To clarify: for a few days in my pre-adolescent years in India, I had gotten into a quirky habit of picking chipped-stones lying around (which I imagined could be from pre-historic ages). Finding some really interesting shapes wasn't all that difficult.
I'm genuinely curious about how archeologists/anthropologists come up with such definitive conclusions.
Here's a bit more discussion: https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/31/16955858/stone-tools-atti...
"Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University, said she's not convinced that the smaller tools described by Pappu and her colleagues are true Levallois points.
“It's still basically a single point in a giant continent,” she added — more discoveries are required to give context to this find"
And of course there are neither Dwarves nor Elves (in the fantasy fiction sense) around today.
I thought that Oldowan technology was older than Acheulean, and had spread across both Africa and Eurasia before the appearance of Acheulean tech.
Regardless, the Levallois technique is considered to be much newer than Acheulean tech, so it's still an interesting find.
do journalists now get paid by word?
Is this actually atypical? What other sites worldwide compare with this complete history in one plot?
तरणिर्विश्वदर्शतो जयोतिष्क्र्दसि सूर्य | विश्वमा भासिरोचनम |
taranirviśvadarśato jyotishkridasi sūrya | viśvamā bhāsirocanam ||
This means “Swift and all beautiful art thou, O Surya (Sun), maker of the light, illuminating all the radiant realm.”
Exlpaining this verse in his Rig Veda commentary, Sayana, who was a minister in the court of Bukka of the great Vijayanagar Empire of Karnataka in South India (in early 14th century), says:
tatha ca smaryate yojananam. sahasre dve dve sate dve ca yojane ekena nimishardhena kramaman.
This means “It is remembered here that Sun (light) traverses 2,202 yojanas in half a nimisha.”
Note: Nimisharda = half of a nimisha In the vedas Yojana is a unit of distance and Nimisha is a unit of time.
Unit of Vedic Time: Nimisha
The Moksha Dharma Parva of Shanti Parva in Mahabharata describes Nimisha as follows: 15 Nimisha = 1 Kastha 30 Kashta = 1 Kala 30.3 Kala = 1 Muhurta 30 Muhurtas = 1 Diva-Ratri (Day-Night) We know Day-Night is 24 hours So we get 24 hours = 30 x 30.3 x 30 x 15 nimisha in other words 409050 nimisha We know 1 hour = 60 x 60 = 3600 seconds So 24 hours = 24 x 3600 seconds = 409,050 nimisha 409,050 nimisha = 86,400 seconds 1 nimisha = 0.2112 seconds (This is a recursive decimal. The wink of an eye is equal to 0.2112 seconds.) 1/2 nimisha = 0.1056 seconds
Unit of Vedic Distance: Yojana
Yojana is defined in Chapter 6 of Book 1 of the ancient vedic text “Vishnu Purana” as follows:
10 ParamAnus = 1 Parasúkshma 10 Parasúkshmas = 1 Trasarenu 10 Trasarenus = 1 Mahírajas (particle of dust) 10 Mahírajas= 1 Bálágra (hair’s point) 10 Bálágra = 1 Likhsha 10 Likhsha= 1 Yuka 10 Yukas = 1 Yavodara (heart of barley) 10 Yavodaras = 1 Yava (barley grain of middle size) 10 Yava = 1 Angula (1.89 cm or approx 3/4 inch) 6 fingers = 1 Pada (the breadth of it) 2 Padas = 1 Vitasti (span) 2 Vitasti = 1 Hasta (cubit) 4 Hastas = a Dhanu, a Danda, or pauruSa (a man’s height), or 2 Nárikás = 6 feet 2,000 Dhanus = 1 Gavyuti (distance to which a cow’s call or lowing can be heard) = 12,000 feet 4 Gavyutis = 1 Yojana = 9.09 miles
Calculation of the Speed of Light from the Rig Veda:
So now we can calculate what is the value of the speed of light in modern units based on the value given as 2202 yojanas in 1/2 nimisha
= 2,202 x 9.09 miles per 0.1056 seconds = 20,016.18 miles per 0.1056 seconds = 189,547 miles per second
As per the Rig Veda the speed of light is 189,547 miles per second. As per modern science the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second!
I suppose it is in our nature to beam in the artificial yet comforting light of the (false) understanding that we once were at the foremost of scientific thought, thus helping us in ignoring or god forbid, forgetting, the follies of our past or pathetic state of our current affairs.
If even after the industrial revolution and the information age, both of which have made our (humans everywhere in general) lives far easier and comfortable and have thus given us an opportunity to carefully think about the state of the world and ascertain, without any bias, our position in it and to plan for our future, some of us still fall for the trap laid down by scheming politicians and (unholy) religious gurus, we truly should not be very proud, either of our past or of our present.
disclaimer: I am an Indian
“The Hindu religion is the only one of the world’s great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths.
It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond 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 the time since the Big Bang.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
> yet s/he uses a device invented more or less in the West using science ( math, physics, chem) developed by western minds in no more than last 300-400 years.
How did you arrive at this conclusion? He is just doing plain Arthematics. Do you think this was invented 300 years back by western minds? Well then I will say you are giving too much credit to "Western Minds". In-fact you are engaging in glorification of Western Mind.
