Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Satyapal Singh’s comment pertaining to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has evoked sharp reactions from the science fraternity. Singh had claimed that Darwin’s theory of man’s evolution is “scientifically wrong” and had called for amendments to be made in school and college curriculum. Ever since the BJP government came to power it has been trying to change history. The Class VII History text book had omitted several chapters of Mughals and gave more prominence to Maratha Empire and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. They also went a step further by rewriting history by mentioning the Maharana Pratap had won the battle of Haldighati against Akbar’s army. From distorting history the government is now trying to tinker with Science. On one hand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to take the development agenda forward and on the other hand his ministers keep on issuing irrelevant statements thereby inviting controversy.
When AV spoke to Dr Vasant B Helavi, Director of The Institute of Science, he said that one cannot say that Darwin theory is completely wrong. He also said, “Since it has come from evolution theory hence it cannot be wrong. Some part may not be matching with others but one cannot say that it is incorrect. Darwin’s theory is based on many proofs. Whatever we have been taught during our school days is not totally wrong.”
Why do the ministers of Modi government issue such statements? Are they trying to derive some publicity out of it? Instead of delivering good governance leaders are only trying to divert the mind of people by making controversial comments! Even netizens criticised Satyapal Singh for questioning Darwin’s theory. Actor Prakash Raj known for making scathing attacks against the Modi government also posted a sarcastic comment on social media.
In a tweet (and a Facebook post) Raj said, “our ancestors have not seen ape evolving in to man” says minister. But dear sir,..can you deny that we are witnessing..the reverse….man evolving into ape by digging the past and trying to take us back into STONE AGE……#justasking.”
The three top Science Academies of India in a joint statement said that they “wish to state that there is no scientific basis for the minister’s statements”. According to them there is no scientific dispute about the basic facts of evolution.
On the other hand, Satyapal Singh defended the statements made by him and said, “Darwin’s theory was very hypothetical and he never conducted any experiments. His contemporary Gregor Mendel had conducted the experiments on mouse. After the experiment they concluded that the concept of “man having a tail and it vanished with time” is not correct. One of the greatest scientists of the world, Albert Einstein had suggested that there are three criteria to judge whether the theory is scientific or not. The first one is simplicity and it has basically two components — it can explain smallest to the grandest i.e. all sides of the nature and it also has economy i.e. nothing is beyond the story and nothing is useless.”
He further added, “Another renowned scientist also conducted the experiments and tried to produce the analysis and he mentioned that DNA cannot be changed. Evolution from animal to bird or animal to human cannot happen. Darwin’s theory is wrong because not a single trace of supporting evidence is available. Those who are criticising my statements are propounding an ideology. I think our educational curriculum should also include the other side of Darwin’s Evolution Theory.”