takes2mins2debunk

On Melting Rocks For Temples

This post has received widespread popularity in social media. Not only is the scientific explanation offered wrong, it is a good example of the mistakes common to all efforts of  trying to glorify ancient Indian science and technology.

Discussion.

The video highlights a few  observations 

  1. At least one of the sculptures in the temple sounds hollow. Something completely unexpected in stone carvings
  2. Some of the carvings with thin horizontal surfaces show a sagging.

A few observations  from modern science and technology are then cited 

  1. Western engineering department have melted the type of stone used for carving
  2. Sagging of cast structures is very common and looks very much like the deformation seen in the pillars 

Combining two and two the video conveniently creates not just 22 but 2002.

The first thing to remember is that the temperatures required to melt such rocks CANNOT BE REACHED BY ORDINARY FIRE. It requires either an electric furnace specially modified for high temperature work or the use of high pressure high purity gases and even with all that you cannot melt and cast huge sculptures and pillars. 

The second thing to remember is that cast materials are extremely brittle. The best example is cast iron. Quite a lot of carbon has to be added to melt iron at low temperatures. And most ancient cultures knew that it was brittle. The world famous iron pillar located in Delhi is not cast. It is forged. 

As usual people forget that science is a unified whole and one should not base extreme claims on the basis of isolated observations and superficial similarities. 

Actually the hollow sculpture is an astounding example of artmanship.

There are two possibilities. There might be a joint that is not visible.  The joint may hide a way the artist managed to drill into the rock to create the hole. The second is that whoever has carved the sculpture took it as a challenge to carve a hollow sounding rock. It is extremely difficult. Carving with extremely light  blows of a chisel and hammer that could ship away bits of stone but not completely shatter it could have been attempted. All in all there is a case for using modern investigation techniques such as the ones being used on the great pyramid to investigate.   
The real problem is that most people are not satisfied with praising the dedication, discipline and effort of ancient indians. Only claims that their science and technology were superior or were stolen gets views in social media.

Present Tense and Past Perfect

This message, being shared widely on social media converts a joke to real life. A popular joke says, “nostalgia is like grammar, present is tense and past is perfect.

A translation of the text : About 30 to 40 years ago, dal (lentils) were cooked by boiling in an open vessel. During cooking the white froth forming at the top was removed and discarded. The froth contains ingredients that produce uric acid in the body. Now tell me who is removing the froth when cooking is done in a pressure cooker? When uric acid accumulates in the body, there will be joint pains.

Discussion.

The nostalgia is obvious. The methods of cooking used in the past were more healthy. Only there is no proof of the claim that the froth has ingredients that increase uric acid in the body.

Uric acid is a normal waste product produced when molecules called purines are broken down in every cell. Purines are a natural substance found in the body necessary for life. For example, purines are formed in the body when damaged DNA is broken down. They are also found in many foods such as liver, shellfish, and alcohol. But purines are NOT FOUND IN DAL.

The body gets rid of uric acid mostly through urine. But if the kidneys aren’t working well, uric acid can build up in the blood. Uric acid levels can also increase when  too many high-purine foods are eaten but as mentioned earlier, dal is not a high purine food.

More importantly, froth forms with soap like molecules. And soap is nothing but a sodium or potassium salt of a fatty acid. It forms naturally when the salt used in cooking mixes with the ingredients of dal.

Pressure cookers are a better cooking option. They reduce cooking time and fuel usage (Environment pollution!) More importantly removing froth or other liquids during cooking carries away soluble nutrients like vitamins. That was a huge argument against the ancient practice of draining the water in which rice was boiled for example.

Nostalgia and ancestor worship is leading to silly neglect of basic science.

Almost Free Transport (When Logic Is Ignored)

This video was being shared widely on the social media as an example of Indian ingenuity and skill.

Summary : The claim is that (1) A two wheeler has been shown to run in compressed air rather than petrol. (2) The same has been recognised by the government and a patent awarded (3) The cost of the compressed air for a ride of about 60km is only Rs.5 and (4) The director of an institute of management has highly praised the ingenuity.

Discussion : Compressed for storing energy or doing mechanical work has been in use for more than a hundred years. In late 1800s and early 1900s compressed air was distributed through pipes in some European cities.

