Life: Origin ➜ Meaning ➜ Purpose
Most scientific studies and conferences on Life and its Origin are focussed on examining whether life, a living cell, could be a product of complex molecular reactions of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, water, etc. through chemical evolution. However, the present knowledge of molecular paradigm of life alone is unable to fully describe and understand life and its origin. Although scientists can synthesize some basic chemicals in the laboratory which are important components for living beings, the answer to the fundamental question, 'what is life?' is still quite far away. The purpose of the present conference is to examine seriously the deeper insights of life and its origin through the inter-disciplinary approach of science and spirituality/theology incorporating the religious principle that life is a spiritual particle. Also a part of the purpose is to carefully examine the scientific data from the religious viewpoint and to generate some new research projects for the scientific study of life, its meaning and purpose, consciousness, and God.
Mathematics is a discipline used to study patterns of orderliness in the subjective field of human intelligence and thought. Based on sets of axioms and postulates, mathematics gives a structure to the way how individual human awareness perceives, discriminates, organizes, and expresses its own patterns of functioning. Mathematics is certainly one of the most useful and scientifically manageable methods of studying the interface between consciousness and physical phenomena and, therefore, the most accurate scientifically reliable tool in the investigation of the dynamics of consciousness.
Science of Consciousness
Consciousness or being conscious is part of our everyday life, every minute. We know we have consciousness but we do not know about it. What is it? From where does it arise or is it a fundamental aspect of reality. Consciousness is a mystery for all of us even after decades of advancement in natural sciences and medical field. The topic shall involve in dealing with a possible scientific model of consciousness or dynamics of consciousness.
Neuroscience perspective on Life
As time progress towards twenty-first century, one apparent question towers above all others in the life sciences: what is the mind? One of the fundamental mandates of neuroscience is to reveal how neural circuits and brain lead to perception, thought and ultimately behaviour. Recent advancements in neuroscience have shed a light on brain activity and cognitive functions. By using functional neuro-imaging techniques scientists are able to map different functional parts of the brain responsible for the respective cognitive functions. This has opened a new window to understand cognitive functions at molecular and cellular level. By the early twentieth century, the popular notion was that brain and mind were different but advancements in neuroscience propose mind may be some brain phenomenon. In spite of such hinting advancements the question of Mind still has not been answered yet. This topic explores mind from both Neuroscience and age old Vedantic perspectives.
Quantum Physics and Life
Quantum physicists have proposed many theories to explain consciousness using quantum states. Some models link quantum processes and brain function. Some leading quantum physicists try to explain the collapse of the wave function through some interaction of the mind and consciousness. Researchers hope that quantum uncertainty and non-locality could be linked to complex brain states and thus could possibly provide an explanation of our free will. The topic shall attempt to deal with these thoughts and understand the mystery behind life from both Quantum Physics and Vedantic perspectives.
Artificial Intelligence and Life
Is there a link between our faculty of decision making and formal computing machine? Does the concept of Algorithms come as a handy explanation for our cognitive abilities? The topic involves a closer dissection from an interdisciplinary approach that amalgamates concepts from artificial intelligence and computing, biology and laws of consciousness.
Science of Aging
Aging is a uniquely personal as well as universal experience. Everyone undergoes aging irrespective of religion, social status, gender and nationality. Bounded by birth at one end and terminated by death at the other, aging is an integral part of our life. Today, there is a tremendous research trying to understand the mechanism of aging, through caloric restrictions, antioxidants, hormone therapy, telomerase therapy etc. In spite of such attempts we are far from understanding and overcoming aging.
So this topic covers the science behind aging and suggests towards one's end-of-life care.
Is the embryo conscious? What are the various stages of the embryo’s development, from conception to birth ? When is the fetus able to use his various sensory capabilities, especially hearing? How to facilitate the best mental and physical health of the baby in the womb? The topic seeks out answer to such questions in both modern embryology as well as ancient Vedic Scriptures.
Free-will, Responsibility and Human Life
Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very closely connected to the concept of moral responsibility. Human beings have the ability to make reasonable decisions about what to do and what to believe. What is the origin behind free will and what's the precise definition of responsibility and how to engage our free will in the art of responsible decision making? This topic attempts to give a clue to such quests.