To quote Christopher Hitchens, religion poisons everything.
The Indian government has withdrawn a controversial report submitted in court earlier this week which questioned the existence of the Hindu god Ram.
The report was withdrawn after huge protests by opposition parties.
The report was presented to the Supreme Court on Wednesday in connection with a case against a proposed shipping canal project between India and Sri Lanka.
Hindu hardliners say the project will destroy what they say is a bridge built by Ram and his army of monkeys.
Scientists and archaeologists say the Ram Setu (Lord Ram’s bridge) – or Adam’s Bridge as it is sometimes called – is a natural formation of sand and stones.
Technically, yes, scientists and archaeologists say that the Ram Setu is a natural formation, but they say that because (a) it is a natural formation and (b) believing an army of monkeys made it is really, really stupid.
In their report submitted to the court, the government and the Archaeological Survey of India questioned the belief, saying it was solely based on the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana.
They said there was no scientific evidence to prove that the events described in Ramayana ever took place or that the characters depicted in the epic were real.
Huh. Imagine that.
Mythological stories, for which there is little to no evidence, being used to counter mountains (or land bridges, even) of scientific knowledge and understanding, with the end result inhibiting progress.
In the last two days, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched a scathing attack on the government for questioning the “faith of the million”.
They have Republicans in India? Wow!
It’s nice to know that myth-driven stupidity isn’t limited to the United States. However, it’s also disappointing to know the same.