Archive for the ‘History of Astronomy’ Category

Decolonisation of education (Math, science, and History and philosophy of science) links

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

New videos

Here is a link to a video interview (over 9 hours) with Claude Alvares on a variety of issues concerning decolonisation of education. This has been posted by Multiversity TV, and I should have posted it long ago on my blog.

Preview

http://tvmultiversity.blogspot.in/2014/02/c-k-raju-interviewed-by-claude-alvares.html

History and Philosophy of Science

Part 5 of the above video series has interviews with students of the new “decolonised” course on History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). Some details of the new course, pictures of students etc. were earlier posted on this blog at

http://ckraju.net/blog/?p=89

The genesis of the HPS curriculum, the international conference which preceded it, and minutes of discussion at Universiti Sains Malaysia are posted at

http://ckraju.net/blog/?p=73

The actual curriculum of the courses which ran at AiU are posted at

HPS-1

http://ckraju.net/hps-aiu/History-and-Philosophy-of-Science-curriculum.pdf

HPS-2

http://ckraju.net/hps2-aiu/HPS-2-syllabus.pdf

Math education

As for math education, my experiments with my decolonised course on calculus have already been reported in scholarly articles such as

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History and Philosophy of Science: a new course

Monday, May 6th, 2013

This new course is a world first. It was formulated after an intensive curriculum deelopment workshop already mentioned in an earlier blog.

The West has systematically produced false history as propaganda to glorify itself and belittle others. This has further resulted in a bad philosophy of science and math. Typical courses in HPS in Western universities blank out the non-West. Western academics (like Wikipedists) seem incapable of debating the point seriously: they merely strike superior poses, pile on the falsehoods, vilify, censor, etc. Clearly they aim for the dim-witted and gullible.

For example, Kuhn’s “Copernican revolution” was written AFTER it became known to Western scholars that Copernicus was merely a priest who copied Ibn Shatir’s work from its Greek translation (available in the Vatican) and was too frightened of the Inquisition to acknowledge his non-Christian sources . As for the myth of Claudius Ptolemy, the Almagest is manifestly an accretive work with the current pole star at the head of its star list, and some parameters given to an accuracy of 13 decimal places, while the length of the year is wrong in the second decimal place. Indeed, Greeks and Romans were a superstitious lot who regarded astronomy as a crime, and punished it with death, as in the case of Socrates or Anaxagoras. The Julian calendar reformed the Greek, but remained hopelsssly unscientific (as the Gregorian still is). The wrong length of the year in it for centuries proves the Greeks and Romans never had any access to any advanced astronomy! (Hence, the long-standing confusion about the dates of Easter; they have just celebrated Easter in Palestine in May.)

Likewise the tale of the Newtonian revolution is bunkum. As I have shown in my book on Cultural Foundations of Mathematics, the calculus developed in India over a thousand year period, and was imported to Europe by Jesuits based in Cochin. Europeans, with their primitive and religious understanding of mathematics, failed to understand the infinite series and blundered like Descartes or even Newton with his “fluxions”.

The truth comes out from simple things like the inability of Westerners to measure the size of the earth until 1672, which is something that was well known in the non-West, from more than a thousand years earlier, at least since Aryabhata (5th c.), Bhaskara I (7th c.), al Mamun (9th c.), al Biruni (10th c.) etc, and probably since the Egyptians.

Unlike the parochial HPS courses in Western universities, the new HPS course suits the international character of the students of AlBukhary International University. Here the students of the new HPS course take a trip near equinox to see how simple it is to measure the size of the earth, so they can have a good laugh at those false Western tales.

Students of AlBukhary International University setting out to measure the earth

At the observation point, after sunset

National year of mathematics and delayed monsoon

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

But why a year on the Christian calendar? That calendar embodies the European ignorance of elementary arithmetic and simple fractions (hence their persistent inability to determine Easter correctly until the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582 when they got the length of the year from Indian books). Click the image for the text version. This newspaper has a circulation of 40 million.

Even so, the Gregorian calendar retains the unscientifc chaos about months. This is a disaster for Indian agriculture. (More details of the monsoon mess in my book Cultural Foundations of Mathematics, or an early preliminary article at http://www.indianscience.org/essays/t_es_raju_monsoon.shtml.)

More recent newspaper clips on the “delayed monsoon” effect are at http://ckraju.net/papers/Monsoon-pages-from-calclnm.pdf.

 

 

Islam and the Philosophy of Science

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

The Pusat Islam organized a talk on Islam and the philosophy of science. (Click the image for the paper. But the paper does not cover the queston of ethics of science, taken up during the talk.)

New curriculum for history and philosophy of science

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

A workshop was held at Al-Bukhari International University to formulate a new curriculum for the history and philosophy of science. Scholars from 3 countries participated. Here is the announcement for the workshop, and an earlier one on the Multiversity site.

The issue is part of the decolonisation agenda, but was precipitated when a person who trained as a missionary in Singapore Bible College, and never acquired any knowledge of science or philosophy, but got a PhD from Cambridge in the philosophy of science, started trying to use the classroom as a pulpit. See the minutes of the discussion, and the draft syllabus.

Here is a group photo

and a press report in Alef (Iran). (Click image to go to site, and use Google translate for hilarious results.)

Ending Academic Imperialism: a Beginning

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Here is my new book (ISBN: 978-983-3046-15-7).

 

Academic imperialism begins with Western education, which has not been seriously challenged in hard sciences. Colonialism changed the system of education to stabilise Western rule through indoctrination. The change was possible (e.g. by Macaulay in India) just because a large section of the colonised elite had already swallowed the 18th c. racist history, that only the West had innovated in science. That bad history was bolstered by a bad philosophy of science, both fundamentally warped by the religious fanaticism which overwhelmed Europe from the Crusades in the 11th c. until the 17th c. Therefore, to end academic imperialism it is necessary to take the following steps.

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Khwaza Nasiruddin Tusi and Copernicus

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Believing the propaganda regarding trouble in Iran, I nearly postponed my visit there. However, the situation was entirely peaceful, even at Khorramshahr, the border with Iraq. There was an invasion of dust, so all flights were cancelled, and we had to travel back to Tehran by road, a distance of some 18 hours.  Here is what the dust haze looked like.

A sunken ship as seen in the dust haze
 
Remarkably, the Iranian Deputy Minister for Education, who was among those who attended the meet at Khorramshahr, also travelled back by bus, and stopped at wayside dhabas to eat and watch TV. I  did not see any guns, except those pointed at Iraq. I cannot imagine an Indian minister travelling thus, for they are always fearful, and seen only with gunmen even in meetings of philosophers in this “stable democracy” called India. Even the centre of Delhi is infested with guns, but no one says there is any trouble in India!

But then, this sort of propaganda is to be expected from those who passed off the priest Copernicus as a revolutionary scientist, though all he did was to translate the work of Ibn Shatir and the Maragheh  astronomers from Greek (into which it had already been translated) to Latin. Of course, he claimed “independent rediscovery”, as Europeans invariably did, for he could hardly have risked being tortured by the Inquisition like his friend Scultetus.

It was a real treat to visit Maragheh and see Tusi’s observatory at first hand.

 Nasiruddin Tusi\'s Observatory