Religion’s last refuge in the face of scientific progress

As a result of the rapid advances in science, the explanatory claims of religion for natural phenomena have been all but discredited. But that has not stopped religious people from trying to retain some relevance. Some have taken the tack of arguing that religion ‘explains’ things like the meaning of life that science cannot, a fatuous claim since those ‘explanations’ are simply evidence-free assertions. But others take the position that their ancient religious texts actually predicted scientific phenomena.

The latest entrants into this world of silliness comes from Hinduism and were presented at the annual meeting of the Indian Science Congress.

Professor Nageswara Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, told the ISCA’s special Children’s Science Congress that according to the Mahabharata, a single mother gave birth to 100 sons via test tube technology.

“The Mahabharata says 100 eggs were fertilised and put into 100 earthen pots” Prof Rao said.
He put it to an audience of teenagers that these were early test tube babies, claiming this proved stem cell research was prevalent in India thousands of years ago.

Prof Rao also claimed that the Hindu god Ram used guided missiles that would chase targets, strike them and then return.

The demon god Ravana, the professor further stated, operated 24 different types of aircraft from several airports in his kingdom.

Another participant, scientists Kannan Krishnan from Tamil Nadu in southern India, challenged Einstein’s theory of relativity and Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation on the grounds that neither of the two scientists understood physics.

Mr Krishnan declared that the Theory of Gravitational Waves would soon be re-named “Modi Waves”, after the Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi..

Yes, I can just see the term “Modi Waves” catching on.

Needless to say, real Indian scientists are embarrassed at this outpouring of nonsense at their annual meeting

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.

To be fair, even at the Annual Spring Meeting of the American Physical Society, the organizers would allow any member to contribute a ten-minute paper. These were not peer-reviewed and every year there would some wacky papers claiming to prove all manner of weird things. The conference organizers would put all these papers in one session on the very last day and often the speakers would not even turn up. They just wanted to claim their abstract as a ‘scientific publication’. So it would not be fair to tar the entire prestigious Indian Scientific Congress Association with these two speakers, even if one of them was a vice-chancellor of a major university. Now if they had been invited speakers, that would be a different story and indicate a serious breakdown in standards.

Jesus and Mo has the best commentary on this kind of religious scientific predictions..


  1. springa73 says

    Reminds me of western fringe authors who interpret references to magic in old texts as being descriptions of advanced technology in ancient times, often brought be aliens. Of course these assertions in India are different, but I wonder if there is some cross-fertilization of pseudo-scientific ideas across countries and cultures.

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