Swami B. B. Visnu
Scientists generally insist that all phenomena can be described, in principle, in terms of measurable quantities which can be calculated using simple mathematical laws, thus reducing the universe to a mechanism and humans to complex submechanisms whose will and feelings correspond to nothing more than patterns of chemical interaction among molecules. The vast majority of these scientists are bent on eliminating the concept of God from all descriptions of reality and it's creation.
Renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, Erwin Schrodinger, father of Quantum Mechanics, writes: "No personal God can form part of a world model that has only become accessible at the cost of removing everything personal from it." (1) We find that almost all of the scientists have chosen to rule out god from the very beginning of their research.
Presumably scientists seek to improve their position of knowledge and better satisfy their needs (pleasures) in this world by controlling nature. Unfortunately we find that so-called scientific progress more often brings an unexpected toll, a negative reaction from the material energy.
With the proliferation of automobiles, air pollution threatens humanity, the industrial revolution has brought air and water pollution, truck farming with it's pesticides and chemical fertilizers has introduced innumerable poisons into our food system, advances in physics have brought about the nuclear threat and possible holocaust, appliances and other modern amenities (time saving devices) have inadvertently spawned drunkenness and obesity and with urbanization the breakdown of morals, ethics and mental stability.
Even with all the advances in medical cures, new and incurable diseases have only increased. It seems that the goals of knowledge and pleasure have not been achieved.
It is often found that scientists are not unbiased in their search for the truth, giving preference to evidence which supports their desired thesis and unscientifically rejecting alternative theories as unsuitable without proper consideration.
Alfred Russell Wallace, co-author with Charles Darwin of the 'Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection' advised, "the proper way to treat evidence as to man's antiquity is to place it on record, and admit it provisionally wherever it would be held adequate in the case of other animals; not, as is too often now the case, to ignore it as unworthy of acceptance or subject its discoverers to indiscriminate accusations of being impostors or the victims of impostors."
Although scientists are subject to the four defects of all humans, namely, they make mistakes, are subject to illusion, have a cheating propensity and defective perception (bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa, karanapatava), their findings when presented with some sort of verifiable experimental proof, are accepted as factual descriptions of reality. Science & God top
Even so, theories of creation, formation of life, and evolution cannot be rigorously proven nor do they adequately describe reality. Scientists have not provided us with adequate answers to fundamental questions about the universe, galaxies and life forms.
All too often scientists forcibly assume [albeit incorrectly] that their laboratory experimental evidence can be applied elsewhere under different circumstances. Further, almost all currently accepted theories of Creation and Evolution are unverifiable and often contradicted by reliable evidence. However, when concepts such as consciousness, a creator intelligence and soul are introduced as viable concepts, the scientists demand that they be detectable by experimentation.
Alternative world views which need to be examined more closely are those which include these concepts of consciousness, spiritual qualities and a grand designer or universal designing intelligence (god).
Although Albert Einstein professed atheism, he agreed that there is a perfect "brain" behind all the natural physical laws. It is common sense that there is some cause behind each action. Even machines cannot run automatically without an "operator" to turn them on or repair them. There is no logical reason for ruling out in advance alternative strategies for explaining the creation and it's constituent parts. Yet, the vast majority of scientists reject outright any argument in favor of design since such a concept is not reducible to physical processes and simple mathematics. We think this approach of the scientists is unscientific .
Gödel's incompleteness findings shook the very foundations of 20th-century mathematics, just as relativity theory and quantum mechanics redirected contemporary physical research.
Gregory Chaitlin of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center takes Gödel's incompleteness results one step further and shows with algorithmic information theory that mathematics has much more widespread and serious limitations than hitherto suspected. Chaitlin provides the LISP and Mathematica software so we can run our own calculations.
Chaitin's work focuses on the problems of mathematical "truth" as a convenient fiction. There are infinitely many possible mathematical facts, but, according to Chaitin, the underlying relationships among them are impossible to establish. This isn't good news for anyone interested in a "theory of everything," since, if the foundation is built on cottage cheese, the tower is going to be a bit tippy at best. Even worse, Chaitin's results demonstrate that not only is there no structure to the foundation of mathematics, the foundation is in fact random. Bad news, reductionists! (2)
The purpose of the Educational system is to teach students how to solve the problems of life, yet educators are simply propagating how to increase one's entanglement in this material world by economic development and sensory enjoyment. We do not find a department in the Universities which teaches what is the actual goal of life.
