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Science-Religion Dialogue

To teach that Man is simply an enclosed membrane of chemicals affects how people think about themselves, and thus it influences the way they think about such concerns as abortion, euthanasia, bioethics in research and medicine, cloning, genetic modification of food, animal rights, etc. By receiving such incorrect and incomplete knowledge about life, educated people in science do not hesitate to grossly disrespect life and nature to its highest degree. The grave consequences of this attitude has already started threatening the entire human civilization in the form of environment pollution, highly stressful mechanistic lifestyles, increased suicide rates and the list is neither complete nor ever-ending. Our attitude is shaped by the way our education has conditioned us to think about the world. Traditionally, in both Eastern and Western cultures, the main reasons people pursued education and attended schools were to satisfy the inner quest (athato brahma jijnasa) to fulfill their longing for self development and self-determination (fulfillment), without a merely livelihood-based motivation for doing so. But the prime focus of modern education is not so much learning but to increase one’s earning power – to acquire necessary knowledge about basic interpersonal communication, literacy skills, and science for the sake of making a livelihood for themselves. Three major influences responsible for this transformation of the educational systems are: (1) Francis Bacon’s campaign of “power/control over nature”, (2) Descartes’ epistemology – science can ‘make us masters and possessors of nature’, and (3) Darwinian’s objective evolutionary biology.

No matter how grand a scientific venture may be, it certainly cannot capture the entire scope of reality. Modern science cannot control cosmos, suns, planets, seasons, and so on and so forth. Hence, science is forced to confine itself to an insignificant fraction of complete reality. As Sir Isaac Newton said, “I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” At times the scientific schemes are exceedingly fruitful and many concepts appear to be firmly established in science. However, as time progresses, and with the development of new information, the same science recognizes new phenomena, which often fail to accommodate the firmly established old concepts. In such situations a portion of the scientific world tries to powerfully, and sometimes emotionally, preserve their belief in the old concepts. However, the empirical observations compel science to embrace the truth in the face of all such antagonism. 21st Century biology is witnessing a movement of this nature, where empirical evidence is forcing many prominent scientists to reject the old, widely used, Darwinism. Some biologists, engrossed in the old disposition of Darwinism or (a)biology,want to preserve it at any cost. In such attempts, often they cannot recognize the blinkers they enforce on themselves due to their idealistic obligations rather than empirical inevitabilities. However, we must recognize the fundamental strength of science as rightly stated by Taylor in a recent News article:

The fundamental strength of science is that it compels its practitioners to confront their own fallibility…Science is not always right – very far from it. What marks it out from other fields of human endeavor is that, because of its formalized humility, it’s always ready to correct itself when it makes a mistake.

Last three decades of the 20th century witnessed increasing research findings that rigorously challenged the assumptions of both Darwinian and Neo-Darwinian theories, which provided the foundations for most biological research during that century. Hence, it is necessary that every thinking person must show a keen interest in understanding life very deeply from the perspective of 21st century biology in order to find a lasting solution to the problems that civilization is now witnessing. We should not be under a misconception that biologists are the only ones with a monopoly to study and understand life. In this regard Schrödinger can be an inspiration for all. Although a quantum physicist, not a biologist, Schrödinger in 1944 wrote a classic monograph entitled, What is life? To support his objective evolution theory throughout, Darwin had claimed that first life spontaneously originated from dead chemicals. However, evidence is forcing many biologists to conclude that, if Darwin had known some of what has been discovered since the publishing of his theory, he probably wouldn’t have believed in his own theory of evolution. Most unfortunately, conclusions from several anomalous approaches are continuously used by a few atheistic scientists (for example, Richard Dawkins) to attack bonafide religions conceptions. Hence it is necessary to scientifically inform the real situation to everyone so that they can confidently practice bonafide religions to achieve the ultimate goal of the human form of life.

Under the guidance of Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D., (Serving Director, Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science located in Princeton, NJ, USA) devotee scientists from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Institute in India are continuously traveling and delivering talks on these subjects and informing scientists about the scientific basis of the teachings of ancient Indian wisdom contained in Srimad Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. We invite one and all to join us in this noble attempt to rescue our human civilization from the load of Darwinian ignorance (maya) and thus help each other to progress towards a harmonious God centered scientific civilization.

Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science is playing a significant role in promoting a culture of profound dialogue between science and spirituality. Bhakti Vedanta Institute is a non-profit organization, well known for its contribution towards a lasting synthesis of science and religion for the benefit of humanity for more than 35 years. The aim of the Institute is to have spiritual reality accepted and incorporated into scientific research and advancements. Further the aim includes in having the scientific principles and methods integrated into the practice of spirituality.

Our founder director Srila Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Maharaja (Dr. T. D. Singh) has stated further that, “As achieving this goal requires sweeping changes in the cultures and core beliefs of both the scientific and religious communities, we believe our mission could transform human consciousness for the greater good and lead to a global social covenant that would profoundly benefit our planet.”

Our Activities Includes: Lectures, Reading Sessions, Movie Shows, Conferences and E-magazine. We would very much appreciate being able to work together in propagating the dialogue between science and religion.

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