Role of a Theory
Theories are nets cast to catch what we call ‘the world’: to rationalize, to explain, to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh finer and finer.
Thus theories can be seen as an instrument in explaining the world. At the same time, they capture (we hope anyway) element of truth of the world. This is the foundation based on which one can talk of better theories (or one specific theory better than other theories).
All theories are tentative and they can be falsified anytime and/or replaced by a better theory.
Theories are proposed to solve a problem, preferably a tough problem that arose due to disagreement with previously proposed theory. A new theory that claims to solve the problem, not solved by previous theories, should able to explain successes of previous theories along with the solution to the unsolved problem.
Naturally a New and better theory should lead to the growth of Knowledge.
New theory must be testable. By testable, we mean, it should be subject independent.
Against this background, consider argument of Dr. Koenraad Elst against AV observation
He fails to see how AV observation can fit the definition of ‘Omen’, as proposed by him, and thus would discard the observation.
Shri Shrikant Talageri takes slightly different approach. He agrees with Dr. Elst that since AV observation was mentioned by Vyasa (author of Mahabharata), observation should also have ‘Omen’ explanation, which yours truly (Nilesh Oak) does not bother to provide.
Shri Shrikant Talageri proposes two theories:
(1) Any phenomenon of Omen should be a rare phenomena.
By this definition, Arundhati walking ahead of Vasistha can not be considered an Omen during 6500 years bound by 11091 BCE and 4508 BCE. This is because during this time, Arundhati would have been seen as always walking ahead of Vasistha.
So far so good.
And based on this Shri Talageri concludes (we don’t know how he jumps to this conclusion) that thus the AV observation should/must belong to a period only after 4508 BCE.
Of course he realizes the difficulty posed against his conclusion…namely…at no instance after 4508 BCE, Arundhati can be shown to be walking ahead of Vasistha, for a short duration (day, week, month, year, etc.) in order for it to be considered an omen.
Fortunately, he recognizes this problem with the consequences of his first theory.
He proposes another theory.
(2) His second theory claims that AV observation was not supposed to be a ‘visual observation of the sky’ but rather a ‘psychic observation’ not visible to others of a non-normal phenomenon. He does summarize the consequences of his second theory:
(1) Before 4508 BCE, it would not have been an ‘Omen’
(2) And After 4508 BCE, it could not have been an observation
We should note that his second consequence could also be true for any time interval before 11091 BCE.
While Dr. Elst has not proposed a theory, Shri Talageri has proposed two. Since Shri Talageri considers his second theory as an advancement over his first, let’s look at this theory -let’s call it “Talageri’s theory of Pyschic observation” as opposed to my theory of ‘Visual astronomy observations’.
We have two theories (Pyshic observation and visual astronomy observation) being proposed here to solve the problem of AV observation.
We will compare them against the criteria of a better theory outlined above, in the next part (part 3)