Western science, astrology and arsenic – I, II & III
Posted on May 21st, 2013

by Nalin de Silva

This is a response to two articles by Mr. R. Chandrasoma and Dr U P de S Waidyanatha entitled respectively Astrology is humbug and CKDu: Scientific evidence and anti-science zealotry published in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The IslandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ on 19th April 2013 and 29th and 30th April 2013. I am not an anti science zealot but I have evidence in Aristotelian logic as well as in Catuskoti logic to demonstrate that western science is nothing but humbug. I do not claim that Dr. Waidyanatha calls me an anti science zealot but I thought it is appropriate to respond to his article as well. He has referred to Chulla Haththi Padopama Sutta on coming to conclusions with bits and pieces of information. However, he may not realize that the Chulla Haththi Padopama Sutta is against the so called scientific method propagated by western philosophers of western science.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ I do not believe that there is a scientific method as such as claimed by the western intellectuals and their apologists here, but there is a method which could be called storytelling and if one may add one more word it is abstract storytelling which is not found in our culture. Abstract storytelling is found not only in western science but also in western novels and short stories which Martin Wickremesinghe and Ediriweera Saracchandra attempted to introduce to Sinhala Literature. Gunadasa Amarasekera preaches abstract storytelling but to his credit does not practice it. His characters though he may like them to represent abstract people representing what he would wish to call social reality are nothing but concrete creatures who could be identified easily.
The so called scientists in Sri Lanka are probably not aware of abstract storytelling as they are confined to what Kuhn called normal science, very often engaging in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-scientificƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ cookery where one adds one liter of such and such to one gram of something else and heat to a certain temperature. The so called theories in western science are nothing but abstract stories and they are not in harmony with what is advocated in Chulla Haththi Padopama Sutta. No wonder that many a scholar in Sri Lanka have misunderstood some Suttas in their zealousness to rationalize Bududahama. The oft quoted Kalama Sutta is a case in point which a well known Professor who can remember almost anything he hears for the first time but fails to understand even after twenty five years of repeating what he has heard.
Before we discuss the Chulla Haththi Padopama Sutta in respect of Arsenic we will discuss what Mr. Chandrasoma has to say on Astrology. He says among other words of wisdom the following: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It must be remarked at this point that famous and clever people in the past were great believers in astrology – the likes of Kepler and Isaac Newton. These people also believed in Alchemy and Biblical prophecy. That great men in the past were mistaken in some of their fundamental beliefs is no reason to adhere to dated and stupid views that are demonstrably and palpably false given our current knowledge of the world and of manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s place in it. Today, only the daft and the incorrigibly purblind will be persuaded by the argument that a perturbation in planetary positions will influence the marriage prospects of a bipedal Hominid in Moratuwa.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ I am not sure how Mr. Chandrasoma came to the conclusion that Astrology is humbug. In my case I have come to the conclusion that western science is humbug after studying it as an adolescent, then as a so called scientist having gained a Ph. D. in Relativistic Astrophysics, having being a member of the so called International Astronomical union, having taught subjects connected with Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in three universities in Sri Lanka though none would take me back even if I was under sixty five today, and of course having studied western philosophy of western science on my own for more than thirty years and not by reading Kuhn, Feyerabend though I am familiar with their work. I wonder whether Mr. Chandrasoma had studied Astrology before he came to the conclusion that Astrology is humbug.
I only hope that Mr. Chandrasoma did not come to the conclusion that Astrology is humbug after reading Popper or any other person great or otherwise as in his own admission ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-great peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ such as Newton had been wrong. On the other hand we do not know whether the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-great personsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ who claim that Astrology is humbug or words to that effect have themselves studied Astrology. How many western scientists whether Nobel Laureates or otherwise have studied Astrology? If not how did those who have come to the conclusion that Astronomy is humbug did so? Astronomy or Nakshasthra is part of Astrology and the Nakshasthra I have studied including Rahu Ketu and the Rahu catching (swallowing) the Sun and the Moon during what are now known as eclipses are valid concepts. Rahu and Ketu are the points of intersections of the paths of the Sun and the Moon relative to Earth. Only those who are ignorant of relative motion would claim that the Sun does not move with respect to Earth acknowledging the so called absolute motion which perhaps only the God observes. Even the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-nonagathaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ period during the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-avuruddaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ has a good explanation in nakshastra.
Mr. Chandrasoma, however, asks a very pertinent question. He wants to find out how the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-grahayasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ ( not the planets or graha vastu according to the official glossaryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” Planets are some of those physical objects that are supposed to go round the sun, while Rahu, Ketu, Ravi, Chandra are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-grahayasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ though not planets. Some ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-grahyasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ may be planets but that does mean that all the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-grahayasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ are planets) could affect the matrimonial prospects of a bipedal couple in Moratuwa. An intellectual in Sri Lanka could have asked why Moratuwa of all the places? Whatever the reason for selecting Moratuwa could Mr. Chandrasoma tell us how the Sun and the other planets affect the motion of the Earth? Or how could these extra terrestrial objects affect the motion of the bipedals in Moratuwa? Or worse than that how could extra galactic objects affect the motion of the bipedals in Moratuwa?
When Newton said that any two particles in the Universe (it must be remembered that Newton did not have the modern western concept of the Universe) attract each other with a certain force called the gravitational force how did he know? Did he explain how the particles could influence each other the way he has preached according to his well known formula? In fact when his contemporaries asked him to explain how the Sun exerted this so called gravitational force he had no answer. There was no concept of force as understood in western science during NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s days and all that they knew was an object was either pulled or pushed with hands or using a rope or a pole as the case may be. When the contemporaries of Newton asked the latter where was the rope with which the Sun attracted the Earth Newton had no answer. All that he could say was that it was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-action at a distanceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.
The action at a distance was not accepted by some of the contemporaries of Newton and the western science had to wait for Maxwell to come out with a mechanism to explain how the Sun exerted a force on the bipedals of Moratuwa or Timbuktu. Maxwell introduced the concept of a field in connection with electromagnetism, and it was borrowed by the gravitational physicists to explain NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s action at a distance using the concept of gravitational force. Gravitational field constructed using the concept of an Electromagnetic (Electrostatic Magnetostatic ) field is an abstract story and nothing else. Nobody has experienced a gravitational force or a gravitational field and it is only a mechanism (story) constructed by the western physicists to explain how a particle on the other side of the universe exerts a force on a given particle. The bipedals in Moratuwa are supposed to be comprised of these particles. (To be continued)