> some of us still fall for the trap laid down by scheming politicians and (unholy) religious gurus, we truly should not be very proud, either of our past or of our present.
Did you notice the irony in your argument? You are proud of Western Minds but you do not want to be proud of Indian history?
I, too, am an Indian, and a healthy dose of skepticism is warranted. However, it is admittedly enjoyable for me to read about Indian history and ancient science.
I am with you on this one.
I have read Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita ( one of my favorite works ) along with many foreign as well Indian vernacular works. I merely seek to use the teachings/lessons taught in our ancient scriptures so that I can live a wholesome life and find ways for the betterment of my family and my society.
It hurts me that some of my well educated fellow countrymen quote these texts to spread pseudo science and sometimes even hatred for others.
For me, the take away is not the accuracy in the speed of light.
It's the fact that there was recognition that light is something that has a finite speed that can be measured, and the recognition that that speed is a very high value, measured in thousands of distance units in half of a time unit.
This is extremely remarkable in itself.
Glorifying something does not automatically imply "asserting innate superiority". That is just a juvenile view.
So, using a modern device to point out meanings in olden texts implies just what you are saying - "asserting innate superiority of western science"
> "I suppose it is in our nature to beam in the artificial yet comforting light of the (false) understanding that we once were at the foremost of scientific thought, thus helping us in ignoring or god forbid, forgetting, the follies of our past or pathetic state of our current affairs."
Civilizations rise and fall, societies become good, go bad, times always change. Mentioning an advanced scientific achievement of our culture, in my view, sets out an ideal to which we have to collectively strive for, from the present state of affairs. This is true of anyone. There must be a lofty goal, to which the society must strive for. Pointing out an already achieved state is a better stepping stone as it does not give the voices of naysayers any strength.
NOTE : The achievement in this case is that ancient Indians recognized that light has a finite measurable speed and that it is a very high value. To me, this revelation is proof of the advancement of ancient Indian thought.
No, math/physics/chem are no more Western than air/water/sun is. The west was on its quest to conquer the world, so we felt the immense need and desire to twist history projecting a Western superiority, it was much easier to sell to the world - we had all money extracted from plantations and new found world to market aggressively. A lot of ideas known to West originated in East, westerns commercialized them and spread them far and wide, later we also made active efforts to destroy the pieces of evidence too. The only downside was that not all pieces of evidence were available to us at that time, so you'll still find them if you look hard and are lucky enough.
Disclaimer: I am a western.
> This looks very much as if the units may have been converted to obtain the desired result. Indeed the different conversion factors but similar result in your second link increase the likelihood that there may cognitive bias involved
> For example, your distance conversions lead to 1 yojan being 29.2608 kilometres. Compare this with Wikipedia's 12–15 km and your second link's 9.09 miles (about 14.5 km)
> Similarly on time, your calculation gives 202,500 nimishas (twinklings of the eye) in a day-night while Wikipedia quotes Manusmṛti to give 486,000 and your second link gives 409,050
> Both references reach the same result by different conversion factors, which implies they're both biased and unreliable.
> it looks like the result of a measurement or a calculation rather than a "magic" number
That is because in Sanskrit, numbers are represented in form of "value" "qualifier" "qualifier", "value" "qualifier".. and so on.
"sahasra" means 1000 (can be thousand anything),
"sata" means 100,
"dasa" means 10, &
"varsha" means year (this year, that year, a year, next year, etc)
To quote the famous Ramayana, to represent 11,000 years, it was written in the book as
"dasa varsha shahasrani, dasa varsha sata nicha"
meaning 10 x 1000 years + 10 x 100 years = 11000 years.
One number placed after the other, without any conjunction implied addition.
Elsewhere in the same epic, Rama goes to live in the jungle for
"nava pancha cha varshani"
meaning 9 + 5 years = 14 years, "nava" is 9 and "pancha" is 5
Note : "cha", "nicha" etc are similar to filler words in english
I am no way supporting glorification of past but inventing arguments to discredit the past is equally distasteful to me.
WE must not make the mistake of being proud of ancient people. We are as far removed from them as the big bang. We should be careful not to identify too closely with imperfect knowledge and scraps of evidence that we have.
> It is the same as modern Westerners looking back on ancient Greeks and Romans.
I'd have to disagree with you somewhat there. Those that forget history are doomed to repeat it. While it is important to live in the present, it is equally important to remember that we are standing on the shoulders of giants. There is a lot of value in casting glances at the past from time to time.
What exactly do you mean by that?
For instance, 108 is a sacred number in Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Some people say it was chosen because the ratio of distances of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters, and Ancient Indians knew that! But how did they know that?
Slight /s. Only slight.
I often think the narrative we get in public school history is really just the compromised, politically acceptable version of history. Shows like Ancient Aliens at least get us to ask some questions.
We've gotten used to the idea of steady gains and prosperity, but there are cycles that include book burning, knowledge destruction, and civilizational declines. Ancient Aliens forces the viewer to ask what civilizations were even doing with odd constructions and what purpose they served; the only difference is they suggest that extra-terrestrials were involved. Extra terrestrial involvement may seem outlandish to some, but the question of why any civilization was doing what it was remains.