The patent is the easiest to understand. A patent just means no one else made a two wheeler with compressed air being carried around as the energy. And this is completely understandable. A vehicle running on compressed air will NEVER be energy efficient. But the patent office only looks if others have patented such a vehicle not whether it is efficient. So press publicity should never consider a patent as a certificate of merit.

But why is a device running on compressed air not efficient? The normal idea is that petrol or natural gas is costly but air is free. But compressing air requires a lot of energy. The physics is very straightforward and the energy required can be calculated from high school physics. Even if we ignore other losses, to compress air to about 70 atmospheres requires a MINIMUM of 6 kWh of electricity per cubic meter. For comparison, a liter of petrol has about 9 kWh of energy. A kWh is the same as the more familiar 1 unit of electricity supplied to our homes. Actually the real energy requirement will be much larger. When air is compressed, it will get heated and that heat energy is lost to the surroundings The calculation above does not include that. It does not also include the energy loss in a compressor.

The claim that the cylinder could be filled with compressed air for Rs. 5 is simple nonsense. Any one with a little bit of engineering background would know that compressed air is supplied in cylinders to hospitals and laboratories and costs much much more. This is precisely what the director of the management institute should really have checked before endorsing the publicity. Basic economics has to be part of his expertise

The lack of simple logics thinking on the part of the claimant, the management expert and the news media is glaring. The reason are not far to seek, (1) Belief in miracles, (2)Unwillingness to accept the laws of conservation of energy and (3) Habit of not criticizing and using empathy for the underdog as a convenient excuse.

Not Thus : How not to praise ancient Indians

The following link is for one of the simplest examples of praising ancient lndian technological accomplishments

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1J7XIGDZHfwSUt4c2S6_T2ABN9UroI65Y/view?usp=drivesdk

the video shows a brass figure said in the video to be great example of ancient Indian technological skills.

Discussion

To begin with the claim is that the figure is less than three hundred years old. Now that by itself is silly. If we wish to showcase Ancient Indian Metallurgy, we could highlight the iron pillar in Delhi or the large iron beam in the temples of Orissa or perhaps the Tamilian bronze sculptures which are much older.

The functioning of the figure is then explained. As water is added to the container, the level raises till it touches the feet of Lord Krishna depicted in the figure when the water simply drains out. The author of the video wonders that people three hundred years ago knew how to design this. What is shown is simply a siphon. And siphons have been known in many ancient cultures not two hundred years but two thousands years ago. A little bit of googling would have been useful.

All in all, this example creates the same feeling of frustration that prompted earlier posts, when idiots praise geniuses

Shouldn’t people have some responsibility to verify their posts if only to ensure that a great ancient culture becomes a laughing stock?

How Not To Advocate Meditation

This post is being shared on social media. Unfortunately the “Medical Science” being cited is so IDIOTIC that the post may unfortunately tempt many to dismiss meditation itself.  

*Why Meditation is  necessary from the Medical Science’s point of view?*

*From the time of the  birth till be death the heart works continuously. Everyday the heart pumps 7000 litres of blood, of which 70% blood is pumped to the Brain and the remaining 30% to the rest of body.*

*How does the heart work so efficiently and effectively?*

*Heart works effectively because it follows a discipline. In normal conditions the heart takes 0.3 secs to contract {systole} and 0.5 secs to relax {diastole}.*

*So, 0.3 + 0.5 = 0.8 secs are required by the heart to complete one beat {1 cardiac cycle}.*

*That means in 1 min, the heart beats 72 times which is considered as normal heart beat.*

*During the relaxing phase of 0.5 secs the impure blood travels through the lungs and becomes 100% pure.*

*In some stressful conditions, the body demands more blood in less time and in this situation the heart reduces the relaxing period of 0.5 secs to 0.4 secs. Thus, in this case the heart beats 82 times in 1min and only 80% of blood gets purified.*

*On more and more demand the relaxing time is further reduced to 0.3 secs & then only 60% of blood is purified.*

*Imagine the consequences of the lesser Oxygenated blood circulating in our Arteries.*

*Deep Breathing is the key to ensure better Oxygenation of the blood.*

*Factors responsible for the activity of the brain :*

*1. 25% – 30% is due to the Diet we consume.*

*2. 70% – 75% is due to the emotions, attitude, memories and other processes of the brain.*

*Thus, to calm the brain and reduce the demand on the heart to pump more and more blood, brain needs to be given a rest.*

*Meditation is the most useful tool to calm an agitated mind.*

*When we sit with eyes closed and meditate, the brain gets calmer, heart gets relaxed, thus insulating us from the Diseases of Heart & Brain.*

*MEDITATION IS THE KEY TO  REAL HEALING.*

*OUR ANCESTORS KNEW THIS THOUSANDS OF YEARS BACK.* 🙏

Discussion.