It is a necessary condition that one should study something, or believes somebody who has studied the subject and declared that the subject matter is humbug before one goes public to the effect that the subject matter is humbug. However, it is not sufficient and one should be able to demonstrate that the subject is humbug. Mere pronouncement that something is humbug without studying the subject under consideration by himself or depending on an “authority” who has studied and demonstrated that it is humbug, is mere pontification and we should not be awed by these decrees.

In the first installment of the present series I mentioned that there was no “explanation” given by Newton for the so called gravitational force exerted by any one particle on any other particle in the universe whatever the distance between the two particles may be. Newton only said that it was action at a distance without ropes poles etc. However, many Physicists believed what Newton had to say though it cannot be said that NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s predictions based on his “theory of gravitation” agreed with observations. For example according to a deduction from NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s theory of gravitation the planets (not the grahayas in Astrology but the graha vasthus) should go round the sun, assumed to be still, or relative to the sun along fixed ellipses, if the masses of the planets are negligible compared to the mass of the sun. It has to be realized that the deduction predicts that the planets move in fixed ellipses, parabolae or hyperbolae relative to the sun, and theoretically alone there is no way to deduce that planets move in fixed ellipses relative to the sun. In that sense NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s theory of gravitation does not predict strictly that a planet moves in a fixed ellipse relative to the sun. However, a planet or any other object such as a comet cannot move in a fixed ellipse and a parabola or hyperbola at the same time relative to the sun and if an object moves in a fixed ellipse relative to the sun then it can be said that the object moves in a fixed ellipse! Some comets do not describe fixed ellipses relative to the sun though the same gravitational theory of Newton applies to these objects as well. They could be moving along parabolae or hyperbolae never to return to the vicinity of the earth or the sun.

