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    Physicists And Kung Fu Nuns
    By Hank Campbell | November 22nd 2012 10:35 AM | 9 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    What can Kung Fu Nuns teach CERN scientists about cosmic energy?  

    To start with, they would have to convince CERN scientists that 'cosmic energy' actually exists, and they recently got a chance to do that when the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) hosted Drukpa Buddhist's Spiritual Head, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa. 

    In western academic culture, we always see people call Buddhist leaders 'His Holiness' because that is the title but referring to a Catholic Pope as Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church and Primate of Italy is frowned upon - instead we just see griping about Galileo and gay pederasts whenever a Roman Catholic is mentioned.  Contrast that to the Being Human conference I went to earlier this year, which had zero western religious speakers though you could have created a drinking game built around how many times the psychologists and sociologists there mentioned meeting His Holiness The Dalai Lama - and they even had some Buddhist speakers. It sucks being a Buddhist in actual Tibet but since these guys are instead all over the West meeting and greeting the social sciences, it seems to be a pretty sweet life.

    Anyway, CERN, WHO, WWF, the Green Cross and others invited His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa to talk about how scientists and spiritual leaders can play together nicely in promoting global well-being. That means encouraging eastern religion to accept some science so invoking cosmic energy was odd.

    Global well being is nice and all but what is really cool is that His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa brought along a group called The Kung Fu Nuns. Sort of cool, anyway. They sound like they should be starring in a Quentin Tarantino movie but it seems they mostly work in hospital clinics and hold the world record for tree planting rather than ass-kicking, which seems rather tame for a sect whose name means 'Dragon'.

    His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa said,"The spiritual community should be working with the scientific community to tackle today's global problems instead of resisting science. While we may use a different language, we are talking about the same thing and heading in the same direction." 

    That seems obvious and he is doing his part for gender equality, since the Kung Fu Nuns are women and Asian culture is generally still in the 19th century regarding treatment of women. In an American society that worries if math classes are only 48% women and calls an invitation for coffee in an elevator a rape threat, it's difficult to see why so many in academia embrace Eastern religious leaders, but His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa has bucked tradition and is a proponent of gender equality and that is to be applauded.  Four years ago he brought Kung Fu to their nunnery and doesn't make them just wash the dishes and stuff any more.


    Expecting a hot Nunja?  You will be disappointed.  But unlike the Western military, Kung Fu nuns don't get their own special self-esteem-based scoring system for physical tests.  They still have to shave their heads just like the men too. Credit: Drukpa sect

     We're a science site and we want to learn new things, so if you are a Kung Fu Nun in training and have learned to do that Chöd-Dance, please send a video.

    If they really want to be embraced by the West, they should create a television show called The Bachelor: Shaolin:


    Credit: No idea where this came from but it looks like an awesome movie.


    Comments

    I think the Catholic nuns in the U.S. should take up Kung Fu and kick some misogynistic church leader butt.

    It is not a matter of convincing the Eastern Religions to accept some science. It is a matter of pointing out to the scientific religion that Buddhist cosmology described reality at a quantum level more than two millenia ago.

    Why is it that the most closed-minded people in the world are "scientists"?

    If only Buddhist cosmology had predicted the statistical distribution of interference fringes in single-particle diffraction experiments 2,000-years ago... you'd have a point.

    n an American society that worries if math classes are only 48% women and calls an invitation for coffee in an elevator a rape threat,

    It is entirely inappropriate to approach, in an elevator in the wee small hours of the morning, a women who does not know you, and suggest she join you for "coffee" in your room. That you mock that shows more about your character than I suspect you want known. Sad, very sad. One out of every three women in the world suffer rape or other sexual abuse during their lifetime. Your insensitivity to that is frankly appalling.

    Hank
    Your taste for exaggeration and hyperbole is more appalling.  Comparing getting asked for coffee to the plight of rape victims - and using their plight to invoke legitimacy for your weirdo cause - is unmitigated nonsense.  Calling an invitation for coffee the same as rape is most certainly a case of western, rich entitlement.  Comparisons would not be so casual if you - or anyone claiming such ridiculous false equivalence - had ever visited countries where these crimes are as common as getting asked for coffee.
    What utter nonsense and white male privilege you rant. Disgusting. A women alone with a strange man in an elevator late at night has every reason to fear for her safety - the stats on rape and sexual abuse prove that over and over. Your attempt to deride that fear is truly disgusting. No decent man in his right mind would approach a woman in such an environment and invite her back to his room - that you can't see that speaks volumes , sadly, about your character. It is irrelevant, completely and totally irrelevant , whether the idiot in question had nefarious motives in mind - that is utterly not the point, although you seem to want to erect that straw man. Nice try thanks for playing.

    Hank
    You don't get it, because you seem to surround yourself with like-minded, intolerant, agenda-based cranks.  Invoking "white male privilege" is like 'Holocaust denier' or 'damn Yankee', it shows you cannot be part of any normal conversation, everything has to be filtered through your weird, militant prism.  So go do it, science media does not need you, just don't think that the skeptical, critical-thinking community outside your cult is going to be bullied into accepting your stereotypes, labeling and hate speech.
    It occurs to me that the long-range future of Humanity depends on a certain maintenance level of reproductive contact between pairs of adults. Rape, of course, is frowned upon because it's not consensual. But, adults also are trusted to make their own decisions, for good or bad, so we don't go about making arranged marriages. Adults, in theory, are free to consent to reproductive contact at their discretion.

    And so I now ask you, How is it that one adult can request the consent of another, unambiguously, without resorting to plain language? Asking is, I think, the civilized way to go about it. Do you seriously think it's wise to forbid men to ask? And if it is forbidden, then where else would one dare to ask but a place without witnesses, such as an elevator late at night?

    Gerhard Adam
    Regardless of the spin, the guy simply asked if she wanted to continue the discussions which had been taking place downstairs in the hotel, by joining him for coffee in his room.  Much is made of the fact that it was 4:00 AM, but that's irrelevant, since clearly she was out and about at 4:00 AM. 

    Once she declined, he apparently backed off, and no longer pursued the matter.  In fact, he was actually quite cautious in even making the suggestion by stating that she shouldn't take what he said "the wrong way".

    However, people immediately began reading all kinds of subtext into this encounter, which invariably portrays the guy as some sort of predator and this woman traveling the hotel in fear.  It's ridiculous.

    I wonder what everyone would have reported if it was discovered that the guy was gay.  Would this whole thing be suddenly different?  The underlying sexism in this case, is in the presumption that the guy was making a sexual proposal, and that she had reason to be fearful.  Neither of which is true.

    I also wonder if everyone would be so willing to jump on the victim bandwagon if this had been a white male in the elevator who was approached by a black man.  Suppose the request was simply to borrow a few dollars, which the other would return later the next day.  Would everyone say that the white individual was justified in bearing fearful that it might be robbery?  Isn't this playing into precisely the stereotypes that everyone claims they want to eliminate?

    If we are to eliminate stereotypes, then using fear as an excuse for non-threatening behavior is asking for special treatment.  I don't particularly care if it "creeps you out", since there are no guarantees in life to prevent being "creeped out".
    Mundus vult decipi