Saraswati: Atomic Scientists reconfirm location

George Thompson GthomGt at CS.COM
Fri Mar 17 04:59:47 UTC 2000

Dear Dr. Kalyanaraman,

Please, stop for a moment and consider this:

we are all of us here, now, in the year 2000, 3rd month, 16th day [accd to
the calendar that rules the Internet]. Not one of us stands any closer in
time to the period of the Rgveda than anyone else, whether Vaidika or
European, Subaltern or American, etc.  No matter who we are, the RV stands
equally distant and remote and difficult for every single one of us.  Without

As far as I can see, no scientist, not even a nuclear physicist or an
electrical engineer, is better prepared to understand the Rgveda than those
scientists who actually devote their lives to studying it.  I don't know
whether Rahul Oka is a scientist or not. But if you give me a sample of his
observations about the RV I can tell you right away whether or not he is a
scientist of the Rgveda.

In my view, if we are talking about the RV, we should try to be scientists of
that text.  If we are talking about IVC, we should try to be scientists of
IVC.  If we are talking about horses, then we should try to be horse
scientists. This is simply to say, once again, that this is a scholarly list,
where preference [attention] should be given to those who have studied *as
scientists* the item that is up for discussion.  I don't think that being a
scientist of human behavior, for example, gives one any special advantage
when it come to the science of the RV.

You have an admirable passion for these topics, but I think that it is fair
to say that you are not a scientist of old Indo-Iranian, nor of comparative
nor any other kind of linguistics.  This is demonstrated once again by your
recent comments about sememes, etc.  To talk about meaning divorced from
phonology and morphology is like talking about Vedic divorced from saMhitAs,
or brAhmaNas, or zrauta sUtras, etc.  It is like separating body and soul
[you know, signifier and signified, and all that linguistic mumbo jumbo].  A
sememe without a phonology, etc., would be a ghost whose existence we could
not perceive at all, except by means of crystal balls.  That sort of
methodology is, I think, not allowed on scholarly lists.

I do not deny that you may well be a scientist, and a good one, of other
things. But in my opinion you have not demonstrated that you are a scientist
of the RV, of Avestan, etc.

Best wishes,

George Thompson

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