Swamijis and Science

Dear Spiritually Enlightened Person on TV in the mornings (and late nights),

I must first thank you for sharing your wisdom and understanding of the human condition with the masses. In the frenetic rat race we call urban life, your skillfully presented nuggets of common sense, wrapped in insightful readings of mythology and scripture, provide a small yet valuable window of time for people to introspect.

But I have problem when you pontificate on the impact of modern science and technology on the masses. So far, every one of you seems to belong to the camp that has declared technology to be the bane of our contemporary lives. You declare modern medicine to be a sham and urge people to value spiritual truth over scientific veracity, as if both of these were mutually exclusive entities. So I am afraid I am going to be a little blunt here.

By perpetrating the falsehood that scientifically verifiable truths are somehow inferior and trivial, you are being disingenuous. Science is a method, and technology, one of the tangible outcomes of applying that method. Like any subject of knowledge, there is nothing inherently good or evil about science. It’s what you do with it. Nuclear Bombs or mobile phone induced attention deficit disorder, it’s human choice, a behavioral flaw that you, with your insight into human nature, can effectively help address. But instead, what I find is this half-baked dismissal of science and technology on the whole, continual urgings to believe in mysteries and sadly, repeated warnings to not question certain religious truths. Every time an elderly relative of mine tells me with glee “Can your science explain this?” and point to some random occurrence of nature, I cringe and can’t help wonder how much your daily morning preaching on TV contributed to his cyclically reaffirming faith in the mysterious.

The other fallacy you often perpetrate is this whole “In those days…” nostaliga thing. While it’s important to appreciate the contribution of the past, our collective tendency, happily cheered on by you, to somehow believe that our glorious past was this paradise of peace, knowledge and pushpaka vimaanas serving gourmet meals in economy class, sweeps under the bed the harder to digest lessons of female infanticide, women’s rights, caste bigotry and gratuitous violence. Give credit where it’s due, but please do send the collection agents to defaulters once in a while.

So in a sense, you reinforce the average person’s convenient misconceptions (and ignorance) about the laws of nature. By dismissing scientists as being vain characters who have not come anywhere close to deciphering the mysteries of the cosmos, you are revealing a stunning ignorance of the advancement of human knowledge from a geocentric universe to dark matter, Quasars and Supernovas. By dismissing modern medicine, you conveniently ignore the shots of polio vaccine you likely received as a child that probably kept you from belonging to the infant mortality column, a rather common occurrence in those days incidentally. Life expectancy has gone up by almost 20 years (at least in Urban India) primarily because of better neo-natal care and advances in geriatrics.

Last but not the least, sitting in front of a television camera, a technological marvel that began its journey with Anton Van Leeuwhenhoek’s use of lenses for microscopy onwards to Galileo’s telescope, to John Logie Baird’s contraption to capture moving images, and speaking into a microphone, where vibrations from your voice causes a capacitor to generate an electric current proportional to the nuances in your voice, to transmit it across a wire that, along with the video signal, is amplitude and frequency modulated and beamed up to a satellite that was launched with a deep, mathematically precise understanding of escape velocities and embedded with gadgetry that takes your message and beams it to the world, your dismissal of science and technology causes me, and anyone with even a smidgeon of understanding of science to say – “WTF?”

swamijis-science

Or, as Lollu Cat would say in such situtations,

lollucat1
photo © James Jones for openphoto.net CC:Attribution-ShareAlike

Pray, this is not arrogance speaking. Scientists question each other openly without fear of religion style recrimination, and also continuously build on each others knowledge. Your knowledge of human nature comes to you from your own keen observations and the abstraction of such knowledge over history by philosophers who used symbolism in the form of mythologies to embed such key observations. The symbols in our epics are memes, much like Lolcat is. In an era when we need a all-round understanding of both the scientific method and the spiritual truths about human nature that are so beautifully woven into the fabric of our mythology, you are doing, rather literally, a half-baked job. So if you are going to pass judgement on science, please do so after first understanding what it is. As the professor of calculus once said – “If you can’t differentiate, don’t integrate”. You are all extremely intelligent people. Not misrepresenting the scientific method is not that hard. Till then, apples and oranges please.

Actually, I am not asking you to just consider science and spirituality as apples and oranges. I’m really saying that I prefer Panchaamrutham. At the moment, you are discarding perfectly healthy oranges.

Update: The above-mentioned spiritually enlightened godman who wasn’t a fan of science was undone recently by an apparatus involving CCD sensors, some flash memory and a battery. Just FYI

164 Comments

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  1. actually, i cannot accept your claim that the fellows (not religious conmen mind you) of the sort you have shown in the picture actually make people like your aged relatives believe that science is worthless. i think these people believe in it, and have believed in it for a long time. they are only looking to amass evidence to support their views. as in, if a fellow doesn’t like how another fellow looks or behaves, then he will try to amass evidence just to brand him a traitor/no-good, irrespective of how the other fellow is. your relatives are only looking for arguments in their favor, to support their firmly held beliefs that science<<religion.

    and also, i must point out that the voice is not converted to electrical signals by a capacitor as you claim. it is done by a piezoelectric crystal, or a transducer. i know its a silly point, but for the love of science…

    Ashok: Sangu, you have a point but I was referring to , the one kind of microphone that is pretty common in studios. A transducer is a generic one-type-of-energy-to-another device

  2. My My, till I read the first comment I really thought that we have lost a big scientist to the blogworld! 🙂 It is high time for you to learn about Piezoelectric crystal! BTW your serious posts are as good as the lighter ones (This was a serious one, wasn’t it?).

    But I think both science and religion are equally hopeless 🙂 !

    Destination Infinity
    Ashok 🙂 Not to nitpick, but not all microphones use piezoelectric crystals. Only crysal microphones use them. Capacitor microphones use well…capacitors 🙂

  3. Good post.

    Because of the same ignorance of science that you mention here, most of Indian religious heads are not critical where they ought to be with modern science (like lack of ethics on the commercial application of certain technology such as GMOs). For many of these Swami’s anti-science is a fad as much as anti-religion is for others.

    But, there are more serious religious heads who do talk about the dangers of modern science with understanding for certain reasons (Rev. Samdhong Rimponche to name one). We need to take their views seriously and don’t dismiss them too in our generalisations.

    Ashok: Agree. In fact, that’s exactly what I wish these TV gurus would talk about. All they do is reaffirm people’s ignorant misconceptions about the world by misrepresenting science

  4. Lovely! A nice, serious, well thought-out post that made a really good point with the panchamrutham analogy right at the end.

    For some reason, these people believe that wondering about how the world works is an affront to their beliefs about why it does. I don’t see the point. Maybe God came up with gravity. I mean, if you’re creating the universe from scratch, that’s a mighty powerful building block to have. And to come up with it all by yourself is a pretty nifty piece of work, Supreme Being or not. And we’re not even getting started on quantum physics.

    My only crib is that it was more serious than furious 🙂

    If you haven’t seen it before, search youtube for clips of George Carlin’s standup acts and listen to some of the stuff he says about religion. Outstanding stuff!

    ~ramsu

  5. Great post. Though I disagree with the bit:

    “You declare modern medicine to be a sham and urge people to value spiritual truth over scientific veracity, as if both of these were mutually exclusive entities.”

    “Spiritual Truth” has indeed nothing in common with scientific veracity, except by coincidence. One values how good a proposition feels, the other, how consistent/factual it is. The two may coincide at times, but that is incidental.

    People might be interested in http://nonspiritual.net, a portal for collecting critical information and pseudo-scientific claims of Gurus and Metaphysicians around the globe.
    Ashok: Harmanjit, I guess that would depend on how we define spiritual truth. Scientific truth is easier to define 🙂 If you read “A hero with a thousand faces” by Joseph Campbell, most mythologies/scripture from around the world have common symbolism, that of man’s journey from birth to adoloscence to death. Those symbols are, for all practical purposes “statistically” and “scientifically” true observations, except that they are woven with the fabric of myth to help them traverse millennia, because myth makes them transferrable memes. That is what I meant when I said that spiritual truths and scientific truths are not that incompatible. On the other hand, Deepak Chopra style co-option of “Quantum Physics” to make vague generalizations about mind and body is, as you say, a “feel good” thing, but at the end of the day, shallow fakery

  6. @ above: u said u differed, then re-iterated what KA meant.
    Great blog. Majority of my software colleauges have a BE degree. 80% of them believe that science is fraudulent, Indians flew in Pushpak Vimanas, all modern inventions including nuclear bombs were invented by Indians and then copied by Europeans. They offer no explanation for how all this science and tech simply vanished without a trace. They think that historians implemented a successful conspiracy to suppress all these “facts”.
    The most outrageous thing is that they earn their living thru a technology that developed from scientic study of vacuum tubes. They ride in buses, cars, trains, planes.
    Another crazy thing is 90% of Indian BE grads dont know what is scientific method ; or the difference between observation and proof-based systems and belief-based systems.
    Their brain is split into water-tight compartments. They havent heard of holism, if they do, they will dismiss it as an anti-Indian conspiracy..

  7. I am a silent follower of your blog. I’ve come out of hiding to say: this post is well written, witty and you’ve clearly thought this out very logically. I really liked it. Keep writing!

  8. Hear hear!

    There might always be questions “science cannot answer”, but science is the set of questions to which we do have definite answers!

    Einstein said:

    One thing I have learned in a long life is that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike… and yet, it is the most precious thing we have.”

  9. a sidelight : in the early 80’s, Indian youth were rational, and believed in science. A certain group ( unfortunately, a commie group )went round villages doing science demos and debunking superstitions . The the Master Plan of a certain party unfolded– 1986 Ramayana serial, 1988 Mahabharatha serial ( by now Indian society travelled several centuries into the past and settled down there ) , 1990 … etc. Now the youth are totally brainwashed and illogical. Vasthu, gemmology, and numerology have spread like wildfire , with equally destructive effect.
    Logic should be compulsarily taught from grade 3 onwards, all over the world. Powerful vested interests have prevented this from happening.

  10. Good. Good.

    God. Spirituality. Religion. All combined to one big mess. People tend to see the three as one; rather one leading to the other. And in the same vein, science is seen as this huge black hole that simply swallows the three and burps a smelly burp. And, of course, they aren’t to be blamed.

    All three, if they exist at all, at best, would IMO share a single line of intersection. Apart from that – all the three could and in fact should exist mutually independent of each other. Science, again IMO, is trying hard to explain these things; not necessarily defying the existence, trying to demystify it instead.

    Religion and God have been the cause for more destruction than anything else. Technology is just a tool which has been used to reach the desired result. In fact, digging deeper – I think the root cause for all things in life is the want for power. And that; is an inherent human tendency – can’t really help it, can we…?

    I think all will be solved when the Planck’s puzzle is solved…

  11. “Scientists question each other openly without fear of religion style recrimination, and also continuously build on each others knowledge”

    Actually not. Most mainstream scientists are actually more dogmatic than the evangelists we seen on TV. Have you heard Richard Dawkins speak? He battles for his brand of half-baked science using straw man arguments by pitching his ‘yet-to-be-proven’ evolution theory against Christianity’s Creationism conveniently ignoring the vast in-between spectrum consisting of hinduism, buddhism, advantaism (neti-neti), alien origin theories (Zecharia Sitchin), Talbot/Bohm’s Hologram theory of Universe, Matrix/Virtual Reality theories etc.

    The SEP’s on TV are mostly insufferable bores, but generally provide a more varied compass of possibilities that exist in the universe than most scientists who adopt a frog-in-the-well approach rejecting everything that they are incapable of observing through their instruments as scientifically invalid. I would even go further and say that modern science is more religious than religion itself.

    http://www.gatesofhorn.com/blog/the_religion_and_dogma_of_science

    Ashok: “Yet to be proven” evolution is not quite correct. There is ample proof for evolution, and the body of evidence is growing every day. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ and “frog in the well”? Who are the ones gazing at galactic clusters using the Hubble deep field? TV swamijis? I don’t quite get your point. Picking a few dogmatic scientists to support your viewpoint sounds like a strawman to me 🙂

  12. Son,

    It is the very thing that you mock that is compelling you to write this post. Why else, do you think you were destined to write about science today? Does your science have the power to make you believe in superstitions? See? I knew it! Science it seems.

    (But seriously, do these Babas/Babis actually, openly preach against science? And call it evil, minus any subtleties? Would love to watch this if there’s any of it is on YouTube! :D)

    g

  13. Nice post Ashok. Nicely articulated.

    “You declare modern medicine to be a sham and urge people to value spiritual truth over scientific veracity, as if both of these were mutually exclusive entities. ”

    Comments like these from religious babas makes me wonder how much of it is motivated by seeking the truth and how much by the desperation to survive in an increasingly scientific and rational world where their their source of income, sustenance and power are threatened.

    I think religion and science are in fact mutually exclusive, because one is based on testable hypotheses and evidence while the other on superstition and faith.

    “By dismissing scientists as being vain characters who have not come anywhere close to deciphering the mysteries of the cosmos”

    Isn’t it ironic that people who make the most absurd claims about the universe and try to explain the mysteries of the cosmos based on three-thousand year old fairy tales, actually dismiss scientists as fools and “rascals” (people like the late prabhupada )

    “You are all extremely intelligent people”

    Hmmm..are they? 🙂 I have my doubts..and based on what..regurgitatiing age old myths?

  14. I watched that video “Drop Intellect and materialism” in youtube , and i wonder how poor their actual scientific knowledge is , to note a few, Ashes and old cow are waste – useless (he better consult a chemical engineer or a biotechnologist).

    I agree with a point of nitwitnastik “motivated by desperation to survive in an increasingly scientific and rational world where their source of income, sustenance and power are threatened” …
    from time to time with the scientific advancements, the language of babas has changed (adapted) . They started using the words “Frequency” (especially after the advent of FM radio) , “Energy” (related to cosmos- cosmic energy – dark energy) etc.,

    Btw: that paragraph of capacitors and microphone is awesome, i was searching for the full stop ( pulis taap ) in between.

  15. When I was reading this post, honestly, the only thought that was going on in my head was – some Swamiji got Krish real bad. I don’t think I remember such a pointed attack by you on anyone in recent times. Pokes, yes .. but in this post you were invoking the holiest of engineering-astras.

    I hope some hi-tech koojing, blogging, mukha-pustak-ing Swamiji logs on to represent the view point of Swamiji’s the world over.

    Irony is, he would have lost his case when he types the first word 😉 !!

    P.S. I want to say I like the new theme, but I was used to the old one better. The blockquotes on this ones seem humongous.

  16. Just as you ask these people to learn more about science before calling it a sham. Don’t you think you have to know more about our civilization,culture and mythology before commenting on them( I am referring to your earlier posts which had references to Ramayana and other Avatharas) I am in no way defending all these people who oppose science. All I’m saying is that Science and religion go hand in hand. I know you are going to put this argument down with a witty comment. But there must be some truth in our Culture to have lasted for so many centuries.
    Ashok: Actually Adi, I cherish our mythology and culture. My love of these stories comes from a childhood listening to my grandmother tell them. Nowhere have I dismissed them as being shallow. My satirical interpretations are merely a part of a rich tradition of diverse readings of epics. Me making fun of Rama and glorifying Ravana is not an insult to the epic. On the contrary, there are folk versions of that epic that do take a Ravana centric view. My (albeit silly) reworking of mythology to discuss contemporary issues actually is ample proof of the fact that these stories are indeed timeless and the meme is very strong. On the other hand, the TV swamijis I refer to actually encourage ignorance of the scientific method and distort facts. So your comparison is a little unfair. Secondly, I think you are conflating swamijis on TV with something as broad as “culture”. Of course our culture has lasted many centuries. Cultures often tend to do that 🙂 Chinese culture has also lasted as long. These guys on TV preaching mysteries and ignorance cannot lay claim to be guardians of our culture and I dont think we must make the mistake of assuming that they somehow are more authentic

  17. @essbee, adi :
    Scientist, historians, and archeologists
    ( in general, most academics ,in any field )work long hours daily . They are among the most hard-working ppl in the world.
    In olden times, Scientists were brilliant ppl surounded by frogs-in-the-well. Scientists deal with real observations, facts, numbers, calculations. They have overthrown their own scientific theories whenever observation, facts, mathematical, and logical deductions led necessitated new theories.
    Copernicus started a revolution in the 15th century. Galileo did actual experiments using an inclined plane to study falling objects. Newton’s ( and several others’s) work led to exponential growth of science in the 18th and 19th centuries. There was a simultaneous growth in technology.
    Again in early 20th century scientists revised their world-view based on quantum and relativity theories.
    EVOLUTION THEORY HAS BEEN CONCLUSIVELY PROVED. The fossil evidence is overwhelming. Even the biggest charlatans dare not deny the fossil evidence.
    Man has landed on the moon . Can you explain that away as imagination, or a gigantic hoax? Many sensation-hungry ppl unfortunately do so.
    One should study the history of science and technology b4 making absurd statements. Science, history, archeology deal with FACTS . They have always done so.

