Top scientists in India on Monday condemned “irrational” claims made at the 106th annual meeting of the prestigious Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA).
The Breakthrough Science Society (BSS), an NGO that campaigns for scientific literacy, held protest meetings across the country against presentations suggesting that ancient Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata contain detailed knowledge of stem cell research, test tube babies, aircraft and guided missiles.
“People must ask the organisers how they allow this,” said Rajani KS of BSS.
Professor Nageswara Rao, vice chancellor of Andhra University, told the ISCA’s special Children’s Science Congress that according to the Mahabharata, a single mother gave birth to 100 sons via test tube technology.
“The Mahabharata says 100 eggs were fertilised and put into 100 earthen pots” Prof Rao said.
He put it to an audience of teenagers that these were early test tube babies, claiming this proved stem cell research was prevalent in India thousands of years ago.
Prof Rao also claimed that the Hindu god Ram used guided missiles that would chase targets, strike them and then return.
The demon god Ravana, the professor further stated, operated 24 different types of aircraft from several airports in his kingdom.
Another participant, scientists Kannan Krishnan from Tamil Nadu in southern India, challenged Einstein’s theory of relativity and Isaac Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation on the grounds that neither of the two scientists understood physics.