THE ISSUE UNDER DISCUSSION IS NOT THE VALUE OF MEDITATION. IT IS THE USE OF STUPID SCIENTIFIC ARGUMENTS. THESE  ARE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE IN RECOMMENDING MEDITATION  OR CLAIMING ANCESTRAL GLORY

Virtually the entire description of physiology given above is wrong .70% blood is NOT pumped to the brain. It is 15%. That already is quite high because brain tissue is only 2% of body weight.

The heart as a whole does not have a systole and a diastole. The atrial (upper) and ventrical (lower) chambers alternately are in systole and diastole.

The blood does not travel to lungs during the relaxing period. It just CANNOT. When the ventricles pump blood, one pumps to lungs for oxygenation and the other oxygenated blood to the body.

When the heart rate increases, both systole and diastole times decrease. The lungs try to exchange all the carbon dioxide in the blood  with oxygen in the shorter time.  But there are limits to how much is achieved

Heart rate occasionally increases with stress but more often with physical exercise. Physical exercise helps the lungs increase their capacity to exchange carbon dioxide in the blood with oxygen. So a high heart rate is not always bad for health.

The claims of 60% and 80% blood being purified are STUPID NONSENSE.

Deep breathing is ONE OF THE ways of increased oxygenation of blood. The claim that 25-30% of “brain activity” is due to diet and the rest due to emotions is NOT SCIENTIFIC. Even defining  ” Brain activity”  is not easy.

Meditation is a very flexible concept. While Christian societies did not employ breath control, they recommended meditation and mind control through other means. 

In the Hindu Buddhist tradition where breath control is strongly advocated, it is only one of the steps of self control and not even the first step. The eight steps of YOGA, start with yama and niyama, external physical and mental disciplines. So even according to tradition, breath control cannot purify your thoughts or actions.

To say 

” When we sit with eyes closed and meditate, the brain gets calmer, heart gets relaxed, thus insulating us from the Diseases of Heart & Brain.”

is not merely unsupported by modern medical scientific evidence, it totally contradicts traditional spirituality

Those who create and share these posts have no understanding of either science or spirituality. They just want to claim ancestral glory and fail to recognise that they are looking like idiots for anyone rationally examines their claims. 

 

Nuts For Coconuts

This is a post being shared on social media. 

In the United States, an estimated 5.4 million people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. This figure is growing rapidly with the ageing population.

One of them was Steve Newport. His wife, Mary Newport, was a doctor. Dr. Mary learned that her husband had severe Alzheimer’s disease.

When the doctor examined her husband at the hospital, he asked Steve to paint a clock. Instead, he drew a few circles and then drew a few figures without any logic. It was not like a clock at all!.

The doctor pulled her aside and said: “Your husband is already on the verge of severe Alzheimer’s disease!”

It turned out that it was a test of whether a person had Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Mary was very upset at that time, but as a doctor, she would not just give up. She began to study the disease. She found out Alzheimer’s disease was associated to glucose deficiency to the brain.

Her research says: “The dementia of the elderly is like having diabetes in the head ! Before one has the symptoms of Diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease, the body has already had problems for 10 to 20 years.”

According to Dr. Mary’s study, Alzheimer’s disease is very similar to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The cause is also insulin imbalance.

Because insulin has a problem, it prevents the brain cells from absorbing glucose. Glucose is the nutrition of brain cells. Without glucose, brain cells die.

It is not from fruits such as grapes. She started looking for alternatives.

The alternative nutrients for brain cells are ketones. Ketones are necessary in brain cells. Ketones cannot be found in vitamins. 

*Coconut oil* contains triglicerides. After the triglycerides in *coconut oil* is consumed, it is metabolised into ketones in the liver. This is the alternative nutrient for brain cells!

After this scientific verification, Dr. Mary added *coconut oil* to her husband’s food. After only two weeks, when he went to the hospital again to do painting and clock tests, the progress was amazing.

