A person over possessed by an idea, a theory or a philosophy is likely to suffer from Eddington’s syndrome.
A person over possessed by an idea, a theory or a philosophy.
Refusal to accept what can be repeatedly observed/ proved. Over confidence in one’s own self or in some other person, idea, theory, philosophy. Arrogant approach. Understanding that others do not understand. Preventing the free thinking of other people. Clinging to ideas rather than facts. Selective to certain ideas. Trying to classify science as hard and soft. Thinking that others are idiots. Inability to think in more than one way.
People prone to the syndrome:
Over indulging theists, atheists, materialists, followers of cults, swamis etc.
Libb desperately argues that he does not pull himself up [against gravity] while climbing up stairs but explains that some external electromagnetic forces pull him up. What are those external forces? He further advises1 , “Sekhar, I point you to the Eddington rule to explain why your theory keeps getting humiliated: In short, both your “self-drive” and your “genopsych theory” run counter to the second law, and thus, according to Arthur Eddington, have no choice but to “collapse in deepest humiliation.” Spend some time thinking about this.
Who is this Eddington? He is the guide of the famous Indian scientist Chandra Sekhar [who later got Nobel Prize in1983] who showed that the exclusion principle could not halt the collapse of a star more massive than “Chandra Sekhar” limit. The prize came much later as the hostility of other scientists, particularly Eddington who persuaded Chandra Sekhar to abandon his line of thinking. Indeed Eddington was arrogant and I guess he might have turned in his grave with humiliation in1983.
On the contrary let us see what Stephen Hawking observes 2, “the second law of thermodynamics has a rather different status than other laws of science, such as Newton’s law of gravity, for example, because it does not hold always, just in the vast majority of cases.” Anybody acquainted with statistical thermodynamics which says that “self compressive gas is not absolutely impossible” will agree with Stephen Hawking.
People like Eddington will do harm to science. Hanawalt wrote, “The phenomenon of life may be traced to the coordinated behavior of molecules within cells. The cell is the self- contained and self–reproducing fundamental unit of life…… The molecules in the cells are guided by the same basic laws of chemistry and physics that apply throughout the universe…… The mystery lies rather in the programmed coordination of the myriad of chemical reactions necessary for the metabolic activities of the cells.” The mystery remains a mystery till date despite the advances of science. For some unknown reasons science stopped probing this mystery. The mystery was not pursued because of people like Eddington.
Arrogants like Eddington [despite his achievements] are the cause as to why people like Libb fall from one position to another lower position. First Libb argued that life is a defunct theory to justify the application of classical version of the second law of thermodynamics to living systems, ignoring statistical thermodynamics. Then to justify “life is a defunct theory” he argues that his actions and behavior or not “self controlled”/ “self driven” but are governed by external electromagnetic forces. Arrogance leads to ignorance and scientific blindness as we noted from the example of Eddington and Nobel laureate Chandra Sekhar.
Libb’s science is laced with extreme atheism/materialism and hence his precarious position. Science needs to be kept at equal distance and away from both atheism and theism. I can’t stop but laugh at myself when I think that I am not alive or I am not moving myself.
A theory needs to be built based on the facts and the observations we make. Fitting facts forcibly into an inadequate theory may kink the facts! Lacing science with atheism/materialism leads to vain science.
Interestingly Karl Marx the proponent of Dialectical Materialism used terms such as “class consciousness” and described 3 Human Society as “Self Developing State”. It is mysterious as to why some materialists deny the existence of their own self, consciousness and self development. Understandably Buddha preached 4 not to cling either to persons, things or to ideas.
Kenosis is the remedy. Kenosis 5, 6 is “self emptying” a term used in Christianity and Buddhism. If you want to know about X, remove from your mind what all your were taught/told about X. Then start reloading verifying the data.
 Stephen Hawking, “A brief History of Time”, Bantam Books, 1987.
 Marx, K and Engels, F, The First Indian War of Independence 1857-1859, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1978.
 Sreenivaasa Rao, S. Materialism of the Charvaka and rationalism of the Buddha,
 Thomas, A Harris, ‘I am OK – you are OK “, Sterling paper backs, New Delhi.