Modeling the Nature of Reality

Modeling the Nature of Reality

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Metanexus: Views 2003.03.21. 2183 words

According to today’s author, Jagdish N. Srivastava, in his contribution toour 7-part series titled Towards Bridging the Gap between Science andReligion: Some Hindu Perspectives:

The subject of Science and Spirituality is large, diverse, profound,interesting, and most enjoyable. But, for lack of space, the Excitement thatit is will have to be deferred. [For] I wish to emphasize that I do NOTregard ‘religion’ to be some kind of a handicap. Big parts of all religionsgot created in the spiritual attempt only. As one decides to follow thespiritual path, he/she has to be doing something worldly too. Following areligion at this stage would not hurt but instead would help. The problemarises later, when one gets lost in the forest of belief systems andattendant rituals on the worldly plane and thus loses sight of the spiritualgoal and the ascent towards The Divine (Who is not mundane). Reducing[worldly attachments] means reducing the feeling of ‘mine-ness’, even thethought that such and such religion is ‘mine’. It means gathering the nectarof spirituality from all religions and even non-religious thought systems.It means stepping out of the prison of the mundane part of religion andascending into the Freedom of The Spiritual Realm.

Read on to enjoy all this…and mathematics, too!

Today’s columnist, Jagdish N. Srivastava, is currently CNS ResearchProfessor at the Colorado State University. Formerly, he was a Professor ofStatistics and Mathematics at the University of North Carolina in ChapelHill from 1966-1999 with a joint appointment in the department of Philosophyfrom 1993. He is recognized internationally for what are known as theSrivastava Codes, Bose-Srivastava Algebras and Srivastava Estimators. Hiscurrent interests include the mathematical aspects of quantum reality,particle physics, consciousness and spirituality. He firmly believes thathis thesis that ultimately all Reality consists of logical-mathematical(log-mat) structures only, an extension of Plato’s theory of forms, iscentral to bridging the gap between science and religion. He has publishedseveral detailed mathematical papers on the subject, of which the presentarticle is but a very brief introduction.

So far in our series, we have enjoyed the following columns: Gopala Rao’sIntroduction to the series which appeared on Metanexus:VIEWS on 2003.03.06.;Cosmic Singularity–A Vedanta Perspective by Dharmbir R. Sharma whichappeared on Metanexus:Views 2003.03.07.; Ancient Hindu Cosmology and ModernCosmology also by Gopala Rao which appeared yesterday on Metanexus:VIEWS(2003.03.13.) and the Metanexus Views (2003.03.14) column Consciousness,Mathematics, Physics and Almost Everything Else by Mark MacDowell.Yesterday’s column, also about consciousness, Thoughts on StudyingConsciousness Scientifically by Ramakrishna Puligandla appeared onMetanexus:VIEWS (2003.03.20.).

–Stacey E. Ake

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Subject: Some Hindu Perspectives 6: Modeling the Nature of RealityMathematically-A Brief IntroductionFrom: Jagdish N. SrivastavaEmail: <jsrivas@lamar.colostate.edu>

This article contains a synopsis of a summary of the author’s theory (TK) onthe Foundations of Reality, plus some general remarks vis-a-vis the issuesof Science and Religion. The article is accessible to the ‘lay’ reader. Thetheory TK is at the edge of Science with only a ‘little’ philosophy in it.It is a large theory encompassing both the scientific and the spiritualfields. Also, the author believes that TK is close to the point wherescientific formalism can begin. [Incidentally, the letter K in TK couldstand for the Knower, the Knowledge, and the Knowable (that which is to beknown, the object of knowledge)].

To begin with, TK asserts as its Axiom A1: Reality consists oflogical-mathematical (log-mat) structures only. Now, all of mathematics(and also ‘logic’ which is intertwined with it) is in the realm of ‘ideas’and ‘concepts’ only. For example, the number ‘4’ is not made of any solid,liquid, gas, or plasma. It is not a physical object but an idea, a concept.Similarly, consider the relationship that the center of a circle has to thecircle itself; this ‘relationship’ is a concept. Because log-mat structuresare ideas only, the great logician and thinker Goedel said Mathematics isthe study of the subsets of the empty set. It should be pointed out that A1implies that all of Reality is in the realm of ‘ideas’, as Plato had said.However, TK is far more advanced; I am standing on the shoulders of Platoand of lots of other people! Axiom A1 is at the boundary of the foundationsof Physics. Under A1, ALL things are log-mat in nature. That includes notonly what humans call ‘ideas’ or ‘concepts’, but also things that look’physical’ (like stones, plants, and humans as well).

