Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Monday, March 21, 2005

The creationism of the Vedas

From New Humanist January 2005:
Under BJP rule, superstitions started getting described as science. Hindu nationalists started invoking science in just about every speech and policy statement. But while they uttered the word ‘science’ — which in today’s world is understood as modern science — they meant astrology, or vastu, or Vedic creationism, or transcendental meditation or ancient humoral theory of disease taught by Ayuerveda. This was not just talk: state universities and colleges got big grants from the government to offer post–graduate degrees, including PhDs in astrology; research in vastu shastra, meditation, faith–healing, cow–urine and priest–craft was promoted with substantial injections of public money.
Prayers to smallpox goddesses, menstrual taboos, Hindu nature ethics which derive from orthodox ideas about prakriti or shakti, and even the varna order were defended as rational (even superior) solutions to the cultural and ecological crises of modernity.
"Varna order" is the Hindu caste system.

Hindu creationism/antievolutionism is well-established. See Sri Swami Sivananda's book for an example. The Vedas say the universe is milions of billions of years old, and humans are billions of years old. Again, science is twisted to serve religious ends. Michael Cremo, author of Forbidden Archeology has just released his Human Devolution.

[A passing note worth remarking upon. It isn't just Christians or Muslims. Anti-modernism is everywhere.]