www.telugubhakti.com Digest Number 4893

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Digest #4893

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Mon Mar 4, 2019 10:51 pm (PST) . Posted by:

"Bhakti Niskama Shanta" suresh_bbsr2000


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ConferenceWebsite      ConfirmedSpeakers      TravelSupport   

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| 7thInternationalConference

Science and Scientist 2019:
Understanding the Source and Nature of Consciousness and Life
June15-16, 2019
RutgersUniversity Busch Student Center,Piscataway Township, NJ, USA
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Dear Friends,

We are happy to announce that Princeton Bhakti Vedanta Institute ofSpiritual Culture & Science in collaboration with Sri ChaitanyaSaraswat Institute of Spiritual Culture & Science — hosted by World VeganVision, present:

7th International Conference
Science and Scientist 2019: Understanding the Source and Nature of Consciousness and Life
June 15-16, 2019
Rutgers University Busch Student Center, Piscataway Township, NJ, USA


Inthe seventeenth century, the French philosopher René Descartes claimedthat only the human body has a soul, and all other organisms are mereautomatons made of meat and bones. In Descartes' words "Animals arelike robots: they cannot reason or feel pain." In Introductionto Animal Rights, Gary Francione describes the anticipatedconsequences of this Cartesian view.

"Descartesand his followers performed experiments in which they nailed animals bytheir paws onto boards and cut them open to reveal their beatinghearts. They burned, scalded, and mutilated animals in everyconceivable manner. When the animals reacted as though they weresuffering pain, Descartes dismissed the reaction as no different fromthe sound of a machine that was functioning improperly. A crying dog,Descartes maintained, is no different from a whining gear that needsoil."

Basedon this ideology, many innocent animals are treated cruelly on a dailybasis for the purpose of food, entertainment, research, and profit.Influenced by such a line of thought, most of the scientists were alsothinking that only humans are conscious and all other creatures arenot. In recent past the scientific stand on this has changed greatly.The CambridgeDeclaration on Consciousness in Non-Human Animalswas publicly proclaimed and signed by leading scientists at the FirstAnnual Francis Crick Memorial Conference in 2012.

Inconstructing a house, for example, clearly a concept (idea) is anessential cause of the final structure that the house assumes. Thus wehave ample experiential evidence that concepts are capable of beingcausal forces or influences on matter. This manifestly evident featureof actuality is totally neglected or ignored by modern science when ALLthe forces of nature are limited to the merely physical and chemical.The physical and chemical explanations of natural phenomena areincomplete, and that conceptual causality is a required element inexplaining natural artifacts, which we can call intentionallyconstructed objects, or objects that bear the imprint of intention, orpurpose, as opposed to naturally formed objects. In philosophy, themanifestation of purpose in nature is traditionally called design. Withthe advent of the conception of DNA in biology, the pattern of aminoacids that constitute DNA has come to signify pattern or arrangement ofmolecules in organisms, and with that the interest in probabilities forthe formation of specific arrangements or sequences of amino acids bychance. This association of design with pattern or arrangement is anarrowing down (one might say, dumbing down) of the design concept topattern or configuration rather than purpose, End or concept. Thecentral dogma of biology holds that DNA "codes" for the formation ofessential proteins within a cell. Codes signify information, and thusinformation theory has become associated with DNA. This informationalaspect being non-physical and non-chemical seems to turn us moreclosely back to the original conceptual cause that has traditionallyoccupied the philosophers of nature. Inorganic materials also formspecific patterns as we find, for example, in snowflakes. Here, theinnumerable patterns exhibit exquisite designs that are apparentlycreated by random agglomeration of water molecules, according to thespecific stereochemistry (shape) and stoichiochemistry (molecularbonding) of the molecule. Such formations may be called unintelligentdesign since they are a function of mechanical (regulative) principles,whereas the design of artifacts exhibit what may be called intentionalor intelligent design. The word intelligent is required to indicateintention or purpose since the word "design" on its own has come tomean mere pattern according to modern interpreters.