Any student of science knows that as a discipline advances, it tends todevelop mathematical models of phenomena. But, this is not an accident.Axiom A1 says that all phenomena are log-mat processes only. It is thereforeno wonder that mathematical modeling is so popular. Indeed, to be precise, Iam not trying to ‘model Reality mathematically’; its basic nature itself ismathematical only. How does the experience of ‘physicality’ originate? Thatis answered by TK in its Axiom A2: The Consciousness of an entity E givesto E the experience of a part of Reality. We also call Reality as ‘Nature'(N), where N has two parts IN (Inanimate Nature) and AN (Animate Nature); noobject in IN can be ‘conscious’, and all objects in AN have the capacity ofbeing ‘conscious’. If q is a (log-mat) structure in N, and E1 and E2 are twoentities in AN, is the experience of q by E1 the same as that by E2? Theanswer, in general, is ‘No’. Only when E1 and E2 are ‘sufficiently similar’,the two experiences are close to each other.

The fact that for the same q, E1 and E2 may have quite different experiencesis very noticeable even in day to day life. It is well known that the samefood may be liked by one person but not by another. Again, consider ‘green’and ‘red’ lights. Each of these is an electromagnetic wave, but with adifferent wavelength. Both are log-mat structures known as ‘sine waves’.But, if E1 is a human and E2 a lion, the sine wave is experienceddifferently; the former sees the colors, and the latter only the differentshades of gray. The same log-mat structure in N produces differentexperiences of physicality. Is that because the humans excel the animals inall respects? Well, we do no. For example, in case of certain high frequencysound waves, humans may hear nothing but certain insects may hear a sound.Similarly, with respect to ‘smell’, some dogs can smell blood, while wecannot.

Whence does ‘Consciousness’ arise? Going back to Goedel, one finds that the’Absolutely Empty Set (AES) (also called the ‘Void’, and denoted here by V)plays the most important role, and that N ‘evolves’ out of V.

Now we introduce Axiom A3 of TK, namely: V corresponds to what is commonlycalled ‘The Divine’, and ‘Consciousness’ is an attribute of V. (In theUpanishads, which are among the top Hindu scriptures,the word ‘Brahman’ isused for the Divine.)Thus, every entity E in AN has the abstract structure(V, W, X), where X is a ‘body’ (which is in some universe U in IN). (Notethat U and X both, being in IN, must have a log-mat structure.) Also, W is aset of (log-mat) restrictions on V. W (which corresponds to the ‘psychicbody’ or ‘mind’) arises out of ‘ego’. When W is empty, there are norestrictions and the consciousness of V is complete. V may be called the’Super-soul’, and (V, W) an ‘individual soul’ that arises as a result of therestrictions W. Different W’s correspond to different individual souls. TheAES V is defined in (and, is the empty set in) ALL universes in N. Axioms A2and A3 are in the realm of the foundation of Science and of human thoughtand experience. In some recent work (see, for example [1]), the author isheuristically studying consciousness as a question pertaining to’cognizance’ in a logical system (like, for example, computer soft-ware).Loosely speaking, ‘consciousness’ corresponds to ‘self-cognizance’.(Noticethe ‘self-reference’, or the ‘Goedel-knot’, present here.) It isheuristically shown that the emptiness of V along with its being in alluniverses essentially causes this ‘self-cognizance’. It is further shownthat V is essentially the only entity that has the capacity to be conscious.Thus, it is deduced that entities E in AN have the form (V, W. X).

In humans, W corresponds to attachments, aversions, ways of analyzinginformation, etc. The reduced consciousness due to W seems to come from thefact that W causes a ‘packing together’ or ‘confounding’ of objects in U, ina way that the components are not separately retrievable. Theory TK impliesthe ontology as expressed, for example, in the Bhagvad Gita (BG) or the IshaUpanishad. The first line of the latter (‘The Divine’ is Complete there, andcomplete here./ From the Complete, only the Complete emerges./If, from theComplete, The Complete is taken out/ Then, The Complete is still left.) isimplied by V. V corresponds to BG13.12 (…/The All Pervading One isbeginning-less and beyond all concepts, and cannot be called ‘real’ or’unreal’, ‘true’ or ‘false’, ‘existent’ or’ nonexistent’), thus includingthe paths of spirituality both corresponding to the ‘Existent’ approach(Sikhism, western religions, and most of Hinduism) and the ‘Non-Existent’approach (Buddhism, Jainism).

