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Tuesday 23 April 2013

Western science as humbug

This refers to the letter to the editor by Prof. N. A. de Amaratunga on 11th April 2013, on the subject Science Vs. Humbug. It is not directed at a person in name, but I thought of replying to it whether the hat fits me or not. At the outset I must say I am not influenced by postmodernism and my relativity of knowledge is a result of Paticcasamuppada which is neither objective nor absolute. Bududahama consists of relative knowledge and in Sutta Pitaka one cannot find any reference to absolute objective knowledge.

If Prof. Amaratunga reads work on what is known as the EPR paradox and Aspect’s experiments in the original and not through popular writings he would know that there is no local reality as such, irrespective of the works of Kuhn and Feyerabend. Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, independent of Postmodernism claims that the observations are observer dependant, even if one forgets the Vidyalankara interpretation published as a so called peer reviewed paper at the invitation of the editor of “Kalyani”.

What Feyarabend says is that there is no scientific method as such, and not only he and Kuhn, but even Popper was for “democratizing” western science whose so called colleges control their disciplines with an iron hand that the Catholic Church could not dream of. In that respect the Catholic Church was more democratic than the present western science establishment.

Western science begins with sensory perceptions (it considers only five senses) but does not have “faith” in the observations. Thus they go on to construct kathandara called scientific theories and test the so called theories with nothing but sensory perceptions , in which western science does not have “faith”! Could Prof. Amaratunga resolve this paradox before discussing further on the “pattapal boru” that are called theories. In the meantime I have four questions for Prof. Amaratunga.(i) What is meant by truth (ii) Is the theory of gravitation a pattapal boruva or not. If not justify the answer. (iii) I presume that Prof. Amaratunga is a Buddhist and would he please state which scheme of evolution he believes in: Big Bang, Darwinian evolution and the associated body of knowledge or evolution according to Agganna Sutta? (iv) How did the ancient people in this part of the world come to know that the earth goes round the sun long before Copernicus or any other European knew? Prof. Amaratunga can follow any method to answer the above questions.(13/04/12)

Nalin De Silva