Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Scientists vs Dalai Lama

There's apparently some controversy over the fact that the Dalai Lama will be lecturing at a neuroscientist conference. The religious aspects that the Dalai Lama subscribes to are supposed to be "unscientific" - yet the effects of these beliefs - meditation, et al - clearly overlap with the field studied by neuroscience. There is, in effect, a clash between what the scientists see, and the methods they choose to adopt.

Is this a rational move on behalf of the opposed scientists? Half of the point of science is to explain the things we don't understand. Yet we can achieve things, even if we don't understand the mechanisms behind it, through a variety of other techniques.

Personally, I think a healthy mix of belief and rationale is essential - the latter to provide the explanation and answers to our innate curiosity, and the former to prevent ourselves from going crazy and to settle the very same curiosity. My 2 bits, anyway.

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