  18. @adi

    “Don’t you think you have to know more about our civilization,culture and mythology ”

    Why do they “have” to know more? None of the one you mentioned above are scientific subjects. What does knowing about civilization,culture and mythology have to do with science?

    “Science and religion go hand in hand”

    How? One is based on evidence and the other on faith.

    “But there must be some truth in our Culture to have lasted for so many centuries”

    Kindly throw some light on “must be some truth in our culture”? I agree that we have a rich heritage and I am extremely proud of it but just because a culture has survived doesn’t mean there is some truth to it. It’s like saying that just because sharks have existed, more or less in their present form, for about a 100 million years they must possess some divine truths.

  19. lovely!

    apples and oranges and discarding perfectly healthy oranges.. I believe they are discarding perfectly healthy apples. Apple has been associated with science since newton’s time.. but then the apple falling leading to discovery of gravity is probably a myth and fits religion well. So oranges it is… great piece!

  20. Krish,

    Nice post. In addition to explaining the hows of nature, Science could even help us in building our character. see Carl Sagan’s video on Pale Blue Dot.

  21. 1. Great to see a post without a looong wait.
    2. Seriosu post also – your writing is very good 🙂
    3. You have answered to many comments as well – oru dhabaa kai kudu saami neeyee, hum itna badaa fannu, bol bolku thak gaya so main 😉
    4. My paati always has one answer, ‘oru erumbu srishtichi kaami’ – the discussion with most people from ‘in those days’ time goes off to such random discussions 😦

    like this, please keep writing with minimum time gaps betwen posts 😀

  22. Two people I know are actually representatives of the said swami (in youtube screenie) and run a blog about his teachings. I find the writings too effusive about the swami. But they are actually research engineers! So, not sure how that works.

  23. Well, the most powerful, technologically advanced nation in the world has a problem accepting Darwinism, in the 21st century! Apparently many schools in the U.S refuse to teach the theory of evolution even today. Check this out – http://www.historytoday.com/MainArticle.aspx?m=33170&amid=30264952

    Religious fundamentalism and cultural jingoism are not restricted to India… they are globally prevalent diseases. Preachers in America promoting creationism are no less fraudsters / half-baked theorists than the chaps that you talk about.

  24. Ok. So you constant tirade against religion now is belaboured and tiresome. It looks like since you aren’t following any religion and you want to somehow despoly justify yourself.

    First of all I dont care about these long-haired religious people. Nor do i ever listen to them. But it is a joke to assume that in the science world things are “always open to debate and fiercly debated” and in religious world there is recrimination.

    Science people (even less educated people such as you) take some sort of intellectual high ground and mock religious people and launch a tirade against religious people who mind heir own business.

    In science world – espcially in research – if you go against the estabishment – your career can be screwed in a few days. So dont talk about recrimination here. Do you think anybody can publish a properly documented and logical paper _against_ green house effect and global warming. Witch Hunt dhaandi avanukku. There was a HBS guy who pointed some scientific evidence which sort of tangentially referred to women’s weaknesses. he lost his job.

    And in religion all people do is debate peacefully and win people over in arguments. they don’t build atom bombs and nuclear bombs. Dont build bio weapons. In a religious war its technology that destroys people.

    So stop with the holier than thou attitude. Science is no more better than religion. Both are in parallel worlds operating with similar levels of horridness.
    Ashok: Kuppuswamy saar, first of all, welcome. Would you like filter coffee? Or a spot of tea. Second of all, I believe we are in agreement when both you and me concur that these long haired TV swamiji types are worth ignoring. Third of all, edhukku saar so much ad hominem attackings (in summary I am “despoly justifying and less-educated”) ? Nowhere in this piece do I disparage “religious people”. My beef (in fact, filet mignon) is only with these semi-ignorant types who dismiss science without understanding what it is. I am not even dismissing those guys’ interpretations of myths, scripture etc. I dont really care as long as they dont use their TV platform to actively encourage a distrust of science. I am not even debating the fact that human frailties do play a part in the scientific establishment as well, but where is your sense of perspective? Who am I mocking in this piece, except those TV jokers? If these swamijis were minding their own business, as you claim they do, they would STFU about things they clearly have no understanding of. Do you see IIT professors dissing Lord Rama on NDTV? Or actively urging people to trash advaita? And last but not the least, let’s not even get started on your “in religion all people do is debate peacefully and win people over in arguments” claim.

    1. Dear Krish ashok,

      One question did you ever see an indian swamy question heliocentricity? I would like to know. Coz In india, Heliocentricity was the only the known theory.

  25. Krish, the post has a ery tongue-in-cheek Kamalesque feel to it.. ‘Give credit..defaulters’ was so spot on! Coming from the lending industry myself, it felt good to hear someone speaking the language!

  26. Those ‘oldies’ who argue against science asking absurd questions like ‘can u explain the smell of cow dung??’ are those who want to be able argue equally with the well educated ‘ingineering’ fellows. They take the anti – science stance only because they feel insecure about their lack of scientific knowledge and the stance of spirituality alone gives them a safety cover. It’s just their jealousy coming out in different forms . No one can question topics related to spirituality. They wud simply say ‘Unquestioning obedience’ is required for salvation . There you lose.

  27. Brilliant post. However, I feel your English is at rather too high a level for the ones who simply MUST read this post. Perhaps you could try to have a simplified version published in a some widely read newspapers…?

  28. A very serious post for KA. Some pearls of wisdom such as

    “if you cant differentiate, dont integrate”! made my day. Thanks

  29. 1. ok, i really wasn’t going for ad hominem there. But your constant obsession with this topic has robbed the sheen of this blog. It almost looks as if you want the system of religion to fail for you to feel good about yourself. the following isn’t something new im about to say. inga anga blog’la padichu porukkina logic dhaan but it resonates with what i feel.

    2. I believe we are in agreement when both you and me concur that these long haired TV swamiji types are worth ignoring.

    idhe dhaane avanum solraan. He is asking people to ignore science based folks. Science people scoff at religion all the time and nobody has read any scriptures or know anything about religion. But they feel they can put it down. This long hair A/c room type swamiji also is doing the same thing.

    3. In general, I cringe at B.E types who claim to be people of science. Software coding and B.E have as much to do with science as agama shastras. Just because someone has read school and went to college does not mean they can comment on everything. It is almost as if people want to justify their eductaion to be of some worth.

    let’s not even get started on your “in religion all people do is debate peacefully and win people over in arguments” claim.

    4. I wasn’t going for shiv sena types here. More like Kanchi mutt “periyavar” types and those vaishnavaite gurus who are never seen in the media or TV. Isn’t it Twain who said 99% of everything is worth throwing into the garbage and the other 1% is worth preserving? Same here, 99% of science people are software engineer types who can’t solve a non-linear problem. And 99% of religious people are shiv sena types who cnat recite a single slokam.

    Ashok: Just as a refresher in logical fallacies, “ad hominem” refers to attacks on the individual instead of critical analysis of what he has to say. And so far, despite your stated intentions of “not going for ad hominem”, you are still swimming in it 🙂 First of all, you make these spectacularly invalid guesses about what I “want” (“I want to religion to fail”, so you claim) and also make unnecessarily speculative assumptions about my motivations (“I like to feel good by doing this”, so you assume). And as an icing on the cake, I am still, despite your stated lack of preference for ad hominem attacks, a half-educated BE software type poseur who comments on things he does not fully know.
    So, in that light, I really fail to see how we can have any sort of debate. Whether or not I can solve “non-linear” problems is irrelevant to the central point of this post, i.e. the misrepresentation of science by TV swamijis. You can use the search box on the sidebar to verify if I have made any ignorant dismissals of “periyavaar” or others.
    Now let’s get to your points, and I request you to take note of how I address your points, and not your qualifications to make them. Just to reiterate, doing that is exactly what “ad hominem” is.

    1. Your claim that TV swamijis are, in essence, doing a tit-for-tat is a little dubious. I’m not much of a TV watcher, so I will plead ignorance here, but kindly do show me an Indian scientist who is doing the equivalent of what these TV swamijis are doing. Show me an example of a TV savvy Indian scientist who takes a profound spiritual principle and misrepresents it on a daily basis. So before you make precise statistical claims (99%, you say), show me the data

    2. You say that you were not going for the Shiv Sena types. I also presume you were not going for the VHP types. Or the Bajrang Dal types. Or the Ram Sene types. So you really were going for the humble, profound types. Good for you. But then, what really seems to be the problem? I make no misinformed dismissals of them of their teachings.

  30. @kirti Indian “Oldies” were much more rational and forward-thinking in the 70’s and early 80’s, when they were young . From the late 80’s, fundamentalism spread like wildfire, consuming ppl of all age-groups. from the late 90’s onwards, anti-rationalism, anti-science, superstition, Vaasthu, numerology, and gemmology , swept across India in a tidal wave, alongwith the explosion of the IT sector, which is based on science and tech . Curiously enough, our backward thinkers are ok with IT, probably they have relatives in
    IT .

  31. @Kuppusamy: Your admittance of ad hominem devoids you of all objectivity. If you have something of value and rationality to say please do, otherwise it is better you do not use such ad hominems against Krish Ashok.

    Let me address some of your concerns in your comments:

    Concern#1: It almost looks as if you want the system of religion to fail…

    Response#1: Religion has already failed and is now hanging around like litter dirtying up the place. Religion failed to prove the earth is flat (read bible/koran) and that the sun goes around the earth. Religion also failed to prove the value of prayer. The faithful are getting killed everyday or being served injustice by the more fortunate/powerful faithful people.

    What rationalists like Krish Ashok or Myself would like to see here is religion to be a criteria for decision making in the society, especially in the government. We do not want politics and religion to mix, unfortunately thats precisely what is happening in this nation.

    Concern#2: “Science people scoff at religion all the time and nobody has read any scriptures or know anything about religion.”

    Response#2: Wrong, atheists/agnostics/rationalists/skeptics are usually more well read on scripture than theists. If we did not read scripture and find out the absurdity in scripture we would not be atheists in the first place. Go on and quote which religious scripture you want to be disproved and i will attempt my best to do it here. I’m extremely well read on the bible, largely well read on the quran and to a minor extent read on the Gita. I find the logical absurdities + pseudo-scientific absurdities + self contradictions + violence and discrimination unacceptable in scripture and such a material should not be the model for a moral code of conduct in our society. Try and defend any scripture from this position of mine and im quite confident i can bring up instances of religious atrocities justified by the very scripture you read, any scripture. The last time i checked science book never asked to kill + maim + rape + discriminate anyone. I would like concrete examples with proof (links, reference material, documentation) on how science as a theory or concept or entity is exclusively responsible for social problems of today.

    Concern#3: “I cringe at B.E types who claim to be people of science” & “Just because someone has read school and went to college does not mean they can comment on everything”

    Response#3: If an qualified + certified engineer cannot claim to be a product of science or if a college or school student who studies all subjects of science and is tested upon them every other day then who is the product of science who can answer questions and comment on life and the concepts revolving around it. Can you please answer and also justify that answer?

    Concern#4: “99% of science people are software engineer types who can’t solve a non-linear problem”

    Response#4: What exactly are you trying to prove here? Yes, we agree incompetency exists in the scientific profession. Not all swamiji’s are famous? Some are televangelists and some sit on the road with a hundiyal? So what?

    The whole point of the article the way i feel is this…

    1. People are starting to look at life my deliberately ignoring evidence that is available in front of them. Despite the fact that we know less of medicine means less of cure, con-jobs like homeopathy in the name of “alternate medicine” is making millions of dollars living out of placebo’s alone and cheating mankind, massively on the whole. See where this is leading to???

    2. Scientific process is based on evidence and testability of that evidence constantly. Science can tomorrow disprove the theory of gravity if there is a better explanation of ‘what goes up comes down’ factoid of life. Religion will not rewrite its scriptures and claim “gays, lesbians, homosexuals and transgenders are okay and normal to be accepted”. No they won’t, that’s religion. Unquestioned obedience despite the fact that every evidence points to the contrary.

    By purposefully ignoring scientific fact not only harms the individual but the human race and also other life that has to co-exist with the human race on the whole.

  32. dilp,

    you are exactly the mediocre B.E type that i was ad hominem’ing about. With half-baked knowledge in both science and religion. Don’t respond on behalf of krish ashok it does him significant injustice. you are the science equalant of these hi-fi swamijis who blabber about science.

    And it takes about 20 years to study all the shastras, scriptures and upanishads. you can’t in the next 3 lives even hope to master it let alone refute anything. right know you know as much aout religion as much as those Tv swamys know about science. first some self-awareness please. so please konjam respect others intelligence and keep the amateur arguments to yourself.

    Krishashok,

    I understand the ad hominem subject is distracting. When I get some time i will respond hopefully without ad hominem.

    1. if there are three lives that is… 🙂 but, I can bet on one thing. This war of words between religion and science can never get fiercer and more violent than the blood war between religions..

  33. @Kuppusamy: Hmm… you dont address any of my questions and you call me half baked. Im glad you atleast accept your arguements are ad hominem, that makes them invalid.

    Secondly, im not a B.E type. I graduated in commerce and studied computers to be a software engineer which i found to be my area of interest and passionate about. I’m one of the best when it comes to what i do in my profession and it took time to be that.

    It does not take rocket science to understand the claims scripture makes is absurd. For your kind information, i was chairman of ISKCON club at highschool for 2 years and cleared 14 exams on the Gita. I do not however read the gita and research hindu scripture like i do with the christian scripture for my personal reasons. Hence i don’t claim to be an expert on the indian scriptures. I do however know the scriptures well enough to be aware of its short comings. Born in a brahmin family, i grew up around scriptures and spirituality all of the time, so please refrain from your assumptions of my scriptural ignorance.

    My question is describe “Self Awareness” in your own terminology. I’m aware of myself physically and mentally. I know what i can do and what i believe in based on what evidence. Your “Self Awareness” claim seems ambiguous to me.

    Secondly, validate how my arguments are amateur. Please describe how im factually and logically inaccurate with adequate evidence and references.

    Lastly, I WILL respond to anything you write in here. It’s called freedom of expression. I personally know Krish Ashok as a good friend and i will not stop responding until he asks me not to. I think for myself and i speak for no one but myself. If you have a problem with freedom of speech, i recommend you re-think your strategy in a decent public conversation. Get some help if you need but you have no right to ask other people to refrain from commenting in a free and open public forum.

  34. @dilip, ashok

    “you are exactly the mediocre B.E type that i was ad hominem’ing about. With half-baked knowledge in both science and religion.”

    OOh La la..talk about ad-hominems..the way kuppuswamy keeps throwing “BE types” around…someone may soon mistake it for a new type of blood-group found especially amongst Indian engineers !!

