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Claims made in Science might need evidence, says Amartya Sen

Jan 06, 2015 12:35 AM IST India India

Mumbai: Economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has said some evidence is required in the controversial claims made in the Indian Science Congress regarding the achievements of ancient Indians.

Talking to CNN-IBN, Sen said, "The idea that human beings can fly is known to human beings from birth. The idea that human beings might be able to be on the air has been talked about a lot. If that was true, then we would like to find some evidence."

He said Indian epics have also referred to man flying in air but transition to the idea that India had airfare technology is a gigantic step. "As our epics show, Indians have thought about flying for a long time. But it would be fanciful to say that India invented the aeroplane," he said adding that one must distinguish between what is in our imagination and what is there in reality.

Referring to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan's claims, Sen said he did say a lot of sensible things when he was the Health Minister. "If ancient India had airfare technology, we would like to see some evidence. I agree there are a lot of claims that have nothing to do with achievements."

He said the golden age of Indian mathematics begins around 5th century with Aryabhatt and Bhaskar. "It's not as if there is nothing in the Vedas," he said.