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ID Gets Astrologer Ally

Dispatches from the Culture Wars promised us amusement now that William Dembski has handed over the running of his pro-intelligent design blog Uncommon Descent to his fan club. And the goods have arrived – with this post about an ID theorist in India. Our blogger has found a report in the International Reporter, which he or she quotes approvingly:

Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist from India, had first compared Darwin’s theory with Intelligent Being in 1957, again in 1992 and then in 2003, 2005 and now in 2006. He gave this account in his book “Man Never Descended from Species” in 1957 and through articles in 1992 and 2005 and 2006.

Dr. Raj Baldev said, “There does exist a glaring controversy. Darwin’s principle is convincing to a certain extent that species sprung up by natural selection but there is a grave error so far the descent of human being is concerned”.

In fairness to the poster, there are two prominent Dr. Raj Baldevs in India: there’s this guy, who’s director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research; but the famous “Cosmo Theorist” Dr. Raj Baldev is better known as…erm…a swami and astrologer. His profile on IndianAstrology.com lists his specialities:

Astro Tantrik, Introduced Sarjatak System of Astrology for the first time, a great divine science of prediction with effective remedies of all problems caused by negative effects of stars and black magic. He also guides in the area of Vastu directions, other systems of Predictions like palmistry, numerology and occult reading, both East and West. Above all, his specialty includes Spiritual Healing and Horoscope Matching, Business prospects, Partnerships, Court Cases, Marriages, Love Affairs, among others.

An email from the man, containing “suggestive guidelines”, is a bargain at $50! However, there’s one particular reason why Dembskiites might warm to him: in 2004 he was in large part responsible for a court case which decided that astrology was a legitimate science to be taught in Indian universities. Back to the International Reporter (via Skeptical News)

Astrology is Science, and is allowed to be taught in Indian Universities for degrees and research work for interested students. The Hon.’ble Supreme Court rejected the plea of scientists that Astrology should not be taught in Universities as a subject of science. The Full Bench accepted Astrology as Science and allowed the Universities for teaching and issuing degrees and research work in Astrology.

…Dr. Raj Baldev, who is a famous Cosmo Theorist, is also considered an authority in Astrology and occult sciences, was Intervener in this case and supported the plea of HRD Ministry, Govt. of India and the UGC. While tracing ancient history of Astronomy and Astrology, he gave all scientific reasons in his intervention application justifying how astrology is a complete science.

Along with his intervention, Dr. Raj Baldev had also filed the press clippings wherein he had predicted the fall and rise of three governments with exact time and date well in advance before their occurrences, even the indication of the name of the Prime Minister and how many alphabets he would carry with his name were also successfully predicted by him.

This report also includes one detail he perhaps might want to keep quiet about these days:

Dr. Raj Baldev was also consulted regularly by the close deputies of Saddam Hussein privately for their President and Saddam Hussein granted the special privilege to Dr. Raj Baldev for addressing Iraqi Parliament as the highest honor on behalf of his country, which included his best efforts in helping to end Iran-Iraq war by using the good offices of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India.

Raj Baldev is styled as the “Aristotle of India”, so it’s only fitting he should be cited on the blog of the “Isaac Newton of Information Theory”. Here’s his take on the Dover decision:

Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist from India, has explained the “Intelligence Design” under the sub chapter of ICLE (Intelligent Central Life Energy) in his book “Two Big Bangs Created the Universe” (Formed in Eternal Space).

Dr. Raj Baldev feels that the verdict given by the learned Judge is probably unfortunate. The learned Judge looks to have ignored the vital aspect of “Intelligent Design” that each and every bit of intelligence is based on some law or the other, whether material or spiritual and each law is science.

Baldev also claims that ideas from his book Two Big Bangs Created the Universe were stolen by Stephen Hawking (see this blog; alas, illustrated with a pic of the wrong Baldev). As Dembski himself wrote after his meeting with the Lubavitcher ultra-Orthodox Jews, “ID is not only going international but it is also going interfaith.” Indeed – and, as the saying goes, “with hilarious results”.

UPDATE: The blog entry on Uncommon Descent has now been revised, and the quote there from Dr. Raj Baldev has been deleted. Comment 36 on the entry is from the original poster, and he asserts that critical blogs noting Dr Baldev’s background are “bigoted” and “low”.