Who cares about scientific evidence?

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siddharth

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The Indian government has withdrawn a controversial report submitted in court earlier this week which questioned the existence of the Hindu god Ram.

Hindu hardliners say the project will destroy what they say is a bridge built by Ram and his army of monkeys.

Scientists and archaeologists say the Ram Setu (Lord Ram's bridge) - or Adam's Bridge as it is sometimes called - is a natural formation of sand and stones.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6994415.stm

That's kinda funny, actually.
 
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My initial response was a small flicker of fear and even though it seems strange to hold such beliefs, I cannot really blame them. After all, memes come in all forms.
 

matthyaouw

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Oh man, this again!? They look an awful lot like barrier islands on a submarine ridge to me...

I wish I had an army of monkeys...
 

Moonbear

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In the meantime, the court has said that dredging work for the canal could continue, but Ram's Bridge should not be touched
:rofl: Such a typical government response...seems it doesn't matter what country you're in, there's plenty of government inefficiency to go around. Go ahead and keep dredging, and spending the money and time, even though we might tell you to give up and forget about the whole project because you can't disturb this big obstacle that would be in the middle of the canal.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I wish I had an army of monkeys...
I had a barrel of monkeys, but that's probably not the same thing.
 

siddharth

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Well, as expected, this is the ugly result when politics mixes with science

...
Director (Administration) Chandrasekhar and Assistant Director (Monuments) V Bakshi were suspended with immediate effect after an internal inquiry conducted by ASI Director General Anshu Vaishya held them responsible for not carrying out the corrections in the affidavit as was suggested by the Culture Ministry, government sources told The Indian Express.
...
One of the suspended officials was at the Director-level, dealing with the issue for a long time while the other was responsible for amending the final draft of the affidavit submitted by the Centre to the apex court.
(http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/15/stories/2007091561331400.htm)

“The Central Government respects the sentiments of each and every individual citizen within the parameters of the Constitution, and acknowledges every citizen’s fundamental right to feel a part of the composite cultural and religious heritage of the country,” Subramanium said.

He clarified that the controversial remarks were in the “nature of pleadings and was a mere technical plea” and that the affidavit did not “at any point of time intend to touch upon the freedom/articles of faith or belief of any section of society. The UPA government sought to assure everyone concerned that “all material would be re-scrutinised with care and circumspection, including any alternative suggestion.”
...
(http://www.indianexpress.com/story/217104.html)
 
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US Christianity is probably just a little ahead of the curb, pretty soon we're gonna have to contend with the rest of the religious world.
 

siddharth

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US Christianity is probably just a little ahead of the curb, pretty soon we're gonna have to contend with the rest of the religious world.
Scary... I really hope something like Intelligent Design doesn't crop up here. It'll be an awful mess
 
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I heard some politician on the news say things about how faith should be left unquestioned and all. Perhaps the sun should still revolve around the earth for Christians.
At least the temples are not burning the ASI researchers at the stake, not yet.
 

Moonbear

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While this thread could have taken primarily a political direction, it seems to be taking more of a religion-bashing direction. I'm going to remind everyone that our forum guidelines prohibit value judgements about religion of any kind...for or against. This is one of those borderline subjects that could go either way. If it continues in the religious (or anti-religious) direction, it will be locked.
 

siddharth

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I'm going to remind everyone that our forum guidelines prohibit value judgements about religion of any kind...for or against.
Even if it is in direct contradiction to available scientific evidence as in this case? I didn't think it was value judgement, but more like factual judgement. For example, in this case, the religious petitioners claim that the bridge was built 1.75 million years ago, by a group of monkeys. With our knowledge of evolution, and the available archaeological and geographical evidence, this is clearly not the case.

Also, to clarify, I didn't wish to pass judgment values on the Big Question in this thread, or bash religion. I wanted to point out the worrying trend over here, when scientific evidence seems to be worthless in making decisions of national interest when faced with religious opposition. Is that allowed? Going by the current trend, it's not too hard to imagine a situation where history/science books in schools are modified by fundamentalist hardline politicians (as the BBC put it) so that, the books don't contain information based on scientific evidence, but those which are held to be true by religious beliefs.
 
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siddharth

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Going by the current trend, it's not too hard to imagine a situation where history/science books in schools are modified by fundamentalist hardline politicians (as the BBC put it) so that, the books don't contain information based on scientific evidence, but those which are held to be true by religious beliefs.
Crikey, that didn't take long!!!

Amid the furore over the Ramar Setu, the BJP Government in Uttarakhand has decided to introduce the subject as part of the school syllabus.

The chapters would deal with the geographical and seismic conditions surrounding the bridge off the Rameshwaram coast in Tamil Nadu and also dwell on stories of Lord Ram, his journey to Lanka to rescue wife Sita and the vanquishing of its demon king Ravana.
...
(http://www.hindu.com/2007/09/15/stories/2007091554870700.htm)
 
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