Dr. Mary said: “At that time, I thought, has God heard my prayers? Wouldn’t it be coconut oil that worked ? But there is no other way.Anyway, it’s better to continue taking the*coconut oil*.”

Dr. Mary was now part of the traditional medical practice base. She clearly knew the capabilities of traditional medicine. 

Three weeks later, the third time she took him to do a smart clock test, the performance was better than the last time. This progress was not only intellectual, but also emotional and physical.

Dr. Mary said: “He could not do his running but now he can run. He could not read for a year and a half, but he can read again now after taking *coconut oil* for three months.”

Her husband’s actions had already begun to change. He did not speak in the mornings. Now she noticed a lot of changes: “Now after he gets up, he is spirited, talking and laughing. He drinks water himself and take utensils for himself on his own.”

On the surface, these are very simple daily tasks, but only those who have come to the clinic or have demented relatives at home can experience the joy: It is not easy to see such progress!

After frying the greens & onions in coconut oil, making cakes with coconut, after taking 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil per meal, 2-3 months later, the eyes too can now focus normally.

Her studies proved that *coconut oil* can really improve the problem of dementia in the elderly.

Apply *coconut oil* to bread. When coconut cream is used, the taste is unexpectedly good.

Young people can also use it for maintenance of health and prevention, and can improve if they have symptoms of dementia.

Dementia is caused because nutrients cannot be transported to brain cells, and nutrients must be passed from the body to the brain by insulin.

Especially for diabetic patients its not easy to get insulin secretion. “Nutrition cannot get to the brain. When brain cells are starved to death, they are deprived of intelligence.”

*Coconut oil* contains medium-chain triglyceride, which can supply nutrients to the brain without using insulin. 

*So, it can improve Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease*.

After reading the article, don’t forget to share it.

Analysis

There are innumerable mistakes in this claim. 

  1. “She found out Alzheimer’s disease was associated to glucose deficiency to the brain.” SHE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT. THE CLAIM IS ABSURD. Alzheimer’s disease is thought to be caused by the abnormal build-up of amyloid and tau proteins in and around brain cells.
  2. According to Dr. Mary’s study, Alzheimer’s disease is very similar to Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The cause is also insulin imbalance. WRONG AS MENTIONED ABOVE
  3. Because insulin has a problem, it prevents the brain cells from absorbing glucose. Glucose is the nutrition of brain cells. Without glucose, brain cells die. ONCE AGAIN AN ABSURD CLAIM. Insulin is needed in all cells including brain cells to convert glucose into energy. And ALL CELLS die without glucose not just brain cells.  
  4. “high-quality proteins are the cells that feed our body… …… two kinds of food, we are the masters of our own health!” ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THIS DESERVES A NOBEL PRIZE
  5. The alternative nutrients for brain cells are ketones. Ketones are necessary in brain cells. Ketones cannot be found in vitamins. THIS IS COMPLETELY WRONG BIOLOGY. When sugar levels are high, insulin sends a signal to the liver to store the access as fat. When blood glucose level drops, (during fasts, between meals etc.) stored fat is reduced to ketones which are used by every cell in the body NOT ONLY BRAIN CELLS.
  6. While coconuts do have triglycerides, the body WILL NOT convert them directly into ketones NEITHER WILL THE BRAIN CELLS exclusively use ketones for nourishment. All cells will use ketones WHEN glucose is not available and the liver will need to get the signal from insulin level to begin producing them. The source of the triglycerides in the body is completely irrelevant.
  7. The rest of the post focuses on the miraculous medical benefits of coconut in the treatment of Alzheimer’s as “discovered” by the so called Dr. Mary, wife of the  patient,  Mr. Steve  Newport. THIS IS NOT PUBLISHED IN PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS OR CONFIRMED BY OTHER SCIENTISTS
  8. In view of the mistakes in  basic science outlined above it is clearly absurd.

Extensive use of coconut products in diet has been a part of the culture of a large segment of population. The health risks of  the “saturated fats” was unnecessarily highlighted a few decades ago.  Given the small quantities consumed, these risks were negligible and in any case the correlation between saturated fat intake and  bad health outcomes is quite tenuous.  Unfortunately it created a sense of being targeted. 

