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Should Science be reduced to Mythology, with a mix of sychophancy?
When it comes to the tussle between 'Mythology' and 'Science', I have formulated for myself the following working framework:

'Both Mythology and Science, are two facets of the same human quest: Trying to understand the nature of our existence, like - How did creation come about? How does nature function? How did the laws of nature come about? Etc. Mythology delves into the subjective world, while Science studies the objective world. Metaphors are the language of mythology, while Mathematics is the language of Science."

 

I do not think that the elements of Mythology and Science are mutually exclusive. In many areas they can complement each other. Our personal behaviour and moral values are definitely conditioned, consciously or otherwise, by the myths we live by, depending on who our role model is! But our mundane life depends on the products of science and technology.

 

In the 40s, as a school going youngster I used to read 'Captain Marvel' comics. Like the Superman he also used to fly around, and he wore on his wrist a watch-like contraption, on which he could see everything and talk to anyone. Today it would be foolish, if I flash a copy of that comic and claim, that already in the 40s we had devices like Apple or Google watches! Yes, we did have very rich imagination, as reflected in science fiction of that period! Unfortunately, since 2014 with the advent of NDA government, it has become fashionable to pout the glories of ancient India, in the most irresponsible and irrational manner.

 

Biplab Deb, chief minister of Tripura would make us believe that, "Internet and satellite communication had existed in the days of 'Mahabharata'. How else could Sanjaya (the charioteer of King Dhritarashtra in the epic) give a detailed account and description to the blind king about the battle of Kurukshetra? It means internet was there, the satellites and that technology were there in this country at that time."

Another worthy, made us wiser by proclaiming that peacock our national bird, had no sex. Puritanical a nation that we are!

 

All the above could be laughed off as WhatsApp forwards, but for the fact that those who style themselves as scientists are also dishing up such crap! Even under the aegis of the Indian Science Congress!

 

The 106th session of the Indian Science Congress is currently being held at Jalandhar. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. G. Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University astounded everyone, by claiming that, 'India had the knowledge of stem cell research, test tube fertilisation and guided missiles thousands of years ago". He cited instances from Ramayana and Mahabharata!

"We had hundreds of Kauravas from one mother because of stem cell research and test tube baby technology," Rao claimed. "It happened a few thousand years ago. This was science in this country...Mahabharata says, 100 eggs were fertilised and put into 100 earthen pots. Are they not test tube babies? Stem cell research in this country was present thousands of years ago."

Rao added, "Ravana had 24 types of aircraft of different sizes and capacities and had several airports in Lanka".

Kanan Jegathala Krishnan, a senior research scientist at the World Community Service Centre in Tamil Nadu, believed that Isaac Newton had very little understanding of gravitational forces, and Albert Einstein had misled the world with the theory of relativity.

Here was a queer mix of sycophancy and pseudo-science, when Krishnan claimed that Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan will be a bigger scientist than former President and scientist APJ Abdul Kalam! He said gravitational waves would soon be renamed as 'Narendra Modi waves', while the gravitational lensing effect in physics would be renamed as 'Harsh Vardhan effect'.  

 

The trend to mix science with religion and mythology at such august platforms, has resulted in noted scientists staying away. "Indian-born Nobel laureate V Ramakrishnan, a biologist at Cambridge University, had objected to religious ideas being mixed with science. "I attended the congress once and very little science was discussed. I will never attend it again. The idea that Indians had aircraft 2000 years ago sounds almost essentially impossible to me'.

 

Post Script:

 

Vedic period flourished in India, when Europeans were cave-dwellers. The highest speculations about the nature of Creation  (Rg Veda) were being made then. India led in Philosophy, Astronomy, Mathematics, Ayurveda and plastic surgery and other fields. Instead of making irrational claims about our past, we should have an Institute of Antiquity Studies, to study our rich archives and see how that past knowledge can be used for the present good, after separating fact and fiction!

 

For a moment, if we do believe that ancient Indians had internet, knew all about stem cells and test tube babies. We had guided missiles. We had aircraft, which flew in all directions – How does making these claims, help us now? It still leaves us with the largest number of hungry people in the world! We still have people whom we call 'backward', Dalits, OBC, etc.

 

As someone said, those who boast about their past, prove only one thing: That they have nothing to show for the present!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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