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Anumana Praman


This is the process of inference, which is nothing but hypothesizing on the knowledge acquired by direct perception. Charles Darwin's theories and much of archaeology and anthropology rely upon such inductive conjecture ("It may have been like this, or perhaps it was like this").Mechanistic science bluntly reduces everything to atoms and molecules and rejects anything that does not fall in its scale of observation. The key medical field of Microbiology was non­existent till the 16th century when Antony Von Lewenhoek discovered lenses, which could detect microbes. Similarly, the state-of-art of present day science is that we have no instruments to detect anti-matter.


A practical example of anumana praman or wild speculation is Darwin's theory that proposes the idea that human beings might have evolved from apes. Darwin tried to find out how life came in this universe. With all his researches, when he could not make out, he admitted that he resorted to wild imaginative speculation.   In one of his letters to A.R. Wallace (December 22, 1857), Darwin wrote, "... I am a firm believer that without speculation there is no good and original observation....'. How his theory was developed is given in his own words: "...After five years work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which seemed to me probable.." (Origin of Species).For instance, he proposed the idea how the sea whale originated. He said how once upon a time, a bear entered into water with wide-open mouth for catching some flies and he stayed long in water and turned into a sea whale! Such speculative theories are propagated by scientists, taught as solemn truths in schools and universities and discarded later like disposable napkins, only to put forward another speculative theory. Thus Anumana praman is misleading and cannot assure one of the actual truths.


Anumana praman is just guesswork; something like observing a black box and imagining what could be inside it. If you hear a loud noise coming from a room closed on all sides, it could be caused by anything. You could make say three wild guesses: may be a fight is going on, may be the TV is on, may be the radio is on. When you open the room you come to know that a group of people is doing a rehearsal for a drama presentatioa Thus the actual reality can be totally different from what one may guess. Hence Anumana praman is misleading and cannot assure perfect knowledge.