Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hindu discovered Evolution/Origin of species before Darwin

Creationism vs Evolution has always been a topic of hot debate between Christian/Jewism/Islamic scholars and modern scientists. Why? Because science claims that human beings evolved from monkeys but these religions preach that God "created" humans and sent them to the earth. Hinduism is the ONLY religion that actually combines scientific theory with religious mythology! It might come as a surprise to many people, but Hinduism actually explained Darwin's theory of Evolution much before Darwin! This is in accordance with many other scientific discoveries/inventions that Hindus made thousands of years before modern scientists.

So how does Hinduism explain Darwin's theory of evolution? Let me backtrack a little, for the readers who are not familiar with mythology - God Vishnu (one of the trinity in Hinduism) is said to incarnate on Earth periodically and in various "forms". The "forms" might be some animal form or human or humanoid forms. Now, many Christian/Islamic scholars scoff at the whole "God incarnating as a fish" concept but they don't realize that Hindus have discovered and documented the biological theory of evolution and these stories are just a form of easy documentation.

Ok, enough digressing, let's get into the specifics of how early Hindus documented the theory of evolution via the mythology of incarnations/avatars (avtars) of Vishnu. According the the modern theory of evolution, Homo Sapiens started out as Fish in the water and went through many different stages before finally evolving into Homo Sapiens. Now let's get to the actual details. I'll explain each stage of the evolution first as described by modern science and then as described by Hindu texts -

Stage 1 - Chordates (Fish) vs Matsya

Modern Science:
hinduism-evolution-theory-matsya Proto-Amphibians that primarily lived in the water, this can be seen as the first stage of life. Examples are prehistoric fishes.

hinduism-evolution-theory-matsya-vishnuThe very first incarnation of Vishnu was Matsya avatar and Matsya literally means Fish. It clearly parallels with the scientific view.

Stage 2 - Tetrapodes (Reptiles with legs) vs Kurma (tortoise)

Modern Science:
hinduism evolution theory kurma
Fish finally evolved out of water became Reptiles (with legs to be accurate). The examples are tortoise, lizards etc.

hinduism evolution theory kurma Second avatar of Vishnu is Kurma. Kurma means Tortoise which is a reptile that walks on four legs. Again it's a direct parallel with the scientific view.

Stage 3 - Mammals vs Varaha (Boar)

Modern Science:
hinduism evolution theory Kurma avatar

Reptiles evolved into Mammals that could bear children and lived only on the land.

hinduism evolution theory Kurma avatar
Varaha (Boar) avatar represents land dwelling Mammals. You may ask - why Boar? Why not a deer or monkey or some other mammal? The reason is that Boar belongs the the "Suina" family whose maxillary or teeth are in front and therefore they do not have to swallow and regurgitate their food just like us humans! It's extremely enlightening to note that Hinduism had such a very insightful knowhow thousands of years ago!

Stage 4 - Primates (to Hominidae) vs Narasimha

Modern Science:
hinduism evolution theory narasimhaFinally primates were evolving into Hominidae forms that looked more like humans, were partially bipedalled (walk on legs) but their brains were still not quite developed. They can be figuratively seen as having partly human lower body and animal like upper body.

hinduism evolution theory narasimhaNarasimha avatar is a more abstract representation of a Hominidae that is half human and half animal. The interesting thing to note here is that Narasimha has the upper body of a lion but lower body of a man. This is important because this directly relates to the idea of a pre-human without a well developed brain but with the partial ability to become bipedal (walk on legs). Also, Lion was used because it's primarily a carnivore just like the early Hominidae. Another interesting observation is that the Narasimha avatar is characterized by being in the "middle" of two things (being neither and midway) and that directly correlates to Hominidae that is about halfway though to being human! So, Narasimha is a perfect way to explain the pre-Homo Erectus form.

Stage 5 - Hominidae before Homo Erectus (more like humans but much shorter) vs Vamana

Modern Science:
hinduism evolution theory vamana avatar Finally Hominidae got closer to Homo Erectus was evolved. He was bipedal (walk on legs) more human looking but very short.

hinduism evolution theory vamana avatar Vamana avatar represents a being that is very close to humans but is extremely short. I guess, the parallel is obvious!

Stage 6 - Homo Erectus (to Homo Sapiens) vs Parashurama

Modern Science:hinduism evolution theory parshurama avatar Homo Erectus and then Homo Sapien was evolved that was about as tall as present day humans and could use tools. Homo Sapien is the present day human and biological evolution ends here.

Hinduism:hinduism evolution theory parshurama avatar Parashurama avatar represents a man with an Axe. As you notice, unlike earlier Avatars, this is the first avatar of Vishnu that has no animal characteristics and wields an Axe. So basically, Parashuaram is what the current day human would be who could also use tools, in other words Homo Sapien. Again, the Avatar as described by Hinduism matches perfectly with the description of Homo Sapien!

Stage 7 - Homo Sapiens exterminate Homo Neanderthalensis vs Rama kills demons

Modern Science:
hinduism evolution theory rama avatar There were other "types" of humans evolving in parallel to Homo Sapiens, they are called Homo Neanderthalensis. So, another step in biosocial evolution is the extinction of Homo Neanderthalensis so that only Homo Sapiens (us) remained. These "other humans" had distinctly different bone structures and body types and it's not a far stretch of imagination to realize that these "other humans" can very well be the "demons" (asuras) mentioned in Hinduism.

hinduism evolution theory rama avatar According to mythology, suras (gods) and asuras (demons) had been warring since the start of time and it's the Lord Rama (7th avatar of Vishnu) that finally killed all the asuras so that human beings can live in peace. Again a direct parallel.

