This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← In celebration of scientific temper

In celebration of scientific temper - Comments

Gnu Atheist's Avatar Comment 1 by Gnu Atheist

Special guest speaker... Deepak Chopra!

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 16:59:49 UTC | #592506

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 2 by Marc Country

"Rationalist Sujai Karampuri will analyse astrology..."

Silly rationalist.. doesn't he know the Indian Supreme Court has already officially declared astrology a "science"?

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 17:53:50 UTC | #592518

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

A often overlooked front in the war on rationalism. Wonder what the Chinese situation is in regards to superstitious nonsense?

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:23:06 UTC | #592526

Jay G's Avatar Comment 4 by Jay G

Is there an American Rationalist Association?

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:29:26 UTC | #592531

Blackaddera's Avatar Comment 5 by Blackaddera

Comment 4 by Jay G :

Is there an American Rationalist Association?

that would be the opposite of the NRA or Non Rational Americans

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:41:06 UTC | #592535

genjokoan's Avatar Comment 6 by genjokoan

Blackaddera, you do know that grand generalizations are neither good logic nor good science, rightt?

Please do not suggest that this godless physicist and life NRA member is not a Rational American.

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 23:28:58 UTC | #592602

Blackaddera's Avatar Comment 7 by Blackaddera

Genjokoan, I know i made a generalization with my comment but you cannot deny that most of the NRA members are just not rational human beings, if you look at what happened in Flint, Michigan after a 5 year old shot a schoolmate by accident and the NRA held a meeting there about 1 week later to rally for guns. Well that strikes me as non rational, i'm not saying that all NRA members are like that but to me the glorification of owning firearms as it is portrayed by the NRA is nonsensical especially in a country where people are so jumpy and where more people are killed by firearms every day and no gun controll is in place is just a contradictio in terminis.

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 23:51:36 UTC | #592605

circe's Avatar Comment 8 by circe

Silly rationalist.. doesn't he know the Indian Supreme Court has already officially declared astrology a "science"?

Firstly, it was not the Supreme Court of India, just the Bombay High Court(one of the several High Courts, each having jurisdiction over roughly a state): the decision can still be challenged in the Supreme Court.

Secondly, the decision, as far as I know, was not what it is being made out to be: the court just ruled that the provisions of the so called Drug and Magical Remedies act(which is an anti-quackery act allowing only validated medical procedures to be marked as "medical remedies") does not apply to astrology, simply because it is not a "medical remedy". The "astrology is a science'' comment was in the evidence presented by a government official.

However, it is still quite unfortunate that a government official chose to say that in Court.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:18:02 UTC | #592610

circe's Avatar Comment 9 by circe

By the way, as an Indian, I must point out one rather trivial but possible cause of misunderstanding about this article. The Hindu, the newspaper where this appeared is not a religious newspaper. The name "Hindu" is a historical relic from the late 1800s(when the newspaper started) when all Indians were apparently referred to as 'Hindus'. In my opinion, The Hindu has the most balanced reporting of all news outlets I have come across, in India or elsewhere. Their opinion pages have a left-leaning bias. However, they seem to do a very good jobl at keeping it to the opinion pages.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:24:00 UTC | #592612

hari_ghp's Avatar Comment 10 by hari_ghp

Narendra Nayak is a good man. Please note that the terms "Hindu" and "hinduism" were never used by people in India to describe their religion until few centuries ago. The persians used to refer all the people living beyond indus river as al-hind or something similar. Later on british writers started using the term Hindusim . These terms never appeared in any of the Indian religious texts.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:57:08 UTC | #592616

Marc Country's Avatar Comment 11 by Marc Country

Thanks for the correction, circe.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 01:31:57 UTC | #592623

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 12 by I'm_not

Comment 10 by circe :

By the way, as an Indian, I must point out one rather trivial but possible cause of misunderstanding about this article. The Hindu, the newspaper where this appeared is not a religious newspaper. The name "Hindu" is a historical relic from the late 1800s(when the newspaper started) when all Indians were apparently referred to as 'Hindus'. In my opinion, The Hindu has the most balanced reporting of all news outlets I have come across, in India or elsewhere. Their opinion pages have a left-leaning bias. However, they seem to do a very good jobl at keeping it to the opinion pages.

I think this could be an interesting topic for discussion. Which news outlets do people trust and why?

