Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indians Predated Newton

Lord Ram flew in the Pushpak airplane on his way from Lanka after his victory

The Kaurav Princes were test tube babies.

Arjuna used what amount to nuclear weapons in the battle of the Mahabharata.

All patriotic Indians are well aware that ancient India was the source of all human knowledge. But somehow we were too forgetful, too careless, too lazy to do anything about it and over time this priceless knowledge was lost.

Now it appears we were too generous. A Kerala school of mathematics having discovered the infinite series, one of the basic components of calculus in around 1350 A.D. passed it on to Jesuit Missionaries in 1500's. The Jesuit's held on to the secret for more than 100 years, until they spotted Newton struggling. Taking pity on him, they explained the infinite series to him. Newton promptly invented calculus.

Jokes apart, new research does appear to show that Indians had discovered the infinite series in around 1350 A.D. According to Dr. Joseph of the Univ. of Manchester, who made the discovery while trawling through obscure Indian papers for a yet to be published third edition of his best selling book 'The Crest of the Peacock: the Non-European Roots of Mathematics' by Princeton University Press.

"The beginnings of modern maths is usually seen as a European achievement but the discoveries in medieval India between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries have been ignored or forgotten.

"The brilliance of Newton's work at the end of the seventeenth century stands undiminished - especially when it came to the algorithms of calculus.

"But other names from the Kerala School, notably Madhava and Nilakantha, should stand shoulder to shoulder with him as they discovered the other great component of calculus- infinite series"

Read the complete press release.

Due to the Independence day holiday, most Indian newspaper haven't covered the story yet although its slowly making its way in the blogosphere. I am waiting for the reactions of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad .

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