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The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology
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Lije Offline
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Post: #1
The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

The idea that ancient Indian texts have all the knowledge about the Universe is a very popular one. One of the biggest arguments used to lend credence to that idea is how Hindu cosmology matches the current understanding of our Universe. The primary evidence put forth for that argument is the number 4.32 billion years from Vishnu Purana which is quite close to the current estimate of the age of the Earth - 4.5 billion years. Let us see the context from which that number arises and follow through with what its consequences are.

The detailed timelines from Vishnu Purana are in this Wikipedia article. To summarize it, the age of the Universe is equal to 100 years of Brahma. One day of Brahma is 4.32 billion years (just the day. not night). Currently 50 years have elapsed (around 155 trillion years). And the current mahayuga is about 120 million years old.

Carl Sagan was so impressed with such large numbers, the kind of which do not feature in creation myths of other civilizations, that he mentioned it in his Cosmos series:

Quote:It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, no doubt, by accident, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the earth or the sun and about half of the time since the big bang. And there are much longer time scales still.

But if you compare the numbers from Hindu cosmology with current estimates from science, it becomes clear how wrong they are. The estimated of the age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years, whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years. Even if we ignore that number and take the start of a mahayuga to mean the start of the Universe or the birth of Earth, the age of current mahayuga - 120 million years is nowhere close to either the age of the Earth or the Universe. Of all the numbers listed in Vishnu Purana, just one number - 4.32 billion years - comes close to a number given by science.

Hindu apologists latch onto that one number and heartily declare that the ancient texts are in acceptance with science. It doesn't matter to them that the ages of the Universe and the Earth given by Hindu cosmology totally contradict the values given by science.
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #2
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(05-06-2010 12:18 AM)Lije Wrote:  The idea that ancient Indian texts have all the knowledge about the Universe is a very popular one.
.....

Carl Sagan was so impressed with such large numbers, the kind of which do not feature in creation myths of other civilizations, that he mentioned it in his Cosmos series:

This has always been something that irked me. Its amazing how people will go to great lengths to pick out one little area where their superstitions coincide with science, and ignore all the other nonsense that's part of their religious beliefs. I think if Sagan had known how his statement would be abused he would have refrained from making it.

Quote:But if you compare the numbers from Hindu cosmology with current estimates from science, it becomes clear how wrong they are. The estimated of the age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years, whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years. Even if we ignore that number and take the start of a mahayuga to mean the start of the Universe or the birth of Earth, the age of current mahayuga - 120 million years is nowhere close to either the age of the Earth or the Universe. Of all the numbers listed in Vishnu Purana, just one number - 4.32 billion years - comes close to a number given by science.

Hindu apologists latch onto that one number and heartily declare that the ancient texts are in acceptance with science. It doesn't matter to them that the ages of the Universe and the Earth given by Hindu cosmology totally contradict the values given by science.

Well done, as always, Lije. I feel another post on Nirmukta coming Biggrin

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 05-06-2010 01:43 AM by Ajita Kamal.)
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rtved
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Post: #3
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

I landed on this page while searching for something.

Lije, your wikipedia link says:

The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as

432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )

So, as per the wikipedia Link you gave the age of the "Current creation" is approx 8 billion years.
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Lije Offline
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Post: #4
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(29-09-2011 04:40 PM)rtved Wrote:  Lije, your wikipedia link says:

The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as

432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )

So, as per the wikipedia Link you gave the age of the "Current creation" is approx 8 billion years.

No. That is wrong. Let me paste the whole section from wikipedia to have proper context:

Quote:Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed and we are in the first Day of the 51st year. This Brahma's day, Kalpa, is named as ShvetaVaraha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed and we are in the seventh Manavatara, named as - Vaivasvatha Manvantara (or Sraddhadeva Manavatara). Within the Vaivasvatha Manavantara, 27 Mahayugas (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita, Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. We are in the Kaliyuga of the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian Calendar. Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, we are in the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.

The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as

432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )
[4] 8.64 x 109 x 30 x 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 x 1012 x 50 = 155.52 Trillion Years (50 years of Brahma)

(6 x 71 x 4320000 ) + 7 x 1.728 x 106 = 1.852 billion years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa
27 x 4320000 = 116.640000 million years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara
1.728 x 106 + 1.296 x 106 + 864000 = 3.888 million years elapsed in current Mahayuga
3102 + 2011 = 5113 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.

