Sunday, December 7, 2008

Evolution versus Intelligent Design


Throughout the course of modern history, both religion and science have been at tenterhooks with regard to which is the better system.
While science follows the strict doctrine of hypothesis, analysis, experimentation, observation and conclusion, Religion follows a rather simple doctrine much to the chagrin of science called faith.
Faith involves none of the principles of science, it merely bases its conclusions based upon what each respective prophet has claimed is true.
In the current world of rationality, such practice is deemed insane and ludicrous.
And thus both systems have been at each others throats as long as possible.

One particular argument that has caught my attention is the age old argument between evolution versus the theory of intelligent design.
Science does not believe in a maker, or a divine creator.
Nor does it believe that we were produced out of thin air. That seems to be an argument logical enough!
But then how did we come to be?
And for that matter how did all that we see and hear about us come to exist?
While I have much disbelief with regard to the creationist story the abrahamic faiths have spun so far, at the same time I cannot accept the scientific verdict that that we just happen to be molecular accidents.
Its like serendipity on a massive scale.

The best thing for any analyst is to have an open mind. A mind open to ideas no matter how bizarre and ridiculous.
And that's what I believe is worth striving for.
I do not belong to any abrahamic sect, for I have my roots within the Dharmic faiths.The eastern faiths to my knowledge have never been at crossroads with scientific ideas.

As science progressed so did faith. And frankly speaking, before the advent of abraham, there weren't any faith versus science arguments.
The Dharmic faiths allow enough room to keep our minds open. So did the Hellenistic and the Egyptian faiths.
They allow us to inculcate ideas of faith within scientific possibilities leaving no room for controversy!
Now getting back to the topic,
Darwinian theory of evolution has put forward certain basic seemingly logical principles which govern the basic rules and regulations a species must observe in order to survive. All of us know of the idiom called survival of the fittest.
All species have a complex mechanism to survive and procreate. Scientists claim that the key to survival rests in the genome of each individual species.
Opossums play dead, zebra travel in herds so that their black and white stripes can confuse the color blind lion, chameleons camouflage discreetly and etcetera.

I at one point of time raised tame pigeons. Pigeons born in a cage, unexposed to the wild. They were set free at one point, and used to stay put in my garden. Yet when they would sight a hawk, they would run in a frenzy.
Now, given the fact that they never saw a hawk all their lives, how did they know that the big bird out there is out to get them?What mechanism prompted them to act so?

Genetics? An inborn mechanism that prompts immediate action following a threat to survival.

Science puts most of the animal species into the category of genetically programmed molecular lifeforms meant so survive and procreate at all costs.I guess some were well programmed while the others like the dodo were not genetically "updated" to flee from the big two legged beast.

Heart of hearts I feel there is more to life than just programmed functioning.
I have heard of cases when pet dogs rescued their owner from say a fire only to succumb itself. According to programming this doesn't make sense since the basic instinct' of the dog would be to run away from the fire rather than towards it. So I suppose that violated the law of survival at any cost.
What is it that makes us deviate from basic programming? Does being selfless count as part of survival? Does sacrifice come anywhere in the evolutionary laws? For that matter does love?

Lobsters are known to mate for life. Say, for instance one of the mates dies before the act of procreation, the remaining lobster remains celibate for life. That again violates the law of continuation of species.
According to programming the lobster should then find a new mate and at any cost salvage the law of creating further generations so that the species survives at any cost.

But that does not happen. So shall we call that a programming error?
Science does not believe in a Creator/Creatress, because its something that totally defies logic.
Logic is a definite science without room for deviations from the main principle.

But then, what aspect within life itself seems logical?

Wheres the logic in a woman sacrificing a promising career for the man she loves? Wheres the logic in a man giving up his true love so that his best friend can marry the woman of his dreams?

Wheres the logic behind a someone who gives up most of his possessions so that he may spend the remainder of his life as a hermit?

A number of things on the earth defy logic and genetic programming.

Not everything in our realm can be narrowed into the basics of fact and logic.

Not everything in our realm can be thoroughly classified and understood.

Certain things remain beyond logic and understanding. You do not need to see divine phenomenon on earth to prove the existence of faith.
The answers lie here on earth itself between the creatures that inhabit it.
We happen to be beings that are not mere molecular accidents.
I do not support the theory of spontaneous Creation, for evolution does seem a logical explanation to our existence.
But the timing and the process seems in my opinion impeccable.

Can you imagine the creation of the human race along with large carnivorous dinosaurs?We shan't have seen the light of the day. Its easy to associate everything with coincidence.Its the best word science has as its arsenal to discredit anything that has any connection with faith.