HeisenbergWhen Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, imaginary numbers and other non-verifiable conceptual models are accepted by our scientific friends, what is the problem in considering such concepts as the spiritual soul? Consciousness is the symptom of the spirit soul's residency in the body of the living entity. It is a fundamental aspect of reality which cannot be ignored in any valid scientific explanation of reality.
FAILURE OF SCIENCE
In the field of mathematics, which underlies all other branches of science, the imaginary number "i," (the square root of minus one) is essential for most complex theoretical calculations. However this "imaginary" number cannot be proven by experimentation. It is also not possible to prove by experimentation the Third Law of Thermodynamics or Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. Yet these principles are absolutely essential for modern scientific theories.
In the beginning of the Nineteenth Century it was believed that atoms could not be divided, yet as we entered the Twentieth Century the fundamental building blocks of atoms such as neutrons, protons and electrons were discovered. Newtonian Mechanics was accepted as the proper scientific explanation of reality until it was discovered in the Twentieth Century that it failed to describe the motion of these fundamental particles. Quantum Mechanics was devised to cope with this inadequacy. The General Theory of Relativity was also devised by Albert Einstein to help further explain fundamental concepts.
Because General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics appear to contradict each other, Quantum Field Theory was developed. This theories inventor, Nobel laureate P.A.M. Dirac, confessed, "It seems to be quite impossible to put the theory on a sound mathematical basis." (3)
So we can see clearly that the various evolving theories of the scientists are constantly changing as they scramble to adjust these theories, all of which are filled with speculation. These theories can never be perfect because the scientists themselves are imperfect and subject to the four human defects. With our limited knowledge, tiny brains, limited experience and resources we cannot hope to understand the unlimited.
Bart J. Bok wrote in Scientific American " ... we did not suspect
it would soon be necessary to revise the radius of the Milky Way upward
by a factor of three or more and to increase it's mass by as much as a
factor of 10." (4)
BIG BANG THEORY
For lack of other alternatives, scientists generally support the "Big Bang" Theory of creation, which postulates that in the beginning of creation all the matter in the universe was concentrated into a single point of mass at a high temperature which then exploded producing a superheated cloud of sub atomic particles. However this initial condition is mathematically indescribable. A point of infinitesimal circumference and infinite density is called a "singularity." — an impossibility.
Of this, renowned mathematician Stephen Hawking and Professor G.F.R. Ellis write, "It seems to be a good principle that the prediction of a singularity by a physical theory indicates that the theory has broken down." (5)
Thus the scientists stand convicted of the crime of making unverifiable supernatural claims, just what they accuse the transcendental saints of doing.
These various "Big Bang" theories lead to a stage of uniformly distributed gas which is expanding. Again, what happens after that is the subject of further speculation and has not been properly explained.
Various alternative theories have been proposed which are little better. Of one such attempt, the "Inflationary Model" of the universe, it was written, "It is then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing." (6) The nothingness mentioned here is a hypothetical quantum mechanical vacuum, a state which is virtually indescribable. This vacuum is actually very complicated to describe and it is unknown how it could have evolved further to produce the life forms present today, although a number of theories have been proposed.
Attempts by the German scientist Manfred Eigen to describe how an inert chemical soup might transform into self-reproducing cells elicited such comments as: "Clearly these papers [of Eigen and coworkers] raise more problems than they solve." (7)
Their failure is
like the frog in the well speculating as to the size of the Pacific Ocean
by comparing it to his well.
Darwin himself admitted that speculation was necessary in the formulation of a theory, "I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation..." (8)
His Theory of Evolution published in his book "Origin of Species" has been accepted as fact, although it is based on Darwin's fallible speculations. His critics write, "If the theory of natural selection of Darwin is correct, why can't we see the intermediate forms of species, the connecting links?" Darwin did not have the answer nor the archeological evidence to back it up. Although there is ample evidence for many species, fossil records provide almost no evidence for the intermediate connecting links.
Later, scientists revised Darwin's theory with their "Punctuated Equilibrium" evolutionary theory, supposedly making evolution invisible in the fossil record. Yet this theory is not verifiable in any way. It is indeed strange that scientists speak with absolute conviction of Darwin's Theory of Evolution, when it has been calculated that out of one billion species that have lived since the Cambrian period, that 99.9% of these species left no fossil record, thus leaving scant evidence (some of which is contradictory) to support this theory.
