Turning back the clocks on scientific progress

Posted: July 10, 2010 in india, religion
Tags: , ,

Watching the movie Agora made me realize that there are several instances in history when clocks have been turned back when it comes to scientific progress. Burning of the great library of Alexandria is just one of them, and is the widely acknowledged one. It’s not just the lost of knowledge contained in those documents that is a setback to progress. Before Christianity, apparently Egyptians had freedom of expression and allowed scientific inquiry to happen. Christianity had forbidden those two important pillars of science. And scientific progress had been crippled for several centuries. The amazing Mayan civilization was subjected to similar fate. So were the great universities of Nalanda and Taxila.

I used to think that we reached a point where science has more or less escaped the clutches of religion, and that we are constantly making progress and will continue on that path. Now I’m not sure of that anymore. Even today the theory of evolution is opposed by a significant number of people in countries like the US. Muslims are threatening to curtail the freedom of expression in the entire world. If the incidents in Shimoga and Hassan are anything to go by, India seems to be a lost cause already. And of course China, the country which knows how to censor even the internet, is rising as the superpower.Hard luck for freedom of expression when China goes dictating terms to the rest of the world.

PS: This is from my journal entry on 4th March
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