Some other claims of miraculous cures for Alzheimer’s and other diseases have been debunked earlier.

Such posts praising “health benefits” of coconuts and  the “miraculous cures” due to coconut in social media are mostly a consequence of the contemporary popularity of ancestor glorification.  A large segment of the population is convinced that each and every cultural practice is supported by ancient wisdom which is far superior to contemporary science. So they applaud without the smallest trivial critical examination any claim that an ancient cultural practice has the answer to a contemporary problem unresolved by modern science. 

Lord Rama’s Date Of Birth From His Horoscope

There are several posts circulating on the social media and articles in popular press which claim to identify the “actual” date of birth of  “Lord Rama”, revered by Hindus as God. The basic idea of multiple claims is the same. Since the planetary positions at the time of the birth are given in the ancient texts, it is possible to calculate when that particular combination occurred in the past. The posts refer to Vedic astrology or some other ancient methods of calculation. The question whether this is possible can be analyzed without actually knowing Hindu astrology.

Discussion.

A few bits of information regarding the Hindu system of astrology are necessary. The ancient Hindus divided the sky into twenty seven stars. Thus a “star” will approximately correspond to 1/27 of a circle or about 13.33° since the total angle around a point is 360°. This is approximate because planetary orbits are ellipses rather than circles. Also the twenty seven identified stars are not uniformly distributed in the sky. In order to reconcile the 27 stars with the more familiar twelve constellations of the zodiac, the “stars” were divided into four parts or “padas”. Thus we have 27X4 =108 which is a multiple of 12. So each sign of the zodiac corresponds to nine “padas”. A pada obviously corresponds to about 3.3° of arc (360/108). So when a literary text specifies that so and so was born with the planets in such and such positions, the accuracy is 13.33° degrees unless the pada was also mentioned in which case it will be 3.33°. The planet could be anywhere in that arc.  

Now a bit of high school science is necessary. The planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits.  The astrologers refer to planetary positions as seen from the earth. For that reason, the planetary movement is quite complex. Occasionally the planets appear to move backwards. But this hardly matters. The planet will return to the exactly the same position when the earth and planets  return to the same position of the orbits. So if we want three planets to return to exactly the same positions, the total time would be the least common multiple (LCM) of their orbital periods. Fir example, if the three planets had periods of 2, 3 and 4 years respectively, they will return to exactly the same relative positions after 12 years, having completed 6, 4 and 3 orbits respectively. So determining the time after which the planets will return to the specific position or to determine the position they will be after a specific period of time is simple arithmetic. Both modern astronomical observations and ancient mathematical rules of thumb would serve. In the case of the the astrological charts, earth will be absent and it’s place will be taken by the sun and moon. The sun takes exactly the same time to go round the zodiac as the earth takes to go round the sun, 1 year. 

The devil however is in the detail.

The periods of rotation of the planets are 0.241 years for Mercury, 0.616 years for Venus, 1.882 years for Mars, 11.871 years for Jupiter and  29.476 years for Saturn.  If one tries to take an LCM for these, the result will be about three trillion years, much larger than the age of the universe. However, if the numbers are rounded off to 0.24, 0.60, 1.90, 12.00 and 30.00 the result will be just 1140 years. The change introduced arbitrarily is less than 2%.

This simple calculation shows how dependent these long term  extrapolations are on small changes in the numbers. The traditional calculations however are algorithms that DO NOT SPECIFY THE ACCURACY. So using them to calculate the combined planetary positions is not at all justified. You can get any number you want by changing the period by a very minute amount!!

This is an inevitable problem with trying to use astrological descriptions in texts to define history. Not merely emotionally charged amateurs but even professional historians fall into thus trap of not appreciating the limited accuracy of the observations. 

My own preference is to treat mythology and religion as completely disjoined from science as discussed in my “On walking the knife edge of science and religion

Simple Physics Explains The Sacred Tank

The following video is being shared on social media as a miraculous manifestation of divinity in a sacred tank associated with a temple in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OU4ocYGAgdXc_HseTF8tiH8yH6U8AfmL/view?usp=drivesdk

Description of the video in case the link does not work. The video shows muddy rain water flowing all over the place. There is a small tank with a boundary wall. The display board on the wall requests the devotees not to wash their legs in the water of the small pool. The muddy water is flowing into the pool and out of it through the small openings in the wall. However the water inside the pool appears completely clean. This is being touted as a manifestation of the sacred power of the temple

Discussion :

The explanation of this is so very simple. The small pool is much deeper. So the incoming muddy water will flow out without mixing with the deeper water. This is simply layered flow of water! There will be some diffusion of the mud particles into the still water of the pool but these will settle down!