There are innumerable anomalies in the archeological artifacts, such as: Human remains have been found from the wrong time period in the wrong continent, pollen of flowering plants from the wrong time period, etc —which sharply contradict this theory of evolution. These contradictions are either brushed aside by traditional evolutionists or rejected.
Indeed it has been noted that the vehemence of their opposition and the lengths to which they will go to discredit and reject any evidence contradicting their sacred theories, is proportional to the significance of it's challenge to their theories. Studies of artifact dating which does contradict evolutionary theories have been published along with such statements that the authors were, "painfully aware that so great an age poses an archaeological dilemma." (9)
Yet, such significant finds are simply not mentioned in standard textbooks and popular accounts of human evolution, nor are they included in the evolutionists writings. Sir Arthur Keith, an eminent British evolutionist, wrote, "Were such discoveries in accordance with our expectations, if they were in harmony with the theories we have formed regarding the date of man's evolution, no one would ever dream of doubting them, much less of rejecting them." (10)
A hint of the prevailing attitude towards unwelcome finds (those which contradict the predominating evolutionary theory) is provided by a quote of William H. Holmes during his opposition to the Tertiary humans found by J. D. Whitney, "Perhaps if Professor Whitney had fully appreciated the story of human evolution as it is understood to-day, he would have hesitated to announce the conclusions formulated, notwithstanding the imposing array of testimony with which he was confronted." (11) What he is really saying is that if the evidence does not support the favored theory, then it should be disregarded.
PROBLEMS WITH DARWIN'S THEORY OF EVOLUTION
The modification of species by breeding has been heralded since the time of Darwin as evidence of evolution, yet experiments have shown that there are natural limits to the changes which can be brought about by breeding. Experiments with plums and roses by the eminent biologist Luther Burbank confirmed these limits, "In short, there are limits to the development possible." (12)
A staunch advocate of evolution, Ernst Mayr of Harvard University found similar results in his experiments with fruit flies. Some altered species died out while others reverted to their original state a few years and generations later. (13) These results show a strong anti-evolutionary characteristic in the species examined.
Domestic animals have not evolved in four to ten thousand years. "Ten thousand years of mutations, crossbreeding, and selection have mixed the inheritance of the canine species in innumerable ways without its losing its chemical cytological [cellular] unity. The same is observed of all domestic animals: the ox [at least 4,000 years old, the fowl (4,000), the sheep (6,000), etc." (14)
It has been found that ancient Egyptian pyramids contain depictions of various species of animals which remain unchanged to this day. Why have the species not evolved?
Evolution theory fails miserably to account for complex form. How can small sequential changes over many generations improve the survivability of each generation such that these changes develop? It seems that the intermediate steps would decrease the species fitness rather than increase it. However, this would simply not take place unless each successive stage provided some definite advantage over the previous stage. Otherwise, the changes cannot be attributed to natural selection. A particularly vexing question is that of the evolution of the eye in previously sightless species. Darwin himself admitted this shortcoming of his theory, "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could nave been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree." (15)
Anthropologist Frank Spencer stated in 1984: "From accumulating skeletal evidence it appeared as if the modern human skeleton extended far back in time, an apparent fact which led many workers to either abandon or modify their views on human evolution. One such apostate was Alfred Russel Wallace (co-author of the Theory of Evolution)." (16)
Evolutionary theorist Theodosius Dobzhansky has stated that there is almost zero chance of human evolution being repeated.
Modern humans do not have Neanderthal ancestors in their family tree, a new DNA study concludes. The DNA extracted from the ribs of a Neanderthal infant buried in southern Russia 29,000 years ago was found to be too distinct from modern human DNA to be related. (17)
Jonathan Wells, a molecular and cell biologist from the University of California at Berkeley who is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute, in his Icons of Evolution does more than cast doubt. He takes 10 so-called "proofs" of evolution offered in current textbooks and shows where not one of them is in a fact a proof of anything, and several are actually frauds.(18)
In view of so much
strong evidence to the contrary, it seems very misleading to present Darwin's
Theory of Evolution as factual as has been done and continues to be presented
in today's school textbooks.
LIFE FROM CHEMICALS?