But I believe in a higher power, a power that brought us where we are through evolution or any other process for that matter. I refuse to believe that we are molecular "accidents" or coincidentally we just happened to be created.

I refuse to believe that the world runs on a strict doctrine of fact, practicality and logic. For the proof is right before us,

We are human, not automatons. All that we say and do today defies logic, defies practicality, defies factual accuracy.

I believe in a Higher power watching over us just as we were watched over when we first came to be. Science cannot explain the necessity of love, sacrifice and selfless behavior.

But as we all know, whether we happen to believe in God or not, that there is no point to living without love. And love is not an accident, Its a manifestation of that spark of divinity, from whence we came to be.

What say Darwin?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Transit Passengers

Usually its a common occurrence that when you travel by a plane or a train, given that you are alone, you tend to get chatty with the one sitting next to you.
Provided the person with you is receptive, you strike the right note and the journey thus becomes pleasant.
By the time the ride comes to an end, you part ways. And for the remainder of the journey you may end up solitary, to the extent of missing the person with whom you were travelling with.

Life is filled with interesting analogies. All things common place in our day to day lives have a profound underlying meaning. Those wise enough manage to grasp life wishes to depict, while others are too busy intertwined within themselves to realize the true meaning of things.
I lost someone special today.
Someone close to me. Someone I hoped I would meet after a certain period.
Its hard to imagine the absence, but at the same time I guess that's how things are meant to be, whether we like it or not.
Spending a great deal of time with that person, one takes for granted that things shall be the same forever.
I cannot blame ourselves. For after all, we are but human.
Unfortunately there does come a time, when those near you decide to go away, and there's precious little that you can do to stop them.
But one must remind ourselves, that those gone are the same as we are.
Passengers in transit.
We are in transit. We belong to a realm that is not permanent. We belong to a realm subject to change. And we are just travelling along.
Travelling is hard, the road might get bumpy, you might not seem to be heading towards the place you do wish to reach, there could be delays and who knows, the ride could come to an abrupt halt.
But there are things that make a cumbersome travel a trifle pleasant. And that's the passenger along with you.
You share your thoughts, your feelings, you happen to face the same ordeals together. And soon, lifes a peach!
Sometimes after mutual passengers part, there is a great sense of dismay.
A vacuum, which you cannot help filling.
For a while you seem lost. And you don't really know what to do with yourself.
But if you are fortunate, another passenger will soon take the earlier ones place.
And the ride might get peachy again. Of course at start you might not concur with everything the new passenger says or does, but we underestimate ourselves. We are human, and soon we find ourselves warming up to the new passenger.
We do have the ability to move on just like the ones before us did.
Truth be told......I have no answer to what one should do if they part with the ones they love.
But what I do know, is that by realising that certain aspects in life are all but inevitable, one can gather the strength to move on.
At times of loss, people may bombard you with philosophy, personal anecdotes, so on and so forth.
But in my opinion the best consolation comes from within. When you realise what's best and make peace with yourself.
I shall always regret the fact that I could never properly bid goodbye to whom I lost.
But heart of hearts I hope that the passenger in question understood my predicament.
May God take care of you,
I shall always love you Patti,
your grandson,
Vyas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Elusive Hope......

There are times in life when you feel totally incapacitated. There are times where you feel worthless, and have no idea about what you are doing or where you need to go.
You feel life fleeting across you, and you feel powerless to stop it go by.
You merely stand as a mute spectator, unable to act, unable to think, unable to perform.
Things change so fast, you yourself have no idea so as to when did it all begin. The worst part is that you yourself change, whether you like it or not. One day you wake up and realise that you just happen to be an all different person. Someone who doesn't like the same things anymore.
Youv'e changed, but you dont realise when.
In most of the cases your life changes course whether you like it or not. I feel it so often, that I'm standing watchful of all that transpires around me, and yet I am not a part of it.
There are times where you cannot help doing the things you do. You cant help ignoring your education, you cant help ignoring your faith, you cant help ignoring your loved ones.
Its pure helplessness.
And the worst part is, by the end of the day you feel frustrated and guilt ridden, for all the things you failed to accomplish, and for all the people you might be letting down.
These days there are plenty of self help books.
Books that motivate you, encourage you, etc.
But there are things books cannot teach. And there are things that books cannot solve.
Certain things are easier said than done.
They can merely offer a prespective.
I have read my fairshare of chicken soup for the soul, and effective habits for effective people(or something like that).
And all I ever did while reading the stories was to give a nod of acknowledgement. Thats it.
I wasn't a better person the next day, nor did I change myself.
Like I said all books can do is offer some prespective.
I suppose a lot of people read self help books in order to make their lives better. But I guess for some you don't have any other option but to get back to their dreary existance.
Certain things in life never seem to change.
And the worst part is, there are times when you cannot divulge your feelings onto anyone. Neither your friends nor your family.
Certain burdens I guess one carries upon oneself.
You might end up wallowing in self pity, and the one thing that can make things a little better, that is hope, remains elusive.
Hope is the only refuge for the millions out there.
I guess after you lose everything near and dear to you the one thing that you can salvage is hope.
I suppose those who lose hope, lose everything.
And to many yearning for it, it remains elusive.
Hope is something one often places upon Divinity.
One always hopes for divine intervention, to deliver them out of their misery. To give them back all they have lost.
I wonder whom do aetheists turn towards, when their friends, family and others let them down?
I shudder to think of their predicament.
Not everyone is alloted divine intervention, but atleast it gives them some solace to hope for one.
Faith is a refuge for those who are lost in life's never ending charade.
Its just too bad, that certain things that can offer us solace elude us so.
I suppose thats what life is all about!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The world belongs to the mundane!

