Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Science and Religion

Last month I saw this piece in Nature's correspondence section (Nature, vol 459, Pg 321) in response to another Nature article "we can not live by scepticism alone"

My observations as a research scientist of more than 30 years’ standing suggest that most scientists in India conspicuously evoke the mysterious powers of gods and goddesses to help them achieve success in professional matters, such as publishing papers or gaining recognition. This is probably because factors outside their control come into play: religious endeavors offer comfort as well as being seen as a prerequisite for success.

My first reaction was just a surprise, but lets try to analyze this;

If this is the way of one individual, there is nothing to discuss. I am pretty sure everyone who is religious, finds comfort in it, and it is individual's choice how to deal with immediate and future challenges of life and work. But if this is the behavior of scientific society, then there is a problem. That means scientist in India are still not the part of one big enterprise, called science and are not comfortable playing the game. We need to improve! this discussion at the blog of DM explains it better.


Anonymous said...

I am not Indian or even asian, but it could be the name of my country there.

I have always being a fan of Fritjof Capra and his The Tao of Physics. Though at that time and until a few years ago I wouldn't guess that I would be involved with research in sciences as much as I am now.

Anonymous said...

I am an indian grad student in US and I find the view expressed in the editorial by Mr. Kukreja very surprising. I always thought of Indian *scientists* to be much more comfortable with atheism, naturalism and science as a way of life with religion playing little role in anything. Compared to American scientists atleast. I don't want to stereotype and I still think this holds true on average. Though western European scientists seem most comfortable with naturalism.