However, the more important thing, I would not use the term fact that is theory laden anyway, is that none of the planets move in fixed ellipses relative to the sun. It was known even during the time of Newton that the planet Mercury did not describe a fixed ellipse relative to the sun! The closest point of the path of the planet to the sun, called the perihelion, did not remain the same and it advanced during the “tour” (courtesy NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Travels and Tours), a phenomenon known as the advance of the perihelion. This did not prevent the vast majority of the physicists from accepting NewtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Theory though Mercury and other planets would have laughed at the former. Of course about 250 years later Einstein came out with his own theory of “gravitation” without any gravitational force as such, and was able to “explain” the advance of the perihelion, though the theory is not without its weaknesses. It should be emphasized that Newtonian Theory and Einsteinian Theory are poles apart conceptually and the former cannot be considered as an approximation of the latter.

What I am trying to point out is that there is no unique explanation of a given phenomenon and that no “explanation” explains the phenomenon “accurately”. There are phenomena observed in the “universe” and people come out with stories to explain these phenomena. It is storytelling and nothing else and so called theories in western science, especially in physics, are abstract stories told by Newton, Einstein and others. These grandpas or “seeyas” of western science are not different from our own grandpas and grandmas (seeyas and achchees) who told us fairytales when we were small. We believe Newton and Einstein the same way we believed our seeyas except for that we attempt to justify our beliefs in the case of “science seeyas”. The so called grown up people remain not grown as they could be deceived by political seeyas, science seeyas and others though they grow physically over the years. It can even be said that men and women are born to be deceived! Considering it as a phenomenon could somebody come out with a nice little story or theory to explain it? In other words could somebody deceive us with a nice little story on deceiving?

Now before Maxwell, Newtonians had no explanation of the so called gravitational attraction, and they “understood” it as action at a distance. What Maxwell did was to introduce the concept of Field in order to explain certain phenomena connected with electromagnetism. For example it can be said that according to him an electron creates an electrostatic field around it and when another electrically charged particle “experiences” the field created by the electron it responds in a certain way depending on the charge distance between the particles etc. Now that is an explanation of say the electrostatic force between two charged particles in Classical Theory, though Quantum Physics would describe it differently. As said last time the gravitational physicists borrowed the concept of field to explain the “action at a distance” of Newton. Thus any particle creates or has its own gravitational field around it and the other particles respond to the field thus created. Thus the gravitational field takes some time to propagate, not instantaneous action at a distance, and there is no gravitational interaction between any two particles separated by a distance. The second particle only responds to the gravitational field created by the first particle and it may be called a particle field interaction.

Now with the concept of field do we understand “gravitational attraction”? Many so called educated people say they can understand the gravitational attraction but not how those grahayas affect the lives of the bipedal hominids in Moratuwa or wherever they may be. What I do not understand is how they understand that a particle can affect another particle with or without a field. Most of the people are not familiar with the concept of a field but they have no difficulty in understanding that one particle exerts a gravitational field without a rope or a pole so to say. Nobody has experienced the gravitational force though a senior lecturer at Kelaniya with a Ph. D. from Cambridge once told me that he could sense the gravitational force. When I wanted to look at this particular sense organ with which he sensed the gravitational force he could not show it to me. Perhaps he was little embarrassed.

