An Eternal Endeavor of Science and Faith


By Saif Saiyed (L&T MHPS)

One fact I think we’d all agree on, is that today’s lives are hectic. The present age believes in the mantra of “Time is Money” and no doubt, lives by it. However what worries me is that today people have dedicated themselves so much to the idea of being successful and finishing the race to reach the mountain’s top that rarely any of us pause to appreciate what the mountains are made of. Surely all of us can see the rocky surfaces, but it takes a little bit of wisdom and some time to explore what it really is beneath the surface.

We are only interested in finding the keys to material success and direct mantras to pursue a prosperous life and it is all completely fine. In fact these virtues are thought of very highly in the present life-style. But, let’s just not be so superficial in our quests of gaining ‘knowledge’ that we forget where our ‘wisdom’ really comes from. The key to the greatest of wisdom lies in the very fundamental and esoteric entities.

Allow me to share something regarding Philosophy. Most of us are aware of the word ‘philosophy’ but it is rather saddening that few of us are aware of the real potential which the whole concept holds promises to unveil. Philosophy can be categorized in multiple ways, Ontology and Cosmology which are one of the two categories. I would say that likewise, physics and mathematics are more fundamental divisions of nature. How do we get to physics from philosophy? Well, I believe the concept of physics carries potential as deep as philosophy itself, if not more. I remember in school, my physics textbook has a line inscribed upon it on the very first page saying, ‘Physics is a science to understand nature’. And I’ve grown to believe that this line holds everything one needs, to go out on a quest to understand the universe. While this line forms the basics of all the physics we learned in school, I personally find it ironic that hardly any of us took notice of it, let alone thought of it.

Physics has essentially been designed to define Us. And it has evolved over  centuries, along the same path as that of evolution of human civilizations. We must not forget that all the theorems and postulates that define the laws of our Universe were derived and stated by none other than us, humans.

One might argue that for understanding nature, the ideal reference taken has to be the religion. God has only given us the material and sources to understand. How we use that material and sources to understand nature is in our own hands. We are the one who interpret these testaments and sources and each individual and civilization has its own interpretation. Even if we say there is one single god governing all the universes and has given the same material and sources to each universe to understand their surroundings, each universe will have its own interpretation and will eventually end up as an exclusive universe!

Every single entity defined in physics has a corresponding entity in life (being). From an infinitesimally small boson to gigantic nebulas, each one has a correspondence.  Every single function and theories defined in mathematics has its corresponding functions and theories defined for a living being, by which they are governed. In a broader sense, philosophy is to explore and study this correspondence.

Einstein said and I quote, ‘Logic will take you from A to B and Imagination will take you everywhere’. Imagination is the very first step to philosophy. While imagination can be our greatest advantage, paradoxically it serves as a grave drawback as well. Here is the explanation: we have learnt Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. It is defined at atomic level for particles whose dimensions falls in pico/femto scale. It is stated as accurate condition of a particle can never be defined and it shows uncertainty in its state when observed. Generalizing this principle, whenever a system/concept is observed its state/property gets randomized or unpredictable. Similar phenomena occur when one tries to introspect. In this case, uncertainty is extremely high given that this is a special case where the observer and observed system is one and the same. As soon as one starts observing himself, chances of his uncertain behavior rises and his own state gets unpredictable. This might look like a paradox. How is it possible that a being is unknown of his own state? Answer to this is, because his state is defined completely with respect to an ideal reference. When he starts self observation, his state gets altered only for his own reference frame. Even at this stage the state of that being remains same from that ideal frame, and is similar to the inchoate state.

Take this with an example: Have you ever realized when a friend of yours asks if the blue tie suits him or red one, you could easily answer what is correct according to you but when same comes to you, it becomes one of the most difficult jobs to deal with. This is an oversimplified example and similar act is taking place at way more complex level with elements forming our nature.

The quest of exploring the nature is unfathomable and so is our imagination. Keep thinking, keep voyaging.

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