Friday, January 15, 2010

Science and Faith

I recently attended Isha's "Inner Engineering" program and have started thinking about issues that are not proven scientifically but have been stated by the ancient gurus.

Today is a total solar eclipse and we have been advised to not eat food during this period. There is no scientific explanation but from history there have been many facts proven scientifically and corroborate the claims documented in ancient Hindu scriptures. When the ancient scriptures were written there was a lack of explanation as to why a conclusion was reached. Only facts were stated and they could have been through experience or logical deduction. These conclusions might be wrong too. It is also an altogether different issue that these scriptures were misinterpreted or twisted, on occasions, to generate fear and control in a community or these facts were relevant during those times and are inapplicable now. So what is the right course of action to follow when uncertain?

I recently had a discussion with my wife about some people that take the "be safe than sorry" approach. We were initially aghast at how someone with a modern outlook and a scientific mindset be this way. But would you rather wait another fifty years or more for the scientific community to backtrack and publish new findings/conclusions to realize that you could have lived your life better. Or would you arrive and follow a common agreement and a course of action that can be generated from science and faith?

I do not know.