Credibility of Criticism (Re: NEW: Pythagoras Theorem )

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Sun Apr 8 21:47:56 EDT 2001


It is fair for people who disagree with RSS to criticize RSS.
But to have some effect, the criticism should be credible.
People ought to do some homework.

The Rediff Report says
(http://www.rediff.com/news/2001/jan/01rss.htm)
"The booklet also claims that Hindus invented the number
system as well as the decimal system besides giving the
concept of shunya (zero)."

That look like a good claim to me. I don't see a reason
to ridicule it.

I am aware that some concepts related to the decimal system
were discovered by others. However the decimal number system
as we know it, certainly was invented by the "Hindus" (i.e.
Indians).

Often it can be very hard to decide who was first, and who
was influenced by whom. I know quite a few example in sciences
and engineering where the most credited inventor wasn't really
the first one. Regarding invention of computers, we know that
Eckert and Mauchly of ENIAC fame took some of the ideas from
less-famous Iowa State University professor John Atanasoff.
Dr. Abbas, being a researcher himself should know that.

We know that Christopher Columbus wasn't the first one to
reach America. An Indian having landed there may be a pure
speculation (maybe there was a Chinese). But Aryabhatta
and Sushruta are acknowledged by scholars to have made
original contributions.

While I am an admirer of Pythagoras (many of his thoughts
resemble principles prevailing in India), it is not impossible
that the "Pythagoras Theorem" may actually have been invented
by somone else. [Best known of Kabir's bhajans were probably
written by someone else.]

I haven't checked the details, and haven't checked that it was
first, but the creation of the artificial lake Sudarshana in Maurya
period is right. There is an inscription at Junagarh of about
150 CE mentioning about its repair by Rudradamana I.

Yashwant



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