This has been included to point out how the simplest scientific enquiry will be sufficient to debunk the so called miracles attributed to everything and anything. The devotional minded will be better advised not to hang their faith on such week hooks.

Steaming Away COVID

The following post on social media is doubly amusing. In view of the COVID pandemic, there is no dearth of quixotic medical advice. So the suggestion of STEAMING COVID AWAY is no big surprise. But the apparent “SCIENTIFIC CONMPARISON” of gargling and steam is.

✅* Steam week*✅

*26 September to 03 October*

The hot water you drink may soothe your throat. But this corona virus is hides behind the paranasal sinus of your nose for 3 to 4 days. The hot water or ‘Kashayas’ we may drink does not reach there. After 4 to 5 days this virus which was hiding behind the paranasal sinus of the nose reaches your lungs. You then start have trouble in breathing.

That’s why it is very important to take steam, which reaches the back of your paranasal sinus. You have to kill this virus in the nose with steam.

At 40°C, this virus becomes disabled. At 60°C this virus becomes so weak that the human immune system can fight against it better. At 70°C this virus dies completely.

Everyone should to take advantage of this information, to fight Corona.

One who stays indoirs should take steam once a day. If you go to the market, take it twice a day. Anyone who meets other strangers or goes to office should take steam 3 times.

Forward all your loved ones 🙏                                        😊😊😊

✅* Steam week*✅

  COVID-19 can be eliminated by steam inhaled from the nose-mouth. If everyone decides to start a inhale steam drive campaign for a week, it would be a Big Step in our battle

 * We  would urge people all over the world *

 * Start the steam process for a week from 26 September to 03 October , ie morning, and evening.  Just 05-05 minutes to ‘pick up steam’.  By adopting this practice for a week, we are confident that the spread of deadly COVID-19 can be contained. There are no side effects either*.

   So do send this message to all your relatives, friends and well wishers. Let’s we all join hands to check the spread of this deadly Virus.

 * Come, let us all vow that from 26 September .. For a week .. Morning / Evening .. For 5 minutes .. We Will take steam ..!! *

          *Thanks*

 * Issued in public interest * 🙏🏻🤗🙏🏻🤗🙏🏻

Discussion.

A brief glance at the innumerable descriptions of COVID would suffice to realize that the initial claim that the COVID virus HIDES behind the paranasal tissue of the nose for 3-4 days before moving to the lung is sheer nonsense. Doctors had repeatedly pointed out that the claim of the virus becoming disabled at 40°C, weak at 60°C and dying at 70°C is wrong.

Doctors would further confirm that the benefits of gargling with saline water or any medicine or inhalation of steam provide SYMPTOMATIC RELIEF AND NOTHING MORE.

But the idea of steam heating the inside of the nose and throat to temperatures higher than hot water gargles is hilarious and sometimes even people in the medical profession overlook the physics. A high school physics course invariably asks why steam can cause more severe burns than boiling water. The student is expected to remember that water has a very high latent heat of vaporization and when steam at boiling temperature condenses on the body tissue it transfers nearly three times more heat than does boiling water. BUT THIS IS TRUE ONLY IF EQUAL MASSES OF STEAM AND WATER ARE INVOLVED. One milliliter of water becomes a thousand milliliters of steam! So unless one is truly reckless, steam inhalation will not heat the body tissue to higher temperatures. This confusion about steam heating the tissue more than hot water goes with ice water freezing stomach contents debunked earlier

COVID is too serious a problem to trust social media cures

Unscientific Nonsense Passed Off As Ancient Indian Science

Praising “Ancient Indian Science” and claiming a scientific logic behind Hindu cultural practices is now a  large scale industry.  The STUPID claims listed below have recieved more than a million “likes”.

https://www.tinystep.in/blog/astonishing-science-behind-hindu-traditions-xyz

Discussion.

Debunking these stupid claims will not even take a minute.