    “And it takes about 20 years to study all the shastras, scriptures and upanishads.”

    it would take more than 20 years to read all fairy tales in this world..and probably only a minute to understand newtonian gravity ..does that mean fairy tales are true and gravity is false? what does time to read a subject have anything to do with the truth itself…

    btw did kuppuswamy spend 20 years studying the shastras..if not, why is it I wonder, he feels so inclined to argue for it..

    Btw, watch out ashok…the smoke-free, steroid-free, ad-hominem-free comment cometh …

  35. Guys, why get personal. Keep the discussion objective. I clearly don’t see a way to judge the world in black and white.

    Disclaimer: I am not well read in these matters at all…and I accept it. My bad.

    Anyway. IMO, Religion and science aren’t too far apart.

    Religion – is more like a code of conduct. It spells, in the common good of humanity, the DOs and DONTs in society. It was supposed to act like how the constitution of our country is supposed to. In itself, it doesn’t promote anything except goodwill. It is being interpreted by you and me. So, in a way, it is like science. It depends on who uses (interprets) it. Vedas, I suppose, spoke of mathematics and complex calculation – which was much before humankind defined science as we know it.

    The problem with us, in general, is we see people as religious OR scientific. Why, I can’t fathom. Everyone is agreeing that all scientists are not Einsteins and all religious readers are not a Shankaracharya – so, what is the contention?

    Do we mean to say we don’t need a religion? Or do we not need science? Science is just a method. A tool used to define and make us lesser humans understand and comprehend what occurs around us. Anything and everything can be classified under it. I hope we appreciate the vastness. But it is not an elixir to all problems. There are equations which Einstein and Hawkins couldn’t solve. Science can’t trace back time before the BIG Bang. We do not bother, because we can’t comprehend infinity. We can’t deny the existence of God, just because Science can’t prove it. Science has to mature, we have to learn.

    I am not saying God exists, but not being able to prove existence does not mean god doesn’t exist. He may or he may not. Taking up religion, is a very personal matter and I think we should respect that.

    Telling religion is absurd is like saying science is destructive. So, peace. Krish-ji … I think you need to take an avataram here and put things into perspective.

  36. Didn’t have time to read through the discussion and comments (I got thrown off when “ad hominem” occured somewhere in the comments), but my view is that the scientific method is now our best bet for enabling constant dialogue on the nature of reality, as well as for ameliorating the conditions of so many humans who live in poverty, ignorance and with social issues. Philosophy has unfortunately been hijacked by religion and spiritual metaphysics and the theoretical views held by some of the philosophers of the European renaissance, although at times whimsical, put the individual ahead of a “God”.

    The only bunch of people who have actively confronted the hypocritical evangelists you allude to, who use the tools of science to deny science itself, are the atheists, and unfortunately, the word “atheist” itself has become a dirty word, rather than commanding respect for someone who has the tenacity to question all that is fed to them. What doesn’t help is the fact that the faith wars and the cultural clashes which we see in the monotheistic faiths of the west and the middle east have resulted in a sort of polarization of public opinion about faith into the existing, popular faiths, with the precepts of fundamentalism and secularism taking centrestage, rather than the spirituality of those religions, which may probably have allowed for greater intellectual freedom, as it allows people to be creative and perhaps eventually warm to the cold logic of science.

    Perhaps the greatest tragedy in human intellectual history is the hijacking of morality by religion, and the subsequent disappearance or contextualization of personal freedom. As one of my friends said, “Religion has run its course, we need to do better”.

    If those of us who are in need of a philosophical abutment to rest the pillars of knowledge and morality, they need not look any further than what the scientific method has revealed to us, in the same spirit of wonder that the earliest religious ideas formed and were postulated into the kernels of our religious traditions, but in a spirit of exactitude and reason which belies the intellectual history of humans but probably suits our common desire to survive as a species.

  37. @avinav

    “But it is not an elixir to all problems. ”

    And religion is? why hasn’t then religion been able to solve our problems since it’s inception..

    “There are equations which Einstein and Hawkins couldn’t solve. Science can’t trace back time before the BIG Bang.”

    I humbly ask, can religion do that either? Unlike religion, science does not claim to be infallible. Theories are constantly being modified and discarded based on evidence. But atleast science has the humility to accept it’s shortcoming unlike religion which confidently claims that it is right, inspite of the hundreds of contradictions found in religious texts. And abt the big-bang, it is your assumption that the religious version is true.So how does religion have better answers than science?

    “We do not bother, because we can’t comprehend infinity. We can’t deny the existence of God, just because Science can’t prove it. Science has to mature, we have to learn.”

    It is impossible to prove a negative. Science cannot prove the existence of unicorns or fairies either. Does that mean we start believing they exist too? The onus of proving that God exists lies on the believers and not on the ones who deny. And till now, believers haven’t been able to come up with any evidence to convince non-believers otherwise

  38. @Abhinav: I respect your opinion but i beg to differ. I will validate why i feel so…

    1. You are 100% right when you say “Religion – is more like a code of conduct. It spells, in the common good of humanity, the DOs and DONTs in society”. You are on the point. Which is why religion is a problem. The reason why it is so is because religious values were framed ages back at a time when….

    a.) Homosexuality was a sin
    b.) Disobedient children were stoned to death
    c.) When you conquer a land in war, you killed all non virgin women, raped virgins and killed all men and children and took their possessions.

    I’m confident that you as a sane and civilized individual disagree with the statements A, B & C above to be practically implemented in real life, now at present. Guess what? The people blowing up buildings, the people beating up women because they go to a pub are all right. They’re right on the basis of their scriptures because their scripture tells them the place of the woman is at home to feed the child and clean the house.

    I sincerely disagree with “Religion and science aren’t too far apart”. It is evident that they are fare apart. Religion talks of creation, science talks of evolution to explain the diversity of life. Science relies on evidence and testability of that evidence. If there is better evidence to support a different view, science will admit ignorance and change its course to the better alternative. Religion cannot change course. Religion by design is described to be “perfect” to the core and changing it would disprove the “all knowing”, “all powerful”, “omnipotent” god concept.

    Secondly, there are 1000’s of different flavours of different religion around the world who claim to be the sole truth and everything else is false and ascertain this fact with their own scripture. There are not different versions of any tested and provable theory. The theory of gravitational force, The theory of Evolution, The theory of general relativity are all one across the world. Why? Because we can see and we can observe them and you and me can test them first hand to prove it.

    The very fact that science can be proved wrong if produced enough evidence (and it has been earlier many a times) describes the modesty of science when religion says “I know everything” and “You shall burn in hell forever” if you question or even challenge any concept of religion that you cannot understand.

    Religion simply put is in 3 words “Thou Shall NOT!”. Science on the other hand is “Why NOT?”

  39. Everyone,

    This was not a post against religion. It was simply a request to TV swamijis to refrain from misrepresenting the science. Really speaking, if some one has point of contention, it should be that these swamijis are “justified” in doing what they do. And so far, everyone seems to agree that these charlatans need to be disregarded. And pretty much the rest of the conversation has been tangential to this.

    Kuppuswamy (I’m guessing a.k.a Mylapore Maami, at least from the IP addresses), feel free to discuss what you want. I usually don’t censor anything, even ad hominem, personal attacks on others. But it does tend to distract from your main point.

    Dilip, I dont think a comment thread on a frivolous jalsa/jilpa blog will really settle the rationalism vs faith debate. That’s an age old debate that’s seen a lot of water flow under its bridge (or lack of one). Perhaps we could do a private Skype type Oxford format debate, with moderators etc, just to satisfy ourselves.

    One last thing: Perhaps we are all getting stuck at this whole issue over one’s “right” to question or challenge anything. Regardless of qualifications, degrees and experience, I think the right to question is fundamental. One’s question may end up displaying ignorance, and perhaps explaining “how” the question is ignorant will help us conduct conversations more civilly.

  40. @Krish,

    Well said. It is the right to question things that seems to be the point of discussion here. I’ve never seen so many people comment against you personally for any blog post of yours on this Jilpa blog, with the exception of this one. I find it irrational that a mere questioning of religious concepts churns out such criticism when sexual, racial and ethnic minorities are being discriminated everyday justified by religious scripture which is a fact we are all aware of that no one wants to question.

    I did not intend to speak on your behalf, i will clarify that again and yes we shall speak in person offline on this but i feel the need to raise an objection when someone demeans a rational system of looking at life i.e., the scientific method and believe doing things written in a book will get you unsurpassed access to 72 virgins in the sky.

  41. Before I comment, let me say I am not the “B.E” type or the even worse “Marketing type” but more of the “PhD” type in Math.

    ” 1. But it is a joke to assume that in the science world things are “always open to debate and fiercly debated” and in religious world there is recrimination.”

    I see. Can you back that up with evidence ? If science is not open to debate, then we would all be living in a geocentric universe and life would have been created in 7 days. I can cite a 100 other circumstances where the open nature of scientific process has produced some stunning discoveries.

    Stop with this nonsense about science world and religious world. If you really want to go with that, please tell me what has the religious world produced of any help. Science answers some of the fundamental questions of the way nature work and physicists are working on answering more of it.

    And no, studying 2000 year old shlokas and scriptures does not tell me that the Milky way and the Andromeda galaxy are going to collide with each other in another five billion years nor does it tell me that the strong force in the nucleus of atoms holds all matter together.

    “2. Science people (even less educated people such as you) take some sort of intellectual high ground and mock religious people and launch a tirade against religious people who mind heir own business.”

    I see you are living in some dream world. Please read the current news and see how religion is snooping into the private lives of everybody where it has no business.
    I think you need to clarify which religion. I am assuming you one of those “Hinduism is Da religion types”. All your claims are void if you look at it from the point of view of Christianity or Islam.

    3. “In science world – espcially in research – if you go against the estabishment – your career can be screwed in a few days. So dont talk about recrimination here. Do you think anybody can publish a properly documented and logical paper _against_ green house effect and global warming. Witch Hunt dhaandi avanukku. There was a HBS guy who pointed some scientific evidence which sort of tangentially referred to women’s weaknesses. he lost his job.”

    You have to be specific here. “properly documented and logical paper” does not prove anything. Did you read the paper ? Have you seen the evidence presented against global warming ? If not, stfu.

    “And in religion all people do is debate peacefully and win people over in arguments. they don’t build atom bombs and nuclear bombs. Dont build bio weapons. In a religious war its technology that destroys people.So stop with the holier than thou attitude. Science is no more better than religion. Both are in parallel worlds operating with similar levels of horridness.”

    What exactly are you trying to say here? Winning people over in what arguments? Again, you arguments are null and void with respect to the monotheistic religions where forced conversions were the norm.

    Both are parallel worlds for sure, but one is definitely making human life better and more fulfilling.

  42. watay panduranga’s box you opened ba!

    btw I could help but asking and nobody got this doubt. Is the afore mentioned person a he or a she so that I will know to comment with abuses on mother sister wife or father, brother husband…

    long hair, bindi(ladeej) = she
    dress(sherwani)=he

    plz clear the confusion!

  43. @nitwit Nastik: I like your pseudonym. 🙂 But pray, why do we have to see the world in 1 or 0? Did I say religion is an elixir? Why assume this OR that? Who knows, religion and science may together be the elixir…! I am not in support of ‘one is better than the other’ line of argument. As a ‘student of science’, one cannot rule out the negative, can you? Science as a method DOES NOT in any sense deny the existence of god. I use god merely as an example, not in direct relation to religion. But, all the same – there is much more to religion than can be justifiably discussed here.

    @Dilip: No two entities are different. All is one. One is all. Aham Brahmasmi. How can science and religion not be the same? Your statements A, B and C are mere interpretations. One can never tell what they mean. These varied interpretations are the ones that act as the religious ‘atom bombs’…And, please appreciate the fact that Science is a method. It can’t be right or wrong. Like nothing else can be right or wrong.

    Frankly, I do not know what religion is constituted of? And if it is indeed written and dictated by god, seeing the world as is today, I am sure there has been a massive misinterpretation…

    Just for the records – I am not really a religious fellow. I do not believe in idol worship, but at the same time, as a human respect people who do. I can’t stand religious fanaticism in the same way I cannot stand the use of nuclear weapons. Both science and religion are in place for the betterment of humanity. In its debate of which is better, there is nothing but a nett loss.

  44. imisai arasangala…podum…enamo religion, enamo science….neenga nambalena en ivlo discussion….just the usual krishashok psycology of trying to mock the not so popular side, but that makes the blog intresting though…porathuku inda kuppusamy vera…gummi adichitu irukaru…enaku swamiji yum venam scienceum venam, edo inda ulagathula vandoma, vazhndoma, ponomanu illama….velaiya parungappa…

    btw, i thot u wud upload some nice photos of ur trip….

  45. @Abinav: Certainly not. You fail to see all the evidence i pointed out. Science is a method and it can be right and wrong. That’s the whole point! A method can be flawed or it can be right. Religion demands it cannot be wrong at any cost. Can you give me one instance of religion, any religion that claims it was flawed and it needs to correct itself in modern times? (for math sake lets say since 500 A.D.)

    “Aham Brahmasmi” is a Hindu terminology. It is so vague it does not mean anything. Simply claiming everything is everything does not make any sense. Life is all made up of matter, so what? Does the upanishad talk of anti-matter or dark matter that scientists have been researching off late? I guess not.

    Please use logical constructs and not point to vague, meaningless religious terminologies when discussing science. Please give me examples of how religion as an entity has helped mankind move forward as a race that no other method (especially the scientific method) is completely incapable of?

    Science is about analyzing evidence. Evidence points out that nothing is in the sky above us. Religion tells us heaven is above us in the sky. Religion also tells us that an angry dad (shiva) could cut off his son’s head (ganapathy) in anger because the latter intervened during the formers love making with his wife whilst entering his wive’s bathing chamber.

    Common sense tells us that even a baby elephant’s head wont stand on a human body no matter how fat/large/strong the body is because the elephant head is too heavy. Scientific knowledge acquired from using telescopes that look as far as 14.3 billion light years away from us in all directions, also tells us these gods are not found in the skies up in a place called heaven.

    Science takes every opportunity to disprove religion/mythology. It is obscenely evident that science and religion cannot co-exist and hence the clash. Its either science or religion. The problem with us humans is we try to mix both. We take our morals from religion and use scientific tools to implement them. I could only wish it was the other way around.

    1. Superb…Mindblowing…Waata Comparision..WaataEnn Argument..
      So..what next…The Govardhan episode ??? What ‘ll u search there..The mountain or the finger???

  46. Its sad to see that as usual you choose to question the Hindu way of doing things.
    Is that because its easier to attack us ?
    I would like to see you do one about the Christian evangelists screaming themselves hoarse.But I know I wont see that ever.
    As for the Swamijis,All they’re trying to do is perpetuate their religion and their way of thinking
    Ashok: Vidya, your first misconception is that these TV chaps represent one, singular “Hindu” way of doing things. That is incorrect. There is a stunning range of diversity in Hindu philosophy, including for that matter, the Charvaka skeptic philosophy. Now, secondly, the argument that attacking evangelists and jihadists will somehow make us feel better is a little dubious. It’s no different from a kid saying that he is justified in breaking the flower vase because his younger brother broke the TV. My not pointing the bleeding obvious in the monotheistic faiths of our time do not lend credibility to them at the cost of debasing the Hindu faith

    1. Yeah i am still waiting for a jilpasura tale for Christmas, Ramzan etc. I am sure you are more than well informed

  47. @Dilip – Define religion. Define science.

    @Rest – I know, the main post is not about religion at all; as Krish has repeatedly claimed. But, what the heck – makes for some interesting discussion.

