Religious baptism and betrayal of science – Is faith surpasses science?

Religious baptism and betrayal of science – Is faith surpasses science?

Faith (born of religion) and science would never agree with each other.  Even the great Italian thinker, scientist and discoverer – Galileo Galilee when claimed the shape of earth to be round and not flat, the geocentric believer Church did not receive his discovery in good taste and hence he was censored.  

Faith (born of religion) and science would never agree with each other. Even the great Italian thinker, scientist and discoverer – Galileo Galilee when claimed the shape of earth to be round and not flat, the geocentric believer Church did not receive his discovery in good taste and hence he was censored.

When Darwin proposed the theory of natural selection to be the reason for origin of life on earth and may not due to God, his postulates and supportive facts were not received well. The above reason only has made Richard Dwakins unacceptable to most religious leaders. Always a Great War is going on between faith and fact.

Religious faith needs no science, rationale, proof, evidence or experiment. Faith is always beyond the matrix of time, space, continuum. When we try to make 3D movies and holograms, faith alone can always remain without any dimension, measure, shape, form, colour, taste etc. The argument does mean faith does not have any science or science does not bring faith. The faith under reference is the faith born out of divinity, conviction in God, spirituality etc.

Therefore, we should facilitate the co-existence of faith and science as much as possible to avoid unnecessary war.

But the question is how to deal when such co-existence breaks the harmony and one challenges the existence of the other? Once we draw the boundary for faith and science clearly and allow them to exist in their respective space instead allowing them to fight with each other certainly both may make the human existence more meaningful.

The history, recognition and the legal status enjoyed by AYUSH in India and the adventurism of the present Government to mainstream and integrate AYUSH along with scientifically proven allopathic science, legalizing cross pathy and permitting the non MBBS AYUSH healers to engage in allopathic drug practice really questions the harmonious existence of faith and science in India.

AYUSH is absolutely a faith based system. Further, both Siddha and Ayurveda are claimed to be the gift of Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu to humanity. It means, both the systems believes in the existence of God and hence are certainly indebted to religion.

When something comes from God, it should not be questioned; it should not be doubted or verified but have to be received fully. That is how we are all taught from childhood. The story of Adam, Eve and Apple tells nothing but only such demanding faith in God.

Perhaps this sacred truth might have been well conceived by many in AYUSH and that is why no worthwhile scientific validation has been done on AYUSH products which the world and scientific community can really accept and respect.

Science has never fought either for own existence or for its growth and development. Even for someone to remain adamantly unscientific, need scientific methods.

But due to the intent of the Government of India to take AYUSH to ‘pandemic proportion’ over the shoulders of science really worry science.

Many scientists may not worry because they can easily shift to playing violin instead of piano. If they swear their allegiance to AYUSH research, that is sufficient and the rest, the Government may do for them.

But for science, only science can support, challenge and sustain.

Today the worry is not about the promotion of AYUSH but about promoting AYUSH as proven medical science, recognizing the products of AYUSH as drugs and those who have studied such course as doctor.

Why so far no one has questioned? No one would question as long as AYUSH is promoted in its own way. When AYUSH is forcefully gifted to the society in the name of integrating and mainstreaming the health care system and inaugurating the back door opening ceremony for quackery and cross pathy only has made many to question the science of AYUSH.

Drugs from herbal source and herbal drugs are not bad idea. But such drugs must pass the scientific scrutiny and must fully qualify the definition of drug as per global standards. But unfortunately most of the herbal drugs when they are developed mostly with limited science, immediately the AYUSH group jumps into the cauldron with the claim that such development are validation for AYUSH and the best example being BGR 34.

AYUSH has its unique philosophy, unique diagnostic procedures and approaches, unique disease descriptions, therapy practices like thokkanam, navarakizhi, shirodhara, varma etc. Besides all the above, AYUSH also follow own method of preparation of products that are used for the treatment which is quite unique to them. In the entire process, they use certain herbs as well.

In that perspective, how research findings on the therapeutic effect of some herbs would credit the entire AYUSH?

Just because such herb is mentioned in AYUSH literature, elucidation of active content or demonstration of the mechanism of action, how AYUSH can claim the credit? Taking pride on such discovery is fine, but can such discovery be interpreted as testament for AYUSH?

If one such discovery can be taken as sanctity for AYUSH, then what about the voluminous research findings casting doubt and questions the science and merit of AYUSH? Why they run after different herbal research to take the credit are not willing to take criticism on the usability, merit and science of Tridosha principle, diagnostic methods, disease descriptions, purification of heavy metals, processing of sulphor etc.,?

Why they always borrow knowledge and lend philosophy to defend their science?

AYUSH enjoys religious baptism is fine. But why our Government should assume the religious baptism of AYUSH as approval by science? Religion has its freedom to baptize anything and everything within its space. But such act need not be scientifically acceptable or scientifically proven. The juxtaposition of religious baptism over science is nothing but betrayal of science. Such an attempt would not only undermine the scientific temperament of our country but also would push many innocent and uneducated people in rural India to risk their life and money.

Religion and religious faith cannot be asked to prove its science? Such question will only trivialize the sentiments of people over religious faiths nurtured over generations. As it appears AYUSH has understood it clearly and that is why many in the helm of affairs in AYUSH openly agree that AYUSH cannot be proved by modern scientific methods. We should accept such logic. But the question is will AYUSH limit itself with own philosophy or would adventure to encroach scientifically proven allopathic system in the name of modernization?

The confusion starts only because of the magic and gimmickry. Many Ayush vaidyas in private practice use the euphoria of AYUSH to attract the patients but treat the patients with allopathic drugs (cross pathy). To suite to their convenience, they would call such practices as integrated health care approach.

Will cross-pathy (practice of allopathic drugs) by many institutionally qualified AYUSH vaidyas in private practice encourage the growth of AYUSH as system of medicine?

Dr S Ranganathan

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