Science can be bizarre. While scientists have claimed some pretty impossible things over the years that have been difficult to believe, the 106th edition of the Indian Science Congress held at Lovely Professional University in Punjab, has received quite the backlash.
People took to social media to say how they felt a lot of 'claims' and statements made by some of the speakers were not only baseless but also were pretty much illogical. There were even protests held in Bengaluru against these 'unscientific statements.'
We've compiled a list of some of the more 'unlikely' claims scientists made at this meet. The parameters for these was based primarily on the citation of their research: mythology.
Lord Brahma Discovered Dinosaurs Before Americans or Britishers.
A Panjab University scientist, who has been conducting research on the origins and existence of dinosaurs in India for the last 25 years, has claimed that it was Lord Brahma who had first discovered dinosaurs. He cited the Vedas as his primary source, and explained the meaning of the word 'dino-saur' linking it back to Sanskrit. "‘Dino’ means terrible, it translates to ‘daayan’ and ‘saur’, which otherwise means lizard, is related to ‘asur,’ he explained.
'Kauravas' Were Test-Tube Babies
The vice chancellor of Andhra University, G. Nageshwar Rao, claimed that India had the knowledge of stem cell research, test tube fertilization and guided missiles thousands of years ago, citing tales from the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
“We had hundreds of Kauravas from one mother because of stem cell research and test tube baby technology,” Rao claimed.
Rao said, “It happened a few thousand years ago. This was science in this country. Mahabharata says, 100 eggs were fertilised, and put to 100 earthen pots. Are they not test tube babies?"
"India had missiles. They were called 'astras' Ravana had 24 aircrafts"
Rao, based this theory off Hindu deity Ram, who used “astras” and “shastras” or weapons which would hit targets and return, which was proof that the science of guided missiles was present in India thousands of years ago. One example was the "Sudarshana Chakra."
Rao said the Ramayana states that Ravan didn't just have the Pushpak Viman, but had 24 types of aircraft of varying sizes and capacities. He also had several airports in Lanka and he used these aircraft for different purposes.
"Dashavtar, ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, predates Darwin's Theory of Evolution"
The same scientist also claimed the 'Dashavtar', ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, predate the Theory of Evolution given by English naturalist Charles Darwin.
Rao said that as Darwin stated life started from water the first avatar of Lord Vishnu was also a fish (Matysa). For the second avatar, he took shape of a tortoise (Kurma), an amphibious animal, the third avatar was a boar's head and a human body (Varaha), the fourth was the Narsimha avatar with the head of a lion and human body. He took on the human form of Vaman in the fifth avatar.
“There is itihaas, which is evidence” was the basis of his claims.
"Einstein was wrong. I am a better scientist than him."
Kanan Jegathala Krishnan, who claimed to be a senior research scientist at the World Community Service Centre in Tamil Nadu, said English physicist Isaac Newton had very little understanding of gravitational forces, while theoretical physicist Albert Einstein had misled the world with the theory of relativity.
His guide is ‘Yogin’ Sathyamurthy, a lab technician by qualification, who teaches yoga.
“The 20th century was that of Einstein, and in some years, this century will be the one of Krishnan. It has to be.” he claimed. Krishnan is a management-graduate-cum electrical engineer and not a physicist.
“Why do you need a degree for knowledge?” he further said.
Lovely Professional university also promised their own students attendance and some marks in next semester, if they submit ‘attendance proof slips,’ as a way to get them to attend the 106th session.
These statements have triggered a wave of criticism, with prominent Indian scientists coming out and even wanting to lodge complaints.
People on social media are also visibly not pleased.
India March for Science - Abroad strongly condemns propagation of pseudo-science in Indian Science Congress 2019. Join IMFS-A on Facebook here: https://t.co/qjeYOBJB8I#marchforscience #IndianScienceCongress @drharshvardhan @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/qUdFD0Prhb — Nirmukta (@Nirmukta) January 6, 2019
India, 2019. A complete nutcase Sanghi quack is invited to give a keynote speech at our apex STEM event, the Indian Science Congress. As a physics major, I laughed, then I cried :( https://t.co/XZSUHxRIDa — Prasanto K Roy (@prasanto) January 5, 2019
Forget the jibes for a moment (they are a distraction), what I would like to know seriously is how speakers at the Indian Science Congress are chosen. Why is science low priority at a science congress? https://t.co/9AhrGRwNRg — Sachin Kalbag (@SachinKalbag) January 5, 2019
The Indian Science Congress begins today. Standby for ministers saying dumb shit. — Mukunth 🏳️🌈 (@1amnerd) January 3, 2019
India has a thriving scientific community, from genetics and medical research to rocket science. Their work is undermined and they're insulted when low-grade Hindutva-backed charlatans like this get the dais at the Indian "Science Congress". https://t.co/D7pqyp1aqn — Prasanto K Roy (@prasanto) January 6, 2019