Scientists have long theorized that life has emerged from a primordial chemical soup without the direction of any higher organizing principles. They theorize that simple molecules randomly combine into inconceivably complex organic compounds, which again evolve into higher self-reproducing organisms. How any of this happens is yet to be explained.
James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA structure wrote, "Not only will the exact structure of most macromolecules within the cell remain unsolved, but their relative locations within cells can only be vaguely known." (19)
The great question is: How can inert matter, acting according to simple physical laws alone, generate the remarkable molecular machinery found in even the simplest cell?
Experiments by chemists hailed as demonstrating the "creation" of life showed no signs of evolving into even slightly more complex forms, what to speak of cells. The relative success of Stanley Miller in producing amino acids by running a spark thru a gaseous substance believed to be similar to the ancient atmosphere from which life arose, is actually of little consequence. It is quite another matter to go the next step to complex cellular components with their complicated mechanisms. Another chemist, Sydney Fox, produced small drops of protein by heating dry amino acids and dropping them into water. His results were equally unimpressive and failed to demonstrate how inert chemicals could evolve into highly organized complex cells.
Albert L. Lehninger aptly expressed the dilemna, "At the center of the problem is the process of the self-organization of matter." (20)
The scientist's quest to show how a set of simple natural laws can explain the transformation of a few basic molecular building blocks of life into a single self-reproducing cell can be compared to finding a simple computer program which can take the 26 letters of the alphabet and transform them into a Shakespearean masterpiece. To help our readers formulate an idea of the complexity of this task we mention that Professor R, B. Woodward of Harvard, winner of a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1965, took eleven years working with ninety-nine scientists to synthesize the vitamin B-12 molecule.
Scientists claim to be able to produce life, but can they create one mosquito, produce milk from grass or put a banyon tree in a capsule the size of a mustard seed?
In view of the fact that there exists no viable theory on the chemical origin of life, perhaps other factors may be involved in chemical evolution, such as a self-intelligent organizing principle.
COULD LIFE ARISE
A number of scientists, left with no other viable alternatives, then turn to blind chance as a last resort explanation in their attempts to save the theory of evolution. Some scientists have calculated the probability of life arising by chance from a primordial soup and shown that it is virtually zero. (21)
Could Life Arise by Chance
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Scientists seem obsessed with the concept that complex life forms have evolved progressively from simple building blocks. However direct experience shows just the opposite, that complex forms actually originate from even more complex forms. On the basis of information theory and also the basic principle of the Second Law of Thermodynamics regarding increasing entropy, or the tendency towards disorder, we can understand that to go from a simple system to a more complicated one, that design information is necessary. If we say that this information is encoded in the DNA, then we ask simply for an explanation of how this encoding information may happen to appear without any external input to our inert primordial soup.
Our capacity to function in an intelligent way and make decisions based on external stimuli depends on our consciousness. The phenomenon of consciousness cannot be denied, yet because consciousness itself cannot be explained quantitatively, scientists themselves generally neglect to include this essential element in their constructs. Fortunately not all of them feel this way.
Albert Einstein recognized that there was a perfect intelligence behind all the natural physical laws. He concluded that the cosmos; "reveals an intelligence of such superiority that compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection."
He is not alone in this thought. Other important scientists have considered the concept of a higher source transmitting design information; that there is a purpose in the universe. Robert Broom, who made important anthropological finds wrote, "The origin of species and of much of evolution appears to be due to some organizing and partly intelligent spiritual agency associated with the animal or plant, which controls its life processes and tends to keep the being more or less adapted to its environment. But in addition to this there seem to be other spiritual agencies of a much higher type which have been responsible for what may be called greater evolution ... These spiritual agencies appear to have worked by directing from time to time the inferior agencies which are associated with the animals and plants." (22)
Alfred Russell Wallace, co-author of the "Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection" along with Charles Darwin, expressed similar thoughts, "If there is such an Infinite Being, and if... his will and purpose is the increase of conscious beings, then we can hardly be the first result of this purpose. We conclude, therefore, that there are now in the universe infinite grades of power, infinite grades of knowledge and wisdom, infinite grades of influence of higher beings upon lower. Holding this opinion, I have suggested that this vast and wonderful universe, with its almost infinite variety of forms, motions, and reactions of parts upon part, from suns and systems up to plant-life, animal-life, and the human living soul, has ever required and still requires the continuous coordinated agency of myriads of such intelligences." (23)
Stephen Hawking, the most famous scientist of our day, stated in 2002, "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of god. My work on the origin of the universe is on the borderline between science and religion, but I try to stay on the scientific side of the border. It is quite possible that he acts in ways that cannot be described by scientific laws." (24)
If we cannot explain the origin of life via simple principles then the only choice other than giving up our quest is to search for more complex principles as the source.
