Dr Rajiv Desai

An Educational Blog

ATHEISM

ATHEISM: _____ Caveat: This article has no desire to insult anybody in any way at all. If anyone feels offended, it is a regrettable misunderstanding because the criticisms are aimed at the objectives of the belief, never at believers as individuals. I recognize and respect right of all individuals to believe in their faith and their God if that helps them to live better life in the brief period of human existence allotted to them. But religious beliefs and doctrines become dangerous if they threaten the liberty and the integrity of the individual or of the society. _____ _____ Prologue: According to Psalm 14 of the Bible, people who don’t believe in God are filthy, corrupt fools, entirely incapable of doing any good. Before the 18th century, the existence of God was so accepted in the western world that even the possibility of true atheism was questioned. This is called […]

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HUMAN EVOLUTION

HUMAN EVOLUTION: _ Figure below shows conservator Effie Verveniotou and human origins researcher Dr Louise Humphrey examine the oldest nearly complete modern human skeleton ever found in Britain before it goes on display in the gallery. Cheddar Man is a human male fossil found in Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. Excavated in 1903, Cheddar Man is Britain’s oldest complete human skeleton. Cheddar Man lived around 10,000 years ago. Analysis of his nuclear DNA indicates that he was a typical member of the western European population at the time, with lactose intolerance, dark skin, blue eyes, and dark curly or wavy hair. ________ Prologue: Recently, minister of state for human resource development of India said that the Darwinian theory of evolution was scientifically wrong and should not be taught in Indian institutions. Many scientists and students signed a petition calling upon him to withdraw his remarks. Three science academies […]

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DERAILMENT

DERAILMENT: _______ _______ Prologue: A tremor was followed by a “loud sound like an earthquake”. The carriages began to shake and inside them, passengers began falling on each other. Some carriages telescoped into each other, others rose vertically, “almost standing upright”. In a major train derailment accident, at least 23 passengers were killed and over 60 injured when 14 coaches of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express jumped the rails in Khatauli, India at 5.45 pm on19 August 2017 as seen in the figure above. Indian Railways has had the most derailments in a decade in 2016-17: 78 derailments with 193 people dead. On September 14, 2017 (coincidentally my birthday) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for $17 billion bullet train, the Jammu Tawi-New Delhi Rajdhani Express jumped the tracks at New Delhi station, the ninth derailment in 27 days, a consequence of […]

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SCIENCE OF TRUTH

Science of Truth: ______ _____ Prologue: I published article ‘The Lie’ on my website on June 5, 2010 wherein I showed how media lied for several decades by saying that Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe died ‘childless’ in the year 1962. “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Discussion on ‘lie’ is incomplete unless you discuss the ‘truth’. So what is truth?  The question is one of the most ancient in philosophy. It was famously posed by Plato, who asked whether there exist eternal truths or whether, to the contrary, man is the measure of all things. Diderot and d’Alembert, in their Encyclope´die (1751–1772), proposed a simple and straightforward answer: truth consists in conformity of our judgments with things. In other words, something is true when there is a fit between thought and object: This implies […]

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SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY (SYNBIO)

Synthetic Biology (synbio): _______ Scientists Elizabeth Allman and Kristin O’Brien teach a course in synthetic biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. O’Brien said that the goal of synthetic biology is not to build “better organisms” but rather to create biological machines. _______ Prologue: The advent of digital technology is considered one of the biggest revolutions of all time for how quickly and deeply it changed the world forever. Even more powerful revolution is coming, which goes under the name of synthetic biology. The potential of this discipline is very well understood in the biological scientific world. It is time I make general public aware of the impact it will have on our lives. Synthetic biology brings together a bewildering number of disciplines: biotechnology, molecular biology, systems biology, biophysics, computer engineering, genetic engineering, and more. Synthetic biology will allow scientists and engineers to create biological systems that do not occur […]

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