India’s union human resource development minister Satyapal Singh received backlash from the scientific community after he criticized Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Indian Minister Criticizes Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution
During the ‘All India Vaidik Sammelan’ event held on Jan. 20 at central Maharashtra city, Singh issued a controversial statement targeting one of the foundations of modern science.
“Since the man is seen on Earth he has always been a man. Nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man. No books we have read or the tales told to us by our grandparents had such a mention.”
Singh said that on the basis of these observations, Darwin’s theory of evolution is not scientifically right and it should not be part of the curriculum in schools or colleges.
Scientific Community Criticizes Minister
The minister’s statement and views reportedly received widespread flak from the country's scientific community. Singh's statement was referred to as one that diminishes India’s image on the global level.
Scientists from three Indian science academies said that Singh’s statements have no basis. They added that the evolutionary theory is well-established and that it faces no scientific dispute.
The theory's predictions were confirmed repeatedly through observation and experiments. The scientists also explained that new discoveries support Darwin’s evolutionary theory. They added that the theory is instrumental in understanding natural evolutionary phenomena, not just organic evolution.
“Statements such as ‘humans did/did not evolve from monkeys’ is an overly simplistic and misleading representation of evolution,” the scientists wrote in a letter protesting the minister’s statement.
The community further noted that there is irrefutable proof that humans, monkeys, and other apes shared a common ancestor. The scientific body opined that removing the theory of evolution from the academic curriculum in India or replacing it with non-scientific myths and explanations would be a retrograde step.
The scientists’ letter urged Singh to retract his words concerning the theory of evolution right away. The letter already gathered thousands of signatories and the last day for signing is on Jan. 24. The signed petition will be forwarded to the President of India, Prime Minister’s Office, and the Human Resource Development Ministry.
Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution
Darwinism is a biological evolution theory developed by Charles Darwin. According to this theory, all organisms originate and develop through the natural selection of inherited, small variations that increase's that organism's ability to survive, compete, and reproduce.