Saturday, January 20, 2018, several reports were out about the Union Minister, Satyapal Singh’s speech made in Aurangabad at the ‘All India Vedic Sammelan’. He was quoted saying, “Darwin’s theory of Evolution is scientifically wrong”. Singh, the Junior Minister of State for Human Resource Development, the department responsible for education in India also said, “It needs to change in school and college curriculum. Ever since humans came to Earth, they have always been humans,” he said. He also stated that nobody ever saw an ape turn into a human and that our ancestors nowhere mentioned that they ever saw an ape turning into a human. He did not offer any scientific counter to the theory though
Darwin’s theory states that all life has descended from a common ancestor, this evolution took millions of years. All complex forms of life evolved from simpler ones through genetic mutation.
Scientists attacked him for dismissing Darwin’s theory. Scientists said it was politically polarizing science, they said that the minister lacks knowledge. Scientists from all the well-known academies of India have unanimously drafted a letter urging him to retract his statement. The letter mentioned that Indian scientists and scientifically oriented ones are pained by his claim. There is plentiful and undeniable scientific evidence to the fact that humans and apes had a common ancestor, every new discovery adds support to Darwin’s insight. Also, statements like Singh’s would harm efforts to propagate scientific thought in the country, that it would also diminish the image of the country at the global level. This petition after being signed by the supporters will be submitted to the Ministry of HRD, the PM’s office, and the President on the 24th of January 2018.
Celebrities also took a dig at him by telling him to stop Monkeying around and tweeting things like even apes have joined the protest against the theory and deny any involvement in the creation of human beings. Even the opposition attacked BJP and the PM for appointing someone who has no regard for scientific reasoning
However, on Sunday, Singh stood by his remarks. He said that Darwin’s theory was being challenged by various eminent scientists the world over and that “Darwinism is a Myth”. He said that he-Singh, was a man of science so would not make claims without any basis. He even proposed for an international debate on the issue to decide if Darwin’s evolution theory merited a place in school textbooks. All types of scientists be invited to the debate. According to him, media was fuelling controversy over his statement
99% of the human DNA and that of the Chimpanzee match and that is proof enough of Darwin’s theory. But before concluding that logic and reason was soundly defeated by Singh’s statement, one needs to keep in mind his background , he is an MSc, an MPhil in Chemistry from Delhi University, has an MBA in Strategic Management from Australia, and an MA in Public Administration, including a PhD on the Naxalite movement. Some food for thought!
23rd January 2018