Bizarre Claims Made at Indian Science Meeting

Such as ancient Hindus inventing stem cell technology
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2019 5:33 PM CST
An Indian delegate displays a model of Lakshya, remotely piloted high speed target drone system developed by the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization.   (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

(Newser) – The expressed purpose of the India Science Congress Association is to “advance and promote the cause of science in India.” But some of the information shared at the organization’s 106th annual meeting this month may be at odds with that goal. One speaker at the event, for example, claimed Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were full of it, NPR reports. “Newton and Einstein did not understand space and physics the way I do,” Kannan Jegathala Krishnan told scientists and school children in attendance at one talk, per the New York Post. Krishnan, who also disparaged Stephen Hawking, tells the Indian Express that the fact that he has a PhD in “renewal energy systems,” rather than physics, does not contradict his claim that “I am a better physicist than any of them,” arguing, “Why do you need a degree for knowledge?”

Another speaker, Gollapalli Nageswara Rao, a university administrator, tried to link scientific breakthroughs of the modern age with Hindu mythology, per the Independent. He said that the story of a woman who birthed 100 kids is evidence that, “thousands of years ago,” ancient Indians had stem cell technology. Rao also said, per NPR, that the 10-headed demon god Ravana had a fleet of aircraft. Another scientist, Ashu Khosla, said the god Brahma created dinosaurs. The embarrassed science association was quick to distance itself from the controversial claims, Al Jazeera reports, with the organization’s general secretary saying, “We don’t subscribe to their views.” And India’s scientific community has largely condemned the comments. (Read more science stories.)

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