Monday, July 20, 2009

Solar Eclipse Pits Superstition Against Science

I read this news report on astrologers in India predicting mayhem and chaos happening due to the upcoming solar eclipse, and I could have sworn that we are back in the Dark Ages where natural phenomena somehow are supernatural events due to deliberate acts of God/s or the devil.

In Hindu mythology, the two demons Rahu and Ketu are said to "swallow" the sun during eclipses, snuffing out its life-giving light and causing food to become inedible and water undrinkable.

Pregnant women are advised to stay indoors to prevent their babies developing birth defects, while prayers, fasting and ritual bathing, particularly in holy rivers, are encouraged.

The problem with this is that, when something like this is mentioned, then any incident of any kind, whether big or small, will be used to justify the accuracy of such a prediction. This is because when you make a prediction that is VAGUE enough, something that science can't get away with to be considered to be valid, then you have enough of a wiggle room to fit anything in it. You are also inviting some crazy nut to actually commit something on that day simply to fulfill the prophecy.

Still, I want to see evidence that food becomes inedible and water undrinkable during the eclipse. If this is false, then someone needs to being these astrologers to task for the lies. But, that's not going to happen, is it?



JC said...

I totally agree. We need to bring these terrible liars to task.

Whilst we're there, let's have people who tell children about father xmas locked up.

Stalin had the right idea - Anyone who believes in god should be thrown straight into the gulag or forced to build railways until they die of hunger and hypothermia.

Mind Hacker said...

I am an Indian and hate these astrologers doing all these wrong and unsensible predictions. They just do it to make money out of it. These things have continued from the dark ages; in a fast developing country like india, these superstitions are on the verge of extinction; unless some people leave the old traditions of making such predictions and superstitions.

Anonymous said...

The "disasters" happen 14-18 days after the eclipse.
Look what has just happened in China/Japan. Places that were covered in the path of the eclipse.

ZapperZ said...

Oh puhleeze. You can't be that gullible!

Disaster did not happen at other places that had the eclipes, especially India where these were predicted. And what is the time constant for such a disaster to happen anyway? Are you going to come back here 10 years from now when some disaster occurs and proclaim that this is due to the eclipse?

You need to have your rationality examined!


Anonymous said...

The best experiment you can do to disprove yourself that food doesn't get inedible is to eat during solar Eclipse. I did that serveral times. I am in good health by the way. I was exposed to solar eclipse when I was in mom's womb and so did my son. I am alive and well and my son is going pretty good.
India is birth place of supersition. Glad I got out of my country