Moderator response: But not on this thread please! If you'd like to submit a new topic for consideration, please go to the Discussions page and click on 'Start new discussion'.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 05:08:51 UTC | #592644

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 13 by Stafford Gordon

So, in one State such and such is science and in another not. That is about us unscientific as it is possible to be.

Everywhere science is constant, whereas religion differs everywhere.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 10:33:53 UTC | #592674

Kumar324's Avatar Comment 14 by Kumar324

@Circe : On closer examination it turns out that the Indian supreme court did say that astrology is Science. To add insult to injury, it had also instructed Indian universities to consider offering degree courses in Astrology.

In the words of the Bombay High court "So far as prayer related to astrology is concerned, the Supreme Court has already considered the issue and ruled that astrology is science. The court had in 2004 also directed the universities to consider if astrology science can be added to the syllabus. The decision of the apex court is binding on this court"

Imagine students at the IITs comparing astrology charts!

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:11:49 UTC | #592681

Bala's Avatar Comment 15 by Bala

^ All the more reason for events like Yukti 2011.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 11:35:39 UTC | #592686

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 16 by Stafford Gordon

So, in one State such and such is science and in another not. That is about us unscientific as it is possible to be.

Everywhere science is constant, whereas religion differs everywhere.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 12:53:52 UTC | #592700

Tintern's Avatar Comment 17 by Tintern

"if you look at what happened in Flint, Michigan after a 5 year old shot a schoolmate by accident and the NRA held a meeting there about 1 week later to rally for guns. Well that strikes me as non rational"

I remember it well. This was one of the most reprehensible things I've ever seen on this whole gun debate. Believe this was the one where Charleton Heston spoke & I lost all respect for him and replaced it with dismissive contempt.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 16:19:23 UTC | #592739

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 18 by KRKBAB

What REALLY strikes me as non rational is that almost every time an article pertaining to Atheists or Rationalists in India is offered up on this site, the silence is almost deafening. ? There seems to be almost no interest or support from all of the regulars here whenever anything positive about Indian rationalism appears.. Why? Do Brits have some sort of post Colonial feelings about India? I feel bad for the Indians on this site. Personally, I always enthusiastically read anything posted to RD.net about India. Three cheers for Nirmukta!

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 18:29:02 UTC | #592765

Reuben's Avatar Comment 19 by Reuben

That is a fantastic idea and would work in any country, can you do a tour to england to get people to snap out of all this new age herble medine, applied kinesiology, homeothapy trash. Its almost turning into a fashion.

As a side note kinesiology is an important and completly valid area of science, applied kinesiology is... hocus pocus.

Thu, 17 Feb 2011 23:32:48 UTC | #592824

circe's Avatar Comment 20 by circe

@Kumar234

In the words of the Bombay High court "So far as prayer related to astrology is concerned, the Supreme Court has already considered the issue and ruled that astrology is science. The court had in 2004 also directed the universities to consider if astrology science can be added to the syllabus. The decision of the apex court is binding on this court"

I'm speechless! I hope at some point a larger panel of judges overturns that old SC judgement.

Imagine students at the IITs comparing astrology charts!

Ha ha! I went to one of those, and if my experience is any guide to go by, the students(and most of the faculty) would simply refuse to. I remember that a major unofficial "responsibility" of faculty members in administrative duties used to be keep such silly decisions of the Union Government at bay by using technical loopholes.

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 08:15:56 UTC | #592897

SamTay04's Avatar Comment 21 by SamTay04

India has so much snake oil, it's mind boggling. It's good to see dedicated people organizing these types of workshops.

I also remember Flint, Michigan, and the NRA. Stricter gun control groups and gun ban groups are also attracted to occurrences like that to introduce some new legislation draft and talk to the media etc. Given that, I can see how someone may have thought trying to counter that was a good idea, but it seems like a PR fiasco they should have seen coming a mile off. Simply focusing more attention on Michigan for the following year would have accomplished more without being in bad taste.

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 11:17:47 UTC | #592934

sanban's Avatar Comment 22 by sanban

Seconding the motion to have this workshop tour. We could use a series in Canada. I can't tell you how many times I've had university-educated acquaintances recommend their favourite snake-oil merchant when I've mentioned a doctor's appointment, e.g. Aaargh!

Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:37:45 UTC | #593034