By Pushpa M. Bhargava And Chandana Chakrabarti
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Extra info for Angels, Devils and Science: A Collection of Articles on Scientific Temper
Rain, thunder, day and night, and eclipses), or to the more sophisticated questions such as the nature of the universe, the origin of life, the mechanism of heredity, the cause of disease, and the basis of the various physiological processes including those which control behaviour and brain function, science has established the validity of its method and has thus given a valid technique to humanity for solving its problems. Attempts to provide answers to these questions in the past were based on the teachings of religion, dogma, faith, custom, convention and tradition.
We know a great deal about what makes us tick—the eye-lids blink or the heart beat. Our knowledge of nutrition and our ability to conquer disease has led to a considerable increase in the life-span of man. We today know why the progeny of man is man, and that of monkey, monkey. We understand what it is that makes us what we are, why two identical twins are so similar, why two brothers are a little less similar, why even unrelated human beings have so many things in common (although the}’ are less similar to each other than two brothers), why there is some similarity between monkey and man, and why the fish are so different from man or amoeba.
Academic Books, Bombay, 1969, pp. 19-25. What is Scientific Temper? Scientific temper was a phrase much in Jawaharlal Nehru’s vernacular. He reiterated it not only in speaking of science, but also in exhorting his countrymen in diverse contexts. The phrase is an attractive one and has both brevity and comprehensiveness, for temper indicates all the hues of man’s thinking, nicely qualified to the plausible and rational with the adjective scientific. We might pause to define the phrase, or at any rate to envisage its implications for the citizen.