Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern

Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times ➳ [Reading] ➶ Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times By Jayant V. Narlikar ➩ – This book tracks the highs and lows of Indian science across the millennia distinguishing fact from fiction Through a lively narrative of breakthroughs and failures he explores the glories of Indias s This book The Indian PDF/EPUB ê tracks the highs and lows of Indian science across the millennia distinguishing fact from fiction Through a lively narrative of breakthroughs and failures he explores the glories of Indias scientific advances adn uestions the fanciful so called discoveries.

10 thoughts on “Scientific Edge: The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times

  1. Dhaval Dhaval says:

    I bought this book after reading The Wings of Fire by Dr APJ Kalam Finally I read it after almost 10 years The book is about the historical evolution of science in India Jayant V Narlikar is an astrophysicist of great repute Naturally his inclination for astronomy and astrophysics is uncharacteristically reflected in the book The book also addresses topics that debunk the popular contemporary myths in India the present state of scientific institutions etcThe author starts with actual scientific contributions of Ancient India He explains the rigour of scientific temper and how it can be used to debunk the popular myths that have crept into the collective mindset For example he cites Shulva Sutra which is the statement of Pythagoras' Theorem People often do not fully comprehend that existence of the mere proposed statement lacks the proof of it Shulva Sutra correctly identifies and predates the statement of Pythagoras' Theorem But lacks the proof of the theorem in ancient texts He also discusses the invaluable contributions of Aryabhatta I and Bhaskara II Both of them share the honour of having satellites named after them One of my favourite uote with reference to Aryabhatta I is Unfortunately the sociology of science teaches that while it is creditable and rewarding to be slightly ahead of your contemporaries it is much credible but not at all rewarding to be way ahead of them This in my opinion is also applicable to Copernicus and Galileo There is a small portion dedicated to the rise and fall of olden universities such as Nalanda and TakshashilaI have one major disagreement with the author He states that Ayurveda cites the reason of ill health to ghosts and influence of evil entities Ayurveda is an approach that deals and categorizes everything with the imbalances in the body and its functions Ayurveda doesn't deal with microbiology for the obvious lack of tools like a microscope etc He also advocates seeing the error in believing the existence of advanced technology such as missiles and planes The reason he cites is a logical one that there are not enough texts or evidence to guarantee the existence of atomic theory or electromagnetic theory during that period He claims to dismiss them as fertile imagination Vedic Mathematics also has been debunked with the reasoning that mere methods of number crunching do not constitute advanced mathematics and the folly of not enough credible references from ancient texts It turns out that Vedic mathematics is neither mathematics or Vedic in origin All these myths are borne out of confirmation bias and parameter fittingIn the next section of the book Narliker introduces the ideas of scientific temper and theorising He then discusses the impact and understanding of scientific culture the advent of modern astronomy through colonial interactions and development of modern astronomy and astrophysics in India There are stories of missed opportunities and successful ventures that were undertaken The tropical weather attracted the development of observatories in India by the colonial scientific community Allied with this were the contributions of Raja Ram Mohan Roy for social and educational revolutions in India It is often forgotten that the rise of science is also impacted by the then social and educational construct of society This facilitated a fertile ground for evolution and growth of astronomy and astrophysics in India Narlikar then dedicates a portion of a critical analysis of the post independent and contemporary scientific institutions He makes a striking remark saying very often we suspect that our academic institutions are uncomfortable with excellence They are happy with mediocrity since then not much is expected from anybody and everyone can bask in masterly inactivity This does not reflect on select few very successful institutions like IITs but rather on many universities and colleges which are largely mediocre He also puts an emphasis on the role of science journalism in educating and propagating scientific temper He also decimates the astrology as science He remarks that the existence of astrology is of a social need rather than a scientific one Lastly he ends on the analysing the possible synthesis of religion and science He describes how it can be put in a non antagonistic fashion to coexist by differentiating between knowledge and philosophyThe book is compact and factual Written in simple language except for the scientific terms thrown in It can be a good light reading

  2. Rupinder Rupinder says:

    A brilliant take on Science Scientific Temper and need for Skepticism by an eminent Indian Scientist This book should be reuired reading for all Indians especially young Indians still completing their educational degrees Some topics are a bit dated but overall the book is as relevant today as it was in 2003 when it was first published

  3. Sonia Javadekar Sonia Javadekar says:

    Scientific Edge written by renowned astronomer Jayant Naralikar provides an insight into India’s glorious path as far as astronomy is concerned It compares East to West in context of the astronomical achievements India has given Aryabhatta and Bhaskara to the world that have given the world their mathematical consonants Aryabhatta has devised the table of trigonometric sine functions naming them jya in Sanskrit The Sine tables are the propeller of geometric positions of stars and planets on the heavenly sphereHere the author tries to bring to our attention that a planet orbits the Sun in an elliptical orbit As the orbit is elliptical obviously the distance of the planet from the Sun alters during the course of the orbit coming again to the commencing value at the end of each roundInitially scientists barely could venture beyond the limitations of our Milky Way but now gradually with progressive research they have come to understand that there are similar milky ways in the universe which is expanding exponentially The assertion that all modern discoveries of science are of Vedic origin fall short upon the scientific probe The solutions to the uestions addressed in Nasadiya Sukta in Rig Veda haul a remarkable similarity to the uestions addressed by contemporary astronomers What is the origin of Vedic mathematics? Something of the Indian origin could be so developed Tangible mathematics is not about number crunching but logical reasoning for example the prime numbers are infinite that is there is no divisible by factor other than 1 and number itself The author goes on to highlight the importance and prevalence of universities like Takshashila and Nalanda that were the academic jewels of the Indian tradition and philosophy There were various subjects taught to students in these universities and students came from all over the world to gain knowledge in these universities However after three to four centuries of glory they were looted and plundered by Muslim invaders Even though of our profound tradition and culture in mathematics and other sciences as the country progressed there were hardly any patronages for the field of Science in India The Indians lagged behind in producing telescopes and other scientific instruments When the Britishers ruled they set up a few laboratories in India but complacency set in and there were not many people desirous of investing in scientific apparatus

  4. Murali Murali says:

    Interesting in parts

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