Problem 1 – Tentative Theory (Tentative Solution) – Error Elimination (corroboration or falsification) – Problem 2.
This is the path of Science. Path that of Trial and Error (however not to be confused with ‘Being Random’).
We begin with a problem
An Observation not explained by existing (and what might be considered the best among available) theory
Outcome of an experiment – unexpected in the context of an anticipation(based on existing theory/expectations)
We propose a solution or solutions
These are our guesses, conjectures, hypotheses, theories.
Theories have consequences. Since a theory is proposed to solve a certain problem, explanation of that problem is one of the many obvious consequences of that theory.
This newly proposed theory is expected to solve the unsolved problem (by previous theories) however, is also expected to, at a minimum, preserve the successes of previous theories, and preferably do a better job of explaining those previous successes, if possible.
This is the crucial step that determines if a theory can be considered a scientific theory. In order for a theory to be considered scientific, it must be testable and that also means it restricts certain things from happening.
This is the realm of designing ingenious experiments, based on hunches provided by formulation of a theory. This is the realm of testability and falsifiability, simplicity. This is the realm of corroboration and falsification, degree of corroboration and degree of testability.
If observations do not match the consequences of a theory, one should go back and propose a new theory.
If observations (outcome of an experiment, natural observations, nature, etc.) match with consequences of a theory… we have a new and better theory.
All new and better theories generate new problems (in fact this can be used as litmus test in determining a better theory), new problems of higher dimensions and of bigger complexity.
In turn, theories are proposed to solve these complex problems, which in turn are the result of new and better theory that solved the problem (while maintaining successes of previous theories) in this round.
Curious readers may read chapter on ‘The Epoch of Arundhati’ to comprehend my efforts in de-mystifying AV observation, over a period of 15+ years.
Some of the new problems my theory of visual astronomy observation generated in the context of AV observation were:
(1) What was the separation between Arundhati and Vasistha (with Arundhati walking ahead of Vasistha) at the time of the Mahabharata War?
(2) How does one determine the exact year of the Mahabharata War from this 6500 year long epoch of Arundhati?
(3) Could one notice Arundhati ahead of Vasistha with a naked eye? If not, did the ancients had telescopic ability to notice the change?
(4) If Arundhati was walking ahead of Vasistha for a long period of time (6500 years) and majority of this time before 5561 BCE (proposed year of the Mahabharata War), what was such a big deal about Arundhati walking ahead of Vasistha, i.e. why Vyasa would make such a big deal of the phenomena?
(5) Why Arundhti walking of Vasistha was treated as Omen by Vyasa?
(6) Are there other researchers who have proposed years for the Mahabharata War that fall within the epoch of Arundhati? How did they arrive at their proposals without solving the problem of AV observation?
(7) Are there other researchers who have proposed years for the Mahabharata War that fall outside the epoch of Arundhati? How did they arrive at their proposals without solving the problem of AV observation?
(8) Now that AV observation is explained, does that mean any proposed year for Mahabharata War, outside the epoch of Arundhati, is falsified? If so, what is the response of these researchers?
(9) Are there other astronomy observations within Mahabharata that can corroborate time interval determined by the epoch of Arundhati?
One can enumerate many new problems that arose simply due to de-mystification of AV observation. However above list should suffice to give one a flavor of what typically follows a dramatic discovery.
(Our most successful theory – of modern science/physics- is that of cosmology, and if time permits I will briefly sketch the history of that journey…beginning with say Ptolemy (epicycles and equants) and ending (not really) with Einstein (bending of space-time))
The story of the dating of Mahabharata War is not one bit less fascinating than the modern science’s journey of Cosmology.
And The dating of the Mahabharata War is only the beginning…entire corpus of ancient Indian history awaits.
(Those familiar with my work on ‘The Historic Rama’ already know about my work on Ramayana).
In the next section, I will talk of some of the specific problems (new problems) that arose in the context of de-mystification of AV observation. I will discuss solutions and also their implications for technology, long tradition and documentation of astronomy observations, ancient Indian calendric system, antiquity of Indian nakshatra systems, etc.
Implications of AV observation are enormous. I will limit my discussion to few specific implications.