    @Krish – Post something real funny, real soon…! 🙂

  48. I guess, krish would have anticipated that he is touching the bee hive by writing this post, 🙂

    anyway , discussions are needed for the people to enhance their knowledge …

    @dilip

    I agree with many of your points, and i am obliged to make one clarification,

    Quran: 079:030, He made the earth is like “dahaha” (egg-shaped).
    Quran doesnot say earth is perfectly spherical, but says that earth is little oblate in shape 🙂

  49. @Vidya: Please feel free to visit my blog. I question the christian and Islamic way exclusively and im not afraid. Its not about which religion can be questioned, its about why religion should not be questioned and considered critically like we question and consider everything else critically in life.

    I can question and critique your taste in music, your taste in food, your dressing habits or your likes in movies. You would constructively debate me and provide logical answers as to why you like them and why they are better than the others. However when i question your (by you i don’t mean you as an individual but generally every theist on the whole) religious beliefs for validity, somehow religion becomes above all questions or unquestionable al-together. Do you see my perspective? Why the partiality?

  50. @Dilip

    You’ve a absolute right to debate religion just like anything else.
    But what you need to remember is religion and I think more than that faith is not very rational.
    So you may’ve your questions,But I may not always have the answers.

  51. Yawn. Why is it that any post/article that has religion or faith as one of its beliefs generate cliched, myopic and sometimes inane debates? Most such debates become contentious, marked by quarrels and ad hominem remarks and even false philosophy elevated to the position of purported wisdom, with science-religion tussles beaten to death. I just have this fool’s hope a large number of people who want to have half-cooked debates online on religion will just give up. No offence meant to anyone here, just a sense of dissatisfaction about the internet evangelists or armchair philosophers/anarchists/thinkers in general, who believe more in internet chest thumping than logic.

  52. Ka,
    The voice you have raised, has only addressed and accused the mosquito for the spread of malaria, and must perhaps direct some flaw in the direction of the stagnet water too! Attitudes and philosophies are formed by the people we associate with. Where there is demand there is supply! Do our education or mass media provide a catalyst of change? Is there any social medium that will give directions to people who wish to have a short cut or a crashcourse to philosophy while at the same time massage a culturally unified ego? A few lesser voices will not change the tone of the louder noise that is in the society!

  53. @Rayees: It’s quite easy for me to pick out a verse from the Quran which explicitly states the earth is flat. You have been given a verse in the Quran which is cherry picked to vaguely resemble today’s scientific fact which is not acceptable as Quran being scientific, simply because it is not. The earth is a sphere, it is not in the shape of an egg which we all know. So if Allah was the true god, why would he be so absurdly silly enough to make a mistake in defining the very earth, the every very molecule that he created, controls and owns so vaguely incorrectly?

    Please allow me to explain why the Quran thinks the earth is flat. Its not easy to discuss scripture without quoting it. Again, scripture is vague so ambiguity is common, pls bear that in mind.

    Surah 071.019 – Nuh NOAH – ““‘And God has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out)

    Spread out like a carpet, clearly is an indication that the Quran thinks the earth is flat. A carpet is flat and using a carpet to define how earth is created is evidence enough to prove the quran thinks the earth is flat. The bigger picture though is the Quran is contradicting itself. Either one of them is true or false. Either the earth is egg shaped (which is also wrong) or the earth is like a carpet (which i find is humorous).

    Which one of the Quran’s verses is right? If one is right and the other wrong then why is the other wrong? Because this is supposed to be gods book. God is infallible, so his words should be no different. Why does allah’s book talk so vaguely about the shape of the earth? Why can’t it just say its spherical in shape and be precisely accurate, after all religion is scientifically accurate, isn’t it? (or supposed to be)

    Additionally, the Quran also thinks mountains act like paper weights that will save the earth (which is flat) from flying away. It clearly states below…

    Sura Al-Kahf (18:47) – And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away (like clouds of dust), and you will see the earth as a leveled plain, and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.

    So in essence the Quran says one fine day when all the hills/mountains are removed we shall see how plain and flat the earth is and all of it will be taken into heaven.

    Once again, even if you state the first verse is true still the Quran merely says its shaped like an egg. There are millions of varieties of eggs from different reptiles in this world. Each of different shape and different size and composition. Why the vagueness? Why is the Quran so generic? Its gods word and its gods book. God is infallible. Why cant god answer a kindergarten question quickly and accurately about earth that he created in the first place?

    I have other verses too like the sun orbiting in its own orbit and god preventing the sky from falling on our heads (no, im not kidding) so on which is applicable only if the flat earth theory is true but i wish not to spam this thread with such irrelevant verses.

    I think i will refrain from posting more of these here since i feel we are diverting away from the original topic krish discussed here. Its about rationality. If you do feel the need to continue the discussion please feel free to leave a comment on one of my relevant discussions in my blog and i’d be happy to continue a meaningful conversation.

    1. \\Sura Al-Kahf (18:47) – And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away (like clouds of dust), and you will see the earth as a leveled plain, and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.

      So in essence the Quran says one fine day when all the hills/mountains are removed we shall see how plain and flat the earth is and all of it will be taken into heaven\\

      Dilip, I pity your ignorance. We say Chennai is a coastal plain. Does that mean the earth is flat? The verse in the Quran explains that when the mountains are destroyed by the Almighty, you will see the earth as a plain. It no way means that the earth is flat. Is this how you interpreted other subjects? I can give you the translation of the same verse in Tamil assuming that you understand it:

      47) (நபியே!) ஒரு நாள் நாம் மலைகளை (அவற்றின் இடங்களை விட்டுப்) பெயர்த்து விடுவோம்; அப்போது, பூமியை நீர் வெட்ட வெளியாகக் காண்பீர்; அவர்களை ஒன்று சேர்ப்போம், (அந்நாளில்) நாம் ஒருவரையும் விட்டு வைக்க மாட்டோம்

      I’ll leave it to you to understand and interpret.

      Krish, apologies again.

      1. @Naz: I hate to do this but why not? Only fact is that it becomes a useless fight after one point of time. Here comes the response nevertheless…

        “see the earth as a leveled plain” -> point blank description. Words are explicit. It does not say we shall see the earth as a plain field of land, it says “leveled plain”, what more can u look for? It screams flat earth all over.

        A reading here would be a great start to see how the logical fallacies of the quran are blaring.

        The earth is also a fixed place.

        “27:61 Is not He who made the earth a fixed abode, and placed rivers in the folds thereof, and placed firm hills therein, and hath set a barrier between the two seas ? Is there any God beside Allah ? Nay, but most of them know not!”

        Fixed abode? What is allah referring to? He created the earth to orbit the sun and also revolve around and he now says fixed abode? Is he that naive?

        The Moon has its own light.

        “71:16 And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp ?”

        I’m actually tired of quoting the Quran as illogical. Let me also quote the quran to be sexist in nature.

        “And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess” – basically rape as many women you catch as captives in the land you wage war on. Fantastic, ain’t it?

        And finally the best example of sexism ever from lo and behold the holy quran.

        “4:34 Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.”

        Do i need say more? Women are under men cuz men are made better? Does not allah know that all humans start as XX on the chromosomal front? (XX represents female, XY the male) Somewhere down the line the rouge Y chromosome kicks in and takes over the make us all the XY, the modified version of the original XX chromosome.

        Ever wondered why men have nipples? We don’t use breasts to lactate, why then nipples? So in essence, men are derivations of women and not women derivations of men like allah says.

        Is this the book we want our children to read and derive our morals from? I don’t think so.

        I can keep adding 100’s of verses here but it wont make my point. I bet Quranic scholars will find one way or the other to invent theories to validate the claim or misinterpret what is being said in the Quran.

        Its not just the Quran, its the bible and Hindu scriptures that have as much blood on their hands like every religion has.

      2. I again pity your ignorance and your inability to understand. Please note, my intention is not to fight either. I just wanted to clear the false claims that you put across against my faith. If you are so immature to call this a fight and make it ugly, I can only pity you. You have only come across with additional Quranic verses and have said nothing about my explanations to your allegations.

        \\Fixed abode? What is allah referring to? He created the earth to orbit the sun and also revolve around and he now says fixed abode? Is he that naive?\\

        Fixed abode just means it is a place for you to stay. If you could use you ability to understand, you will notice about what Allah has mentioned about the barriers He has set between the seas. This has been only recently discovered right? Again, a Tamil translation to make you understand better:

        (61) இந்தப் பூமியை வசிக்கத் தக்க இடமாக ஆக்கியவனும், அதனிடையே ஆறுகளை உண்டாக்கியவனும்; அதற்காக (அதன் மீது அசையா) மலைகளை உண்டாக்கியவனும் இரு கடல்களுக்கிடையே தடுப்பை உண்டாக்கியவனும் யார்? அல்லாஹ்வுடன் (வேறு) நாயன் இருக்கின்றானா? இல்லை! (எனினும்) அவர்களில் பெரும்பாலோர் அறியாதவர்களாக இருக்கின்றனர்

        Where does it say the earth is fixed and it does not orbit the sun? Is it your inability to understand plain English?.

        —-

        71:16: “இன்னும் அவற்றில் சந்திரனைப் பிரகாசமாகவும், சூரியனை ஒளிவிளக்காகவும் அவனே ஆக்கியிருக்கின்றான்.

        “71:16 And hath made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp ?”

        The Arabic word for the sun in the Qur’aan, is shams. It is referred to as siraaj, which means a ‘torch’ or as wahhaaj which means ‘a blazing lamp’ or as diya which means ‘shining glory’. All three descriptions are appropriate to the sun, since it generates intense heat and light by its internal combustion.
        The Arabic word for the moon is qamar and it is described in the Qur’aan as muneer, which is a body that gives nur i.e. light. Again, the Qur’aanic description matches perfectly with the true nature of the moon, which does not give off light itself and is an inert body that reflects the light of the sun.
        Not once in the Qur’aan, is the moon mentioned as siraaj, wahhaaj or diya or the sun as nur or muneer. This implies that the Qur’aan recognizes the difference between the nature of sunlight and moonlight.
        —– Need I say more?—-

        About marrying the captives: yes, it was allowed in the early days and of Islam and is certainly the most successful way of eliminating slavery. The masters, by marrying the slaves become obliged to certain marital responsibilities. If according to you this was encouraging slavery and rich men exploting them, you could have seen the same slave market even today among the Muslims, which is fortunately, not true.

        —–

        \\Do i need say more? Women are under men cuz men are made better?\\

        The verse simply means Men are made physically strong and are usually the bread winners of the family and women should protect their assets and guard their secrets. For a detailed explanation, please read: http://islamicresponse.blogspot.com/2008/07/allegation-that-islam-prescribesallows.html

        ===

        The verses you have quoted and the allegations that you put forth are not something that just ‘you’ have picked out. These are commonly used by people who want to spread the wrong information without properly understanding them. It is the same religion Islam, which allows a woman to divorce on her choice, to remarry after that or the death of her husband, to get a dower for marriage, and absolutely no obligation to spend on the family even if she is a millionaire. Men and Women in Islam are not equal, but equivalent.

        \\So in essence, men are derivations of women and not women derivations of men like allah says\\

        Any proofs for this? Or is it just your ‘perception’?
        —–

        Krish, I am tired of making apologies, thanks for allowing my comments here.

      3. Dilip, \\Words are explicit. It does not say we shall see the earth as a plain field of land, it says “leveled plain”, what more can u look for? It screams flat earth all over. \\ can you look into the Tamil translation of the same verse? I have given it below in the comments. Please understand, the Quran was revealed in Arabic and you should not say based on single translation and claim that this what the Quran says. The Tamil translation says: “vettaveliyaaga kaanbeer”. Does not earth mean clay? A piece of land too?

        About the link you have given: it is clearly a hate website. And there are refutations to those allegations you claim in the links Ive given you. I dont have to say more. You can take almost everything you want from Islam and give it an interpretation in your own ways. I dont have to say more.

        Dilip, I would suggest you to learn the Quran and the Hadith properly, without referring to these hate websites if your intention is only to learn than to belittle our faith. We are not fighting here, I am only trying to make you understand your false interpretations.

  54. @krish

    I think even if this is one post, the discussion about religion is always a welcome thing..so please don’t feel apologetic for stirring the hornet’s nest..I think you are doing a great job asking relevant questions..it’s exactly this lack of public discussion that is allowing superstition and blind faith to spread like wildfire..our goal is not to solve the problem of religion vs science but to prod people to step out of their comfort zones and think more about their positions and then let them arrive at conclusions..I wish we had more such dicussions

    @avinav

    Glad that you like my pseudonym. I think dilip has answered your comment so I don’t feed the need to repeat them

    @vidya

    “Its sad to see that as usual you choose to question the Hindu way of doing things.
    Is that because its easier to attack us ?”

    I think that is the same old cliched every-one-is-singling-us-out-for criticism type of appeal to emotion that doesn’t really answer the arguments against religion in general or any religion in particular..the muslims say..”oh, no one says anything about the jews but everyone attacks us” the christian and hindu says..”everyone attacks us and vilifies our prophets because we are softer targets and don’t take to the streets like the muslims”..but think about it ..does that really answer the questions against religion..would playing the victim card really stop people from pointing out the absurdities in every religion? If you really have any argument ..please point them out and we can discuss them..playing victim doesn’t really do much…

    @dilip

    you blog link seems to be broken..can you plz post it again?

    1. @nitwit nasthik: My domain had expired because my web-service provider was a jackass who did not renew it in time. I fixed the problem myself, my blog is up and running now. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. The link should work now.

  55. I once spoke to a scientist in ISRO who said that during launches, large numbers of them recite the vishnu sahasranamam…paradox innit?
    Ashok: Not really. As long as “Shuklaam…” is not used directly to calculate rocket trajectory and escape velocities, it’s really OK 🙂 The individual’s private/personal beliefs have nothing to do with science. In fact, some scientists believe that it is their faith that helps them be successful at science. Whether that is neurologically valid or not is for someone like Vilayanur Ramachandran to answer. I also wont be surprised if they chant the Vishnu sahasranaamam during the actual launch of a rocket, praying for its success. Then again, as long as they are doing some of the more necessary things, like checking their monitors, making adjustments and tweaking settings, the rocket will probably do pretty well. “Science” might tell us that prayer has no more of an effect than plain ol’ chance, but it wont tell us “dont waste your time on prayer”. Science does not provide advice. It provides grounds to justify one bit of advice over another. The actual judgement comes from human beings, and beyond the rational limit, it becomes dogma.

  56. When Laplace presented his “Celestial Mechanics” to Napolean, Napolean asked him why there was no mention of God in the book. Laplace replied that there was no need of that hypothesis for his work.

    I wonder if it works the other way around.

  57. What is this. You know how long it took me to reach this comment box? As long as the time taken to travel 3.14 Light years!

    I think just because a few aspects have science have caused harm it doesn’t mean Science as a whole takes us into deep shit.
    Just because 1 Swami appeared in TV to speak against science, it doesn’t mean All Swami’s do that.
    I guess You would probably agree with this fact mostly.

    I am sorta fascinated at how they relate Quantum Physics with the Mind and Spirituality.

  58. Krish,

    Ok. So let me try something here. If I were to put your post + comments in generic terms, without reference to anything in specific, this is my attempt at it. Please let me know if I have captured the essense of your post.

    Practictioners of a system should not disparage practioners of another system or another system itself. They should not misrepresent another system. Misrepresentation can occur through (i) questions or (ii) blanket statements that sound like truth. It occurs when

    (a) said person does not know what they are talking about (and so should STFU)
    (b) person is really ignorant,
    (c) person is intolerant of other points of view,
    (d) person really really really believes/wants to believe that only their system is correct and everything else is wrong,
    (e) Person has not read the other system as much as a practitoner of they other system has and does not even know how long a full-time formal education in the other system takes (I don’t know it so I will dismiss it as useless),
    (f) person does not respect and severely underestimates the value of the other system to this world and so pooh-poohs it (a dervative of (d) above),
    (g) person has been screwed by the other system so has an ulterior motive to have a go at it.
    (h) should know to differentiate between “apples and oranges” and shouldn’t judge another system using the standards, logic, terms and conditions of their own system, which may have no relevance in another system’s world.

