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India: Is an odd mix of nationalism, science, and religion gaining ground?


A recent lecture in Mumbai raises the question:

Organized by a group called “Bharatam Reawakening,” the meeting — and the group — aim to glorify India’s past and the contributions of their ancestors to the world, even if it means taking a detour into the fantastic and the unlikely. The talk itself was titled “Vaimanika Shastra,” which means “Aeronautical Science” in Sanskrit, and at its heart is the claim that an ancient Indian civilization had developed aeronautical technology centuries before the Wright Brothers flew their first plane. A small but significant number of Indians believe that the mention of flying vehicles in Indian mythology is evidence that such technology was already created by their ancestors.

It’s just one of numerous fantastical ideas, fueled by a toxic mix of misinformation and brewing Indian nationalism, that have long percolated through Indian society. In the northwestern city of Jodhpur, one such theory suggests, there is ample evidence of an ancient nuclear war. And even the country’s own prime minister, Narendra Modi, has claimed that the Hindu god Ganesha — depicted as having the head of an elephant and the body of a human — provides evidence that ancient Indian doctors had mastered cosmetic surgery.Ruchi Kumar, “Indian Academics Confront the Threat of Nationalistic Pseudoscience” at Undark

These sorts of ideas, Kumar says, “are now creeping perilously close to mainstream scientific circles.” If so, the situation is somewhat similar to things happening in the Western world; see, for example, serious interest in reincarnation research as an outcome of transgender ideology. It is a meeting house with many chairs.

Also, a note from Undark: “Whistleblowers & Tipsters:
Corruption in science?
Academic discrimination?
Research censorship?
Government cover-ups?

Undark wants to hear about it.”
(They gonna need a bigger mailbox.)

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See also: Science journal embraces reincarnation research in support of transgender ideology


Which side will atheists choose in the war on science?


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