Livingorganisms are a special case of what we may call intentional objects,but they are not formed by any apparent external intelligence, as inthe case of an artifact. Their intentionality/purpose is intrinsic tothe organism itself. For example, the most common purpose for organismsis survival. Living objects actively pursue life and avoid whateverattempts are made to kill them. They tend to multiply or reproducethemselves, preserving their species. And organisms produce their ownparts or members from themselves, unlike artifacts which are createdfrom already existing parts that do not depend upon the whole of whichthey are parts. The parts or members of an organism serve a function orpurpose in the organism as a whole, and the organism as a whole seemsto create the parts to serve itself, as much as the parts share increating the whole and other parts. Thus the purpose of an organism isentirely internal to the organism, unlike artifacts which arise fromcompletely external intentional forces, or conceptual causes. Thereforewe can say that the purpose/cause/concept (or soul) is fully intrinsicto an organism and essential to its generation, maintenance,development and formation.

Thethree categories of mechanical, chemical and teleological analysis,where teleology refers to objects that have an (internal or external)intentional or purposeful nature, have traditionally been applied tothe study of the divisions of physics, chemistry and biology,respectively. While teleology is required to understand natural objectssuch as artifacts, internal teleology has been neglected in biologicalexplanations, as is generally the case in modern science. Yet causes ofintention/purpose are not eliminable even in our ordinary understandingof natural things as mentioned above. The main problem seems to arisebecause while objects explicable in terms of mechanical or chemicalcauses do not require or depend upon teleological causes, the automaticassumption that such explanations apply to biological systems is not atall necessary. For example, probability analysis of the letters in abook will not yield any information about the content of the book.Material analysis of the book will not yield any information about itsmeaning. Such analyses may be consistent, but they do not provide acomplete explanation of the book. Likewise, physical and chemicalanalysis of organisms may be consistent in accordance with theirrespective principles, yet at the same time provide incompletedescription of the totality we call organisms.

Therefore,the Vedāntic/Bhagavat paradigm rejects the objectivist theory ofevolution as not only wrong but an impediment to the actual scientificcomprehension of Nature. The Vedāntic conception of Life is a fullydifferentiated/determinate one that displays its variety in and as adynamic organic whole. The crucial element of interdependence that ismissing in modern theories of insular organism life is fully embracedin what we may call the Post-Darwinian, post-reductionist, post-modernconception of Life the Vedāntic/Bhagavat conception offers. Organicwholism is a conception that has its inception as far back as thewritings of Śrī Īśopanisad, where the firstaphorism states: oḿ pūrnam adah pūrnam idaḿ pūrnātpūrnam udacyate pūrnasya pūrnam ādāya pūrnam evāvaśisyate. TheOrganic Whole produces organic wholes. An organic whole cannot arisefrom parts that have to be assembled. That process can only produceinorganic, mechanical machines or chemical processes, not livingorganisms.

Ourattitude is shaped by the way our education has conditioned us to thinkabout the world. To teach that Man is simply an enclosed membrane ofchemicals affects how people think about themselves as spiritualbeings, and thus it influences the way they think about such concernsas abortion, euthanasia, bioethics in research and medicine, cloning,genetic modification of food, animal rights, and so on. The Vedānticscholars, Aristotle, Kant (using the argument of teleology) and Hegelhave all claimed that biological systems (organisms) are distinct frominanimate objects (mechanical and chemical systems). Purpose andmeaning are inseparable aspects of life, similarly as consciousness. Wecannot expect those in dead molecules. We do not give any moral andethical importance to an accumulation of dead molecules, but such aconsideration is a must for the life principle. Hence, abiogenesis isan insult to the life force. To understand life and its origin, onemust also give a proper attention toward the ancient Eastern Vedānticphilosophical concept of ātman, Aristotle's concept of Soul, andHegel's explanation of the Concept.

Thisconference will bring together scientists and philosophers, and aims tofoster new collaborations and research avenues with potential relevancetowards development of scientific understanding of life and its origin.