So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is

155.52 x 1012 + 1.973x109 + 0.00012053302 = 155,521,972,949,113 Years

The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

The statement you quote mined is only an intermediary step in the calculation. The final answer is ~155 trillion years.
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rtved
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Post: #5
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(29-09-2011 08:56 PM)Lije Wrote:  
(29-09-2011 04:40 PM)rtved Wrote:  Lije, your wikipedia link says:

The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as

432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )

So, as per the wikipedia Link you gave the age of the "Current creation" is approx 8 billion years.

No. That is wrong. Let me paste the whole section from wikipedia to have proper context:

Quote:Currently, 50 years of Brahma have elapsed and we are in the first Day of the 51st year. This Brahma's day, Kalpa, is named as ShvetaVaraha Kalpa. Within this Day, six Manvantaras have already elapsed and we are in the seventh Manavatara, named as - Vaivasvatha Manvantara (or Sraddhadeva Manavatara). Within the Vaivasvatha Manavantara, 27 Mahayugas (4 Yugas together is a Mahayuga), and the Krita, Treta and Dwapara Yugas of the 28th Mahayuga have elapsed. We are in the Kaliyuga of the 28th Mahayuga. This Kaliyuga began in the year 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian Calendar. Since 50 years of Brahma have already elapsed, we are in the second Parardha, also called as Dvithiya Parardha.

The time elapsed since the current Brahma has taken over the task of creation can be calculated as

432000 x 10 x 1000 x 2 = 8.64 Billion Years (2 Kalpa(day and night) )
[4] 8.64 x 109 x 30 x 12 = 3.1104 Trillion Years (1 year of Brahma)
3.1104 x 1012 x 50 = 155.52 Trillion Years (50 years of Brahma)

(6 x 71 x 4320000 ) + 7 x 1.728 x 106 = 1.852 billion years elapsed in first six Manvataras, and Sandhi Kalas in the current Kalpa
27 x 4320000 = 116.640000 million years elapsed in first 27 Mahayugas of the current Manvantara
1.728 x 106 + 1.296 x 106 + 864000 = 3.888 million years elapsed in current Mahayuga
3102 + 2011 = 5113 years elapsed in current Kaliyuga.

So the total time elapsed since current Brahma is

155.52 x 1012 + 1.973x109 + 0.00012053302 = 155,521,972,949,113 Years

The current Kali Yuga began at midnight 17 February / 18 February in 3102 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar.

The statement you quote mined is only an intermediary step in the calculation. The final answer is ~155 trillion years.




The Quote I provided talks about age of the Present creation as 8.64 Billion Years since the cycle of creation and destruction continues after a day(and night) of brahma.

.After completion of a day of brahma which is 4.32 billions years everything gets annihilated by pralaya (As per Bhagavadgita 8:18).

Since we are All alive Wink the age of the "current universe" (Before the last pralaya) is less than 4.32 billions years(NOT 8.64) as per Hindu cosmology..

We are talking about the age of "current universe" and NOT of "Current brahma".
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Lije Offline
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Post: #6
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(30-09-2011 02:47 AM)rtved Wrote:  The Quote I provided talks about age of the Present creation as 8.64 Billion Years since the cycle of creation and destruction continues after a day(and night) of brahma.

.After completion of a day of brahma which is 4.32 billions years everything gets annihilated by pralaya (As per Bhagavadgita 8:18).

Since we are All alive Wink the age of the "current universe" (Before the last pralaya) is less than 4.32 billions years(NOT 8.64) as per Hindu cosmology..

We are talking about the age of "current universe" and NOT of "Current brahma".

This is what I said in my first post:

Quote:The estimated of the age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years, whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years.

I've also said this:

Quote:Hindu apologists latch onto that one number and heartily declare that the ancient texts are in acceptance with science.

As far as science is concerned, "current universe" is a meaningless term as we don't have any evidence for a "previous" Universe. But if you want to use your own definitions to stay on the 8 billion number to maintain that ancient texts are somewhat in acceptance with science, here is another absurdity for you - according to Hindu cosmology, humans were always there since the beginning of "creation". Evolution, a part of science, shows otherwise. Try to weasel out of that one.
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rtved
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Post: #7
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

Quote:The estimated of the age of the Universe is 13.7 billion years,


This scientific estimated age is FROM the last BIGBANG.Obviously there is something before the Bigbang.