    Have I accurately summed up your thoughts on this issue?

    P.S: This comment is directed at Krish only. Others please excuse.

  59. Kuppusamy,

    Your summary is correct except for one critical detail, and I suspect that particular point will pretty much define this debate. Your summary presumes that “Science” is a system of belief, and therefore you are justified in putting it in the same basket as the many thousands of religious faiths that mankind has followed since time immemorial. Science is not a system of belief. It is a body of knowledge that comes from a cycle of observation, hypotheses and rigorous testing. And that is one seemingly minor, yet critical point that we must not ignore. This is not about the “superiority” of science over religion, it’s ridiculous to frame the debate on those terms, so you make a disingenuous point when you define a tit-for-tat model between one system of belief and the scientific method. Sure, there are dogmatic scientists, heck there’s even religious scientists, but their dogma or religion has nothing to do with science. On the very same lines, you can argue that the TV swamijis do not represent the essence of say, the Upanishads.

    Now, don’t mistake me. I’m not saying that science is above question. Of course not. But dismissal without rational questioning is exactly what I’m accusing these TV swamijis of. We don’t quite see scientists saying “Now we do a Fourier transform and lo behold, the Upanishads are invalid”, because that would be ridiculous. Those scientists, you can comfortably ignore. James Watson, for example, was a brilliant scientist, but he was also a nasty person in terms of his opinions on race etc. The DNA part is the science. His personal crackpot opinions, notwithstanding.

  60. Don’t get me wrong here – I am not a big fan of these Tv swamijis and pretty much despise the fancy people.

    1. Your summary presumes that “Science” is a system of belief

    No it does not. It only presumes that science is a system. Nothing more nothing less.

    2. Now we do a Fourier transform and lo behold, the Upanishads are invalid”,

    I do see people who do this – this comment section included. They aren’t scientists. My theory is the more good you are in what you do the less disparaging you are to other systems. Good well educated scientists and good religous people with integrity don’t indulge in such things. My beef is with these Tv swamijis under question and general public who think a basic degree in a college equals science knowledge.

    3. There is a best selling book by a so called scientist whose aim to bark at god.

    4. It is a body of knowledge that comes from a cycle of observation, hypotheses and rigorous testing

    See… a person immersed in religion would tell you the millenia of debate, introspection and infinite number of changes that has happened to shastras and philosophies. So in a way most systems can claim this. This science is the new science. The old “science” was religion. It shares similar attributes.

    5. On #1 and #4. Your comments that I have quoted and italicized. Most practitioners of a system say something to position their system as unique and the “ultimate truth”. I am not asking you to change your opinion on science or baptize you, but just recognize that this is how your observations on science can be potentiall viewed.

  61. One more thing: terms such as “hypothesis” “observation” “rigor” and “testing” are defined terms of a system and the scope of their definition exists only within that system. It has no meaning or has a different meaning outside its scope.
    Ashok: I disagree. Those are not terms narrowly defined within a particular system, and by system I am assuming you are referring to science, and you wish to keep religion out of the tentacles of this method. Your desire to do so is fine. And I will also agree that you cannot apply these to things like poetry. That would be silly. But my point is that hypotheses, observation, rigor and testing are universal things. What you choose to apply them on is personal preference. Let me give you an example – It will be perfectly logical to apply this cycle to something like Astrology or Numerology, because they make claims about knowing the future, and I believe one would be justified in putting it to the test. On the other hand, taking an allegorical, poetic reference from the Katha Upanishad and applying a literalist interpretation based on observation will be silly.

  62. Terms such as “hypothesis” “observation” “rigor” and “testing” are implented by god in religion too. In fact all religion.

    1. God himself is a hypothesis. He is assumed to be all powerful, all knowledgeable and all merciful yet there are exceptions. God can be challenged by satan (and satan is winning as of now) although he is all powerful, god can sometimes not be aware of what people are doing (adam/eve ate fruit without his knowledge) and he has to investigate to get the truth although he is all knowing and doing and finally god sometimes orders genocides or he himself first degree murder of adultery (lord shiva beheading lord ganesha in rage/anger)

    2. Observation – good always beats the bad. Divine wins over evil. This is observation documented by every scripture.

    3. Rigour – We pray because scripture based evidence tells us of the benefits. This is intellectual rigour in terms of spirituality.

    4. Testing – God has tested the human endurance for faith zillions of times in every scripture.

    These terminologies were not invented by scientists to apply to a method. They are daily use vocabulary that define aspects of life that have existed since we’ve known to use language. The justification of the words “hypothesis” “observation” “rigor” and “testing” are exclusive to the scientific method is as good as claiming birds have wings so they are exclusively meant to fly and we need to ground all of our air force and air transport. It’s shallow and falls apart after 2 minutes of logical analysis.

  63. Krish,

    You misunderstood me. And in order for us to have a nice refreshing debate, do repond to the actual comment and not the appendix that I added as an after thought.

    1. You responded to the part of the argument which outlined a process “to prove” something (“hypothesis” “observation” “rigor” and “testing” are parts of this process). I think you understood that there exists systems which have different steps and are devoid of “hypothesis” “observation” “rigor” and “testing” phases. Let us not get into this path.

    2. When I said “defined terms of a system and the scope of their definition exists only within that system” – a “hypothesis” in chemistry is significantly different from a “hypothesis” in statistics. Rigor, observation & testing in chemistry involve actual experiments with tangible, observable and measurable physical changes. In statistics rigor is patently different, strictly theoretical, and has a ‘soft’ meaning, observation is limited to sample spaces and testing again factors in random variables and theory based concepts (in that no one samples the universe).

    3. So each system has *its own logic* as to how these terms will be defined. The logic is consistent only within that system. And the system will remain true to that logic. Fields like ‘psychology’ ‘study of fossils’ ‘excavations of ancient burial grounds’ have radically different “prove it” processes. In the latter two the experiment-observation phase will not even move forward in time as the events have already taken place and you cannot replay them again for your observational bnefit.

    4. when each field in science has very subtle speial processes and esoteric meanings, expecting religion to live up to the definition of very generic 12th standard litmus test is as absurd as expecting science to live up to upanishadic logic.

    Bottom line the worlds are apart. Again, I am not trying to baptise you into my view. As long as you are clear on where I am coming from, that is enough for me. If you disagree with me, I want you to disagree for the correct reasons. Not because we are in a different page altogether. If you accuse TV swamijis of colliding the apple world and orange world and mixing up the two. Please ensure you don’t do the same thing (and use ‘rigor’ to ensure that you don’t do it). If not both of you become people with “agendas”.

  64. Kuppusamy,

    I saw your afterthought and I responded as that showed up as the latest comment at the time I saw it. After that, there were several other responses from others, so I missed your longer comment prior to that. Here are my responses to that and your current comment

    1. and general public who think a basic degree in a college equals science knowledge.
    Here is the point about science. I don’t need a doctorate to understand how hypotheses, observation and rigor works. Provided one has a reasonably good science teacher at school, the foundations are indeed pretty simple and straightforward. One does not need to understand String theory and Linear algebra to question a claim that any religious faith makes. For example, questioning the literal intepretation of Genesis in the Bible does not require me to understand geology, paleontology and the entire fossil record in immense depth. The literal interpration of the Biblical creation myth fails the basic tests of science. So your repeated insinuations that somehow people who use science to question religion are all misinformed and underqualified does not quite cut it. If a question Dilip asks is stupid and misinformed, Im sure a reasoned, polite, non-ad-hominem, religion based response can be easily provided to pwn him. So by all means, go ahead and do that instead of putting preconditions on the qualifications of people. Now you might argue that the same right is available to the TV swamiji, and Im sure he does have the “right” but unlike Dilip, the swamiji has a social responsibility as a result of being on TV and having listeners. Encouraging an ignorance of science has consequences far beyond his need to preach to the choir.

    2. So called scientist – best selling book – barking at god
    I am assuming you are referring to “God Delusion” by Dawkins. First of all, more ad hominem attacks. Since you value qualifications, he is an Oxford trained scientist, and his “Selfish Gene” is widely regarded by the scientific community as being one of the most important contributions to evolutionary biology. Now, you might disagree with his dismissive tone (barking), but if you are questioning his science, please do so with evidence. Point me to a peer reviewed, published rebuttal of his science, and that will prove your claim of him being a “so called” scientist. And Dawkins’ book for most part rejects the literal interpretations of the bible and also points out the horrors of religious persecution over the years. And importantly in the context of our discussion, I am yet to see Dr Dawkins tear apart the Upanishads on national TV in India. So here is my problem. You claim that there are the so-called “science equivalents” of TV swamijis. I might be myopic (-5 in fact) but Im not blind enough to miss them. Where are they?

    3. This science is the new science. The old “science” was religion. It shares similar attributes.
    Hm. The facts of history don’t quite gel well with this hypothesis of yours. At its heart, religion is faith and science is not. And I’m not sure what attributes they share. Please educate me. Since the renaissance when the church couldn’t hold back human creativity any more, its people who take their creative juices and apply the method of science (hypothesis, observation, testing, rigor, invention and the full cycle), we have seen an exponential improvement in our lifestyles, in terms of medical care, technology, sending a man to the moon and so on. Religion is not a “method”. Science is. So I fail to understand your comparison. And do note, by pointing out the positive aspects of what science and technology have done for manking, I am not subliminally suggesting that religion has not had a positive impact. I am merely questioning your comparison of the two.

  65. kuppuswamy & krish, less tensun more work, more work less tensun!

    at the end of the flamewar what do i see

    two guys keep jabbering on, they will not let the debate be

  66. i didnt know that people feel so strongly about relegion and science. I think an intense debate on the physical nature of Atman and Brahman is overdue here. KA, i hope you find some inspiration soon to write something really original on this subject.

  67. @Kuppuswamy:

    1. I need evidence from you that whatever Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens quote in their work about god (and the stupidity of the god concept) is wrong. I need peer reviewed research material from a Swamiji that proves Richard Dawkins “meme” wrong. I also want evidence to prove richard dawkins understanding of the human genome wrong. Once you give me that i will accept the fact that Richard Dawkins is a barking dog. Until that time Richard dawkins to me personally is an intellect who needs to be celebrated. He is a genius of a scientist and his contribution to evolutionary biology is revolutionary.

    2. The facts or life are out there to see. Scripture says Moon or Sun is being swallowed by a snake during an eclipse and then released sometime later. We know for FACT what causes an eclipse. Scripture is bullshit when explaining the facts of life. Please do not compare it with science which is a method that relies on observable and testable evidence alone.

    3. Religion commands absolute respect without questioning. Science demands questions on everything and everything irrespective of how established facts might be or how qualified someone might be. They were, are and will never be the same. Your comparison of religion and science as the same is pulling science down the the new low of religion and beating it with the same absurd logic of inaccurate, inconsistent and discriminative aspect of scripture.

    1. Here’s another angle, in the face of which, IMO, all pro-creation (and procreation 😛 ) arguments collapse.
      So far we’ve been looking only at the Abrahamic religions and Hinduism, and their views on creation and the world and morality.
      What about the Native American religion, their worship of the Great Spirit?
      The Australian aborigines, who believed that the world was dreamed into existence?
      The Aztecs, who held that human sacrifice was crucial to ensure daily sunrise/sunset?
      The ancient Sumerians,Egyptians, Romans,Greek and Norse- who each had their own pantheons of deities?
      The wiccan/druidic religions of England/Ireland?

      Who’s right? They can’t all simultaneously have created the world in their unique ways, can they?

  68. I think there’s been a big misunderstanding. Knowing this swamiji , having attended his programs i would have to say he never devours science or logic. It has been totally taken out of context.

    The people in his ashram are in majority if not all educated people and he encourages people to complete their education before taking up mysticism, infact he has funded many of his ashramites’ education himself.

    You would have to listen to the complete message he’s trying to convey to understand. One could totally misinterpret a message if not heard totally and that’s what is happening here.

    Maybe not relavent here but Ravishankar of art of living is a Phd in physics and even his preaching would seem to oppose logic and science.

    You’ll have to give an ear to completely listen to their points. No one is stupid enough to just say something that big on TV without having reasons.

  69. I can see why there is huge comment debate here. It is the Perception of God.

    Unfortunately a whole bunch of people in the world are into the western belief of God and Religion, that is the dictionary meaning of God. God is a phenomenon, is a Property and that property is universal and it can happen anywhere including within ourselves, the street dog, the Banyan tree, Mother Earth as a whole and perhaps the whole universe.

    God did not create Religion. Man created Religion. God, if he is there in whatever form, is probably not concerned at which system of belief made by man that he belongs to. He is probably laughing at that.

    Think about it, There is no point in the debate Science Vs Religion. If a few people prove that Religion has the upper hand, are the scientists going to give up on what they are doing? and If a scientist barks at God, are people going to give up on Religion and turn away from the God that formed the basis of that Religion?

    Only one thing will happen, we will just continue to tear ourselves apart. We are used to doing it in the name of Religion and now we will extend it to Science and Religion. It doesn’t matter what, but we just like to tear ourselves apart from time to time just for the heck of it.

    Is this is what we want? Aren’t we better off sitting together and watching Goundamani jokes on Youtube, while munching on Idli, podi and Chutney!!! or should we continue the Insanity and sow the seeds of another hatred based war?

  70. Wokay.

    I think it’s time to call a deuce because as we all rightly predicted, no online debate ever gets anywhere.

    Prashanth,

    The intent was not to take Nithyananda out of context, in fact, I often enjoy what he says. He is witty, savvy and very informative, but I have frequently caught him deriding “so called rationalists” and “so called atheists” and intellectualism. I very much enjoy his references to the epics, but dont quite appreciate his need to deride the scientific method while at it.

  71. This post seems to be the most discussed post in KA’s blog. The comments section makes for a good discussion for a script I am writing.
    Ashok, is it ok, if i can copy and paste ideas or dialogues from here to the play with a dhaanks to your blog?

  72. Krish,

    To clear the ad hominem thing once for all.

    1. You have referred to a swamiji in your post and put a poster of one particular long haired dude living in outskirts of bangalore. I don’t mind it. But it is specific. And I still don’t call it ad hominem. However, what I mind is if I quote an equivalent person on this side (lets say anybody in spectrum from Dilip to Stephen hawkings) as an equivalent of this TV swamys, I am accused of Ad Hominem. You have to allow me something here. I should be allowed to quote equivalents and not be accused of Ad hominem. If you were me what would you do?

    Second on Qualification.

    2. So we are going about it in reverse here. I guess its partly my fault in trying to get across several diffirent things. Hasn’t your post, and the parts where I agree with it, entirely been about people not knowing what they have set out to criticise? Hasn’t it been the “apples” and “oranges” argument that you put forward?

    3. People who are not educated (or well informed) about System-X criticising System-X just because they’ve had a formal education in System-Y (and for all other reasons I quoted in the genericisation attempt at your post) is trivial. Formal eductaion in science does not qualify you to be an expert on religion. The same way reading B.Sc chemistry does not make you an expert in psychology. Being a TV Swamy does not make them an expert in science.

    So your repeated insinuations that somehow people who use science to question religion are all misinformed and underqualified does not quite cut it

    following two points are my reply.

    4. I am not proposing you know science fantastically well enough to criticise religion. It is the opposite. It is what your post appealed to the TV swamijis. That they should either know the science before criticising it otherwise simply refrain from misrepresenting it. Similarly, the scientists, if they aren’t well read in religion, they should STFU. Again, extensive education in science does not make you qualified to understand religion and be an expert at it.

