Scientists Condemn Unscientific Claims at Indian Science Congress

Scores of activists working as IT professionals, teachers, students and members of the scientific community on Sunday, 6 January, gathered in a silent protest in front of the main gate of Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru.

Holding placards with slogans like, “Do not denigrate science in India”, “Stop spreading unscientific ideas in the name of science”, “Do not mix mythology with science”, “Defending science in India is true patriotism”, “Scientific temper is the lifeline of a healthy society”, the protestors criticised the issue of mixing mythology and science at the 106th Indian Science Congress being held at Punjab’s Lovely Professional University.

They condemned the irrational statements made at the Indian Science Congress such as Kauravas were test tube babies, Ravana had 24 types of aircraft including Pushpak Viman, and Sudarshana Chakra is an example of guided missile technology by Andhra University Vice Chancellor G Nageswara Rao on Friday at the event.

Leading the demonstrators were Indian Institute of Astrophysics Professor Jayanth Murthy, and State President of Breakthrough Science Society Sathish Kumar G among others.

The protest was held by Breakthrough Science Society in association with All India People’s Science Network, Akhila Karnataka Vicharavadigala Vedike and other like-minded rationalist organisations.

In a statement, BSS on Saturday said, "Puranic verses and epics are poetic, enjoyable, contain moral elements and rich in imagination, but not scientifically constructed or validated theories.”

"“It is absolutely distressing that these claims were made in the Children’s Science Congress section of Indian Science Congress (ISC) where the audience largely comprised teachers and young students.”" - Breakthrough Science Society

The statements made on Friday at the ISC by Andhra University Vice Chancellor G Nageswara Rao and another speaker Kannan Krishnan at the Indian Science Congress on Friday had triggered strong reactions.

While Rao claimed ancient India had test tube babies, stem cell research among other technical innovations, Krishnan claimed that theories of ace stalwarts like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking were wrong.

(Published in an arrangement with The News Minute.)

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