The first of the claims is that the Indian greeting “namaste” by joining palms  “ACTIVATES ALL THE PRESSURE POINTS RELATING TO EYES, EARS AND MIND” and “HELPS REMEMBERING THE PERSON FOR A LONG TIME”.

Aside form the fact that there is no evidence for  “remembering”, the very ideas of pressure points on palms is pseudoscience. And why a mild pressure would activate  the memory is an unexplained mystery. While a namaste, unlike a handshake will not transfer germs,  knocking of elbows that has become common after the COVID pandemic  also will not transfer germs.

The second claim is that throwing (copper) coins into the rivers ensured that “EVERYONE WHO DRANK WATER FROM THE RIVER GETS SUFFICIENT QUANTITY OF COPPER WHICH IS AN ESSENTIAL MINERAL”

Copper coin would actually sink to the bottom and get buried in the soft silt at the bottom of a river well before it would react with the river water. Copper does not dissolve in water. It has to react with chlorine or sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere to form copper salts that can dissolve in water.

The third claim is that “WRSHIPPING TREES ENSURED THAT THEY WERE NOT CUT DOWN AND  TULSI PLANTS IN THE HOUSE PROVIDE OXYGEN AT NIGHT. “

One has to forget perhaps that ancient Hindus cut large number of trees for throwing into the sacrificial fire. Only a few  selected trees and plants were worshipped. Most plants including the sacred Tulsi release oxygen during the day when there is photosynthesis. At night the plants respire and use oxygen.  There are some claims that in some plants photosynthesis can occur during night also and produce oxygen but this will be minuscule.

The fourth claim is that  “COWDUNBG IS SMEARED IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE AS  METHANE IN DUNG REACTS WITH SUNLIGHT TO FORM FORMALDEHYDE  WHICH PREVENTS GERMS FROM ENTERING THE HOUSE”\

Sunlight cannot convert methane to formaldehyde. Special catalysts are needed. In any case a little formaldehyde on the ground cannot prevent airborne germs from entering the house.

 The next silly claim is that  “WEARING A SILVER TOE RING ABSORBS ENERGIES FROM GROUND AND  THAT A NERVE CONNECTING THE TOE TO THE UTERUS  ENSURING REGULAR MESTRUAL CYCLE.

There is no energy to absorb from the ground and no nerve links the tow to the uterus. Finally the menstrual cycle is controlled by harmones. 

Next is a claim that “SITTING IN A CROSS LEGGED POSITION ON THE FLOOR INCREASES BLOOD FLOW  TOWARDS THE ABDOMINE AND HELPS DIGESTION.

As every school science textbook explains, digestion takes place primarily in the intestines and over a number of hours. And there is no reason why blood flow would increase  due to sitting on the floor.

Next is  the traditional advice  “NOT TO SLEEP WITH THE HEAD IN THE NORTH DIRECTION  BECAUSE THE BODY’S MAGENTIC FIELD SHOULD NOT BE REPELLED BY THE EARTH’S NATUAL MAGENTIC FIELD AND IRON IN THE BLOOD WILL COLLECT IN THE BRAIN CAUSING ALZHEIMER’S AND PARKINSON’S DISEASES.

The body is not a magnet.  The iron in the blood will not move under the influence of  the weak earth’s magnetic field.  People should remember that the modern MRI machine uses a magnet  more than 10000 times stronger than the earth’s field without any danger.

Next are the claims that “SINDHOOR OR KUMKUM ON FOREHEAD  REGULATES BLOOD PRESSURE AND INCREASES SEX DRIVE” , that “HENNA APPLIED ON HANDS AND FEET KEEPS THE BODY COOL AND REDUCES STRAIN”  and  “WEARING BANGLES CREATES FRICTION ON THE WRIST AND INCREASES BLOOD CIRCULATION”  The greatest gem of all is the statement that “BECAUSE OF THE RING SHAPE OF THE BANGLES, THE ELECTRICITY THAT PASSES THROUGH THE OUTER SKIN IS SENT BACK TO ONE’S BODY”

Obviously, any claim that ancient Hindu cultural practices had a “scientific reason” will be rewarded with likes and shares.  Some people condone these excesses on sociological grounds, citing the long periods of foreign domination or the domination of western science.  But this is misguided.  The psychological benefits of  confidence in ancestors will be more than nullified by the complete loss of rational thinking and objectivity.