    5. I am sorry to get specific here. But you have to allow me something. This is where people like Dilip don’t work for me. They are the science equivalent of TV swamys. These are the people I have been insinuating at. The TV swamys think they know fantastically well about their own system, in this case religion. But they don’t. As you noted they can’t quote anything from upanishads. Whats worse they have superficial knowledge about other systems, in this case science. But claim they know everything that this there to know (in effect underestimate another system). On the flip side.. Dilip claims to know a lot about science. He also claims to have passed some exams and taken 2 years course in geetha. Apparently this earns him a qualification to be an expert. It doesn’t cut it. My question is would you allow a person with B.A history degree and no formal sciencee education or any research papers – can he go and challenge the might of the scientific community (without ever imprving his knwledge on science). How would he look? Thats how Dilip looks to me.

    6. My fundamental question to you is – if I didn’t know squat about science would you even consider granting me an audience with scientists. Would you give me time of day if I simply said “relativity doesn’t work because the upanishads dont mention it”? Isn’t the equalant of this is what people like dilip are doing? Or am I missing something here? Arent they saying “my science results don’t support your religious beliefs”?

    7. If a question Dilip asks is stupid and misinformed, Im sure a reasoned, polite, non-ad-hominem, religion based response can be easily provided to pwn him

    Lets take the equivalent here. If you wanted to correct the science errors the TV swamys made – what would you do? Wouldn’t you point them to a good science book? Or use *terms and logic* of science to disprove them? In a sense you use the terms and logic of the science system to convince them. What if they reject those text books as nonsense or claim they have already read it and rejected it? What if they insist that you have to use Upanishadic proof to correct the science errors. Is it even possible? You can’t use terms of another system to prove science. The flip side is what dilip is doing. He is commiting, in that order, all the wrongs that the TV swamys are doing. Superficial browsing of web, talking to grandparents and especially being born in a brahmin family – doesnt cut it.

    On questioning religion.

    8. Anybody can question anything. But to understand answers you need to know stuff. i can question reativity. But to enter a debate I need to know science very well. I can’t be dumb in science and still expect you to come down to my level and answer everything. Similarly you can question religion. But the discussion will be religious terms. Not science terms. And you need to know religion well. Otherwise you are B.A history guy writing to Ananda Vikatan and rebutting IEEE papers in vain. You need to be as fair to religion as you are to science.

    9. And religion has several holes/unexplained/poorly explained parts to it. What I see the average guy doing is taking potshots at those obvious cracks and using that to dismiss the entire system. As you have mentioned there is a science equalant to it. Its like saying “since you cant cure cancer and AIDS the entire medical community is a waste”. It is like the part you mentioned in your post where elders ask you “can science do this?”. Doesn’t such hits at superficial cracks make you angry? But people do it all the time at religion.

    Again bottom line – don’t collide the worlds. This is what you said in your post. I just replaced half-baked TV Swamys in your post with similarly baked science students and replaced ‘science’ in your post with ‘religion’.

  73. krish,

    On your reference to Mylapore Maami:

    I think you have a fair idea of who I am. If you don’t – trust your intuition and you will :-). I would appreciate a “gentleman’s agreement” to keep my i.d anonymous. I don’t have a problem revealing it. It just brings the whole reputation into the equation and distracts the debate.

  74. “Ashok: “Yet to be proven” evolution is not quite correct. There is ample proof for evolution, and the body of evidence is growing every day. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ and “frog in the well”? Who are the ones gazing at galactic clusters using the Hubble deep field? TV swamijis? I don’t quite get your point. Picking a few dogmatic scientists to support your viewpoint sounds like a strawman to me..”

    If our entire universe was a computer simulation and the evolution we observe and that you believe is ‘proved’ was coded by the software developers of our universe, how would our scientists know? Do you seriously believe that peeping through Hubble telescope or studying fossils can give us any definite answers on the origin of life and universe? Would Hubble be able to look beyond the time-space continuum of our universe? All scientists who declare evolution theory as the ultimate answer to origins of life and universe are being dogmatic.. and of course also all SEP’s who think they know all the answers. But there are many who are open-minded..for eg. Osho, Krishnamoorthy, Neale Donald Walsh etc 🙂

    Ashok: No scientist or evolutionary biologist worth his salt claims that science provides definitive answers to the origins of the universe and the origins of life. Evolution only explains, well, evolution. It provides an elegant, observable model for arriving at complexity from simple parts through mutation and natural selection. But religion have answers to these questions? If you had to bet on who is more likely to synthesize life in the laboratory, would you put your money on the late JC or these guys?

  75. Kuppusamy,

    One last thing before we close this thread. “Ad hominem” refers to making personal attacks against an individual instead of attacking his arguments. I refer to this particular (and others like him) swamiji’s statements and arguments, and that too, only when he disparages science. If you read through carefully, I appreciate his ability to be knowledgable about the human condition. I only point out holes in his dismissal of science. That is about as specific and non-ad-hominem as it gets.

    I do understand broadly your overall argument, and I concur when you say that there is dogma everywhere, even in the upper echelons of the scientific community. We might disagree on the exact amount. For instance, I believe that overall, the scientific community is more intellectually honest than any religious group in the world. Had they not been, we would not have had the spectacular developments we have had. For all our spiritual glory, it still took until Coulomb to understand electricity and until Chandrashekar to understand stellar lifecycles, and all of this happened through rigorous peer review, constant challenges and alternative hypotheses and models.

    I also agree with you that before taking potshots, one must first understand and throughly investigate any subject. But I will point out a subtle difference. There are a million religions and systems of faith, yet only one scientific method. There are no scientists of note declaring that they have decided t0 bypass the whole experimental validation step for instance. Note that this quality does not render some sort of superiority to science. The problem arises exactly when we make such silly comparisons. Science is simply is the only reliable, predictable and proven way to explore the nature of our universe. Unfortunately, that has, over the years put it in direct confrontatation with religion, because it has been a common trend for any priestly class to lay claim to universal knowledge by falsely interpreting what are largely symbolic texts, in pursuit of power. Whether you like it or not, any religion will be viewed through its history of oppression of the human spirit, creativity and inventiveness. No religion has been a beacon of tolerance so far. So when you state that religion must be questioned in religious terms, that’s escapism. The Manusmriti declares for instance, the subhumanness of an entire class of people it calls Shudraas. Given that that document is considered to the pillar of Hindu law, how is one to argue against it in “religious terms”. In scientific terms, one could easily prove that genetically all human beings are well..Homo sapiens. Another example – I have heard BJP demagogues claim that Pushpaka vimaanaas were real aircraft and that India had airplanes 2000 years before the Wright brothers, and his “proof” is that Valmiki makes a reference to it. Another example – this swamiji above, one Mr Nithyananda, also tells us, in one of his many youtube videos that vedic astrology is purely scientific. He goes on to explain how “radiation” from Saturn traverses the millions of miles to earth, undergoes changes along the way, and affects each one of us individually. Poetic and metaphorical beauty of the Upanishads aside, this sort of nonsense needs to be put down, and science does that rather well.

    If you then argue that science must then be questioned in religious terms, by all means, go ahead and try it. Let’s see which mantra disproves gravity and which yagna reverses lorentz transformations.

  76. Kuppuswamy: The question about copying content should be upto KA to answer. If you dont want me to use your content, I will not copy it.

    KA and rest of the world: But I am seriously wondering if it should be KA’s problem or the commenters’ concern.

    I remember the orkut imposter copying everything and claiming this to be his blog. eeks, i am not talking about such a case here, but if i chose to copy and the blog owner gives me permission, even then, do i or anybody else need to bother about the ideas in the comments section?

    Just a question – i am not inviting trouble or arguments here, please, this post has had enough of it already 😉

  77. ‘EVOLUTION THEORY HAS BEEN CONCLUSIVELY PROVED. The fossil evidence is overwhelming. Even the biggest charlatans dare not deny the fossil evidence.’

    @K Ramchandran, you have very little comprehension of the complexities of science.. The so-called ‘science’ that is peddled by mainstream scientists is inaccurate, inexact and often contradictory. The biologists/evolutionary scientists don’t understand quantum science, neither do they understand the science of statistics. Astrophysicists are also similarly hampered because of their inability to grasp complexities of other branches of sciences. But yet they are audacious enough to declare how the universe was created

    Modern science is controlled by corporations who have vested interest in ensuring that scientific developments that threaten the power structure of corporations are suppressed.

    http://www.suppressedscience.net/

    1. @essbee : “you have very little comprehension of the complexities of science..” Not so
      “The so-called ’science’ that is peddled by mainstream scientists is inaccurate, inexact and often contradictory. ” It is extrmemly accurate and precise. Please give examples of contradicion in science.
      ” The biologists/evolutionary scientists don’t understand quantum science, neither do they understand the science of statistics” : Evolution theory is unrelated to and predates quantum mechanics
      “Astrophysicists are also similarly hampered because of their inability to grasp complexities of other branches of sciences.” What is the relevance?
      “But yet they are audacious enough to declare how the universe was created” : Begginning of universe is over-used when attacking science. This is only a small but highly publicized part of science.SCientists are open to overhaul or modification of this theory, and are still working on it.
      Science, history, geography constitute a vast body of factual knowledge acquired by exceptionally hard-working geniuses.

  78. Dear Kuppuswamy,

    The facts that religion states about the universe are things that are called “Universal Truths”. For example, we know the earth is a spear shaped object and we know that menstruation is not a disease, nor is masturbation.

    However religion misinterprets universal truths for the personal benefit of pursuers who direct it in such a way it benefits them personally. I was a director for my school ISCKON society for 2 years and i read the gita everyday as a 13th subject at school under the guidance of Shri Hariananda Doss, my guru. He still lives in perambur (Chennai) ISCKON center and you may verify this claim of mine by getting in touch with him.

    I’m formally on gita by an organization who represents the hindu dharma which billions of indians & hindu’s would agree to. The concept of universe in the gita is strictly nothing but a joke. Your claims of me having incomplete knowledge of scripture falls apart because you still have not proved why my scriptural knowledge is inadequate. Can you disprove any of the claims i’ve made so many times on scriptural fallacies? Can you disprove one? Try doing it and you will see where i get my facts from, the very own scriptures you support and which i assume you never have read page by page in an objective manner.

    A person with B.A. history degree can by all means challenge any scientific paper published my any scientific journal provided he has adequate evidence to prove his findings right or the papers findings wrong. That is how science works. A degree is a mere ascertainment of someone’s expertise in a subject, it does not claim others are idiots by default on that subject. If you do not understand this basic tenet of science your big mouthing on others lack of science/scriptural knowledge is humorous.

    Science does not claim absolute righteousness, religion specifically does claim this. Which is why religion as a concept or god falls apart and cannot stand the scrutiny of a 3rd graders common sense.

    Please address the concerns objectively instead of vaguely claiming you “have to be a formal certified expert to debate in a subject” kind of things. No, you don’t. You need to know the subject well to debate it, a formal certification is an addded advantage but not a mandatory requirement. If a formal certification was a requirement then all of them naattu vaidhyars who are medical practitioners in alternative medicine should be jailed, all of them church vicars and priests who provide moral and psychological advice/consultation should be prosecuted. They are not, why? Because life does not work that way.

    Colliding worlds is not science’s job. Science has no time for petty things like religion and scripture. It is always at the constant endeavor of bettering life on earth. However when hooligans like swamiji’s claim science on the whole to be a fraud and lead the public towards a false hypothesis of life, science as a community needs to fight back to bring in rationality into the perspective of the common man.

    I repeat my question again which you never answer and avoid with ad hominems all the time. I repeat again…

    “Give me one product of god and religion which has exclusively enabled mankind progress, that which cannot be done by any other method”

  79. #Ashok: No scientist or evolutionary biologist worth his salt claims that science provides definitive answers to the origins of the universe and the origins of life. Evolution only explains, well, evolution. It provides an elegant, observable model for arriving at complexity from simple parts through mutation and natural selection. But religion have answers to these questions? If you had to bet on who is more likely to synthesize life in the laboratory, would you put your money on the late JC or these guys?

    If they don’t claim to have definitive answers then they should stfu and stop ridiculing those who believed in creationism or in any other theory of universe. When we reach the stage where we can recreate ‘big bang’ or synthesize life in a laboratory, wouldn’t we become very much like the gods of religion/mythology?

    Nobody has any answers – not science nor religion. Scientists may some day develop the ability to synthesize life, but that doesn’t mean they would have better understanding of life than Jiddu Krishnamurthy or Osho. After all they have generated electricity without fully understanding it 🙂

    Ashok: Slight logical fallacy here. It is possible to prove a theory wrong even if one does not actually have the right answer. There were several proofs of Fermat’s last theorem that were discredited on mathematical grounds well before someone eventually proved it some years back. So I dont need to know the origin of the universe to prove creationism wrong. It’s wrong simply from simple, common-sense verification, such as the fossil record, carbon dating etc. So as scientists always do, crackpot theories will be called out for what they are. So Im not sure what your point is. This “nobody has any answers” spiel is wearing a little thin. I mean, in the last 100 years, think about how many questions science has answered? The boundaries of knowledge continue to be pushed with every passing day.

  80. Ranga,

    From my side, I have no issues with your idea for a play using the content here, however, it turns out that blog comments by others are a different issue altogether. Technically speaking the commenter owns the copyright to his/her comment despite the fact that the Blogging platform gives me the right to edit/delete any comment. This whole issue is actually pretty cloudy for the simple reason that copyright law was not written for the era of social media. On the other hand, what happens if the commentor is anonymous, as Kuppusamy is? How can he claim ownership at some later point? So while I’m sure that most commenters here will assume good faith and not sue you, it’s your call.

  81. “So I dont need to know the origin of the universe to prove creationism wrong. ”

    You haven’t answered my question. How does observable ‘evolution’ disprove creationism? When a seed grows into a tree or a fetus ends up as a grown man, we see evolution, but the mechanism of this evolution is not ‘natural selection’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ but the genetic code expressed through dna/rna, which could have been generated randomly (though impossible as per the laws of statistics) or created in a lab. Similarly, our universe could have a source code written by entities outside our physical universe through which evolution is guided. The ‘god’ of religion could simply be a genetic engineer of a parallel universe.

    “It’s wrong simply from simple, common-sense verification, such as the fossil record, carbon dating etc. ”

    As explained above, we can prove that a tree has evolved from a seed but this doesn’t prove that the seed has evolved randomly or accidentally as per darwin’s evolution theory.

    “So Im not sure what your point is. This “nobody has any answers” spiel is wearing a little thin. I mean, in the last 100 years, think about how many questions science has answered? The boundaries of knowledge continue to be pushed with every passing day.”

    My point is that scientists are not free from dogma. Majority of scientists are more dogmatic than even the average man on the street. For example, using string theory and certain principles like energy is never lost, it is possible to prove the existence of ghosts. But 9 out of 10 scientists will arrogantly dismiss the possibility of ghosts being real because of their inability to think outside the box and also due to their mental conditioning which prevents them from going beyond the accepted scientific tenets of the day.

    Of course science continues to push the boundaries of knowledge, but so do philosophers, SEP’s etc. Science is not our only route of knowledge expansion. An open-minded person with no training in science would die more knowledgeable than a dogmatic scientist who rejects ever paranormal activity because of his inability to ingest knowledge contrary to his entrenched scientific beliefs.

    1. “My point is that scientists are not free from dogma.” – Totally agree. Sometimes a person can be so much blinded by the ego, that he would think whatever he says is the right thing or whatever he has known so far is the right thing. I can remember this quote for this

      “A beginner’s mind is full of possibilities. An Expert’s mind has only a few possibilities”

  82. @esbee
    Modern science is controlled by corporations who have vested interest in ensuring that scientific developments that threaten the power structure of corporations are suppressed

    That is incorrect. Mordern science may be driven by commercial interests but not “controlled” by corporations. If you like conspiracy theories then you are free to believe whatever you want. And isn’t the ulterior motive of religion exactly what you claim science to be – that of keeping their power structure intact. You mean religion doesn’t have vested interests?