So, one might rightly ask, then where do we turn for a proper understanding of reality and the purpose of life itself? If we cannot trust the knowledge or findings of any human source, then where can we find a reliable source of information?
We suggest that a body of knowledge does exist which provides sufficient explanation of the nature and origin of the universe and the living organisms that inhabit it. We refer to the ancient sanskrit Vedic literatures of India, an internally and externally verifiable and consistent presentation of information. Herein we find profuse descriptions of an intelligent creator and his creation.
Perhaps the most well known of these literatures, The Bhagavad-gita explains the nature of the conscious soul as an indweller in the bodies of various species and it's journey to other bodies after the death of it's present body according to the laws of karma. The living entity has free choice to act properly or improperly and receives the resultant good and bad reactions in terms of success and failure, happiness and distress.
Also encoded within this vast body of literature is a description of the process of bhakti-yoga, a process for obtaining enlightenment and rising beyond the ordinary platform of eating, sleeping, mating and defending. The essence of these teachings may be found in the Bhagavad-gita.
article as well as a video entitled "Scientific
Verification of Vedic Knowledge" is now available.
Science & God top
(1) Erwin Schrodinger, What is Life? and Mind and Matter (Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 68.
(2) A Century of Controversy Over the Foundations of Mathematics, a lecture by Gregory Chaitlin of the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center on 2 March 2000 at Carnegie Mellon University School of computer science. Available here: Mathematics Controversy
(3) P.A.M. Dirac, "The Evolution of the Physicist's Picture of Nature," Scientific American (May 1963), pp. 45-53
(4) Bart J. Bok, "The Milky Way Galaxy," Scientific American (March 1981), p. 94
(5) S.W. Hawking and Professor G.F.R. Ellis, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973), pp. 362-63
(6) Alan H. Guth and Paul J. Steinhardt, "The Inflationary Universe." Scientific American,1984, p 128.
(7) John Maynard Smith, "Hypercycles and the Origin of Life," Nature, vol. 280 (1979), pp. 445-446.
(8) Philip Appleman, ed., Darwin (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1970), p. 66.
(9) Virginia Steen-McIntyre, Roald Ryxell, and Harold E. Malde, "Geologic Evidence for Age of Deposits at Hueyatlaco Archeological Site, Valsequillo, Mexico," Quaternary Research, Vol. 16 (1981), p. 15.
(10) Sir Arthur Keith, The Antiquity of Man (London: Williams and Norgate, 1920), p. 473.
(11) Holmes, W. H. (1919) Handbook of aboriginal American antiquities, Part I. Smithsonian Institution, Bulletin 60.
(12) Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (Boston: Gambit, 1971), p. 36.
(13) Francis Hitching, The Neck of the Giraff (New York: New American Library, 1982), p. 41.
(14) Pierre-P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms, (New Your: Academic Press, 1977), p. 125.
(15) Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, (New York: New American Library, 1964), p. 168.
(16) Michael a. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, The Hidden History of the Human Race, (Govardhan Hill Publishing, 1994), p. 155.
(17) British Broadcasting Co. (12-11-02)
(18) Interview with Dr. Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box, http://www.origins.org/mc/resources/ri9602/behe.html, Updated: 18 November 2002.
(19) James D, Watson, The Molecular Biology of the Gene (Menlo park: W. A. Benjamin, Inc., 1977), p. 69.
(20) Albert L. Lehninger, Biochemistry, (New York: Worth Publishers, 1975), p. 1055.
(21) The Bhaktivedanta Institute, Origins—Higher dimensions in scie nce, (Los Angeles: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, 1984).
(22) Robert Broom, "Evolution—Is There Intelligence Behind It?" South African Journal of scie nce, Vol. 30 (October 1933), pp. 18-19.
(23) Alfred Russell Wallace, The World of Life (New York: Moffat, Yard & Co., 1911), p. 431.
(24) Dr. Henry F. "Fritz" Schaefer, III, Stephen Hawking, the Big Bang, and g od, http://www.origins.org/articles/schaefer_bigbangandgod.html