A reader wrote..
Nilesh ji, I am impressed with the framework for knowledge consumption (I am only consumer of knowledge at this time) you have put forward.
My question is, are there examples of multiple ‘Dharmic superstars’ solving the timeline problem of Ramayana and Mahabharata? And if so, how would you differentiate between the efforts of multiple such ‘Dharmic superstars’, especially if it leads to different timelines for Ramayana or Mahabharata?
What this reader is referring to is my framework for knowledge production and consumption.
Let’s answer his second question first.
Yes, there is indeed a framework to differentiate between the works of multiple ‘Dharmic Superstars’ who have attempted to solve the identical problem.
The framework that should be employed to distinguish between works of multiple ‘Dharmic Superstars’ can be illustrated as follows:
It is important to remember that theories/proposals of ‘Dharmic Superstars’ should have already passed the test(s) of ‘Testability‘ and ‘All evidence’, and also of the ‘consistency of a theory’.
It is indeed rare to see examples of researchers reaching this stage of ‘Dharmic Superstar’ solving an identical problem. As far as I am aware, there are no multiple ‘Dharmic Superstar’ efforts when it comes to determining timing of Ramayana or Mahabharata.
I do think of one example where we can make close approximation and state that there are researchers (Vartak, Oak, Phadnis), who have made three different proposals in trying to solve the problem of ‘Fall of Abhijit’.
All of their efforts can be considered (as a good approximation) in the category of ‘Dharmic Superstars’.
I will write of their comparison using this framework of ‘Dharmic Superstar’ in the future.
However, we must understand this framework of differentiating between ‘Dharmic Superstars’ first.
Framework to differentiate between theories/proposals of ‘Dharmic Superstars’
Once a researcher comprehends the requirement of considering all evidence and the critical requirement of testability, growth of knowledge is assured, irrespective of the fate of his theory or proposal. That is the beauty of this framework.
Following framework is to be employed in consuming knowledge produced by multiple ‘Dharmic superstars’ in solving a identical problem.
The Framework can be described as follows:
Of course, there are many other aspects that can be employed to differentiate between the works of multiple ‘Dharmic Superstars, however 5 critical things mentioned above (in addition to the requirement of testability and inclusion of all evidence) provide the objective criteria to differentiate between claims of multiple ‘Dharmic Superstars’.
Before one’s work can qualify in the quadrant of ‘Dharmic Superstar’
One must have considered all evidence in the context of one’s theory & one recognizes that non-negotiable role of testability (and thus demand to test each and every piece of evidence in a subject independent fashion).
When this criteria is met, superiority of a specific ‘Dharmic claim’ can be determined based on the following 5 criteria, as shown in the illustration above:
(1) The theory/proposal originates from a unifying principle (e.g. visual observations of the sky, gravity, elliptical orbits, terrestrial=celestial, Heliocentric vs geoheliocentric, etc.)
(2) Truthlikeness score is higher than other ‘Dharmic’ proposals
(3) The theory/proposal explains ‘stuff’ explained by old theories/proposals and/or theories/proposals of other ‘Dharmic’ efforts
(4) The theory/proposal explains ‘stuff’ NOT explained by old theories/proposals and/or theories/proposals of other ‘Dharmic’ efforts. And some of these explanations (of new stuff) may FALSIFY old theories/proposals and/or theories/proposals of other ‘Dharmic’ efforts
(5) The theory/proposals make new predictions, in the light of the very theory/proposal and some of these predictions are in fact corroborated/validated, i.e. in layperson language…some of these predictions are shown to be true.