    How does observable ‘evolution’ disprove creationism?

    Evolution does not make any claims about the origin of this world or of life…creationism on the other hand tries to jump to conclusions without putting the theory to scietific tests..can it be tested?.has there been any scientific research done on it? then how can we call it an alternative…without any research such claims are conjecture at best and nonsense at worst… when you claim that a seed has evolved randomly or accidentally..I think it shows that your idea of evolution is incorrect. natural selection is not an accident or chance…I humbly suggest you read up on evolution as I don’t think I have the space or the time to explain it here..

    btw here is a talk by biologist ken miller on the dover trial, where he clearly points out the difference between the theories of intelligent design and evolution..

  83. Krish – …this must surely rate as your post which has attracted maximum “serious” comments so far ! Can I please request you to end the comments with a note carrying your own brand of humour…? It is election time, and I am sure you are seeing daily developments which has hell of a lot of humour to make all your readers laugh heartily with your posts on same …so…please. ?

  84. @esbee: The Theory in science which deals with how life “probably” was created is called the “Theory of Abiogenesis”. Unlike Evolution, Abiogenesis is a weak theory which has very less testable evidence to support it. Or rather its more of a strong hypothesis which has evidence that cannot be repeatedly and successfully tested in the lab. “The Theory of Evolution” merely explains the diversity of life. If you are unsure about what theory speaks of what, please ask. Please do not randomly misquote a theory of doing something and then try and prove it wrong with your incorrect understanding/description of that theory. Basically, please refrain from strawman’s.

    Evolution does not disprove “creationism”. Its “creationism” that disproves itself. Creationism shoots itself in the foot every time it claims the world is only 6000 years old! Any sane individual with brains larger than the size of a common ground squirrel would know earth is older than that. That is how creationism fails, by uttering sheer rubbish, by not wanting to publish any research material peer reviewed and attested by the scientific community. Its normal though because, their agenda is not to seek the truth but to thump the bible and make everyone pay 10% to the church.

    Scientific innovation is always spearheaded by need. The need for common man or a few powerful men. It is this need that drives research. For example, in nature banana’s are the size of your nail on the thumb + they are also not parthenocarpic i.e., they have “seeds”. We humans selectively cultivated larger banana’s + genetically altered their composition with various organic & inorganic chemicals we have access to. Thus today’s banana fits right into your hand and is seedless. So is the case of almost every food crop, genetically modified to suit out needs in terms of quality and most importantly, quantity.

    “String Theory” will be criticized by the scientific community because it does not as of now provide any sort of quantitative experimental predictions. The day when such predictions made by string theory are testable and provable, scientists will accept string theory in a way they accept Quantum theory, gravitational theory or general relativity. So please do not insult scientists of being dogmatic without logic. You have to be dogmatic when pursuing truth. “aah, we cant define this shit so it must have been god” approach does not work.

    Lastly, calling “natural selection” & “survival of the fittest”not responsible for evolution is a joke. You as an individual, yourself are a perfect example of “survival of the fittest”. When you father gave your mother about 300 million sperms for her ovum, one of them made it to the egg and fertilized it. It survived because it was the fittest. Plain simple logic & fact + attested by proof = you. Natural Selection is not random. Please do not look into a creationists cookbook for explanations on Natural Selection. Richard Dawkins “The Selfish Gene” or “The God Delusion” are fantastic books any common man who can understand english can get a fantastic grasp of how evolution works aided by natural selection. Natural Selection is all about giving an animal the best tools to survive with equal opportunity in this world. There is no randomness to it, nor is there a motive to it.

    Evolution is not a ladder, please don’t treat it like one.

  85. @Balaji: I think it would be gravely unfortunate if Krish Ashok decided to close this discussion thread. It is not so very often such discussions happen in a public forum where people aren’t calling each other a**holes.

    Constructive debate, criticism is always the way in which society has moved forward. We do not speak, which is probably why we do not understand each others position and the reason for the same. Please let the discussion continue. There are interesting observations and tenets of information that has come out of this thread. Closing it would be blatant ignoring of all facts everyone has worked hard on to represent their position here. I don’t think that will be democracy.

    Nevertheless i do fully understand if Krish wants to close this thread and will support his decision, even though i for one would not be happy with it.

    1. True 🙂 The 140 character limit would have made things more interesting by being well..brief. But wait, we would have probably written up our lengthy responses on our blogs and then posted the link on twitter, muahahaha.

  86. Dilip,

    \\Once again, even if you state the first verse is true still the Quran merely says its shaped like an egg. There are millions of varieties of eggs from different reptiles in this world\\

    The shape of the earth being similar to an oblate spheroid [ Also according to Wikipedia: “The Earth’s shape is very close to an oblate spheroid—a rounded shape with a bulge around the equator—although the precise shape (the geoid) varies from this by up to 100 metres (327 ft).”

    Eggs can be described as prolate spheroids, ovate spehroids or oblate spheroids. The fact is the word used in the Quran has particular root link to an ostrich egg.We are specifically observing an Ostrich egg which does resemble an Oblate Spheroid and NOT Prolate Spheroid. More over technical labeling is irrelevant since these are invented modern names that we ascribe to the earth. How would it make sense for God to describe the earth as an ‘Oblate spheroid’ 1400 years ago? Even if God were to describe the Earth as simply ’round’ it would be incorrect. Describing the Earth as resembling an ostrich egg is very significant and precise as it was not only unique at the time but is still accurate and visually relevant

    \\Surah 071.019 – Nuh NOAH – ““‘And God has made the earth for you as a carpet (spread out)\\

    But the sentence in the above verse is not complete. It continues in the next verse, explaining the previous verse. It says: “That ye may go about therein, in spacious roads.” The Holy Quran, Chapter 71, Verse 20

    A similar message is repeated in Surah TaHa:

    “He Who has made for you the earth like a carpet spread out; has enabled you to go about therein by roads (and channels)….” The Holy Quran, Chapter 20, Verse 53

    Carpet is generally put on a surface, which is not very comfortable to walk on. The Quran describes the earth crust as a carpet, without which human beings would not be able to survive because of the hot, fluid and hostile environment beneath it. The Quran is thus not only logical, it is mentioning a scientific fact that was discovered by geologists centuries later.

    Please read: http://islamicresponse.blogspot.com/2008/07/allegation-that-quran-says-earth-is.html

    \\Have We not made The earth as a wide Expanse, And the mountains as pegs?” [Al- Qur’aan 78:6-7]\\
    The word awtad means stakes or pegs (like those used to anchor a tent); they are the deep foundations of geological folds. A book named ‘Earth’ is considered as a basic reference textbook on geology in many universities around the world. One of the authors of this book is Frank Press, who was the President of the Academy of Sciences in the USA for 12 years and was the Science Advisor to former US President Jimmy Carter. In this book he illustrates the mountain in a wedge-shape and the mountain itself as a small part of the whole, whose root is deeply entrenched in the ground.5 According to Dr. Press, the mountains play an important role in stabilizing the crust of
    the earth. (Earth, Press and Siever, p. 435. Also see Earth Science, Tarbuck and Lutgens, p. 157)

    http://www.islamguiden.com/arkiv/quran_science.pdf

    ———-
    Dilip, looking at just one verse and quoting it without context just for the sake of blaming does not make sense. I hope you do some proper research before making such false claims.
    ——–

    Krish, I am very sorry for using your space. I had to answer when I feel the message of Islam is wrongly interpreted. Thanks.

    1. @Naz: I’ve learnt enough about Quran to state the following things…

      1, A random dude named mohammad one fine day claims he met an arc angel in a cave when no one was looking. (damn, how they speak to angels only when no one is looking) Then he lays down the rules of how life should be and begins the story of Islam.

      2. Prophet Mohammad according to modern standards is a pedophile. He married a 6 year old “child” and consummated that marriage when she was 9 years old.

      3. Prophet Mohammad is also a sexist. He invaded a village, killed the husband of a 21 year old woman and slept with her on the very same night. Read allof the books in Surah and you shall know.

      4. Islam does not give a rats ass about sexual minorities. I can clearly and confidently state this. Can you stand up and proudly say “Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals & transgenders are all NORMAL PEOPLE and should be accepted in the society as citizens with EQUAL RIGHTS and be allowed to marry”. I bet my ass, you cannot say that without contradicting the Quran.

      5. Quran is a male chauvinist. Very simple fact: it considers menstruation to be a disease. Scientifically menstruation is NOT a disease, thus the quran is wrong.

      I can only be awestruck by how you are selectively blind to the sexism claim i made about the quran when you say “Men are physically stronger than women” which is also scientifically incorrect.

      Men are clearly NOT physically stronger than women. Have you ever heard of women being in the army or the police. Are you telling me that female cops and soldiers are less ineffective than males? You must be kidding me. Go to the Officers Training Academy in chennai and figure out how many female paratroopers train there. You would know.

      Women can tolerate approximately 25 times the amount of pain a man can. Which is why women survive something called “child birth” when a man clearly (scientifically) cannot tolerate even a fraction of it. He would die of shock if not of pain. Sum up the “Average” of physical capabilities of men and women and its an equal balance. No one has an edge over the other in terms of physical capabilities. Of course a cave man living approx 1300 years back would have had no clue about these scientific facts.

      Consult your local physician or a evolutionary biologist. I repeat the same thing again. XX is the original blue print of every human chromosomal development at the cell stage. XY is the male. It is know scientific fact that both men have estrogen, and the female has testosterone. The fact however is that men have more secretion of estrogen than women have for testosterone. This is the fundamental design because of one simple fact, the original blue-print is the female and not the male. Again, chances are the prophet had no idea what chromosomes, DNA and hormones were. He never seems to talk of it in the quran.

      The aforesaid items out of the quran is all true and that is exactly how its being implemented in countries with the sharia law.

      Take Saudi Arabia for example. They whipped a 72 year old woman, killing her. The crime? She spoke to a man she was not married to!

      318 innocent children were not allowed to escape from a burning school building in Saudi Arabia and were cooked alive in front of their parents. Reason? They did not have the face covering clothing item called the Hijab. Thus not allowed to come out of the school and show their faces in public.

      Female genital mutilation is practiced excessively by one religion. That religion without any doubts is islam mostly across Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Mali. All of them islamic majority nations with the exception of Ethiopia where muslims are 33.3% of the population.

      These men have clearly read their scriptures and are acting exactly according to the scriptures. Just like the swamiji’s who are vehemently attacking science everyday on TV while sporting Benz cars and bling bling jewelery.

      I know for fact its not possible to convince or even make people look at from the perspective of rationality when they’re blinded by “faith”. The point here is how much one person would go to defend something that clearly is biased and outdated. By defending a verse from the quran preached against women, to beat them if they do not obey the man my case as i see has been clearly proved.

      1. Poor you, Dilip. Any person who wants to approach an issue rationalistically will always refer to the two sides of the story and use his abilities to judge. You apparently seem to have stuck to the hatred and false allegations. I have no power, even our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) had no power to make people believe. Only the truth can be put forth and it is up to you to take it or not. I have come here to refute all your allegations because this is a public forum, and I dont want the lies against Islam to be left unanswered.

        It has historically been the case when the Islam haters start accusing the Messenger when they cant attack the Message anymore. You are no exception. 🙂

        1. It is up to you to believe whether Muhammed (peace be upon him) is a Messenger or not. You can refer to his biography to know more if you really want to learn and then judge without looking only at the hate websites

        2. Pedophile: It was the cultural practice of the Arabs to marry a girl when she attained puberty. However, this is not allowed anymore since the Quran verse revealed later which says marriage Marriage is “mithaq” – a solemn covenant (agreement). So, legally, in Islam, a girl can chose to marry whom she wants to and she can never be forced.
        You have ignored the fact that the first wife of Prophet was a widow, much elder to him. Except for Aisha (RA), all his wives were either widows or divorced. Even now you will find it that a divorcee or a widow findnig it difficult to marry. But a such a revolutionary practice had already been done by our Prophet.

        3. \\Read allof the books in Surah and you shall know. \\ IT IS VERY CLEAR YOU ARE ONLY INVENTING LIES. A Surah means a Chapter. What do you attempt to say? And there is no evidence to prove your claims.

        4. I will proudly say that “Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals & transgenders are all NORMAL PEOPLE”. BUT WHAT THEY (gay, lesbian, bisexual) DO IS HARAAM and IS PUNISHABLE. About Transgenders, Islam places them among men and not women. They are no way ill treated in Islam.

        5.\\Quran is a male chauvinist. it considers menstruation to be a disease\\ ANOTHER BIG LIE. Quran 2:222-“And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; ” Where does it say it is a disease? I pity your inability to understand a fact so simple.

        About Saudi: remember, no government in this world is governed by absolute Shariah. Christians and Jews had their places of worship during the time of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) and it is now not allowed by Saudi. Interest is forbidden in Islam while you have banks in Saudi offering interest. Women rode horses during the time of Prophet while Saudi allowed women license only recently. So, whatever Saudi has done in the name of Islam like the incidence you quoted, has nothing to do with the laws of Islam. Just because certain Muslim countries do something in the name of Islam, it doesnt mean that it is ratified in Islam.

        ————–

        There are innumerable Scientific facts explained in the Quran. The Quran repeatedly asks manking to look at God’s creations and ponder. Several Scientists have acknowledged the scientific facts in the Quran, especially with embroyology, see Keith L. Moore’s take on this:

        http://muslim-canada.org/keithmoore.html

        There are many more scientific facts in the links which Ive given earlier. May be you can have a look at it sometime.

        You may come up with newer things taken from hate websites, but let me tell you, you will never find the truth if you stick on to only one side of the story. I am a Muslim woman, having three professional degrees to my credit, working for an investment management firm, and in no ways Islam has prevented me to attain this, but instead has only helped me. Since I have no obligation to spend on my family according to our Law, I am free to spend on charity. I hate to reveal this outside, but since you are constantly accusing Islam without knowing the proper status it confers upon women, I am mentioning it here. I have my liberty, well within the bounds, and I enjoy it. Alhamdhulillah (all praises to the Almighty)
        ———

      2. \\I can only be awestruck by how you are selectively blind to the sexism claim i made about the quran when you say “Men are physically stronger than women” which is also scientifically incorrect.

        Men are clearly NOT physically stronger than women\\

        Just because we are able to tolerate pain better than men, it doesnt mean that women are physically equal to men. Yes, there are women cops, women soldiers, even in a Muslim country like Iran (see this, very interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppNwvsbDTzA). But see the ratio, it is very few, small minority of women who can take up physically demanding jobs. A woman’s body is not the same throughout the month and most of us face a terrible pains during the monthly cycle. I come from institutions where the majority of the girls are non Muslims and most of them would not take a physically challenging job-be it even marketing.

        I see these men who claim men are women are equal being more chauvinistic than those who don’t. When a woman wants to leave the office by time, she is given looks and stares since she is considered equal to a man and is expected to stay late. Will you ever let your mother carry a heavy bag, thinking she is physically as strong as you? Or even your wife? Dont you know that women are not supposed to lift heavy weight since it is dangerous to our uterus?

        Islam makes it absolutely obligatory for men to earn and take care of the family. Whether a women in the house earns or not, it is his responsibility to work for the family. A woman may work based on her interest or family compulsion, but she can never be forced to work. This is what is meant by the provision explained in the Quran. Being a working woman myself, I see this as something that liberates me, and not as something that oppresses me. This is the Divine law, which makes perfect sense.

  87. @nitwit Nastik

    “Mordern science may be driven by commercial interests but not “controlled” by corporations.” – Please spend some time reading the link I provided about suppressed science.