Stage 8 - Advanced in civilizations and culture and to todays world vs Tretayuga

hinduism evolution theory krishna avatarModern Science: Mankind never stopped since they learned to use tools and all the
Neanderthalensis were eliminated. Civilizations were formed, wars were fought, kingdoms were born and finally the world is as we see it today. The chief characteristic here is the increasing complexity of life and society.

Hinduism: Krishna's incarnation represents the stage where the world was in Treta Yuga and therefore far more complex than the Satya Yuga. I think a proper explanation with comparison of economy, business, society, language and other factors will require a separate post.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pythagorus theorem was discovered by Indians and not by Pythagoras

pythagoras theorem discovered by indiansYes, ancient Indians mathematicians discovered Pythagoras theorem! This might come as a surprise to many, but it's true that Pythagoras theorem was known much before Pythagoras and it was Indians who actually discovered it at least 1000 years before Pythagoras was born! It seems that Pythagoras stole this theorem from India and was given credit for it. It's one of the many examples of cases when Greek mathematicians/scientists took credit of various Indian discoveries/inventions and the original Indian contributers were forgotten.

pythagoras theorem discovered by indians BaudhāyanaSo which Indian mathematician discovered Pythagoras theorem originally? We now know that it was Baudhāyana who discovered the Pythagoras theorem. Baudhāyana listed Pythagoras theorem in his book called Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra (800 BCE). Incidentally, Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra is also one of the oldest books on advanced Mathematics. The actual shloka (verse) in Baudhāyana Śulbasûtra that describes Pythagoras theorem is given below -

dīrghasyākṣaṇayā rajjuH pārśvamānī, tiryaDaM mānī, cha yatpṛthagbhUte kurutastadubhayāṅ karoti.

Interestingly, Baudhāyana used a rope as an example in the above shloka which can be translated as - A rope stretched along the length of the diagonal produces an area which the vertical and horizontal sides make together. As you see, it becomes clear that this is perhaps the most intuitive way of understanding and visualizing Pythagoras theorem (and geometry in general) and Baudhāyana seems to have simplified the process of learning by encapsulating the mathematical result in a simple shloka in a layman's language (sanskrit was the language of choice back then).

Some people might say that this is not really an actual mathematical proof of Pythagoras theorem though and it is possible that Pythagoras provided that missing proof. But if we look in the same Śulbasûtra, we find that the proof of Pythagoras theorem has been provided by both Baudhāyana and Āpastamba in the Sulba Sutras! To elaborate, the shloka is to be translated as -

The diagonal of a rectangle produces by itself both (the areas) produced separately by its two sides.

The implications of the above statement are profound because it is directly translated into Pythagorean theorem (and graphically represented in the picutre on the left) and it becomes evident that pythagoras theorem indian Baudhayana proof Sulba SutrasBaudhāyana proved Pythagoras theorem using area calculation and not geometry (as shown in the picture on left). Since most of the later proofs (presented by Euclid and others) are geometrical in nature, the Sulba Sutra's numerical proof was unfortunately ignored. As I mentioned before though, Baudhāyana was not the only Indian mathematician to have provided pythagorean triplets and proof. Āpastamba also provided the proof for Pythagoras theorem, which again is numerical in nature but again unfortunately this vital contribution has been ignored and Pythagoras was wrongly credited by Cicero and early Greek mathematicians for this theorem. For the sake of completeness, I should also mention that Baudhāyana also presented a geometrical proof using isosceles triangles so, to be more accurate, we attribute the geometrical proof to Baudhāyana and numerical (using number theory and area computation) proof to Āpastamba. Also, another Pythagoras theorem discovered by India Bhaskara proofancient Indian mathematician called Bhaskara later provided a unique geometrical proof as well (picuture illustrating Bhaskara's proof on right) which is known for the fact that it's truly generalized and works for all sorts of triangles and is not incongruent (not just isosceles as in some older proofs).

One thing that is really interesting is that Pythagoras was not credited for this theorem till atleast three centuries after! It was much later when Cicero and other greek philosophers/mathematicians/historians decided to tell the world that it was Pythagoras that came up with this theorem! How utterly ridiculous! In fact, later on many historians have tried to prove the relation between Pythagoras theorem and Pythagoras but have failed miserably. In fact, the only relation that historians have been able to trace it to is with Euclid, who again came many centuries after Pythagoras! This fact itself means that they just wanted to use some of their own to name this theorem after and discredit the much ancient Indian mathematicians without whose contribution it could've been impossible to create the very basis of algebra and geometry!

Many historians have also presented evidence for the fact that Pythagoras actually travelled to Egypt and then India and learned many important mathematical theories (including Pythagoras theorem) that western world didn't know of back then! So, it's very much possible that Pythagoras learned this theorem during his visit to India but hid his source of knowledge he went back to greece! This would also partially explain why greeks were so reserved in crediting Pythagoras with this theorem!

Looking at the implications of such fundamental laws like Pythagorean theorem that have been so grossly wrongly credited to greek mathematicians who have nothing to do with them, I wonder how many more other important ancient Indian discoveries and inventions have been wrongly credited so far!

To read about how Indians established potential prevention and cure of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and more, click - Hinduism Medical Discoveries _ Cure for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more

To learn more about Lord Shiva, click - Shiva the Destroyer of Worlds and one of the Hindu Trinity

To learn more about Indian God Hanuman, click - Hanuman, the Rudravatar and the strongest but humble Indian god!

To learn the philosophy behind Hindu Trinity, click - Real meaning of Hindu Trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh

To read about how Indians could've invented world's first super computer 3000 years back, click -
Antikythera mechanism - world's first computer - invented by Indians or Greeks?