Basically, the ‘spiritual path’ means ‘reducing W to zero’, and isindependent of ‘religion’. TK supports the spiritual part of all religions.But, any details of how this deduction is made, is out of scope of thisbrief synopsis. But, the most important fact to note is that TK implies thatThe Divine is One, and is absolutely unconditioned and unrestricted in everyway. The One can seem to be Many, be (simultaneously) formless and withform, etc. It is to be noted that in all religions there are many practicesthat may be called ‘scientific’ (i.e., ‘rational’ (in the context of currentknowledge)). But, there are other beliefs and practices too which, from thespiritual angle, constitute a kind of ‘imprisonment’ and boost the W. Thesemay be symbolically thought of as the ‘horizontal’ or mundane parts ofReligion. Spirituality, then, should be considered as the ‘vertical’ ascentto The Divine. Fighting about religion is a struggle that is horizontalonly; it has no vertical component, and does not lead to The Divine.

According to TK, V (The Divine) is in all animate beings leading to theassertion: Love thy neighbor as thyself. TK supports the famous assertionof Krishna in BG18.66 (Leaving all varieties of religion aside, take shelterin The Divine alone. All your ‘sins’ will be forgiven. Do not worry). TheSufi Rumi echoed this in the Mathnavi (The religion of the lovers of God isdifferent from all religions/The lovers of God have no religion, except Godalone). Rumi’s master Shams Tabrez was stoned; so was Al Hallaj who said (inArabic) ‘An-al -haq’ (I am the truth). Jesus said: ‘I and My Father areOne’. Attachment to religious rules led to one being stoned, and the othercrucified. Jesus and Al-Hallaj were not bragging of their greatness; onlytheir soul had exclaimed in the ecstasy that develops as W goes to zero andhence (V, W) goes to V. In this exclamation, they were not trying to asserttheir own greatness (although they, indeed, were very great); when the egois absent, whose greatness could they be talking about? As Buddha said:There is no sorrow like that of the divided house(Dhammapada 101). Indeed,so long as W is there, (V, W, X) is a divided house, and as W goes down,sorrow leaves and ecstasy arrives.

The subject of Science and Spirituality is large, diverse, profound,interesting, and most enjoyable. But, for lack of space, the Excitement thatit is will have to be deferred. However, before I close, I wish to emphasizethat I do NOT regard ‘religion’ to be some kind of a handicap. Big parts ofall religions got created in the spiritual attempt only. As one decides tofollow the spiritual path, he/she has to be doing something worldly too.Following a religion at this stage would not hurt but instead would help.The problem arises later, when one gets lost in the forest of belief systemsand attendant rituals on the worldly plane and thus loses sight of thespiritual goal and the ascent towards The Divine (Who is not mundane).Reducing W means reducing the feeling of ‘mine-ness’, even the thought thatsuch and such religion is ‘mine’. It means gathering the nectar ofspirituality from all religions and even non-religious thought systems. Itmeans stepping out of the prison of the mundane part of religion andascending into the Freedom of The Spiritual Realm.

REFERENCE

1. Srivastava, J. N. (2002) ‘Life Comes from Life: Part I’, SAVIJNAANAM:Scientific exploration for a Spiritual Paradigm. Volume 1, pp. 21-30.Published by the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata, Rome, Singapore.

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This publication is hosted by Metanexus Online http://www.metanexus.net. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Metanexus or its sponsors.

Metanexus welcomes submissions between 1000 to 3000 words of essays and book reviews that seek to explore and interpret science and religion in original and insightful ways for a general educated audience. Previous columns give a good indication of the topical range and tone for acceptable essays. Please send all inquiries and submissions to. Metanexus consists of a number of topically focused forums (Anthropos, Bios, Cogito, Cosmos, Salus, Sophia, and Techne) and periodic HTML enriched composite digests from each of the lists.

