Friday, April 11, 2014

Prof BM Hegde's non-sense about medicine.

Here's a Prof B M Hegde's lecture, in which he says modern medicine is redundant, full of contraditions, and he has found out and researching on wholistic way of healing.

For the start, there are many people out there, who use scientific jargon, scientists' names, theories etc, to sound scientific, and utter non-science. Science is not an absolute body of facts, but an enterprise to learn the objective truth. It need not be done by scientists, in dedicated set-ups. It is the way of shedding personal opinion, doing honest and non-biased enquiry, eagerness to learn, willingness to accept self deceipt, to change ones pre-concieved ideas, in all walks of life, about the world around us.

In his lecture, Prof Hegde, confuses himself, and audience a lot about physics. Non linear mathematics was known since long time, and approximation of physical laws to linear mathematics was because of difficulties in solving non-linear equations, and this approximation of course caused failure of predictions of equations, and they were duely acknowledged. The failure of predictions of physical systems, can be either due to true uncertainity of the system, or deficiency of the theories or mathematics. Quantum physics and uncertainity principle, unlike non-linear equations, introduce true uncertainity,  and the uncertainity is even observer-dependent. Things happen differently, when not viewed! Prof Hegde confuses non-linear equations and quantum physics.

He also confuses relativity and quantum mechanics. Relativity theory doesnt bring in uncertainity, Einstein even said, he thinks 'God doesn't play dice'. and Quantum mechanics doesn't say about conversion of mass into energy. prof Hegde erred on both accounts. He has of course read a few popular science books on 'chaos theory' understood them partly, and forgot the connections and meaning of different theories.

He talks about medicine, that it sees body as a collection of organs, but that, it's a collection of cells, that 'love' each other cells etc. No one will doubt that these are known knowledge, and a doctor doesn't think in terms of organs, and knows, that all substances, drug, food, or other molecules in environment, affect all cells, and molecules of the body.

The concept of bioenergy and biophotonics he talks about is outdated. That, a few people tried to photograph bio-energy, and they did it, and they seem to change with status body is well known. Any body, which is above absolute zero produces radiation, which depends on temperature of the body. This radiation can be photographed, using ultrasensitive sensors. But they are not much useful in diagnosis or treatment, and tell very little more than what can be known otherwise about the body, from sight, touch , temperature etc. The attempt at biophotonics started in 1970, and proven futile science.

Continuing with his holistic medicine, and bioenergy, he then proceeds on to his own technique of healing, using water, nano silver and ?bioenergy. it doesn't sound much logical, but as I have not seen or tested, I can't refute his claims too, and as a true scientist, is eager to see someone study these claims without any bias.

The body has great power to heal itself, which is known, and utlised by modern medicine. The sentences such as whether a heart can be replaced on a dead body is non-sense. He can't do it either using his machine of bioenergy. The concept of dealth as a singular event of bio-energy leaving body is not logical. death is not a single event. different parts (or cells if you like to call it that way) die at different times, we even some times carry 'dead' cells (gangrene foot). We all know cornea can be taken out some time after  a person is dead, for 'eye transplant'. Does that mean, the cornea retains it bioenergy?

Repeating my sentence, Prof Hegde caught a few sentences and quotes from popular science books, and is misleading people on what's scientific medicine.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why do we do Good?

Biologically, what prompts us to consider some things as good and drive us to do those things? Like in other fields, science does answer the question of morality and ethics.

The biggest advance in biology since Darwin was the proposal of 'selfish gene theory' by Richard Dawkins. Even before Darwin, biology was searching how individual organisms evolved, and Darwin in his master stroke described how nature, though subconsciously, selected the most adapted organism to its surroundings, from a group of random variations in successive generations. Richard Dawkins showed that individual organism is only a temporary association between genes, in a constantly flowing digital river of genes, in which they mix and match and form temporarily associations, and that evolution works at genes' level.

There's only a faint definition of organism. For example, many of the commensals, that's friendly organisms residing inside another organism, can be regarded as belonging within that organism itself, since they often dont have independent existance. There are many microbes residing inside our body also, and they simply propagate between people, and never exist outside them. The extreme form of this symbiosis is, within our individual cells, where there are organelles like mitochondria, which were independent organisms at the start of life, and then, became permanently to reside inside other cells, and now they are not considered as separate entity at all. We often refer to 'our' mitochondrial genes.

Dawkins proposed that evolution works at the level of genes, and those that happen to possess qualities to adapt its owner/s to their surroundings survive. Genes adapt all kinds of strategies, they not only make their owners behave in their ways, but also form associations with those genes, which help them to propagate themselves more. The genes don't do it with a purpose as we see it, but those which happen to possess self serving abilities (to make more copies of self) survive and evolve.

A species happens to be only a temporary association between a group of these genes, in the vast time line in the history of life, and the gene's strategy to survive extend beyond the physical limits of an organism (like the flu virus making us sneeze). A species share a common genome among itself, and only a fraction of this genome varies among the individual organisms of the species, which gives them individual identities, and these may be called variable genes. The purpose of the gene is served, if it either succeeds in making more copies of itself, or even help identical genes in the other individuals of the same species to propagate themselves. The individuals of species who are more closely related to one, is more likely to a common set of variable genes of the species. In fact, siblings share half of an individuals' variable genes, parents also share half, second degree relatives share only one fourth and third degree relatives share only one eighth. So, if an organism care for its closest relative, that's siblings or kids, and see that they survive, in a survival situation, they make sure that at least half of their genes survive.

So, it's in the genes self interest, that it should see to it that, it makes survives, and makes more copies of itself. But then, why do we see sometimes organisms help each other, cooperate, even sacrifice? We see that, by helping those individuals that share it's genes' copies, they in fact help themselves, or to be more precise, their own genes. In a survival situation, sometimes it may be even beneficial than own survival, to help a related organism, who may be carrying only a portion of it's genes, but has more chances of survival and propagation. So that explains our being good to others. We are not uniformly good to all, but, we love our kith and kin more. We love our spouse, even though it is not related to us, and it's as align to us as any other individual of the species, since it helps our children, who carry half our genes, to survive.

This not only explains why we are good, but also, the selectiveness in it. Another way to help own set of genes to survive, is by preventing alien set from doing so. That explains why we are bad towards others too. The ratio of goodness to badness in our attitude towards others is determined, hence by our degree of relation.

Sea Lions are organisms that live in land and sea, and lay eggs. They tend to their eggs, and help them hatch. There's  population of Sea Lions who live on rough rocks by the sea. When they sit to hatch their eggs, occasionally a few eggs roll out, and they immediately hold them and bring them back under themselves. There's also a population of Sea Lions, who live on smooth rocks, where eggs roll out more and also far. These individuals, when an egg is seen rolling, they break the egg, rather than bring them in to hatch. The difference in behaviour of the two sets of Sea Lion populations is because, in smoother rocks, more eggs roll, and also they roll farther, so, when one spots an egg near it, it's more likely to be egg of another Sea Lion than it's own, so, they break it, there by reducing the competition to it's children, when they come out!

So, selfish gene theory explains us why we are good, why we are more good to our close relatives, those of our own cast, and nation, and also, why we can be as bad as it can, at certain times, towards others. Our genes feed us these instincts, to serve their own purpose! As with theory of evolution, this explains our goodness and evil, in a very simple and elegant manner, without resorting to convoluted stories of sky dwelling creatures and their evil counterparts.