Quote:whereas according to Hindu cosmology it is 155 trillion years.

That is right. 155 trillion years has to pass before everything gets annihilated.Nothing remains for any bang(Or whatever) to happen.The cycle of creation , destruction and rest ,with time periods of 4.32 billion years each,comes to an end after 155 trillion years.

And your commentary on mahayuga is totally off the mark.
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Lije Offline
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Post: #8
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(30-09-2011 02:11 PM)rtved Wrote:  This scientific estimated age is FROM the last BIGBANG.Obviously there is something before the Bigbang.

It is obvious if you use Hindu epistemic standards. It is not if you use science. You are muddling the two which results in absurdities which are what this thread points out in the first place. The rest of your comment is again an instance of the aforementioned absurdities.
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #9
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

Even if the Hindu scripture gets the age of the universe wrong only by a few billion years, so what? There is nothing scientific or factually accurate about the majority of BS in the scriptures. If someone living in the stone age tells a lengthy tale filled with fantasy and exaggeration, there's bound to be one or two things that are right just by coincidnce. Even the Quran and the Bible get a thing or two right. Doesn't mean those primitive people knew astrophysics, just means that statistically even an ignoramus will be occasionally correct just by sheer luck.

Quote:"That is right. 155 trillion years has to pass before everything gets annihilated.Nothing remains for any bang(Or whatever) to happen.The cycle of creation , destruction and rest ,with time periods of 4.32 billion years each,comes to an end after 155 trillion years."

What a pile of rot. Please present evidence for such claims. This forum is not a place for promoting your religious nonsense.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 30-09-2011 03:58 PM by Ajita Kamal.)
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rtved
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Post: #10
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(30-09-2011 02:59 PM)Lije Wrote:  
(30-09-2011 02:11 PM)rtved Wrote:  This scientific estimated age is FROM the last BIGBANG.Obviously there is something before the Bigbang.

It is obvious if you use Hindu epistemic standards. It is not if you use science. You are muddling the two which results in absurdities which are what this thread points out in the first place. The rest of your comment is again an instance of the aforementioned absurdities.

I don't quite get it.What exactly you are objecting to?.Are you by any chance objecting to my mention of Something present before Bigbang?.Can you be specific.

I am not the ONE who muddled Bigbang with Hindu ideas of cosmos.It is your OP that made the comparison.
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Lije Offline
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Post: #11
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(30-09-2011 04:11 PM)rtved Wrote:  I am not the ONE who muddled Bigbang with Hindu ideas of cosmos.It is your OP that made the comparison.

It was not my OP that muddled them. It is the hindu apologists who muddle them. All of my posts in this thread are to point out the stupidity of such apologetics. That should have been really obvious, unless you are posting here just for the sake of arguing, in which case, please have a look at the forum rules.
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rtved
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Post: #12
RE: The 'Science' of Hindu Cosmology

(30-09-2011 03:45 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:  Even if the Hindu scripture gets the age of the universe wrong only by a few billion years, so what?

Nothing.Did i say something otherwise ?.I am contributing to thread started by somebody.

Quote:There is nothing scientific or factually accurate about the majority of BS in the scriptures. If someone living in the stone age tells a lengthy tale filled with fantasy and exaggeration, there's bound to be one or two things that are right just by coincidnce. Even the Quran and the Bible get a thing or two right. Doesn't mean those primitive people knew astrophysics, just means that statistically even an ignoramus will be occasionally correct just by sheer luck.

Totally irrelevant drivel.

Quote:
Quote:"That is right. 155 trillion years has to pass before everything gets annihilated.Nothing remains for any bang(Or whatever) to happen.The cycle of creation , destruction and rest ,with time periods of 4.32 billion years each,comes to an end after 155 trillion years."

What a pile of rot. Please present evidence for such claims. This forum is not a place for promoting your religious nonsense.


I didn't expect the Jerk factor Sad to kick in so early..In case you have not noticed I didn't start the thread.I am not the One who brought up this .

If you think this is Religious Nonsense why you contribute?.

I am not the One who posted the "religious nonsense" in the first place.It is already there in the reference Link given by OP.
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