SCIENCE IN REVOLT – Scientists of India Now Dismissing Einstein’s Theories; Suggesting Alternatives to Currently Understood Models

Source: BBC

Date: January 7, 2019

By: Editor

Image: An Indian scientist said that Albert Einstein (pictured) was wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed “Narendra Modi Waves”

Scientists in India have hit out at speakers at a major conference for making irrational claims, including that ancient Hindus invented stem cell research.Some academics at the annual Indian Science Congress dismissed the findings of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

Hindu mythology and religion-based theories have increasingly become part of the Indian Science Congress agenda.

But experts said remarks at this year’s summit were especially ludicrous.

The 106th Indian Science Congress, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, runs from 3-7 January.

The head of a southern Indian university cited an old Hindu text as proof that stem cell research was discovered in India thousands of years ago.

G Nageshwar Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, also said a demon king from the Hindu religious epic, Ramayana, had 24 types of aircraft and a network of landing strips in modern day Sri Lanka.

Another scientist from a university in the southern state of Tamil Nadu told conference attendees that Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were both wrong and that gravitational waves should be renamed “Narendra Modi Waves.”

Dr KJ Krishnan reportedly said Newton failed to “understand gravitational repulsive forces” and Einstein’s theories were “misleading.”

Critics said that while ancient texts should be read and enjoyed – it was nonsense to suggest they represented science.

The Indian Scientific Congress Association expressed “serious concern” at the remarks.

“We don’t subscribe to their views and distance ourselves from their comments. This is unfortunate,” Premendu P Mathur, general secretary of Indian Scientific Congress Association, told the AFP news agency.

“There is a serious concern about such kind of utterances by responsible people.”

Pseudoscience moves from fringe to the mainstream

Analysis by Soutik Biswas, BBC News, Delhi

India has a mixed relationship with science.

On the one hand, it has a rich tradition of outstanding scientists – the Higgs boson particle, for example, is named partly after an Indian physicist and Einstein’s contemporary, Satyendra Nath Bose. Particle physicist Ashoke Sen, meanwhile, is the recipient of Fundamental Physics Prize, the world’s most lucrative academic award.

But it also has a long tradition of replacing science with myths, leading to a fringe culture of pseudoscience.

Many believe under Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP party, pseudoscience has moved from the fringe to the mainstream.

Mr Modi himself set the tone in 2014 with his outlandish claim that cosmetic surgery was practised in India thousands of years ago.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (centre) inaugurated the event
Many of his ministers followed suit with similar claims. India’s top science summit also started inviting academics with Hindu nationalist leanings who have made equally bizarre claims.

Such claims usually hark back to an imagined glorious Hindu past to bolster religious nationalism. The BJP and its hard line allies have for a long time mixed mythology and religion to bolster political Hinduism and nationalism. Adding science to the mix, say critics, will only help propagate quack science and erode scientific temper.

Also, as economist Kaushik Basu says: “For a nation to progress it is important for people to spend time on science, mathematics and literature instead of spending time showing that 5,000 years ago their ancestors did science, mathematics and literature.”

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1 thought on “SCIENCE IN REVOLT – Scientists of India Now Dismissing Einstein’s Theories; Suggesting Alternatives to Currently Understood Models”

  1. it is true that these so called claims of the Indian scientists are not myths. India had very rich culture and technology rich past for thousands of year leading to millions of years in past. Rich old written records of the science and medicine , lot of them destroyed by muslim invaders during past 1000 yrs , preserved the documented facts. India just didnt were confined to India, but they had spread over all asia, europe and america in older times taking with them the knowledge also. if you see today old natives of america, asia, oceania, share old myths and stories very much told and documented in India.

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