different types of animals. From Geology, the formation process of many types of rocks, nature of rocks containing elements etc. can be known. Astronomy deals with planetary satellites and astronauts.

If science is divided into theological, spiritual, and metaphysical categories, then the above will belong to the latter category. As it helps to achieve self-realization through yoga and psychology, they can be included in spiritual science. If the matured mind is diverted from metaphysical and spiritual thoughts to the thoughts of God and tries to get true knowledge, such science can be said to be divine. In nature, all we inquire about is metaphysical science.

Scientists are the ones who pursue science. But there can never be an omniscient person who knows all things. Therefore even scientists are not fully knowledgeable. It is customary to call scientists those who have acquired some or most of the knowledge that can be considered science. All the scientists mentioned in this book are like that, And their stories tell how they tried to develop the popular science of their time and how successful they were.

Scientists should have proper facilities and machinery to work. Many sciences became experimental. Therefore, science will continue as laboratories and machines grow. Apart from the need for classical machinery, as science dawned and the human intellect evolved, machines became more sensitive and sophisticated. Shouldn’t there be adequate liquidity to improve the machines from time to time? In the infancy of science, there was some patronage of kings. That is not enough now. No king can afford the cost of today’s machines, laboratories, and observatories to work with them. Hence, some are state-funded, founded by academics who are passionate scientists, and some are public institutions.

No matter how good the laboratory or the equipment is, what is science without a good scientist? “That’s why Bhaskar, the mathematician of our country, has said that ” Dhee Yantra ” is the best of all machines. Talent, though a necessary quality, is not enough for a scientist. The difference between an artist and a scientist can be said to be in the sharing of these other qualities.

A scientist must not be satisfied with the acquired knowledge. It is not the nature of a scientist to be satisfied with what is known. He is in a hurry to analyze and understand creation’s idiosyncrasies. His curiosity is extraordinary. His was a simple life matched with high ideals. He uses the time that common people spend in wealth and pleasures for knowledge acquisition and knowledge propagation. He is happy because of that – because of that life has meaning.

Only partial knowledge is not useful; Difficulties may occur due to ignorance and intolerance. Therefore, the insistence is not entirely good for the one who wants to pursue science. He should only know that what he knows is prepared on the spot by experimenters but it is seasonal. A scientist should not worry about giving too many examples in the country or over time and accept a reasonable theory even if his opinion is damaged. Arguing that one’s own opinions are absolute truth is unattainable. Until extreme examples come, one can call his temporary theories as theories and develop science from them. For example, when Newton discovered that the motions of the planets could be determined from the Law of Universal Gravitation, many disagreed at first. According to his experience, he accepted it. Until the beginning of this century, it was generally agreed that the universe was moving like a machine under that law. But now a modern scientist named Einstein has confirmed that there should be some change in that. The current vote is to accept the indeterminacy of the world in some matters. But how can we say that this will be the doctrine for all time? Therefore, a scientist should not be hasty or demanding but should be truthful.

What is the fear of the world for the one who loves the truth? The principle of telling the truth that is dear and not telling the truth that is unloved does not apply to a scientist. It is the duty of a scientist to announce to the world what he knows, and not to be afraid of the dangers it may cause him. A scientist in general is a rare commodity from the point of view of the times. Things that were known only to great scientists like Galileo a long time ago are now commonly known to many. A short-sighted general public at his time may then mistrust the scientist, make fun of him, make him a social outcast, and even target his life in cases of outrage. But only the scientist goes ahead and achieves the mission regardless of earthly happiness and sorrows.

A favorite rule of the scientist is to examine the obvious, as many things differ between what is seen and what is real. Therefore, a true scientist is a little bit skeptical and has to find the truth by basing any axioms on the bedrock of self-experience. A scientist can also be in a state of not believing anything. Then he can scrutinize the matter and realize the truth. Also, there is no chance to develop science if one is determined that what one thinks is right without any doubt.

Here is an example. A few days ago an astrologer saw the rings of Saturn in a telescope. They were surprised to find that, as they had not received that kind of knowledge from their scriptures. However, he did not shake his determination. The one who showed the machine said “See, the importance of modern machines! A scientist named Galileo first saw Saturn’s rings, which could not be seen with the naked eye even after a thousand years, thirty-five years down the line. But those scholars suddenly said, “That’s why we didn’t use it. What should we do with this machine that shows something other than what it looks like? What I see now is due to a mechanical error, even though there are no real zones?” He said that and left without further argument.

The opinion of those scholars is not entirely wrong. The question of why there should be no machine error is reasonable. But what they saw was really due to machine error? If so, will the same error be repeated even if we look at another object? It may be that they do not have a scientific attitude because they do not think about it. When Galileo looked at the planets in the past, their images were colorful. There is no doubt that Newton is a great scientist, who thought that they are not the colors of things, but that they look like that due to a machine error, and went on to build another machine that does not have that error.

Another quality that a scientist needs is patience. New things don’t happen overnight. It is possible to succeed after long hard work and “futile experiments”. Now they are using a 100-inch wide concave mirror for the largest telescope. A 220-inch mirror is getting ready to examine even more distant regions. It must have many properties to reflect the image cleanly. Takes a long time to polish. You have to wait for months to reach the right level. Preparing a machine is not only costly but also takes a couple of years. However, if there is an air bubble in it or if it breaks and cracks, all the effort will be wasted and the work will have to be started from the beginning. Hence fame is rare for an impatient scientist.

Industry is a necessity for all. A scientist has to work regardless of physical and mental fatigue. A person who is fond of the body cannot be a great scientist. A true scientist considers knowledge as his body. An astronomer has to be able to observe day and night and regardless of the winds. A botanist has to wander through the jungles and get acquainted with various plants. A student of zoology has to gather all the wild animals and poisonous animals and study them. There are physicists and chemists who have devoted their lives to discovering new types of energy, toxic gases, etc.

Imagination is also what a scientist needs. Although everyone has eyes, others have not seen things a scientist can see. In this way, the scientist is able to justify the theory by harmonizing all the things he has seen with his genius. Who has not seen plants grow and grow like animals? But it took a great scientist like Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose to strengthen this with imagination, establish that plants also experience happiness and get mental disorders, and test and measure it experimentally .

Despite all this, there must be divine favor. Many young people in our country are capable of developing science by getting high quality scientific education. But for three-quarters of the population, worry about the future is the most pressing issue; What work will be prepared by them? In other countries rich people, who are not scientists themselves, patronize scientists. Many public institutions are established there, and the talented person can come forward without the constraints of caste and gain international fame. So one who becomes a famous scientist must have divine power.

All that was said to have these qualities became the words of an ideal scientist. Every scientist may lack all these qualities. However, most of these must be resolved. If there is money there is no quality, if there is quality there is no form, if there is form there is no rupee — not everyone can be an ideal scientist as it is a general rule. As much talent as possible, “If one has truthfulness, patience, and interests, one cannot discover new things for all, but one can do subject review by self-experience and be able to gain sound knowledge.

Another point needs to be noted. The term “different” is especially applicable to scientists. Scientists cannot do great things until they realize their individuality through experience. Since science is universal, they can learn and develop the sciences they need. But in modern times it becomes clear that the Shastras are related to each other. An introduction to geology and Darwin’s theory of evolution are also useful for astronomers. Mathematics is needed to review the principles of heredity. In order to meditate on the nature of atoms in physics, astronomy must be familiar with the solar system, so modern scientists find that a fair amount of understanding of other sciences is also necessary.

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