Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Unusual Scientist

Grandpa was telling an old anecdote to the little kids. His hands were moving dexterously and celerity was observable in his speech. His face had turned pallid due to age, but his unequivocal style was still young.

"He was very scrupulous when experimenting in the laboratory", said grandpa and continued, "But his students were maladroit kids. They always did something wrong, making the whole experiment useless. His friends had deep animosity with him, and were censorious about his work. Such animosity was palpable among the female scientists for reasons that are still incoherent, and extraneous to today’s story. Although his students were unskillful, his scientific knowledge had made him a little presumptuous and pretentious. Unfortunately, there is no cure for these maladies."

"But isn't a scientific attitude incongruous with an arrogant attitude?", asked the ten years old Bilal.

"Well yeah! But there is always a dichotomy present inside a human being. Scrutinizing human psychology reveals that man is deeply affected by extrinsic environment. Similarly, he was no different from others", said grandpa.

"Now where was I...", continued grandpa, "He was trying to find a panacea for all maledictions. He was an alchemist cum scientist. He was also writing a didactic book on alchemy, but the council censured him for spreading magic in the name of science. They wanted to remove him from their community like they unfrocked the priests. In reality, his didactic book was inconsequential but the censorship made it popular. Such popularity for a book was unprecedented in history. In his cerebral work, he discussed many paradigms of alchemy; he answered all fallacious remarks against alchemy with certitude; and deciphered paradoxes that had remained unscathed for years."

Grandpa continued, "The seminary too had a proclivity to ban his book. They considered it an anomaly to their literature. They commented that the book had inconspicuous digressions which malefactors can use to destroy humanity. On the other hand, the scientific community always faltered to give their reasons to censure his book."

"Hence this book ended the centuries old antagonism between church and science", remarked fifteen year old Mary.

"Yeah! In some sense you are correct. His book was a paragon for alchemy. It was a dike for saving religion and science from magic. It sentineled human cerebral achievements from charlatans and fanatical ideologies. He remained indifferent to science and religion throughout his work, and unwittingly tried to equate science with religion."

"What happened with this man? As his book must be a paramount work for the field of alchemy, what happened with this book? Was he sequestered from the society? Did the indigenous people help him? Was he upbraided for his act? ", asked sixteen years old Ahsan.

"Well he was never chary about his work. His dilatory and indolent attitude and his few prodigal friends allowed him to live a procrastinated life away from the locals. His life was a dilemma, and serendipity had strengthened his faith in fate. He was fastidious about his work, paying attention to every detail. The local did upbraid him", answered grandpa.

"I'm an Inductee in alchemy. It's fatuous for me to ask, but can you summarize his philosophy for us? Are his thoughts feasible in our times? Can a pariah live safely in our world? Can everyone handle profanity without answering it?” asked the twenty two years old Sara in confusion.

"O My God! That's a whole bag of question", said grandpa. His tongue had parched while he continued speaking, "He preached anthropocentrism; an idea that Man is the centre of the universe. I must say that he was quite a bit of dilettante, and wrote is a desultory fashion."

Grandpa picked up an anthology written by the author. The book was serrated around its edges.

"Sometimes he looks feasible and pragmatic; sometimes he seems to be an extremist; while at different moments in the story he seems to be an indulgent vagabond. But it must be said that he maintains a serene and urbane tone throughout the book."

With this grandpa ended the talk about the unusual scientist.

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