THE INDIAN Science Congress Association (ISCA), which is organising the 106th Indian Science Congress ongoing at Lovely Professional University (LPU) here, Saturday professed ignorance about two speakers who stoked controversy in their presentations by saying that Einstein and Newton “misled” the world, that the Kauravas were test tube babies, and presenting the Dashavathar as a “better” theory of evolution than Darwin’s and said such statements should not have been made.
The two speakers were Dr Kannan Jegathala Krishnan, whose designation in the conference manual is mentioned as ‘senior research scientist and coordinator’ at World Community Service Centre at Aliyar in Tamil Nadu, and Prof G Nageswara Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Andhra University.
In his address, Krishnan purportedly ridiculed Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton and termed Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan as a more “popular and learned” scientist than the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.
The other speaker, Rao, vice-chancellor, Andhra University, a biotechnologist, claimed that Kauravas in Mahabharata were test tube babies and Dashavatar which talks about ten avtars of Lord Vishnu in Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita gave better theory of evolution than Darwin.
Speaking to Express, he said, “I stand by my statement and I have tried to relate science with itihaas (history). I said there was some kind of technology at that time too which was similar to test tube babies technique today.” Asked if there is any evidence to support his claims, he said, “There is itihaas, which is evidence.” He said he was invited by the organisers and that he only “stated historical facts” without any motive to influence anyone.
Speaking to The Sunday Express, Dr Manoj Kumar Chakravarti, general president, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA), the main organiser of the country’s largest scientists’ meet, said he was unaware of any such addresses and the context in which they issued these statements.
“We had invited all speakers who had some expertise in science and to speak particularly on this subject. I am unaware that in which context such statements were made. I will enquire how such mythology-based statements were made that have have no concern with science. Had I been present at the session, I too would have questioned him,” said Chakravarti.
Asked if such statements would undermine the purpose and stature of the country’s largest scientist meet, he said, “Yes, such statements with no scientific base should not be given where science is the priority. Being a scientist, even I cannot answer that on what basis such and address was made. Like others who listened and questioned the scientific basis of their statements, I am also unable to understand the logic behind it.”
“I will check and enquire that how and on what basis they were selected as key speakers at a session. I am unaware of their qualifications,” he said.
In his address Friday, Krishnan purportedly said that Isaac Newton failed to understand gravitational repulsive forces and that his and Albert Einstein’s theories in physics were ‘misleading’. According to him, Einstein ‘misled’ the world. He also said that once he comes up with his own physics theories, he will rename gravitational waves as ‘Narendra Modi waves’. He also told children that they should mark his words that in future ‘Dr Harsh Vardhan is a greater scientist’ than late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and will be more popular than him soon.
However, students who attended his address were not impressed. “It is not possible to change image and respect of Dr Kalam in our minds. He is our idol. The speaker said that we should mark his words that Dr Harsh Vardhan will be more popular and successful than Dr Kalam but we cannot believe it. He also said that what Einstein and Newton discovered and said is all wrong and misleading but we don’t believe that either,” said a young woman from Andaman who attended the session.