Message From the Conference Chair
Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D.
Science is the body of Man's knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world derived by following a systematic methodology based on evidence. As a body of knowledge, it exists, but not as a mechanical body that can be analyzed in terms of physics and chemistry. Rather, physics and chemistry are subsets of Scientific knowledge that are products of Science. In turn, Science is the product of the rational activity of Scientists. It is the peculiar perversion of modern materialistic science to think they can invert this natural sequence.
But the enthusiasm to explain biological life in terms of physics and chemistry has led mechanistic science to a threshold, beyond which it has not been able to cross. The phenomenon of life has proven itself to be inaccessible to mere physical and chemical scientific explanation, despite the most strenuous efforts of thousands of scientists worldwide.
Twenty-first century biology has revealed a level of detail and complexity of even the most simple biological organisms that was unavailable and unimaginable to scientists even a few decades ago. They are now faced with evidence that suggests that all living organisms appear to exhibit an essentially sentient nature of regulation, manipulation and control even at the cellular level. This has given rise to the new field of cognitive biology.
This may be an unexpected surprise to mechanistic science, but mankind has always understood that the difference between life and non-life is sentience. It is one of the chief shortcomings of mechanistic science that it has attempted to explain everything in the universe except sentient phenomena such as life, mind and intelligence. Even the most ancient science of Samkhya did not avoid incorporating such obvious features of Nature within its system.
The natural progress of science has led to the need to broaden its scope to include such features that all rational people know are part of their reality. The work of our Institutes is to encourage this type of scientific research for the benefit of Mankind, and to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.