Confirmed SPEAKERS
J. Scott Jordan, Ph.D. (Professorand Chair Director, Institute for Prospective Cognition, Department ofPsychology, Illinois State University, Illinois, USA)
John J. Kineman, Ph.D. (SeniorResearch Scientist, Wessman Research Group, Cooperative Institute forResearch in Environmental Science, University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
Phil Maguire, Ph.D. (Department of Computer Science, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland)
Michael Reiss, Ph.D. (Professor, UCL Institute of Education, University College London, U.K.)
Gary L. Francione, Ph.D. (Boardof Governors Professor, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Distinguished Scholar,School of Law, Rutgers University University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA)
Joan Walton, Ph.D. (Senior Lecturer, School of Education/Ph.D. Supervisor, York St John University, U.K.)
REGISTERHERE


Submit your abstract/paper no later than May 02, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. EST.
SUBMIT


TRAVEL SUPPORT

Theconference organizers are offering Travel Support to speakers attendingthe conference. Up to ten travel grants will be awarded to the bestpaper submitters and the organizers will also take care of their stayexpenses during the event.

Award amounts will be determined based on where the submitter is located:
Within the USA:       $500
Outside the USA:     $1000


Conference hashtag:  #scienceandscientist2019 ||  #scienceandscientist2019

Scienceand Scientist 2019: Understanding the Source and Nature of Consciousness and Life

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ORGANIZERS


- Sripad BhaktiMadhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. (ConferenceChair, Serving Director, Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Cultureand Science, Princeton, NJ, USA)
- Bhakti VijnanaMuni, Ph.D. (President, Sri ChaitanyaSaraswat Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science, Bengaluru,Karnataka, India)
- Bhakti NiskamaShanta, Ph.D. (Gen. Secretary, Sri ChaitanyaSaraswat Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science, Bengaluru,Karnataka, India)
- H.K. Shah (Founder,World Vegan Vision, USA)
- Dr. Shrenik Shah (President,NJ Chapter, World Vegan Vision, USA)
- Gary L.Francione, Ph.D. (Board of GovernorsProfessor, Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Distinguished Scholar, School ofLaw, Rutgers University University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA)
- Joan Walton,Ph.D. (Senior Lecturer, School ofEducation/Ph.D. Supervisor, York St John University, U.K.)
- John J. Kineman,Ph.D. (Senior Research Scientist, WessmanResearch Group, Cooperative Institute for Research in EnvironmentalScience, University of Colorado Boulder, USA)
- MedicharlaVenkata Jagannadham, Ph.D. (Senior PrincipalScientist, Genomics and Proteomics, Centre for Cellular & MolecularBiology, Hyderbad, Telegana, India)
- Ashok Mishra,Ph.D. (Associate Prof., Civil Engineering,Clemson University, South Carolina, USA)
- BasuthkarJagadeeshwar Rao, Ph.D. (Professor and Chairof Biology, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research,Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India)


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DATE

June 15-16, 2019

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VENUELOCATION

RutgersUniversity Busch Student Center, 604 Bartholomew Road, PiscatawayTownship, NJ 08854, USA

 

Yourparticipation and expertise are most welcome and much appreciated. Notonly will your participation in the conference benefit the conferenceparticipants, but will also benefit you and your organization.

Thank you for your participation and we look forward to seeing you in 15 June 2019.

Sincerely,
Bhakti Niskama Shanta, Ph.D. | On Behalf of Organizers


7th International Conference

Science and Scientist 2019: Understanding the Source and Nature of Consciousness and Life

June 15-16, 2019
Rutgers University Busch Student Center, Piscataway Township, NJ, USA
Conference Webpage: http://scienceandscientist.org/conference/2019


If you have any questions regarding the conference, please feel free to contact us:

Organizers
Science and Scientist - 2019
E-mail: info@scsiscs.org
Phone: +1-201-737-0870
WhatsApp: +91-9748906907
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