Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Wired News: Cattle, the Research Catalyst

Wired News: Cattle, the Research Catalyst

Science in Ancient India was known to be of a high order. The use of cow's urine has been documented in the Ayurveda. But what has been described in this article is rubbish.

Cowdung preventing nuclear radiation ? Though I can empathise with the RSS and VHP on a certain level, this is a bit too much. I understand that Ayurvedic medicine needs to be understood from a modern perspective and money for that research is necessary - but cowdung to prevent nuclear radiation ? The fact that I am repeating this shows how incredulous their claim sounds.

Another bad thing is the claim of Einstenian pain waves. I agree that animal slaughter is bad and the conditions in which they are slaughtered are totally inhuman and atrocious. I concede that too much slaughter has detrimental effects on the environment. But 'seismic activity via pain waves' ? Give me a break!

What this does is cause the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf to traditional Indian Science. There is a lot of value in researching Ancient Indian Scientific claims. But such half-baked idiocy will lead us nowhere. The next time, even if some genuine research is done - the scientific community will not hesitate to rubbish it - just because it has an RSS-affiliated Bhanwarlal or Madan Mohan Bajaj behind it.

The cow should be revered - for the milk it gives us, for its playful and non-violent nature, its uses to man when alive or dead, even for its urine - which is known to have some genuine antiseptic properties and for its dung - which can be used for fuel and also as an antiseptic. It is also revered for the place given to it in sanAtana dharma. But nuclear radiation ? Causing earthquakes through Pain waves ?

Please, please, please - don't mix sanAtana dharma and modern science in such ridiculous ways. The effects of Yoga on the mind have to be measured and understood - very valid research. The traditional Indian diet has to be analyzed - again useful research. But claiming that the puruSha sUkta has in it an encoded value of the distance between the sun and the earth ? Nope - useless. The veda has its sphere of influence and immense value irrespective of whether it agrees with science or not. Similarly Science does not have to be certified as veda-compatible for it to be useful. It will be better for all of us if we understand this fundamental truth.

|| iti sham ||

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