Patna: More than 600 students of Patna Women’s College (PWC) participated in a one-day seminar on Science and Religion with focus on social media and the youth.
The seminar on the theme, “Science in Modern Life: Role of Religion and Ethics” was organized by Xavier Institute of Social Research (XISR) on November 25 in collaboration with PWC and Indian Institute of Science and Religion (IISR), Delhi.
At the inaugural session, Dr. Prabhat Kumar of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Patna said, in the recent development of science, media technology is the branch which affects the youth most. The youth of today are passionately attached to the Internet which has both positive and negative effects, said Dr. Kumar, who is the head of the Department, Computer Science and Engineering, and Professor-in-charge of NIT.
While the Internet is a very useful tool of communication, it has been used to harm society and even frighten society. So there is great need to guide the youth for the right use of this modern gadget, he noted.
In his key note address, senior professor Dr. Fr. Job Kozhamthadam, director of the Indian Institute of Science and Religion (IISR) in Delhi, said a healthy and harmonious partnership between genuine science and true religion can establish a humane and ethical society.
Popular perception still persists that science and religion are opposed to each other, he said.
According to him, the findings of recent research and study by eminent and impartial scholars have proved this wrong.
Dr. Job had initiated the Science and Religion Dialogue Society in India, and is recipient of many national and international awards. Tracing the historical facts he emphasized that genuine science and true religion, far from being enemies, are friends and partners in a common mission.
The seminar focused on the power of the digital revolution, and its impact on the youth. Today’s youth have fallen in the net (hence are netizens) and are connected to the whole world through social media, said Dr. Jose Kalapura organizer of the Seminar and Director of XISR.
In his address on “Digital world, digital media” he said, though religion was skeptical about science, today it makes good use of it for enhancing religiosity, guiding people to God. But there are instances of harmful use of the Internet in the name of religion, he added.
On “Social media, crime and ethics”, Mr. Shashi Kant Pandey, from the Information Technology Department of the government of India, said social media is like a virus which catches the youth today. While one can use it profitably to network with others and acquire knowledge, it is being misused by anti-social elements to commit crimes, create violence, fear and disharmony in society. So, one has to be careful in handling this tool, he felt.
In his lecture on “Genetic engineering and cloning,” eminent scientist and professor emeritus Dr. Nirmal Kumar Mishra of Patna University said, Genetic engineering is a scientific experimentation on God’s creation, but with a huge price.
Also, cloning is unethical. How can we create the spirit in humans which only God can do? he asked. What Einstein said, Science without religion is lame, and Religion without science is blind, is true, he said.
Earlier, welcoming the speakers, guests and participants, Principal of PWC, Dr. Sr. Marie Jessie, said the students and youth of today need ethical guidance on the use of technology, particularly media technology.
Both science and religion should relate harmoniously, she said.
The Seminar enabled the students to interact enthusiastically during the technical sessions. The overwhelming participation of students shows their desire to learn more on the social media and media technology, said Sr. Marie Stuti, assistant coordinator of the seminar.