Science and Superstitions

Science- The magic which can make everything impossible possible with the blink of an eye and superstition are self-imposed selfish believes, something imaginary yet unimaginable, disbelieves or more beliefs. Science and superstitions are poles apart. Yet they are the two indexes of the same coin. Science compliment superstitions in the same way as reasons compliment assumptions.
Let’s have a quick look at some superstitions with their scientific explanation:
The belief that we should not chew Tulsi leaves is known to all. The science behind this is that the tulsi leaves contain a little amount of arsenic. Thus, chewing directly could result in degradation of enamel.
Ever wondered why in a country like India menstruating women are considered impure? Women were not allowed in the kitchen, temples, mosques or other religious spots. They are not allowed to perform any religious or household duties. The reason is that at that point of time women were comparatively weak because of a lot of blood loss. So they are given complete rest. Moreover, ancient statues maintain certain equilibrium with the atmosphere and may collapse if any disturbance occurs. As women release a lot of blood during this period, they are not allowed inside the temple. Since this may cause a disturbance in the natural equilibrium and result in cracks in the idols.
We all have heard about ghosts residing in Peepal tree. Even today, the myth continues to prevail. But the scientific reason behind this is that the trees used carbon dioxide during the day and releases carbon dioxide at night. So when you sleep under the trees at night, the excess carbon dioxide can make you feel oppressed, which is associated with the feeling of being possessed by some spirits.
We must have heard about many other superstitions in our society such as unlucky black cats crossing roads etc. Some have strong scientific bases while some are just selfish assumptions. Being the modern day’s youth, it’s our responsibilities to respect the knowledge of our ancestors but also say no to selfish beliefs.

Name-Ishita Sarkar
1st Semester, 2020.