A while ago, I read a short story by W. Somerset Maugham, titled " The door of opportunity".
The plot revolved around a character who was self possessed, sophisticated, clever and an efficient civil servant. He sevrved at a British colony at Sondurah, a province in Malaysia. Well, the fact remained, that despite his efficiency at work, he was highly unpopular amongst his colleagues, who regarded his wit with utter disdain and his humor more or less as an insult. Well, you see his colleagues were what you would describe to be the rather mundane and mediocre sort. And there was a multitude of them. Theres a great deal of them in our soceity as well.
You know, the typically boorish folk, whose lives revolve around the fate of a hitherto melodramatic soap opera character, or those who remain captivated by their favourite sport star, even though he's scoring more money in advertising rather than the sport itself.
Well, going back to the character in Maugham's story, there eventually arises a crisis where on account of an error of judgement the judgement he is forced to resign, much to the glee of his colleagues.
He was a throughly polished person. In etiquette, in art and in sport. The reason for his dismissal was the fact that he did not respond immediately to quell a rebellion and waited for significant backup rather than risk his own life by going with merely a handfull of men.
The argument in this context shows that the person was a coward, much to his own wife's dismay.
But the very next day he stood up and defended himself before the Governer left him with an air of pride (after being fired ofcourse), and faced his colleagues subsequently. And I suspect that that required courage.
Not meaning to sound philosophical, I think it would be more easier for a man to stand before a hungry lion rather than stand before an unforgiving soceity.
A beast of the jungle may shred your body to bits, but the wolves of the concrete jungle will shred you of your dignity, your sanity and perhaps even your life!
So basically even in real life its rather hard for an intellectual or a person with certain refinement to deal with a bunch of boorish, mundane folk.
And nature has an odd way of deceiding who actually has the upper hand.
And oddly its the major chunk of the dull-as-dishwater soceity that has the upper hand.
Have'nt you always felt that no matter how hard you try in certain circumstances you never managed to fit into a certain group you so dearly yearn to be in?
Haven't you felt that you were left out by your Boss, your colleagues, your coworkers, your collage buddies?
Well, chances are that thats happening because you might just be smarter than them, and they are awfully intimidated by you.
It means that your Boss, your co workers or your professor could be absolute retards.
So does that give you an edge? Sadly no my friend.
Because they own the world.
Yup! Deal with it. The world is run by politicians who didn't clear the fifth grade, its run by tycoons who dont know a shred about business since they just inherited their fortunes from their unfortunate albeit successful parents.
You may have university department heads whose knowledge is based upon a textbook they byhearted a zillion years ago.
You may have to serve as a humble manager (with a collage degree) to a slave driving albeit gorgeous supermodel(with an IQ of a toilet paper).
You cant overrun them, because you work under them.
They make they rules, they break the rules and if you get fiesty, hell! They'll break you.
They're big they're powerful and they're downright dumb- coming soon to a house near you.
So how does one deal with such an abomination of justice by nature?
Well, the only way I guess is by blending in. You know, when in Rome, do what the Romans do.
Well, Rome is all around us.
Be one of them. And dont worry, you shant lose your originality in the process.
If they behave stupid, 'act' stupid.
Share their jokes, laugh with your boss even if he has the sense of humor of a three year old.
Convince them that your one of them.
Become one with the pack.
At the same time retain your individuality. Bond with them bigtime! And heaven forbid! Dont ever preach to them because that will totally blow your cover.
And thereby use them to climb to the topmost ladder where afterwards you can drop them like a hot rock!
C'est la vie
Nature has made you smart for a reason, instead being all judgemental and earning the wrath of the powerful boors, use it to blend with them and get what you want.
You can judge and bitch about them, but at home not at your workplace.
We as humans have to adopt far more tactics and stealth than a beast of the jungle.
For beware, the world belongs to the mundane!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Prospect Of Uncertainity