Now has anybody sensed the field? The answer is no, I suppose in the case of vast majority of men and women unless like the lecturer mentioned above they have some peculiar sense organ that the others do not have. Understanding what is meant by understanding is a big problem and naturally it goes in cycles. A culture with linear thinking (what I call rekheeya chinthanaya as thinking is not adequate in this connection) cannot understand what is meant by understanding and it is clear that there cannot be a definition of understanding. The dominating western chinthanaya at present is Greek Judaic Christian Chinthanaya that replaced the Catholic Chinthanaya over a period of time beginning in the fifteenth century, both of which are linear. It has to be mentioned that in a cyclic chinthanaya there are no definitions as such and only in abstract systems of knowledge such as western mathematics one could begin with definitions. Nobody understands a definition and I really enjoyed teaching Mathematics without understanding it.

What the gravitational physicists did after Maxwell was to introduce the concept of gravitational field in order to explain or understand how a particle exerts a gravitational force on any other particle wherever in the universe the two particles may be. However, it is a so called explanation as nobody understands what is meant by an explanation in this case. In this regard I would like to mention what I “learnt” from my Chemistry teacher in the fourth form (Grade 10). He wanted the students to define an acid. When we could not define an acid to his satisfaction, he asked us to explain definition. Needless to say the fourteen year olds could not come up with an answer and then he in his inimitable style he said define explanation! With these questions he consciously or unconsciously exposed the inadequacy of linear thinking definitions etc., and introduced at least me to cyclic thinking (chakreeya chinthanaya) many years later.

Of course one could say that in the case of gravitational force it is a physical force but in the case of astrology it could be said that the grahayas influence even the mental state of bipedal hominids, and it is necessary to explain this phenomenon. As it is said at present there are physical, biological and mental states associated with the bipedal hominids, and some others would say these states are associated not only with bipedal hominids but with all animals whether with no feet two feet, four feet, or poly feet (apa, depa, sivupa or bahupa). When one could “demonstrate” that physical, biological and mental states are interconnected as in the case of say psycho somatic phenomena, one could come out with a “theory” or an “explanation” of how the grahayas influence the mental states of bipedal hominids. It could be through some ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”field”, say an astrological field exerted by the grahayas including Rahu and Kethu that are points of intersection of the paths of the sun and the moon relative to the earth. It could even be theorized that in general the points of intersection of the paths of sun and any planet or of the paths of any two planets or of the paths of the moon and any planet relative to the earth influence the bipedal hominids but they are negligible!

It is unfair if one wants to experience the astrological field in order to believe it or understand it or whatever, as to my knowledge nobody except that lecturer at the University of Kelaniya has experienced the gravitational field. Also it could be said a grahaya has many properties such as astrological, gravitational electromagnetic etc., and that some grahayas such as Rahu and Kethu exert only fields but not gravitational or electromagnetic fields. In the case of Sun it is believed in Newtonian Physics that it exerts gravitational as well as electromagnetic influences through relevant field and it may be that there are other fields such as astrological fields not recognized by the western scientists. The recognition by the western scientists need not be the sole criterion for us to accept, believe or whatever and we do not have to be guided by their dominant knowledge imposed on us. All theories western or otherwise are mere stories constructed in a certain chinthanaya relative to a culture. Merely because a theory is not accepted or believed in one culture it does not follow that the other cultures also should discard the theory.

There is a western scientific church or mafia and it is the high priests or the leaders of the mafia who decide which theory is to be accepted or rejected. As has been shown by Feyerabend this church is more dominant than the Catholic Church in medieval Europe, and they would not listen to alternative theories or explanations constructed even within the western culture. In the case of the Catholic Church the Pope was prepared to listen to Galileo and gave the latter a fair trial. The Pope did not object to Galileo believing that the earth went round the sun, but he wanted the latter to demonstrate it if he were to teach it to the general public. Galileo could not demonstrate that the earth went round the sun and the pope had no alternative but to imprison Galileo and keep him away from the public.