Copyright notice: Except when otherwise noted, articles may be forwarded, quoted, or republished in full with attribution to the author of the column and Metanexus: The Online Forum on Religion and Science . Republication for commercial purposes in print or electronic format requires the permission of the author. Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Metanexus Institute. Metanexus: Views 2003.03.21. 2183 wordsAccording to today’s author, Jagdish N. Srivastava, in his contribution toour 7-part series titled Towards Bridging the Gap between Science andReligion: Some Hindu Perspectives:The subject of Science and Spirituality is large, diverse, profound,interesting, and most enjoyable. But, for lack of space, the Excitement thatit is will have to be deferred. [For] I wish to emphasize that I do NOTregard ‘religion’ to be some kind of a handicap. Big parts of all religionsgot created in the spiritual attempt only. As one decides to follow thespiritual path, he/she has to be doing something worldly too. Following areligion at this stage would not hurt but instead would help. The problemarises later, when one gets lost in the forest of belief systems andattendant rituals on the worldly plane and thus loses sight of the spiritualgoal and the ascent towards The Divine (Who is not mundane). Reducing[worldly attachments] means reducing the feeling of ‘mine-ness’, even thethought that such and such religion is ‘mine’. It means gathering the nectarof spirituality from all religions and even non-religious thought systems.It means stepping out of the prison of the mundane part of religion andascending into the Freedom of The Spiritual Realm.Read on to enjoy all this…and mathematics, too!Today’s columnist, Jagdish N. Srivastava, is currently CNS ResearchProfessor at the Colorado State University. Formerly, he was a Professor ofStatistics and Mathematics at the University of North Carolina in ChapelHill from 1966-1999 with a joint appointment in the department of Philosophyfrom 1993. He is recognized internationally for what are known as theSrivastava Codes, Bose-Srivastava Algebras and Srivastava Estimators. Hiscurrent interests include the mathematical aspects of quantum reality,particle physics, consciousness and spirituality. He firmly believes thathis thesis that ultimately all Reality consists of logical-mathematical(log-mat) structures only, an extension of Plato’s theory of forms, iscentral to bridging the gap between science and religion. He has publishedseveral detailed mathematical papers on the subject, of which the presentarticle is but a very brief introduction.So far in our series, we have enjoyed the following columns: Gopala Rao’sIntroduction to the series which appeared on Metanexus:VIEWS on 2003.03.06.;Cosmic Singularity–A Vedanta Perspective by Dharmbir R. Sharma whichappeared on Metanexus:Views 2003.03.07.; Ancient Hindu Cosmology and ModernCosmology also by Gopala Rao which appeared yesterday on Metanexus:VIEWS(2003.03.13.) and the Metanexus Views (2003.03.14) column Consciousness,Mathematics, Physics and Almost Everything Else by Mark MacDowell.Yesterday’s column, also about consciousness, Thoughts on StudyingConsciousness Scientifically by Ramakrishna Puligandla appeared onMetanexus:VIEWS (2003.03.20.).–Stacey E. Ake=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Subject: Some Hindu Perspectives 6: Modeling the Nature of RealityMathematically-A Brief IntroductionFrom: Jagdish N. SrivastavaEmail: <jsrivas@lamar.colostate.edu>This article contains a synopsis of a summary of the author’s theory (TK) onthe Foundations of Reality, plus some general remarks vis-a-vis the issuesof Science and Religion. The article is accessible to the ‘lay’ reader. Thetheory TK is at the edge of Science with only a ‘little’ philosophy in it.It is a large theory encompassing both the scientific and the spiritualfields. Also, the author believes that TK is close to the point wherescientific formalism can begin. [Incidentally, the letter K in TK couldstand for the Knower, the Knowledge, and the Knowable (that which is to beknown, the object of knowledge)].To begin with, TK asserts as its Axiom A1: Reality consists oflogical-mathematical (log-mat) structures only. Now, all of mathematics(and also ‘logic’ which is intertwined with it) is in the realm of ‘ideas’and ‘concepts’ only. For example, the number ‘4’ is not made of any solid,liquid, gas, or plasma. It is not a physical object but an idea, a concept.Similarly, consider the relationship that the center of a circle has to thecircle itself; this ‘relationship’ is a concept. Because log-mat structuresare ideas only, the great logician and thinker Goedel said Mathematics isthe study of the subsets of the empty set. It should be pointed out that A1implies that all of Reality is in the realm of ‘ideas’, as Plato had said.However, TK is far more advanced; I am standing on the shoulders of Platoand of lots of other people! Axiom A1 is at the boundary of the foundationsof Physics. Under A1, ALL things are log-mat in nature. That includes notonly what humans call ‘ideas’ or ‘concepts’, but also things that look’physical’ (like stones, plants, and humans as well).Any student of science knows that as a discipline advances, it tends todevelop mathematical models of phenomena. But, this is not an accident.Axiom A1 says that all phenomena are log-mat processes only. It is thereforeno wonder that mathematical modeling is so popular. Indeed, to be precise, Iam not trying to ‘model Reality mathematically’; its basic nature itself ismathematical only. How does the experience of ‘physicality’ originate? Thatis answered by TK in its Axiom A2: The Consciousness of an entity E givesto E the experience of a part of Reality. We also call Reality as ‘Nature'(N), where N has two parts IN (Inanimate Nature) and AN (Animate Nature); noobject in IN can be ‘conscious’, and all objects in AN have the capacity ofbeing ‘conscious’. If q is a (log-mat) structure in N, and E1 and E2 are twoentities in AN, is the experience of q by E1 the same as that by E2? Theanswer, in general, is ‘No’. Only when E1 and E2 are ‘sufficiently similar’,the two experiences are close to each other.The fact that for the same q, E1 and E2 may have quite different experiencesis very noticeable even in day to day life. It is well known that the samefood may be liked by one person but not by another. Again, consider ‘green’and ‘red’ lights. Each of these is an electromagnetic wave, but with adifferent wavelength. Both are log-mat structures known as ‘sine waves’.But, if E1 is a human and E2 a lion, the sine wave is experienceddifferently; the former sees the colors, and the latter only the differentshades of gray. The same log-mat structure in N produces differentexperiences of physicality. Is that because the humans excel the animals inall respects? Well, we do no. For example, in case of certain high frequencysound waves, humans may hear nothing but certain insects may hear a sound.Similarly, with respect to ‘smell’, some dogs can smell blood, while wecannot.Whence does ‘Consciousness’ arise? Going back to Goedel, one finds that the’Absolutely Empty Set (AES) (also called the ‘Void’, and denoted here by V)plays the most important role, and that N ‘evolves’ out of V.Now we introduce Axiom A3 of TK, namely: V corresponds to what is commonlycalled ‘The Divine’, and ‘Consciousness’ is an attribute of V. (In theUpanishads, which are among the top Hindu scriptures,the word ‘Brahman’ isused for the Divine.)Thus, every entity E in AN has the abstract structure(V, W, X), where X is a ‘body’ (which is in some universe U in IN). (Notethat U and X both, being in IN, must have a log-mat structure.) Also, W is aset of (log-mat) restrictions on V. W (which corresponds to the ‘psychicbody’ or ‘mind’) arises out of ‘ego’. When W is empty, there are norestrictions and the consciousness of V is complete. V may be called the’Super-soul’, and (V, W) an ‘individual soul’ that arises as a result of therestrictions W. Different W’s correspond to different individual souls. TheAES V is defined in (and, is the empty set in) ALL universes in N. Axioms A2and A3 are in the realm of the foundation of Science and of human thoughtand experience. In some recent work (see, for example [1]), the author isheuristically studying consciousness as a question pertaining to’cognizance’ in a logical system (like, for example, computer soft-ware).Loosely speaking, ‘consciousness’ corresponds to ‘self-cognizance’.(Noticethe ‘self-reference’, or the ‘Goedel-knot’, present here.) It isheuristically shown that the emptiness of V along with its being in alluniverses essentially causes this ‘self-cognizance’. It is further shownthat V is essentially the only entity that has the capacity to be conscious.Thus, it is deduced that entities E in AN have the form (V, W. X).In humans, W corresponds to attachments, aversions, ways of analyzinginformation, etc. The reduced consciousness due to W seems to come from thefact that W causes a ‘packing together’ or ‘confounding’ of objects in U, ina way that the components are not separately retrievable. Theory TK impliesthe ontology as expressed, for example, in the Bhagvad Gita (BG) or the IshaUpanishad. The first line of the latter (‘The Divine’ is Complete there, andcomplete here./ From the Complete, only the Complete emerges./If, from theComplete, The Complete is taken out/ Then, The Complete is still left.) isimplied by V. V corresponds to BG13.12 (…/The All Pervading One isbeginning-less and beyond all concepts, and cannot be called ‘real’ or’unreal’, ‘true’ or ‘false’, ‘existent’ or’ nonexistent’), thus includingthe paths of spirituality both corresponding to the ‘Existent’ approach(Sikhism, western religions, and most of Hinduism) and the ‘Non-Existent’approach (Buddhism, Jainism).Basically, the ‘spiritual path’ means ‘reducing W to zero’, and isindependent of ‘religion’. TK supports the spiritual part of all religions.But, any details of how this deduction is made, is out of scope of thisbrief synopsis. But, the most important fact to note is that TK implies thatThe Divine is One, and is absolutely unconditioned and unrestricted in everyway. The One can seem to be Many, be (simultaneously) formless and withform, etc. It is to be noted that in all religions there are many practicesthat may be called ‘scientific’ (i.e., ‘rational’ (in the context of currentknowledge)). But, there are other beliefs and practices too which, from thespiritual angle, constitute a kind of ‘imprisonment’ and boost the W. Thesemay be symbolically thought of as the ‘horizontal’ or mundane parts ofReligion. Spirituality, then, should be considered as the ‘vertical’ ascentto The Divine. Fighting about religion is a struggle that is horizontalonly; it has no vertical component, and does not lead to The Divine.According to TK, V (The Divine) is in all animate beings leading to theassertion: Love thy neighbor as thyself. TK supports the famous assertionof Krishna in BG18.66 (Leaving all varieties of religion aside, take shelterin The Divine alone. All your ‘sins’ will be forgiven. Do not worry). TheSufi Rumi echoed this in the Mathnavi (The religion of the lovers of God isdifferent from all religions/The lovers of God have no religion, except Godalone). Rumi’s master Shams Tabrez was stoned; so was Al Hallaj who said (inArabic) ‘An-al -haq’ (I am the truth). Jesus said: ‘I and My Father areOne’. Attachment to religious rules led to one being stoned, and the othercrucified. Jesus and Al-Hallaj were not bragging of their greatness; onlytheir soul had exclaimed in the ecstasy that develops as W goes to zero andhence (V, W) goes to V. In this exclamation, they were not trying to asserttheir own greatness (although they, indeed, were very great); when the egois absent, whose greatness could they be talking about? As Buddha said:There is no sorrow like that of the divided house(Dhammapada 101). Indeed,so long as W is there, (V, W, X) is a divided house, and as W goes down,sorrow leaves and ecstasy arrives.The subject of Science and Spirituality is large, diverse, profound,interesting, and most enjoyable. But, for lack of space, the Excitement thatit is will have to be deferred. However, before I close, I wish to emphasizethat I do NOT regard ‘religion’ to be some kind of a handicap. Big parts ofall religions got created in the spiritual attempt only. As one decides tofollow the spiritual path, he/she has to be doing something worldly too.Following a religion at this stage would not hurt but instead would help.The problem arises later, when one gets lost in the forest of belief systemsand attendant rituals on the worldly plane and thus loses sight of thespiritual goal and the ascent towards The Divine (Who is not mundane).Reducing W means reducing the feeling of ‘mine-ness’, even the thought thatsuch and such religion is ‘mine’. It means gathering the nectar ofspirituality from all religions and even non-religious thought systems. Itmeans stepping out of the prison of the mundane part of religion andascending into the Freedom of The Spiritual Realm.REFERENCE1. Srivastava, J. N. (2002) ‘Life Comes from Life: Part I’, SAVIJNAANAM:Scientific exploration for a Spiritual Paradigm. Volume 1, pp. 21-30.Published by the Bhaktivedanta Institute, Kolkata, Rome, Singapore.=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=This publication is hosted by Metanexus Online http://www.metanexus.net. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Metanexus or its sponsors.Metanexus welcomes submissions between 1000 to 3000 words of essays and book reviews that seek to explore and interpret science and religion in original and insightful ways for a general educated audience. Previous columns give a good indication of the topical range and tone for acceptable essays. Please send all inquiries and submissions to. Metanexus consists of a number of topically focused forums (Anthropos, Bios, Cogito, Cosmos, Salus, Sophia, and Techne) and periodic HTML enriched composite digests from each of the lists. Copyright notice: Except when otherwise noted, articles may be forwarded, quoted, or republished in full with attribution to the author of the column and Metanexus: The Online Forum on Religion and Science. Republication for commercial purposes in print or electronic format requires the permission of the author. Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by Metanexus Institute.