Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Absurdity of timelines given by hindu cosmology

Some hindus love bragging about how the ancient scriptures of full of science and how modern science is just re-discovering those ancient truths. One of the most frequently cited "proofs" for this ancient knowledge is the time of one day of Brahma which is equal to 4.32 billion years. That is close to the age of Earth (around 4.54 billion years) and those proud hindus wildly thump their chests with "You see! It matches with the value given by science. Hinduism has all the truths!"

Let us take a closer look at hindu cosmology. (The timelines are from Wikipedia)

One day of Brahma (4.32 billion years ) consists of 1000 mahayugas. Each mahayuga has 4 yugas. In the current Brahma's day, 27 mahayugas have elasped. 28th is in progress with the present yuga being Kaliyuga. So around 120 million years (1 mahayuga = 4.32 million years. 27*4.32 + (4.32 - 0.43) = 120.096) have elapsed out of the 4.32 billion years of the current Brahma's day. So according to hindu cosmology, the age of the current cosmos is just around 120 million years.

Also at the end of a mahayuga, Kalki appears and cleans up the Earth of sin. This usually involves some sort of catastrophe. According to hindu cosmology, 27 such cleansings should have taken place at 4.32 million years apart. But modern science has no record of such cleansings.

According to science humans evolved around 400,000 - 250,000 years ago. But as per hindu cosomology humans have always existed, so in the current cycle they have been around for 120 million years. Even if we consider only the current mahayuga, at least 3.88 million years have elapsed and humans were there in all of that time. Again science has no evidence of humans dating back to 3.88 million years ago.

Even if we extend the creation/destruction cycle of the cosmos to 100 years of Brahma and not to one day of Brahma, and given that 50 years of Brahma have elapsed, it would give the current age of the cosmos to around 155 trillion years. Again science doesn't agree with that number.

So out of all the numbers spouted by the hindu texts for the age of cosmos, just one number comes close to a scientific value. But that is enough proof for the hindus who think their scriptures are the ultimate science. It doesn't matter most numbers don't match with the observed Universe.


Anonymous said...

I now not amazed that your blog is named INVERSE.

Lije said...

@Anonymous, instead of making smug observations about my blog's title, it would nice if you could comment on the merits/demerits of the article.

Anonymous said...

Ya! I don't feel it your problem. The Ancient India Civilization is in it's most messed up state so there is not right or wrong ?

parag said...

Your Comment - "But modern science has no record of such cleansings."... is very absurd without any base. Does your modern science has any record of even anything 100 yrs old ???

Lije said...


What you did is called quote-mining. Please quote the context as well and you'll see that your argument is a strawman.

Anonymous said...

may be you are right about other things, one thing that is certainly wrong is about the 155 trillion years concept. vedic concept believes in creation and destruction of universes time after time. to assume, lets say our universe ends up after another 16 billion years at the age of 30 billion years (these numbers are just for explanation, not whats written in vedas).then vedas believe that it will be followed by a period where nothing will exist , which will again be followed by the creation of another universe and so on. this universe according to them is the 51st such universe.
and science hasnt proved this thoery wrong till now

Lije said...

and science hasnt proved this thoery wrong till now

Sounds like an argument from ignorance.

Anonymous said...

"Again science has no evidence of humans dating back to 3.88 million years ago"

Sounds like an "argument from ignorance"

Lije said...


An argument from ignorance takes the form of "no evidence, hence true". What I said is "evidence, hence true". You chose to interpret "science has no evidence of X" to be the same as "No evidence for not X". Which is wrong. As science does have evidence for humans not existing 3.88 million years ago. So there is evidence for not X.

rschenchu said...

Ancient speculators reasoned from what they could see; obviously they did not have telescopes or instruments. Given that, Hindu religious thinkers came up with a pretty sophisticated picture of the universe. The main ideas are:
-- the entire universe is made and then destroyed
--that this is a cycle of creation and destruction
--the time scales match at least in degree with the understanding of modern science
the above three points alone mark it out as very special, considering that as late as 1900 darwin was castigated based on biblical considerations.
As was the practice in pre modern societies these speculations were transmitted through myth which is a technical language in itself (refer von deched and de santillana's hamlets mill), so by falsifying some incidental details you cant run these ideas down. Anyway in India myths were largely taken allegorically(some exceptions exist). FYI while the details of Manu and maha yugas are quaint, the age of the universe is right there in the ballpark.

Abinish Dutt said...

Man, you think you know a lot about Hinduism, but it seems you don't understand even 5% of it. Before using your poor Mathematics to make these stupid calculations, you first go read the articles on Hindu Cosmology on Wikipedia and different scientific journals. Read this, for example - http://journalofcosmology.com/AncientAstronomy122.html

Your ideas must have been inspired by the Bible - a book of lies. A man with a sufficiently good knowledge can't make such comments. :@

Anonymous said...

Yep! Kali yuga is upon us. Stop competing and start listening. We are all in this together so spread yer little photons of lurve and nourishment...