The present day high priests of the western scientific church do not have the power to imprison people but they debar theories and other knowledge not acceptable to them reaching the public through their so called learned societies and “internationally recognized” journals. Now if one were to ask who has the power to recognize these “internationally recognized journals” the answer is it is the internationally recognized people and societies. Thus it is a case of one recognizing oneself through societies and other instruments that have been empowered to do so by none other than the political powers of the particular culture. The Royal Society of London has been recognized by a Royal Charter and our own National Academy of Science has obtained its charter from the Parliament of Sri Lanka, though its Fellows have not produced anything original enough to be recognized by the “international community”. In this regard it has to be mentioned that when the University of Kelaniya group that studied the Chronic Kidney Disease unidentified etiology CKDu came out with Arsenic as the main cause of the disease, the National Academy of Science went so low as to reproduce cartoons that vilified me in their official website.

The irony is that the scientists in El Salvador have recognized that Arsenic is the cause of their Kidney Disease , and recently invited Drs. Channa Jayasumana and Kumudu Dahanayake to their country and thanked Sri Lanka for the information, knowledge or whatever on Arsenic that have been conveyed to them and other South American countries at a seminar held in another South American country by Dr. Jayasumana the most unwanted person the University of Kelaniya that attempts to deny him a postgraduate degree using so called University Autonomy throwing the work he has done during the last two and half years to the Kelani Ganga. In essence El Salvador has recognized Natha deviyan and Vipassaka deviyan when the imitators in Sri Lanka of high priests of the western scientific Church and its Cardinals and Pope refuse to do so. The Kelaniya Arsenic group holds a media conference today to inform the public more details of the El Salvador recognition.

The western scientific church did not recognize the work done by Rupert Sheldrake on what are known as Morphological fields. In essence what he says is that “past forms and behaviour of organisms influence present organisms through direct immaterial connections across time and space”. For example a crystal formed say for the first time at the University of Kelaniya with difficulties would influence the formation of a similar crystal in a University or research institute in El Salvador and it would be done much easily. This is what has happened in connection to Arsenic in Agro Chemicals with reference to the Kidney Disease. It could be said that the Arsenic experiments done at the University of Kelaniya for the first time have created a morphological field across space and time or space – time.In the South American countries cane farmers are affected by the Arsenic present in the Agro chemicals.

The high priests of the western scientific church object to research on Homeopathy. They do not recognize Homeopathy as a so called science or a technology and when some researchers in France about twenty five years ago were able to get a paper on Homeopathy principle based on dilution in the Nature the high priests of western science and medicine intervened and the editor of Nature had no alternative but to withdraw the published paper under pressure! That is the freedom of expression in the western scientific church and the high priests do not give even the freedom to believe that was not denied to Galileo by the Pope.
(To be continued)

3 Responses to “Western science, astrology and arsenic – I, II & III”

  1. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    ‘Nobody has experienced the gravitational force though a senior lecturer at Kelaniya with a Ph. D. from Cambridge once told me that he could sense the gravitational force. When I wanted to look at this particular sense organ with which he sensed the gravitational force he could not show it to me. Perhaps he was little embarrassed.’ this is hilarious!
    some do attempt to substantiate Buddhism with scientific principles. the former base on conditioned phenomena while the latter firmly grounded on unconditioned state through empirical observation and not based rational thinking, as philosophers do. so comparing Buddhism and science crap is like comparing apples and oranges.
    anyway, the wisest person in the known history, thathaagata, and even Christ called astrology a ‘thiraschina viddyava’ or a thirisan thinking. why did they say that one wonders?. any explanation?. did thathaagata faultered
    on this occasion?, I doubt very much. in brahmajaaler sutra thathaagata do points out to this topic.

  2. Senevirath Says:

    u are a great man ”’yuga purushayek” it is a shame that sl scientists villified u when el salvadore scientists thanked your people.
    we can see the difference.
    go on we are wiyh u

  3. Senevirath Says:


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