is/was Ancient Indian science/math superior to Modern Western Science

i been reading around and i see alot of stuff… that Isaac Newton and other european scientistis like einstein was a fraud who stole from ancient indian scientists…and that indian science is superior to western science

There are a number of extraordinary Indian scientists, some of which have won the Nobel prize…C V Raman for his work on light diffraction, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar for his studies on stellar formation, and a bunch more, both from India and Indians living in other countries.

That being said, neither Newton nor Einstein got their ideas from ancient Indian science. Science in ancient and medieval India was fairly well developed, and the equal of its neighbors, if not its superior in some fields, but it pales before what we know today about science.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEca1MiE4GA

this video though…i mean is modern science up to par on the ancient science of vedic India…

Superior in that India had better cars, aeroplanes, rockets, etc.? Ancient Indians had satellites and vaccines and men on the Moon? Did they reach Mars? Cold fusion? Did Einstein steal relativity from ancient Indians?

Unless I’m misunderstanding your question, I think the answer is fairly obvious.

I know hardly anything about ancient Indian math or science, but I know enough about Newton and Einstein that the above quote sends my Crackpot Meter straight into the red zone.

I tried to watch the video but gave up after a couple of minutes. What text there was meant nothing to me, and blurrily embedding it into a video is a horrible way to present information.

Not only was Einstein a brilliant scientist, he had such a recipe for garlic naan!

No.

It would help if you could quote some of this “stuff” so people can judge it properly. Based on your rather vacuous description, it sounds like complete and utter bunk.

Several centuries ago, knowledge of mathematics, and perhaps some aspects of science (astronomy in particular), was more advanced in India than it was in Europe. From about the 16th century onwards, however, Europe began to advance rapidly in these areas, and European science soon overtook that of India. One of the many things that made this possible was that Europeans had learned about mathematical place notation and the use of a zero, which were Indian inventions.

These days, science and mathematics are international enterprises, to which people from all countries can and do make contributions. The historical roots of modern science and math are mainly (indeed, overwhelmingly) European, but some ideas and discoveries that originated in other cultural traditions, particularly those of China, India, and Islam, as well as things from now extinct ancient cultures such as Babylonia and ancient Egypt, also had an influence on its development.

The notion, however, that ancient Indian math and science (or any other ancient math or science tradition) was “superior” to modern math and science is nonsense.

Thread win.

It is not possible for known ancient science to be superior to modern science. We are no more ignorant now than 1,000 or 2,000 or 5,000 years ago, though we may be less certain.

And “ancient whatever scientists worked this out year/decades/centuries before the European who gets all the credit did” isn’t the same as “the EWGATC stole it.” I’m pretty sure Chinese mathematicians knew about the sides of right triangles a while before Πυθαγορας was born, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t discover it independently

No.

Indian culture, in some areas (particularly mathematics) and at some points in time, might have been more advanced than European culture. However, that was a medieval phenomenon, not a Vedic-era one, and certainly Indian scientists and mathematicians were in no way superior to modern ones.

Modern science, of course, though it developed in Europe (borrowing from Greek, Indian and Middle Eastern influences), is not a ‘European’ phenomenon, it is the common property of the world, and accessible to everyone. Lots of Indians nowadays, both within India/Pakistan/Bangladesh and overseas, make significant contributions to the scientific literature. They do so by building on the legacy of the achievements made in early modern Europe, not in ancient India.

OTOH, he stole the Quadratic Formula from the Persians, he did, and used it shamelessly in some of his own work!

Namely, one of his curry recipes.

There have been a number of mathematical and philosophical concepts (and even technologies) that have been invented and forgotten about. You can find a lot of stuff that Enlightenment thinkers invented that were invented much, much earlier by the Arabians, or the Indians, or the Chinese (especially the Chinese). You can find out without much trouble, for instance, that China invented Linear Algebra well before anyone else, but they seemed to have kind of forgotten about it for a while. There’s also surely a lot that was taken from earlier work.

India, China, various Muslim empires, and other cultures were absolutely intellectual, militaristic, and economic powerhouses compared to Europe at various points. That doesn’t mean that just because they figured out something first that they’re superior. It also doesn’t mean the West is superior in any sense other than we’re driving the current wave of technology – and even that isn’t exclusively true anymore with places like S. Korea and Japan.

As for that video (which I only skimmed). I’ll grant that if you squint and tilt your head a little some old Indian cosmologies can look suspiciously like modern theories (though honestly you could probably pull the same trick with Hellenistic or Norse religions if you tried hard enough and had enough free time). It’s not like they had a self-consistent, tested theory. At that stage in scientific development, they really lacked the ability to verify a lot of these things, even if they somehow ended up being “correct” there is a way to be right for the wrong reasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if several cultures successfully guessed their ways into at least some modern scientific truths completely accidentally.

It would be like saying the Hebrew population in ancient Rome was incredibly medically advanced because the Bible says Jesus cured diseases we can’t.

This is going to turn out to be about vimānas and vedic nukes, isn’t it?

There’s a lot of Indian pride type stuff out there that’s just nonsense.

I saw a Wikipedia article a few years back where someone inserted a bunch of crap about how certain civilization traits (like cattle herding) were stolen by the Sumerians from a particular Indian civilization. Problem is, the Sumerians were dead and gone for over a thousand years before that Indian civilization arose.

A lot of crap like that. And of course the people who make these claims are beyond reasoning with. (How can you ignore dates?)

And never, ever, get into a discussion with someone like this about the Arayan Invasion.

Heck, I have a book that says, in all seriousness, that Jesus Christ learned everything he knew from living in India. Preposterousness is not a factor for some people.

It’s just another iteration of the noble savage/golden age of yore myth.

Even if the Vedic Indians had things like nuclear weapons,* it’s ridiculous to say Einstein “stole” it from them. The Vedas may describe nuclear weapons**, but they don’t give you the math to build one. If there was an earlier atomic age on Earth*** the knowledge of how to split the atom was thoroughly lost by the time Einstein was born, and he discovered the knowledge independently of any such earlier society.
[sub]*They didn’t.
**They don’t.
***There wasn’t.[/sub]