A voluntary science body on Saturday condemned the 'Kauravas were test tube babies' claim made in the Indian Science Congress held on Jalandhar, saying it was "wrong to mix mythology and science".
The Breakthrough Science Society, a body committed to propagating science and scientific outlook, said it was distressing that such "chauvinistic claims" about ancient India were made before young and impressionable minds.
In a statement, it said such claims were tarnishing genuine contribution made by great personalities.
"Puranic verses and epics are poetic, enjoyable, contain moral elements and rich in imagination, but not scientifically constructed or validated theories. Chauvinistic claims about ancient India," the body said.
"It is absolutely distressing that these claims were made in the Children Science Congress section of Indian Science Congress (ISC) where the audience was largely comprised of teachers and young students," it said.
The voluntary organisation recalled that past presidents of Indian Science Congress -- Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray (1920), Sir Ram Nath Chopra (1948) and P Parija (1960) -- dealt with science in an "objective and educative" manner while giving due recognition to the achievements in science in ancient India.
"Stem cell research, in vitro fertilisation, science of ballistics and guided missiles, theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, among others, have evolved as a process. It is important to note that no technological accomplishment can be made without the relevant scientific theoretical foundation," the statement said.
"Building of a guided missile requires electricity, metallurgy, mechanics, projectile motion, radars, optics, motion sensors, wireless communication and there is no evidence for the existence of these underlying pillars of scientific knowledge in ancient India," it asserted.
Andhra University Vice Chancellor G Nageshwar Rao had on Friday said at the Indian Science Congress that Kauravas were born due to stem cell and test tube technologies and that India possessed knowledge about guided missiles thousands of years ago.
Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University G Nageshwar Rao: The birth of Kauravas is due to stem cell research and test tube technology. Mahabharata & Ramayana is history, not mythology. The people who lived then practised science. Science is not new to Indian culture. pic.twitter.com/Rxw4ZybUze— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2019
The body noted that it was not the first time that such a "blunder" had happened in the ISC.
In the 2015 ISC event, claims were made on the existence of aircraft in ancient India, but the observation was rebuffed by the science community.
"ISC does not seem to be learning from the past mistakes. Hence, it is time that the scientific community speaks up again and in a stronger voice," the statement said.