    “You mean religion doesn’t have vested interests?”
    Did I ever say it is not? Have I made a single point in favor of religions? Saying that alternate theories of origin of life have as much validity as the prevailing scientific dogma doesn’t mean that I believe in any religion.

    “Evolution does not make any claims about the origin of this world or of life…creationism on the other hand tries to jump to conclusions without putting the theory to scietific tests..can it be tested?.has there been any scientific research done on it? then how can we call it an alternative…without any research such claims are conjecture at best and nonsense at worst…”

    Evolution theory does make a phenomenal claim that life as we see now originated randomly through accidental mixing and matching of amino acids. As far as creationism is concerned, if you read my posts I’ve made it clear that I consider it as valid as alien origin theory or Matrix theory or Hologram theory. No prevailing theory can conclusively prove how life originated on earth and therefore the better option for us is to study all the theories and accept the possibility that any or none of these theories could be true.

    “btw here is a talk by biologist ken miller on the dover trial, where he clearly points out the difference between the theories of intelligent design and evolution..”

    Sigh..Like everyone else you are fixated with the idea that there can be only two opposite theories that can explain our origins. Open up your mind. Use your imagination (or read Marvel comics.. 🙂 Life could have originated in hundreds of different ways, including unintelligent design (which is perhaps why we humans have such limited imagination and can easily get duped and stuck into believing ‘this-or-that’ premises and fail to explore alternates outside the this-or-that structure)

    1. Sigh. Evolution DOES NOT talk about how life was created. Look it up on Wikipedia or read the original ‘On the origin of species’ by Darwin (I did). All it talks about is how the various species today got to where they are. It is a slow and gradual process over millions of years- there are thousands of classifications and sub classifications of species. Just reading about dinosaurs alone shows how much painstaking field work and classification has gone into categorizing them- the collective work of thousands of scientists over the last 200 years.
      Millions of bones and fossils of various species have been found, and radio carbon dating establishes their age- and one can actually observe the gradual change in bone structure and shape between species separated by millennia.
      And like I said in an earlier comment- if you support creationism- WHICH creation story are you going to decide is valid? What makes the Christian tale of Genesis any more valid than the several more listed here?
      How do you suppose all of them are valid at the same time, or how do you proclaim the superiority of one over the other?

  88. @Dilip Muralidaran..

    “If you are unsure about what theory speaks of what, please ask. Please do not randomly misquote a theory of doing something and then try and prove it wrong with your incorrect understanding/description of that theory. Basically, please refrain from strawman’s.”

    Hah.. Perhaps you should began to read Bohm, Talbott, Zecharia Sitchin etc to understand that there are more theories outside the spectrum of evolution, ID, abiogenesis or any such limited theories that are presented to us to debate pointlessly.. And you should also read my posts more carefully to understand that I’m not making any claims against any prevailing theory, just pointing out that the evolution theory that you accept as be-all-and-end-all may only be providing us with small glimpse into the overall structure of universe and that the unified theory of everything might be fantastically complex allowing universes and life in them to originate in myriad different ways.

    “Creationism shoots itself in the foot every time it claims the world is only 6000 years old!”

    Sigh.. Did you even read what I wrote? No point in arguing further with you! Fyi, when I use the word creationism I don’t mean the biblical theory of creation.. I used the word in a more general way to suggest that its equally possible that our universe was designed by a superior intelligence just the way someday human race will develop the intelligence and ability to create mini-universes in labs.

  89. First of all” a seed growing into a plant or an embryo growing into an adult is observable evolution?” I am not sure about it. Evolution is not growth, most species have a genetic code imprinted in them since birth, and growth follows this imprint. A better example of evolution is your flu or cold virus, that undergoes modification each time as the body finds its own cure. Or a bacteria finding resistance to a given antibiotic. Yes there are lots of theories, (and will me many more as long as the human mind regards the mysteries of the universe! As my favorite author once said, that one could be so open minded that the universe could fall through without leaving a dent! Any theory has as much significance and weight, as its library of evidence. By phrasing that a seed of a tree is the result of random evolution, you have shrunk the whole aspect of the word “random” in the evolutionary process, and left its interpretation to be assumed false! Most of the random action in evolution are not the only force that guide evolution. It will be equivalent to telling that only vegetables make the sambar! Or soup! Though it takes great research to separate fact from fiction, just because fiction answers the questions that facts are still searching for does not make fiction a viable argument meanwhile does it? More over getting back to Ashok’s argument, what the swamis promote is collective ignorance! Something that could lead to a dangerous future!

  90. @dilip, I too don’t want to argue at this stage, comments are chaotically piling up , and I also dont have enough time to follow this discussion.

    as per my knowledge of Quran (In Arabic and not the translations) word “dhahaha” refers to the oblate shape (not identical to egg, but “egg liked” is used for the people to understand,
    say for example in tamil we use “urundai” for sphere, but how would we call oblate spheroid in tamil that it can be easy for a common man to understand.

    The second verse you quoted speaks about something that will happen in future, when the whole universe will be destroyed. The verse itslef is a contrary proof that , earth will be made flat on the final day which means it is not flat now 🙂

    No Islamic scholar ever said, Earth is flat , and i think it is point less to argue further in this issue. We never said that 🙂

    Please do refer some opinions of Islamic scholars here http://www.harunyahya.com/miracles_of_the_quran_p1_03.php

  91. All my peter,
    in iambic pentameter,
    with Kuppu’s ad hominems,
    Essbee’s suppressedness
    Dilip’s abiogenesis,
    Nitwit’s Nastikness 🙂
    Who am I to stop
    this outpouring of opinion,
    for where there is a comment box,
    out come the fighting cocks.
    For in this battle of ‘length’,
    sighs do not matter

  92. All The teachers who talk and appeal to the intellect of many glued to TV sets and cause bnefitial changes in society are anti science is a wrong assumption. They are scientific use its effectivity teach the society to avoid its toxicity they concentrate on creating good human beings. Good users of science. they know that God is beyond the limits of intellect and since science is the instrument of intellect beyond science. But religion has very little to do with God it is accepting that the complexity of the Universe is beyond human intellect “Achintya shakti” and how to spend the very valuable life we have got usefully, be happy and spread happiness.

  93. I think I heard God saying “ROFL! LMAO!” reading these comments from both the “Science” side and “Religion” side. He must be tired of watching Goundamani jokes in Youtube and now he has got the ultimate entertainment!

  94. The fact is Science does not explain everything, it only tries to. Religion does not explain everything, it only tries to.

    When there are 2 paths that are followed with no idea whether it will take you to the destination, you tend to stay on your path and claim that to be superior over the other. This fondness of one’s path that is being followed gives rise to the fanatic attachment, the logic and reasoning behind it and closes our mind from other possibilities.

    When you know everything, you will realize that it doesn’t matter to claim you know everything and you shouldn’t thrust your path upon others. The path took by you cannot be a suitable path for all, it could be for some but not all. You will realize that the path that you took didn’t matter, what matters is the point where you will be, with the ultimate knowledge of everything.

    I don’t claim to know everything, but I am making my own path and collecting drops of knowledge from every direction possible, as I go. It makes me neither attached to a particular path, nor hate another.

    And oh! You don’t have to accept what I said! You don’t have to follow my path!

  95. Why pay attention to only the criticisms and arguments?:)Better still, you could bring on another post altogether. New, unconnected to this maybe, and full of possibilities!

  96. I shall add to the noise as well. The ego in me is dying to share my immense knowledge with the world 🙂

    Science and sprituality are orthogonal. Science looks at what is there? what am i seeing ?and why does this phenomenon happen? Spirituality asks “who is the one that is seeing this” ? This one is the one which owns the intellect as well. The one which can be aware of the intellect . Anything that could be understood has a beginning, lifetime and an end. The ‘I’ cannot be understood, because like peeling of the onion, we can always find an I which is understanding. This is akin to the being talked about by Heidegger. So any theory about anything divides the truth ( which what is) into a subject and object and we are talking about a being which is beyond both . So an idea of God , a concept is equally false but though you might use concepts to calm down your mind to see you who you are, like finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

    So in any case, intellect has its place. Spirituality has its place. You see the boundaries vanishing the quantum subatomic world, where the traditional idea of objective reality does not hold .

    I dont think any saint would belittle science. I think for India we need more science to kill all the stupid superstitions and the west needs more spirituality for more contemplation. Vivekananda ( and todays times Sri Sri Ravishankar) had stressed the importance of science in life. Ultimately there is no difference. In Vedas it is said , anyone who understands all about an atom realizes everything. Similarly ,the culmination of self realization is that all is me only . Schrodinger finally thought all is consciousness, like what the upanishads said.

    that is my intellectual rant contribution to the pandemonium.

  97. Super Star in Baba tried showing us that science and religion are interlinked and from the same source. By teaching us arithmetic (“Baba count start …1,..”) levitation & rotational motion (volleyball sequence), friction (warehouse / machinery fight), flight (with all the kites) and many more concepts of fundamental mathematics and physics in a movie with a strong spiritual message, he tried achieving what many before him have tried.

    In the end, if even the Super Star could only end up with a flop on his hands, what chance do we mere mortals have ?

    “Science is Science only. Religion is Religion only. Science can never become Religion and Religion can never become Science” (please to be channeling Nagesh in Nawab Naarkaali)

  98. Post all the high funda comments, which took nearly 1 hour of time (I skipped some, obviously), I get these conclusions which need to be posted here.

    1. The misrepresentation of science by swamijis is somewhat misrepresented here.

    2. Logic and argumentation are neither science’s nor religion’s property. You can argue for science and for religion as well.

    3. As far as I know, Hinduism at least does not disregard logic and argumentation.

    ” Tarkam Vyakaranam cha sarvashaastropakarakam”

    Logic and Grammar are prerequisites to everything.

    I think it is the semitic religions which prevent the questioning of revealed truths.

    Again, I am not taking sides here. But ya, Ashok, I somewhat disagree with you.

  99. Insightful post.. I love the Para #6, entirely weaven out of a SINGLE sentence!
    Dude, amazing command of language..

    Btw, my personal opinion on Science Vs Our_Ancient_Past is slightly bifurcated from yours. While I recognize and appreciate the achievements/role of science, I also believe that much of these were already present in our age old mythology and the events then had a good amount of reasoning for their occurrence..

    Science is carrying ahead (and in the process re-discovering) some of the values which were revealed ages ago!

  100. Relegious philosophy – Explaining natural phenomena using basic axioms obtained from divine utterances (sruthi).

    Science- Observing natural phenomena and trying to figure out the axioms.

    Someone in the comments section said they were orthogonal- seems like a good description.

    To all the shankaras and mandana mishras,

    Thanks for the lively discussion.

  101. @ALL those who claim that all of modern science is a re-discovery of a tiny fraction of ancient Hindu wisdom :
    Very exciting indeed . Please name the chapters or books dealing with Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Gravity, microbiology, genetics, civil engineering, and aeronautics, avionics, spacecraft. Lets prescribe only our ancient texts in IIT’s and colleges, and use them as manuals in ALL our industries, airports, aircarafts.We could have landed on Mars b4 Americans landed on the moon.
    All ancient civilizations , Mayas, Incas, Egypt, Iraq, India, and China had brilliant, hard-working philosophers, astronomers, scientists, technologists, and also astrologers and alchemists. Among them, only Indians claim that they already knew all of modern science and technology

  102. @ CONTD : the same ppl also calim that modern science is all wrong. This implies that the modern science and tech embedded in our ancient scriptures, is wrong.
    Actually, according to our philosophy, a realized soul has no need for science, philosophy, etc, bcoz he percieves reality directly in a way others cannot. This idea sometimes gets twisted around and deformed.

  103. hi

    very good post. most funny thing i found in religious preachings is quoting something from a sacred text and connecting it with a proven scientific fact though there is little or no relationship between them.

    and we cant cross check since most of the sacred texts are in languages which are not in daily use and we have to take the word of the translators only (who again could be the preachers themselves)

  104. Great post. This is something that i have been wanting to write about for a long time, especially about over-glorification of our past. This is a mindset i find quite predominant in India (ok, at least in south india where i’ve lived entirely) and more so among the middle class. I wouldn’t blame just the Swamiji’s, they are like the rest of most people out here that thinks we are continually degrading. I would even blame this mentality for lack of progress in various fields.
    Actually, being a hindu, i used to find it easy to accept both religion and science without any serious conflict of thoughts. But of late, i find it difficult because of people like you mention.

  105. Reminds me of the news article, I read some time ago about the Taliban using iPhones. Imagine: the Taliban spending money on something that would profit one of the biggest companies in the evil Empire.

  106. wow wow wow. a peak into knowledge society.
    I am happy to see such (mostly)healthy, intellectual arguments.
    I haven’t finished reading the arguments but already learned few concepts like
    holism, ad hominem.
    Cheers to all ( esp to author krish )

  107. But there is one guru who is very much pro science and knows the mix of science and spirituality. His yoga classes are called Inner Engineering as it comes from a scientific approach. He is Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev from Isha foundation. I practice these yoga methodologies and find it has a positive impact in my life. So maybe you will get your answers there if you are seeking.

    Regards
    Shanthi

  108. “In an era when we need an all-round understanding of both the scientific method and the spiritual truths about human nature that are so beautifully woven into the fabric of our mythology, you are doing, rather literally, a half-baked job.”

    AWESOME, sorry for being that loud! 😉

  109. Today I found this blog and are amazed by the quality of information posted here.
    Nowadays are very few blogs that offer quality of information ,we subscribed to your blog via
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  110. ” So if you are going to pass judgement on spiritual science, please do so after first understanding what it is. As the professor of calculus once said – “If you can’t differentiate, don’t integrate”.

    The same goes to you too my friend

    An enlightened master uses lots of technique to awaken the people from their ignorance, its a sad thing that people beleive in what ever a so called scientist says without doubt, but dont belive in what a spiritual person says

    The enlightened master says dont believe in me try and test it yourself and internalise it.

    spirituality is a science but in a differnt context , it is never againts the material science, may be its your wrong perception.
    Spiritual science is based on consiousness, it has to be experienced , our science does not gives u words it takes u beyond words, its a technique a tantra.

    its easy to commeny on anybody 🙂
    when there was no aircraft if a person comes and says he can fly , people might have thought he was a lunatic

  111. Wonderful. There are also a few people who claim astrology is science, You should write about them too :). (not sure if you are a believer though)
    Ashok: Of course, all of these astrologers are fraud characters. Only my version, which involves lines on the bottom of ones feet, is the real deal. I call it Pedistry. People who practise it are Pedists. And people who believe in it and love it are Pedo…..

  112. Have to say this “Actually, I am not asking you to just consider science and spirituality as apples and oranges. I’m really saying that I prefer Panchaamrutham.” == KillerMokkai 😛

  113. This happened some 15yrs ago in a hall full of people enrolled on some 7days spiritual course.
    Some onions, garlic, tomatoes,potatoes and lime were kept on a table.
    A volunteer( from one of the very famous yoga centers now)holds a ‘rudraksha string’ above each set of vegetables there. On onions and garlic, the string moves anti clockwise,on lime clockwise and on tomatoes and potatoes the string does not move.
    He smiles ahaa.. and the crowd gasps(why I fail to understand).
    Then he went on to say how onions and garlic were to be shunned, lime to be included in one’s diet to progress in spirituality and health.
    Audience was invited to try out trajectories over the vegetables. I did and sorta found it the way it was explained. Audience hailed..
    Then I asked, why should clockwise be equated to conducive to health and spirituality and anticlockwise the other way round? Audience looked at me with patience, speaker with tolerance but nobody explained.
    It is so in our system to not only not question stuff if ‘spirituality’ tag is attached, but to deify as well.

    Well, I am happy to read ‘swamijis and science’ , good luck to you and yours.

  114. It’s really a cool and helpful piece of information. I’m
    satisfied that you shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed
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