Throught the ages, mankind has always been bewildered by aspects that do not offer him security, or some sort of guarantee. I guess it is in human nature to find solace in things that are known to be well charted.
But ironically no matter how well we plan our lives things never work out exactly in the same sequence as what you would hope to be. It is then the insecurity dawns upon us and forces us to succumb to the fact that not everything in life must need to go the way you intend it to.
Any human well in the midst of his existance might know of this fact. but nevertheless, some continue to make the same mistakes they once made.
I suppose hence the saying ,"man proposes and God disposes." In my experience I have seen how shocked and how shaken are those who before their eyes see their plans crumble to dust. And yet I have also seen how those who were completely unprepared for a certain situation emerge as victors.
Lifes enigma lies in its uncertainity, the feeling where one can never tell how a certain event may unfold.
Yet there are those, who claim to read the course anyones life may take. They are called Psychics, soothsayers, fortune tellers, etc.
And do they have what it takes to indeed foresee that which no one else has could possibly comprehend.
I sould say perhaps. But what I believe, is that they dont really perceive the future as a whole, but what they indeed see, is the future through a tiny window, that gives them a hint of what has to come rather than the whole picture itself.
While one cannot say indeed what is to transpire in ones life, I believe nature gives us enough hints to forsee an iota of that which is to come.
Aethists and sceptics dismiss any claims to fortell the future and dispel uncertainity as hogwash and superstition.
A while ago a hue and cry was raised in an Indian university that wished to have astrology as one of its courses. It was then called a pseudo science. I do not remember in what sense was the matter finally unfolded and what indeed was the outcome. But I presume it was the thriumph of science over hocus pocus.
Every aspect in existence, scientific or unscientific, strives to predict the course of events to come. Only the means by which they do so differ.
Why, even scientists try to be fortune tellers albeit the means they use are there for all to see and understand.
Dont meteoroligists try to 'predict' the course of a storm. Dont geologists 'predict' how the earth's tectonic plates are going to shift in a couple of hundred years. Dont economists 'predict' the course of a nation's economy?
Dont doctors 'predict' the course of illness in a patient.
Everyone predicts something or the other. Everyone is endowed to insight. It is insight that endows a man to make predictions. Irrespective of the means he chooses.
While a meteorlogist uses his instruments to predict the weather, so does the astrologist use his calculations based on planetary positions to predict the course of a humans life.
In the past both have been correct and wrong.
They say "no one ought to take into account what the weather man says", because the sunny day you deceided to have your picnic on turns out to be a freak thunderstorm.
At the same time a person who was predicted to be rich and famous, ,may through a freak chance of nature file for bankruptcy.
Just because a science faliled to prove a certain point it doesnt mean that that system of belief is completely inaccurate.
All sciences have pitfalls.
Just because a conventional scientist cannot comprehend the calculations of an astrologer, or the methods of study used by a chiromantist, he cannot deem the disciplines to be illegitimate.
Every discipline has its own way of working out its predictions and analyse their respective outcome.
Every aspect in life as said earlier lingers upon uncertainity. While life never reveals its secrets to us directly, it does offer us a window of opportunity to comprehend in some tiny way, that which is about to happen.

New blog, new entry!!

Well, I've been mentally egging myself to create a blog, for quite sometime. Really having no idea of the benefits and not sounding like some sort of a dork I have deceided to venture into the realm of cyberspace and "express" myself in whatever way I can.
You know, I always kinda thought of keeping a diary or memoirs of what you say and do kinda girly....no offence.
And I believe an online memoir of a final year medical student, about what he does day in and day out will practically bore a reader to death.
Believe me, memoirs are only interesting if you are some sort of a celebrity with a happening lifestyle well fabricated by the media.
On the other hand one neeed'nt be a celeb to make your life intersting. I guess every passing day can be an event. It could be anything, like standing upto your bossy collegue or trying to impress your date.
So rather than my memoirs its better that the tempest of thoughts that rage through my mind finally get an outlet. Through this blog I guess.
Thus at 12:45 am my eyes though blurry from all the sleep I managed to create this blog.
Hope to God I manage to keep up the practice.