IOS on-line lecture on Philosophy of Science and Human Evolution

IOS on-line lecture on Philosophy of Science and Human Evolution

New Delhi: An on-line lecture on “Philosophy of Science and Human Evolution” was organized by the Institute of Objective Studies on August 21, 2021. The lecture was delivered by Dr. Gustavo Zubieta-Calleja, M.D., FPVRI High Altitude Pulmonary and Pathology Institute (HAPPI) Instituto Pulmonary Patologia de la Altura (IPPA), La Paz, Bolivia, South America.

Introducing the topic, Dr. Md. Imtiyaz Hassan, Asstt. Professor, Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Basic Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, said that science was a fundamental pillar of human evolution. It stemmed from intuition and above all, the search for human needs of understanding and resolving the sustenance of life. He observed that science involved an interaction of multiple specialties with the mother of sciences being Mathematics. 

Speaking on the subject, Dr. Calleja held that the philosophy of science was very important in the COVID-19 time. Science had to look forward. Referring to human evolution, he said that the theory in biology was posturing that various types of plants, animals and other living things on earth had their origin in other pre-existing types of philosophy. He listed three branches of philosophy as ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. Science stemmed from logic, methodology, curiosity and ability. It also involved an interaction of multiple specialties with the Maths. He listed some of the great men of science, like Rene Descartes, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, Ignaz Semmelweis, Newton, Leibniz and Erwin Schrodinger. While Descartes, who lived in the first half of the 17th century, was French, Ramanujan was an Indian mathematician who based his theory on logic, maths and epistemology. Charles Darwin and Galileo Galilei suffered in life for their scientific views. Newton and Leibniz were the inventors of the theory of Calculus. Erwin Schrodinger was an Austrian-Irish who addressed the problems of genetics, looking at the phenomenon of life from the point of view of physics, by giving a series of talks on his book “What is Life?. Commenting on the evolution of the concept of atom, he said that in 400 B.C. Democritus first talked about it followed by Dalton in 1800 A.D. It was taken forward by Thompson in 1890 who invented electron and Rutherford in 1910. 

Dr. Calleja pointed out that there was also ethics in science and moral principles that governed it. Referring to human evolution, he said that Kevin Blake’s work “The March of Progress” was an important book on the origin of human. Problems associated with the progress too surfaced. Science should focus on problems like global warming, desertification of the planet and holistic management of resources. He said that fauna and flora should be allowed to grow naturally. He made special mention of Clifford Allan Redin Savory, a Zimbabwean ecologist, livestock farmer and president and co-founder of the Savory Institute, who held that only livestock could reverse desertification. There was no other tool available to humans to address desertification that was contributing not only to climate change, but also to much of the poverty, emigration, violence, etc. He expressed himself against burning of the forests and pleaded for the reduction of carbon emissions. He advised everybody to live with nature and respect the nature. Expressing concern over the increase of methane gas in the atmosphere, he said that animals generated only 7.2 percent of the methane. 

Commenting on the steps that could be taken to reduce the level of lethal gases on earth, Dr. Calleja said that afforestation, reforestation and neo-forestation could play an important role. Oxygen, which was sourced from sunlight, nutrients and water, was the lifeline for every individual on earth.  

In cities, the organic systems of human beings began and all other species tended towards adaptation. At high altitude, the photo-electric biology effect worked. He said that humans must evolve to a better psychology, peaceful interaction and inner tranquility with abundance of water, nutrients and oxygen. Oxygen, the fundamental element of life, was plentiful within the planet. The pressure of oxygen played a key role on survival, he said. Defining philosophy of science, he noted that it was love of knowledge. Knowledge served to understand human evolution meticulously beyond earth in space. He emphasized that humans must evolve to a better psychology and peaceful co-existence. It was a great mystery as to who created the universe. He concluded by saying that there should be a balance between scientific strides and its negative impact on human life. 

The lecture ended with a vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Md. Imtiyaz Hassan. 


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