History and Philosophy of Science
Ancient Civilisations and the Aryan Myth By Prabir Purkayastha

The belief of Aryan superiority and identifying Aryans with white skin and blue eyes was a strong component of Nazi Germany’s racial beliefs. It was intimately connected to the larger racial construction underlying imperialism. A number of scientists used the emerging disciplines of anthropology, linguistics and biology to justify brutal colonial oppression and even genocide with evolutionary arguments of survival of the fittest. It is not surprising that the RSS, with their admiration for Hitler, should seek to use the superior Aryan race theory for its reconstruction of Indian history. In this exercise, it is helped by a set of “academics”, largely Non Resident Ind ...

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Calling People Niggers and Wogs -- the Science of IQ By Prabir Purkayastha

Racism is intimately connected with imperialism and serves as one of its ideological underpinnings. The growth of racism in the West has been historically co-terminus with the growth of colonialism. Colonising Africa, Asia and the “New World” was accompanied by slavery, genocide and plunder. The justification for this was simple -- the white races were superior and destined to rule -- the other races had to give way before the master race. While such theories were initially sought to be justified using religion, the induction of science in the debate took place in the 19th century and gave these arguments a qualitatively new spin.

Science is quite often ask ...

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Afroasiatic Roots of Greece By Prabir Purkayastha

In Alexandria, Egypt, there is a Greco-Romanic museum founded by two Frenchman in 1890’s. The striking feature of this museum is its attempt to portray Egypt under the Ptolemy’s as essentially Greek. Alexander founded Alexandria during his conquest and Ptolemy, as one of his generals, was initially its overlord and later its king, much in the same way as Selukas Nikator was the Greek overlord near India. Not only is the essentially Egyptian civilisation under Ptolemy’s portrayed as Greek, the African elements in Egyptian civilisation, so clearly displayed in the pyramids and the Valley of Kings, is consciously downplayed. So much so that the uncomfortable African pre ...

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Race is Truly Skin Deep -- Out of Africa Origin of Homo Sapiens By Prabir Purkayastha

The evolution of humanity from the more ape like ancestors may appear to be only a scientific question. However, race and class viewpoints are intimately connected to such questions as they impact the structure of power in today’s world. For 50 years, the dominant scientific view denied an African origin of humanity -- the scientists could not accept that humanity had evolved in what they saw as the “dark Continent”. It also denied that human intelligence evolved as a product of labour -- that tool making came before the human brain evolved. Whole ideological bias may not be surprising in science, the surprising part was that even a deliberate fraud was committed to ...

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Scientific Racism and Recent Technologies in Java By Prabir Purkayastha

The history of human evolution has always been deeply tainted by the politics of race. Initially, the reigning anthropologists argued that the races were virtually different species, descended independently from the apes -- the thesis of multiple origins of human kind. When this was found to be not tenable, they argued that the races had separated in the distant past and therefore had  large differences -- the white races therefore could be superior even if it had a common origin with other races. The attempt, of course, is to reflect through so called scientific theories the current structure of racial dominance and provide a legitimisation of imperialism. However, some ...

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